Trans-Algarve Hill Tour
- 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 and ends at the most southwesterly point of Europe. You will cycle inland through peaceful, unspoilt countryside and discover a landscape of rich variety. The routes 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: 242 km by touring bike, 262 by 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
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 – Monchique 45 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 shrubs, at least you drive over the dam. After the dam, you start a climb on a hill of 300 meters altitude with a beautiful panoramic view of the hilltops and valleys, some kilometres ahead, uphill and downhill you will reach Monchique.
Day 6Monchique – Aljezur 30km
Before the start of today's stage you have to decide for the first 20 km, if you want to take the sporting challenge and ride over the Fóia, 902m altitude, or to choose the less steep path and ride along the foot of Fóia. On the Fóia you have a wonderful panoramic view of the Algarve with wide views of the sea and Serra . After then, the tour takes you on a winding road on a hill, from where you can see already the village Marmelete , which you reach after a short descent.
From now on, the route goes mostly downhill and you leave the Serra and after then you ride into the the coastal area of Costa Vicentina and reach the historic city center of Aljezur , your milestone.
Day 7 Aljezur – Sagres 47 km
Today's tour leads you through the natural reserve to the south-western point of Europe, the lighthouse of Cabo de São Vicente . This area is a treasure trove for nature lovers. Here you will find a wide variety of marine flora and fauna, many species of native birds and migratory birds as well as beautiful tranquil river valleys.
You ride about 22 km on mostly flat terrain and reach the small town of Vila do Bispo. Afterwards, the tour leads you through a barren plateau to the main road to the lighthouse complex of Cabo de São Vicente , which is located on 60 meters high cliffs . On a beautiful coastal road you continue your ride and reach your milestone, 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.