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Trans-Algarve Hill & Coast Tour

Overview:

  • 2 self-guided bicycle tours by touring bike or mountain bike. E-bikes available in both ranges
  • 8 days, 7 nights, 6 days cycling
  • Route description:
    The tour starts at the Spanish border. You cycle through the interior of the Algarve through peaceful, unspoilt countryside. From Portimão the route takes you along the rocky coast to the most southwesterly point of Europe. The gradients vary between flat and hilly. If you choose a touring bike (or e-bike) you will cycle mostly on good, unsurfaced tracks or metalled side roads with some steep climbs and descents. The mountain bike tour is mostly off-road and on unsurfaced tracks, not often on metalled roads.
  • Total distance: 256 km on a touring bike, 276 km on a mountain bike
  • It is possible to book one or more additional nights at the beginning, during or at the end of the tour
  • Start dates: every day is possible, but not in July/August

Detailed holiday and bike tour description


Day 1

You arrive at Faro airport and take a cab (12 Euros approx.) to your hotel in Faro. In the evening you will be welcomed by the LisaBikes team in the hotel lobby. The bicycles will be handed over and adjusted, afterwards we make a trip orientation.

Day 2 Faro – Azinhal (Transfer with minibus) – Vaqueiros 40km

At first you will be transferred by bus to Azinhal, near the Spanish border, where the bikes will be handed over. After a short drive you reach the border of the river Guadiana, which you ride along and then the tour leads in the Serra towards Odeleite . The village is located on a steep slope below the water-reservoir, you ride through steep alleys then up to a hill where the deep blue reservoir lies before you.
Pass the lake and continue in the "Serra do Caldeirão", the area is very hilly and offers wonderful panoramic views of the surrounding green countryside, with vast pine plantations, fields with low shrubbery and cistus bushes. Along the way or in the far distance you will see small villages where only a few or no inhabitants live. At the end of the stage you reach the small village of Vaqueiros where your accommodation of this day is. The village has shops, a cafe and a restaurant.

Day 3Vaqueiros – Barranco do Velho 42 km

Today's tour is defined by constant uphill and downhill with several brook and river crossings. The landscape has changed and cork oaks dominate the area, but also spruce, almond, and eucalyptus trees and many shrub species, especially the Medronho shrub, line the way.
You reach Cachopo , a quiet village with its original character and then it goes in the direction of Currais. You ride through a varied area with dense forests and many shrub species, the top of the hills offer beautiful panoramic views. Then you reach on a paved road, the pretty village of Castelão, continue the ride to the river Ribeira de Odeleite , which is crossed on a stone bridge. During floods, the river cannot be crossed and you have to drive over Feireira to Barranco do Velho. The river valley impressed with its lush vegetation rich in different species. Then the trail leads winding up the hill to the village Parizes where you cross the "Rota da Cortiça”, the Cork Route. After a few smaller river crossings and through wild vegetation, with cistus- and gorse bushes you reach the village Barranco do Velho, your destination for today.

Day 4Barranco do Velho – São Bartolomeu Messines 44 km

On a dirt road along a hilltop you leave the Serra do Caldeirão and come in the fertile field of Barrocal. The tour leads you through orange , almond and olive groves to Salir and after then to Benafim. You ride through the beautiful valley of the Ribeira de Alte and reach the picturesque village of Alte. After the village the ride continues through an agricultural area, marked by orange groves and varied tree crops. Finally, you reach your milestone São Bartolomeu de Messines, a place with good infrastructures, shops, cafes and restaurants.

Day 5São Bartolomeu de Messines – Portimão 44 km

From São Bartolomeu you ride on a hill with a view to the water-reservoir "Barragem do Funcho". After a short descent, through a magnificent valley, you reach the lake, which you drive along on winding nature trails, lined with flowering gorse-, cistus- and Medronho bushes, and then you drive over the dam. After then, you reach after a short descent another reservoir, the “Barragem do Arrade”, which you ride along and over the dam, slightly downhill in direction Silves . Shortly after you leave Silves in a southerly direction and pass through the area of Barrocal, a landscape with predominantly orange and vine plantations. The closer you get Portimão , the more populated the land is. In Ferragudo you reach again the Rio Arade and it offers a beautiful view over the estuary and the city of Portimão. On very well prepared bicycle paths you head towards Praia da Rocha and reach your hotel.

Day 6 Portimão – Salema 54 km

Today you visit the small village Alvor , which is located in the lagoon of the Rio do Alvor. You ride through romantic alleys, drive around the lagoon and over a range of hills to the sea, along the coast towards Lagos . After Lagos you ride along the gold coast “Costa d'Oiro“ to Praia da Luz, a small quiet seaside village with an old church and a fortress. You drive through the village on a cobblestone street, through small holiday villages and reach Burgau. You branch off into a natural path and go through a pristine evergreen hills, which suddenly opens up and reach a small romantic beach. After a short climb to a hilltop and before the descent offer yourself a wonderful view on your milestone, the village of Salema .

Day 7 Cabo S. Vicente – Sagres 32 km

Today, the last stage begins and ends at the most south-western point of Europe. After Salema starts a steep climb on a hilltop, further on through an open area with fields towards the village Figueira. After then you'll continue on slightly hilly terrain through farmers’ fields, pass a constant uphill and downhill on natural trails to the small village of Raposeira , by narrow alleys, and reach Vila da Bispo. The tour leads through a barren plateau directly to the main road to the lighthouse complex at Cabo de São Vicente , which is located on 60m high cliffs . Next, you ride on a beautiful coast road and reach your destination of this stage, Sagres .

Day 8Return journey

Transfer, you will be chauffeured by us with a minibus to Faro airport or to any other place in the Algarve.