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Route

Route Characteristics:

Tour Profile: Medium. You will ride mostly on good unsurfaced tracks and asphalted side roads. The gradients vary between flat and slightly hilly but rarely steep.

Distance: 270 km

Travel Season: Departures daily January 1 to December 31, 2022
Season 1: January 1 – March 31 and November 1 – December 31
Season 2: April 1 – May 31 and October 1 – October 31
Season 3: June 1 – June 30 and September 16 – September 30
Season 4: September 1 – September 15
Season 5: July 1 – August 31

Accommodation:

Typical Portuguese guest house, 3* and 4* hotels

A great bike holiday in one of Europe's sunniest regions and along one of its most beautiful coasts. 270 kilometers in six daily stages from the Spanish border to the most south westerly point of Europe, the Cabo de São Vicente lighthouse – that is the 'Trans-Algarve'! An ever changing landscape along the edge of the deep blue Atlantic! First you pass beautiful, long, flat, sandy beaches and then a nature reserve, 60 kilometres long: lagoons, waterways and sand dunes with countless water birds. Further west the beautiful golden cliffs and small sandy bays begin. Finally you reach the west coast where the sea crashes and foams onto sheer rocks. Yours is also a journey through the developing history of Portugal with many reminders of the time of the explorers and the early Moorish influence. You can look forward to an unforgettable cycling holiday!

Itineraries

Day 1

Arrival to Faro

Arrival and taxi (approximately 15 € not included) to your hotel in Faro. Welcome, tour information, handing over and adjusting of the bicycles.

Day 2

Faro Vila Real de S. António by train / Tavira 34 km + 260 m

By train to Vila Real de Santo António (included), then by bike along the Guadiana River to the sea. You ride through pinewoods, citrus groves and vineyards and pass Cacela Velha, a small town, full of history, with white houses and an old fort. It stands high on top of a sea cliff. Here the Ria Formosa begins, a beautiful nature reserve with 60 kilometres of sandbanks, islands and water channels, stretching as far as Faro and further west. The dunes provide nesting grounds for countless waterfowl. Large mussel beds alternate with salt flats from which the famous 'Flor de Sal' is extracted. You cycle on smooth paths to Tavira, an old town which has kept its character over many centuries. Its buildings tell the story of its historical and commercial development.

Day 3

Tavira – Faro 46 km + 300 m

With the Atlantic breeze in your face and on good paths you ride through the fishing village of Santa Luzia and Pedras del Rei to Fuseta. Take a break by the harbour and watch the fishermen in their brightly coloured boats! Then ride on to the large and very busy fishing port of Olhão. As you cycle in, you can stop and explore the large Visitors' Centre. You will get to know Olhão as you explore the busy harbour and the old town with many small seafood restaurants. Next stop: Faro, capital of the Algarve. Good, well-signed cycle paths take you into the old walled town, rich in history and with many beautifully renovated buildings from the 16th and 18th centuries. You cycle through the town; on past the marina and you will reach your hotel.

Day 4

Faro – Olhos de Água 42 km + 320 m

Very soon you will be back in the Rio Formosa, nature reserve. You cycle on small paths by the sea – past lagoons with countless wading birds, groups of flamingos and storks, past smart villas, parklands and very attractive golf courses. You reach an idyllic bay...stay a while! Afterwards you circumnavigate the marina of Vilamoura, with over 800 berths one of the largest private marina in Portugal, cycle on the port promenade. A small bridge leads to the broad, long white sand beach of Falesia and a gentle ride alongside this beach takes you to Olhos de Água, your next bed for the night.

Day 5

Albufeira – Portimão 57 km + 700 m

You ride through Albufeira, previously a fishing village, now a busy Algarve tourist resort – and on to Galé, continuing on a long board walk through Salgados, a protected area of dunes, as far as Armação de Pêra. The beautiful chapel of 'A Nossa Senora da Rocha' stands on a high sea promontory and is worth a visit. Here the coastal scenery changes: reddish cliffs falling steeply into the sea and small sandy bays make a beautiful picture. The Alfanzina lighthouse marks the beginning of the deeply indented cliff scenery, where the high waves crash and foam. You cycle along the cliffs by a blue Atlantic as far as the wide mouth of the Rio Arade delta. Very good cycle paths take you along the delta to ‘Praia da Rocha’, a beautiful beach with a backdrop of reddish brown cliffs.

Day 6

Portimão – Burgau 48 km + 520 m

First you reach the small fishing village of Alvor with its winding streets. Then on to the mouth of the Alvor delta and on down to the sea, to the largest cultivated oyster beds of the Algarve, clearly visible at low tide. You ride along the wide beach of ‘Meia Praia’ and reach Lagos. Crossing a bridge at the imposing marina, you reach the old town, rich in history. You go along by the old town walls, the former slave market and the ‘Bandeira’ fort and then you reach the ‘Costa d'Oiro’, the most beautiful stretch of the Algarve coast with its strangely shaped golden yellow rocks, some rising needle like out of the sea. Then on to Praia da Luz, a quiet seaside resort with an old church and a fortress. After that, only a few pedal rotations to today’s stage end in Burgau, a small village on a beautiful sandy beach.

Day 7

Burgau – Sagres 44 km + 590 m

First it’s up to a hilltop, along close to the steep cliffs with a marvellous view of the deep blue ocean and the distant coast of Sagres. It leads further down to a secluded bay and then again a short climb up to another hilltop with a view to the small fisher village Salema, situated by a sandy beach and backed by high cliffs. Afterwards it goes up to the village of Figueiras, and then an undulating route across a step like landscape with a number of megaliths, reminders of settlements here 1000 years ago. You pass a small bay with a nice restaurant and come to Raposeira where Henry the Navigator once lived and built a small chapel. You continue across a high plateau where you can really feel the salty air of the west coast and can see from afar the ‘Cabo de São Vicente’ lighthouse, the most south westerly point of Europe. Just a short ride and you come to that very place. The lighthouse stands on cliffs high above the raging of the sea. Then you follow a lovely coastal route to Sagres, a place steeped in legend. In the 16th century the nautical college for maritime explorers was to be found here. The greatest Portuguese navigators were educated here and went on to explore the oceans of the world.

Day 8

Departure

Transfer from your hotel to Faro airport or to another agreed destination in the Algarve (included).

Prices

    Included:

    • 7 nights with extended continental breakfast
    • Luggage transfer from hotel to hotel
    • Transfer with the train to Vila Real do Santo António
    • Transfer from Sagres to Faro or the train station Tunes for train travel to Lisbon
    • Detailed maps with directions and elevation profile
    • GPS device with all daily routes
    • Travel documents with tour description, useful tips and attractions
    • 24 hour service hotline, including weekends and holidays

    Not Included:

    • Visitors taxes of 1,50€ per person/ night in Faro

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