This one is for the active traveller. The one who doesn’t want to spend their well-deserved holiday hours stretched out on the sunbed beating last year’s tan.
Many visit the south of Portugal for its white sandy beaches and lively towns. Others take advantage of the sunny Algarve weather to hop on their bikes and cruise along the endless landscapes the region has to offer.
When to visit:
With 300/365 days of clear skies, the months of October to May offer ideal weather conditions for outdoor activities. You avoid the sometimes over-crowded peak season and have the roads all to yourself.
Bikes and tours:
Cyclists, you can bring your own bikes, or you can find plenty of bicycle rentals all over the Algarve. These also offer guided tours for those who enjoy some guidance and expertise of the area.
The guided tours range from a few hours up to weeks with overnight stays. Worth the adventure!
Where to cycle:
The Algarve’s diverse geology provides you with a vast choice of trails covering all levels and lengths. There are four main routes you can pick from, or if you wish, do back-to-back (might take you a good while).
- Rota Vicentina (all levels, mountain bike, bike touring)
The natural park Costa Vicentina gives you an accumulation of 450km worth of trails and tracks to follow. Located on the most western point of the Algarve, you experience the wilderness of the west coast. Nothing but a cooling sea breeze and the crashing sounds of waves.
For those who enjoy some steep hills, head towards the mountain of Monchique to give your legs a good burn.
- Via Algarviana (intermediate, bike touring, road cycling)
Deep through the Algarve’s inland, from the eastern Alcoutim to the western Cabo S. Vicencte, the Via Algarviana gives you 300km of mountains and hills. This routine is for the challenge seeking cyclists, who don’t shy away from inclined roads. You witness parts of the region that many are unaware of. Beautiful forests and rural villages. The only tourists you will bump in to are explorers, as yourself.
- Grande Rota do Guadiana (all levels, mountain bike, bike touring)
This route, rather than following the coastline, it heads 65km upstream of the river Guadiana. Deep through the Algarvian countryside, you will notice a difference like day and night between the urban and rural parts Portugal.
- Ecovia do Litoral (all levels, bike touring)
From east to west, or west to east, wherever you start this journey, the 230km take you across the whole southern Portuguese coastline. Take a close look to notice how the landscape changes from the Spanish border to the west coast. The flatter roads and trails make the Ecovia Litoral perfect for all levels. Passing all of the Algarve’s main urban and coastal attractions, you will not miss out on the picturesque beaches and nightlife.
These are the four main routes. Within those, you will find dozens of tracks of shorter durations and different intensities. Accommodating for every level of cycling experience.
Which ever you pick, make the most of what Portugal has to offer. You pass hidden gems you would never see whilst driving in a car.
Refuel will a well-earned traditional dish that will set you up for the rest of your journey. Meet likeminded people and get to know the locals. You will reach the finish line with unforgettable memories.
To end your holiday, treat yourself to a relaxing few days by the pool in your private villa. Your hard worked muscles deserve a great recovery.