Best of the Algarve
We have combined the best of the Ecovia coastal route with the delights of inland routes to provide you with the 'Best of the Algarve' cycling holiday. We are sure you are going to enjoy this great tour!
The Best of the Algarve tour provides up to 2 weeks of cycle touring, each week with a rest day roughly half way through the week. You can choose to ride week 1 eastern Algarve to Silves, or week 2 Silves and Western Algarve tour, or both weeks consecutively.
The Best of the Algarve is designed to be a gentle and relaxing cycling holiday which will provide you with:
- Choice of week 1, week 2, or both weeks together
- Cycling mainly on quiet tarmac roads and occasionally dirt tracks
- Options for daily route extensions if required
- Interesting towns to stay in each evening with a choice of good restaurants to enjoy a well earned evening meal
- Good quality hotels
- Quality maps and directions
- Quality bike hire with panniers to carry your luggage and essential bike equipment (helmets also provided)
- Transfers to start of route and collection from the end
- Flexible arrival day enabling you to choose the best flight to suit you
Semana 1- Itinerary
Day 1 Arrival
If you are arriving at Faro airport to start with then we will collect you from the airport and take you to your first nights hotel in Vila Real de Santo António. We will collect your bicycles and all associated equipment on the way to VRSA.
Vila Real de Santo António is an interesting old town on the banks of the Guadiana river which forms the border between Spain and Portugal. The town is full of character and not particularly touristy, but there are plenty of bars and restaurants. depending upon your arrival time, you may be able to catch the ferry across the Guadiana and try a short bike ride around Ayamonte and its surrounding coastline, just to give you a brief taste of Spain before heading west across the Algarve region of Portugal.
Vila Real de Santo António hotel: Your hotel is a modern hotel right in the centre of town so everything is right on your doorstep. The hotel provides en-suite accommodation, air conditioning, bar, swimming pool and breakfast is included.
Day 2 Vila Real de Santo António to Tavira (28km approx)
The first days of cycling is a gentle run along the Ecovia do Litoral to Tavira, a ride of approximately 28 km. Along the way you will pass through the coastal resorts of Monte Gordo and Altura as well as passing by the interesting old coastal village of Cacela Velha, definately worth a visit if only to try out one of the many cafés and restaurants that are located there. You should be able to arrive in Tavira with plenty of time to have a good look around this lovely old town, a major coastal town since as long ago as Roman times.
Tavira hotel: Your hotel is located close to the river in the centre of Tavira, so is well located for exploration of the town by bike or on foot. The hotel provides bed and breakfast accommodation with clean, modern rooms with en suite facilities.
Day 3 Tavira to Olhão (26km approx)
Anotherr gentle days cycling along the mostly flat Ecovia do Litoral, which should enable you to arrive in Olhão in good time for more sight seeing. There are cafés and restaurants along the way and the route also passes a through the charming old fishing village of Fuseta. If you arrive in Olhão early enough you may like to take a ferry or water taxi over to one of the islands Armona, Culatra or Farol for an afternoon on the beach or dinner in one of the fine seafood restaurants located on the islands.
Olhão hotel: Your hotel in the centre of Olhão is a traditional style hotel with basic but clean facilities. There is also a lovely roof terrace with great views over the islands. The hotel provides accommodation only, but there are many cafés and restaurants in the immediate vicinity for a great evening meal and also breakfast.
Dia 5 Olhão to Loulé (30km approx)
Todays ride of around 30 km heads inland away from the Ecovia do Litoral. By-passing the regional capital Faro and passing by the famous Roman remains at Estoi. You head up into the hills and through quiet villages to reach the lovely old town of Loulé. Loulé is an explorer's haven with its narrow cobbled streets leading off the central avenida, tiny shops and hidden away bars and restaurants, well worth a couple of hours walk upon arrival.
Loulé hotel: A short walk from the centre of Loulé and close to maby bars and great restaurants, this hotel features rooms with air conditioning, satellite tv and bars, breakfast room, roof terrace, swimming pool and also a laundry service.
Day 5 Rest Day
An opportunity to relax and explore the fascinating old town of Loulé or relax by the roof top swimming pool at the hotel, right in the centre of town. If you are still feeling energetic, then you may choose to cycle down to the coast where some of the finest beaches in the Algarve can be found.
Day 6 Loulé to Alte (34km approx)
A more challenging day in the rolling hills to the north of Loulé, but well worth the effort for the tremendous scenery. Taking the gentlest hill out of Loulé, you head towards the tiny hill-top village of Querença, a great coffee stop and a place to take in the splendid views. Heading north and west with a choice of great routes, your final destination for the day is the lovely hillside village of Alte. Famous for its white painted houses and fresh water springs, the year round presence in the river adds a certain unique charm to the village.
Alte hotel: The hotel is located a short walk from the village centre and offers a wonderful and relaxed accommodation. The rooms are air conditioned and modern and there are excellent facilities including a pool.
Day 7 Alte to Silves (32km approx)
A cycle ride to remember with some great views all along the way, but views usually mean hills and this is no exception today. There is a lovely ride along a dirt track road alongside the Barragem do Funcho, and then gently cruising down the valley to your destination for the day in the lovely historic town of Silves. It is well worth planning to get here in good time as there is plenty of opportunity for exploration of the castle and also the town itself.
Silves hotel:- The hotel in Silves is a short walk across the Rio Arade from the town and offers splendid views of the town and of course the Castle at the heart of the town. The hotel provides good quality and relaxed accommodation and there is also an outdoor swimming pool.
Week 2 Itinerary
Day 1 Arrival
Arrival at Silves hotel:- The hotel in Silves is a short walk across the Rio Arade from the town and offers splendid views of the town and of course the Castle at the heart of the town. The hotel provides good quality and relaxed accommodation and there is also an outdoor swimming pool.
Day 2 Silves to Praia da Rocha (22km approx)
A great track alongside the Rio Arade gets you on your way from Silves and then up and over the hills to Estombar, before arriving in Ferragudo, a quaint little fishing village which is on the Ecovia do Litoral route. Following the Ecovia route again takes you over the new bridge into Portimão, and then along the waterfront down to Praia da Rocha.
Praia da Rocha Hotel:- The hotel in Praia da Rocha takes prime position by the old fort overlooking the mouth of the Rio Arade and the beautiful and renowned beach. The hotel offers character accommodation with splendid rooms each en suite. The hotel is on the doorstep of the seafront where many bars and restaurants are located and the hotel is also renowned for providing cycling clients with a hearty breakfast before their next days riding.
Day 3 Praia do Rocha to Lagos (30 km approx)
Back on the Ecovia do Litoral for most of today's ride, a longer journey, but flatter than previous days in the hills, taking you through the popular coastal resort of Alvor and along the beach towards Lagos.
Lagos Hotel:- Situated alongside the river overlooking the Marina, the hotel offers splendid accommodation within easy walking distance of the town centre.
Day 4 Lagos to Sagres (40 km inc Cape St Vincent option)
This is quite a challenging days cycling as there are a few hills as the terrain changes as you approach the rugged cliff lined coastline around Sagres and Cape St Vincent. The route is all along the Ecovia do Litoral and passes through some great scenery and quaint little coastal villages. Once you arrive in Sagres, you have the option of checking into your hotel and then cycling the 6 extra kilometres to the edge of Europe, Cape St Vincent. This is well worth it to say that you have done it and there are some splendid views of the cliffs. You can probably even buy a celebratory beer at one of the mobile snack bars (depends upon the time of year) before returning to the comfort of your hotel by the old fort in Sagres.
Sagres Hotel:- This modern boutique style hotel offers splendid accommodation in which to celebrate the end of your cycling journey. Top quality individually designed boutique bedrooms with Air conditioning, LCD TV and mini bar are available. There is also a splendid tropical garden overlooking the beach in case you feel like a bit more sunbathing, if not relax in the Italian style coffee shop on site or try a pizza in the on site restaurant.
Day 5 Rest Day in Sagres
An opportunity to relax on some fine beaches, try your hand at surfing or wind surfing or simply explore the old fortress at Sagres ! You may also want to cycle to the southern most tip of Portugal and Europe at Cape St Vincent!
Day 6 Sagres to Aljezur
This is a good days riding heading North up the unspoilt western coast line of Portugal to your overnight stay in Aljezur!
Aljezur Hotel:- A comfortable modern aparthotel not far from the centre of Aljezur, offering easy access to the towns bars and restaurants.
Day 7 Aljezur to Monchique
A challenging ride today in that it is mostly up hill to the lovely old town of Monchique high up in the hills.
Monchique Hotel:- Here you will stay in an old Granite built Inn overlooking the town of Monchique. This Inn provides memorable accommodation in a unique atmosphere with splendid views over the nearby town and surrounding countryside.
Day 7 Rest day in Monchique / transfer to Airport
|Best of the Algarve Cycling Tour||
Week 1 and 2
- Prices quoted are based upon two people sharing a double/twin room with Bed & Breakfast and also single travellers in a single room
- Airport transfers to hotel at beginning of holiday and from last hotel at the end of the holiday
- Bike & helmet hire and associated equipment
- Maps and route assistance (This is a self guided holiday)
- Lunches and evening meals
- Holiday insurance, which we strongly recommend you take out
- Luggage transfer service between hotels
- Optional extra days during or at the end of the holiday
Note: This tour is designed and priced as a 'self guided, carry your own luggage' holiday as this is how we can provide the best value for money for our clients. If you have a group that prefers to have the services of a dedicated guide and also support vehicle, or perhaps a luggage transfer service, then can be provided at the following rates:
- Tour guide: 100 € per day cycling
- Support vehicle: 100 € per day
- Luggage transfer: 210 € per week
These service option prices are per group of clients travelling at the same time. The optional luggage transfer service charges only apply for groups who choose not to have the support vehicle. If you choose to have the support vehicle, then the luggage will be transferred on the support vehicle at no extra cost.
Please read how one of many participants experienced her Best of Algarve cycling holiday: Best of the Algarve Travelogue Intro.pdf (617,9 kB)
Bookings and inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
In cooperation with Activity Algarve