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Tour

Portugal - Best of Algarve

Portugal - Best of Algarve

Degree of difficulty - A/B

The Algarve is famous for its coastline however there was also a lot to offer inland including some great scenery and traditional Algarvean places to visit.

The best of the Algarve tours provides up to 2 weeks of cycle touring, each week with a rest day roughly halfway through You can choose to ride week 1 Eastern Algarve to Silves, or week 2 Silves and western Algarve tour, or both weeks consecutively.

The tour starts with a transfer from Faro airport to the town of Vila Real on the Spanish border.  The cycle starts along the famous Algarve coastline,  passing some old coastal towns with plenty of opportunities to stop in one of the many seaside cafes and restaurants.   You then head inland towards the lovely town of Loule with its cobbled streets,  where you spend a rest day with the possiblity of relaxing in the roof top pool in our hotel.   We head further inland into the hills and the historic and occasionally whitepainted villages of Querenca, Alte and Silves.    

The second week takes us back towards the coast and the "Ecovia de Litoral" cycle path. The cycling is a mixture of terrains,  some days quite flat and others quite undulating,  as you pass through the coastal villages the have made the Algarve famous. A rugged coastline takes you to your rest day, the town of Sagres,  where you can relax on the beach or explore its old fortress.   Our last day takes us back inland to the lovely old town of Monchique high up in the hills,  

The cycling is mainly on quiet tarmac roads and occasionally dirt tracks and there are options available each day to extend your cycling if you wish.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier. 

TOUR ITINERARY WEEK 1 - Eastern Algarve to Silves
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Day 1 Arrival
arriving at Faro airport to start, we will collect you from the airport and take you to your first nights hotel in Vila Real de San Antonio. Vila Real 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. 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 and swimming pool and breakfast is included.

Day 2 Vila Real de San Antonio to Tavira 28km approx
Your first day of cycling is a gentle run along the Ecovia do Litoral to Tavira, a ride of approximately 28km. Along the way you will pass through the coastal resorts of Monte Gordo and Altura as well as passing by the interesting old coastal town of Cacela Velha, definitely 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. Your hotel is located close to the river in the centre of Tavira, so it is well located for exploration of the town by bike or on foot.

Day 3 Tavira to Olhão 26km approx
Another gentle day cyling along the mostly flat Ecovia do Litoral, which should enable you to arrive in Olhao in good time for more sight seeing. There are cafes and restaurants along the way and the route also passes through the charming old fishing village of Fuseta. If you arrive in Olhao 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. Staying at a traditional style hotel is in the centre of Olhao with a lovely roof terrace with great views over to 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.

Day 4 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 Loule. Loule 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. Tonight, a short walk from the centre of Loule and close to many 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 Loule 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 Loule, but well worth the effort for the tremendous scenery. Taking the gentle hill up out of Loule, you head towards the tiny hill-top village of Querenca, 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 of water in the river adds a certain unique charm to the village.

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. Tomorrow will be your departure day or you can continue on with the tour.

TOUR ITINERARY WEEK 2 - From Silves to Western Algarve
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Day 1 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 Portimao, and then along the waterfront down to Praia da Rocha.

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.

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.

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 35k approx
This is a good days riding heading North up the unspoilt western coast line of Portugal to your overnight stay in Aljezur!

Day 7 Aljezur to Monchique 35km approx
A challenging ride today in that it is mostly up hill to the lovely old town of Monchique high up in the hills.
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 great views over the nearby town and surrounding countryside.

Day 8 Departure
After breakfast we will transfer you to the airport.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

2017 TOUR PRICES for 1 week cycling
Prices From:

€750 per person sharing ( From Eastern Algarve to Silves )
€820 per person sharing ( From Silves to Western Algarve )
Single and solo occupancy on request

2017 TOUR PRICES for 2 week cycling
(Eastern Algarve to Western Algarve)

Prices From
€1300 per person sharing
Single and solo occupancy on request

Tour Includes

- Accommodation in quality hotels
- All breakfast
- Route details & maps
- Cycle hire
- Luggage transfers
- Phone helpline
- Airport transfers from/to Faro

Self Guided Tour Information

TOUR IS AVAILABLE ALL YEAR ROUND AND CAN START ANY DAY OF THE WEEK

Below are impressions of accommodation we typically use, although of course this is depending on availability.

VILA REAL DE SAN ANTONIO

Day 1 VRSA Hotel Apolo Day 1 VRSA Hotel Apolo1 Day 1 VRSA Hotel Apolo2


TAVIRA 

Day 2 Tavira Residencial Mares Day 2 Tavira Residencial Mares1 Day 2 Tavira Residencial Mares2


OLHAO 

Day 3 Olhao Real Marina Day 3 Olhao Real Marina1 Day 3 Olhao Real Marina2



LOULE

Day 7 Loule Jardim Day 7 Loule Jardim1 Day 7 Loule Jardim2



ALTE

BA Day 6 Alte Alte Hotel1 BA Day 6 Alte Alte Hotel2 BA Day 6 Alte Alte Hotel



SILVES

Silves Colina Dos Mouros Silves Colina Dos Mouros1 Silves Colina Dos Mouros2

 

How to get to the start point for both tours: 

For either route fly to Faro airport and we will organise airport collection.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

As always please contact us in the office for more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com).

Getting in Touch...

Cycling Safaris
Belfield Bike Shop,
UCD, Dublin 4,
Ireland.

Telephone: +353 1 2600749
Fax: +353 1 7161168

info@cyclingsafaris.com

Office hours:
Monday to Friday 9.30am - 6pm

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