As the most southern situated region of Portugal, Algarve has a wonderful warm climate and a stunning coastline running from Sagres in the west, where the Atlantic wash over the cliffs surrounding the majestic lighthouse, to the Vila Real de Santo António in the east, which is located right at the border between Portugal and Spain.
Ecovia do Algarve is a cycling route that takes you 237 km from west to east. The tour takes you through a different variety of culture and nature than otherwise seen in Portugal. You will pass through small charming coastal villages and the larger and more important cities of Algarve. You will also come past fantastic beaches and unique wetlands where shorebirds, including flamingos, may be seen.
The route leads you along trails of protected natural areas, and takes you along minor roads and dirt roads. The route is relatively flat, with a few lighter hilly stretches.
Day 1: Arrival in Sagres
Day 2: Cycling from Cape St. Vicente to Lagos (about 47km)
Day 3: Cycling from Lagos to Albufeira (about 69 km)
Day 4: Cycling from Albufeira to Faro (about 52 km)
Day 5: Cycling from Faro to Santa Luzia and Tavira (about 42 km)
Day 6: Cycling from Santa Luzia to Vila Real St. António (about 27 km)
Day 7: Free day at your own disposal
Day 8: Departure
Upon arrival at Faro airport a local English-speaking guide, who arranges the included transfer from the airport to the hotel in Sagres, will greet you and provide you with all relevant information about this self-guided tour.
The beautiful village of Sagres is situated in the very southwestern corner of Europe, and is located at the nature parks Sudoeste Alentejo and Costa Vincentina. Sagres is a traditional southern Portuguese village full of historical monuments. Visit the great lighthouse, from where the view of the Atlantic Ocean is eminent. Also the Fortress of Sagres, located at Ponta de Sagres, is a great experience.
The day begins with the first stage of the cycling route, taking your first north and then in an eastern direction towards Lagos. You will cycle through the charming municipality of Vila do Bispo, with its dramatic coastline, and the mystique from the town of Sagres providing an experience of wild nature and a rich historical heritage that is left beautiful and untouched. The stage ends in Lagos, which is one of the most southern cities of Portugal and the most historically interesting in the Algarve. It also has some friendly and lovely beaches and a great selection of restaurants and cafes.
This day offers a longer cycling stage from Lagos, along the coast and up to the Ria de Alvor - a traditional Algarviana fishing village. The narrow alleys of the old village hold several charming restaurants with freshly caught fish on the menu. After passing Portimão you will come past the estuary of the river Rio Arade, and through the small village of Ferragudo, with its special atmosphere and whitewashed fishing houses spread out over the small hills the landscape. The cycling route continues along the Atlantic coast to Armacao de Pera and on through the Lagoon of Salgados, where you can experience a rich flora and birdlife, with the opportunity to see the characteristic pink flamingos, among other species, before arriving in the town of Albufeira.
From Albufeira you will follow the coast through the popular tourist area of Vilamoura and Quarteira. Here it is possible to take a dip from the sandy beach before cycling through the beautiful nature park Ria Formosa. The nature park frames the fascinating lagoon landscape, which constantly changes due to currents, weather and water conditions. The impressive landscape is home to a wide variety of birdlife. From here you will cycle the last stretch to Faro, the capital of Algarve, which offers plenty of sightseeing.
From Faro you will cycle towards the fishing village of Olhão. The route continues along the Natural Park of Ria Formosa, which is about 60 km long. You will be passing through small charming villages, before coming to Santa Luzia. This town is known as The Octopus Capital, as the fishing history of the town has made it famous for Octopuses. Any restaurant with self-respect has a version of Atlantic squid on their menu, and it tastes absolutely fantastic.
The next nights accommodation takes place just 5 kilometers from Santa Luzia in the town of Tavira.
From Tavira you will cycle towards the coastal town of Cabanas, and on through the pretty park of almond trees surrounding the historic Forte de S. João da Barra - which today serves as a very nice lodge. The cycling route leads you on to the charming and unspoiled fishing village of Cancela Velha. As you continue towards Monte Gordo you will soon arrive at Vila Real de Santo António, situated right by the river Rio Guiardian, which marks the country border between Portugal and Spain. After strolling around this interesting village, it is possible to take the regional train back - where you can bring your bike for free, or you can cycle along the same roads back (about 27 km).
This day is at your own disposal. The area in and around Santa Luzia and Tavira offers an exciting mixture of interesting architecture, as the seven-arched Roman bridge that crosses the river Gilhão and no less than 37 churches in the town. In addition, you can cycle between the characteristic saltpans, with their varying colors, or stroll along the fine beaches such as Praia do Barril in Santa Luzia.
After breakfast you will be checking out of the hotel for individual departure.
It is possible to purchase transfer to the airport - see more info under the Tour info tab.
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