Algarve Options

For a while, the Algarve was a bit of a blank space on this website – but I’m pleased to say that situation has now been rectified!

Particularly as the Algarve has got to be one of the best places in Europe to go cycling in the winter or early spring. (Not so much in the summer – way too hot!)

Anyway, as part of an ongoing overhaul for the site, I’ve redone descriptions of each of the five main areas of Portugal listed under the Day Rides heading – including advice specifically about The Algarve.

Cycle touring near Alte - pic courtesy of Esther Tacke & Warren Sanders.

Cycle touring near Alte – pic courtesy of Esther Tacke & Warren Sanders.

A couple of my touring routes – Algarve to Lisbon and Alentejo to Algarve already gave details of some cycling options in the region.

Praia de Monte Clerigo on the Atlantic coast near Aljezur

Praia de Monte Clerigo on the Atlantic coast near Aljezur

Now – greatly helped by fellow cyclist Andy Smallwood – I’ve added three day rides in the western half of the Algarve:

  • Aljezur & The Beaches – a short but fairly tough ride with some spectacular ocean views
  • Algarve Hills – a long day through some beautiful scenery (or two shorter ones)
  • Monchique Explorer – another good ride with the option to split it into two and more good hill climbing!

For anyone interested in more reading on cycling in the Algarve (and the Alentejo), I can also recommend a look at The Sportswool Diaries, a blog from riders Esther Tacke and Warren Sanders about their ongoing quest to find the nicest places in the world to cycle. (Nice challenge!)

Portugal – of course! – is on their list of places to cycle. In Esther and Warren’s opinion: Portugal is undervalued for cycling – we would rate it as one of the best destinations in Europe – particularly for early spring touring.”

If anyone else has any favourite rides in the Algarve (or any other part of Portugal) do let me know… that’s assuming you’re willing to share!

Have a good weekend, Huw.

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8 thoughts on “Algarve Options

  1. Hello from Canada……..planning a week to 10 days of cycling in Algrave are during April 2015. Would like to rent a house (probably three couples) and do day rides of 70 to 120 km a day. What would be a good location /village to stay that would provide a variety of rides. Interested in any advice you may have.

    Cheers

    dave

    • Hi Dave
      My personal choice would be Lagos or somewhere in the western Algarve. East of Lagos, the coast is pretty built up (certainly compared to the rest of Portugal). It’s a LOT quieter if you go a few km inland but the landscape also gets a lot more rugged – so it depends how much you like hill-climbing!
      Lagos is quite touristy, particularly April-October, but also has an attractive old centre and is much more interesting than a lot of the resort towns and bigger places like Portimao or Faro.
      There’s some good cycling out west to Sagres and the west coast and inland. Main problem as always is finding maps!
      Alternatively I’d go for Tavira as a base although it’s a lot busier in the east.
      Only other things is that if you’re doing 70-120km a day, you might run out of new roads after a bit! Email me at pedalportugal@gmail.com if you’ve got more questions.

      • Hello all. As an Algarve resident for the past 20 months, I have first hand experience of all the roads from the west coast to the east through the busy resorts, and also the inland areas. I lived in Alvor for six months in 2013 and rode the hills around the Monchique area which I highly recommend.

        I now live in the centre of the Algarve near Albufeira and all my cycling is done inland around Alte, Salir and Barranco Velha. My cycling buddies and I also head east, just north of Tavira and ride the very quiet roads there. We also ride across from here to Silves to meet up with my old group and ride around that area.

        I believe that once you get away from the coast, from around 10km inland, you have a massive choice of deserted roads across the whole of the Algarve. I run free guided cycle tours for guests who stay in my apartment here in the Algarve (unfortunately it can only sleep 4), and I am also willing to take out other visitors on some great rides from wherever they are staying. I can be contacted via the website http://www.algarvecharacterapartment.com if you need more information.

        Regards,
        Andy

          • Thanks to all for your advice. Very much appreciated. Will be passing it on to my friends and making some plans. Regards.
            Dave

  2. Love you emails and website 🙂 Wallace and I are going out for a weeks holiday in Lagos 1st May to 8th May. We will hire some bikes and would like to do some 40/50 mile runs each day. Can you recommend some routes for us. we will be hiring City style touring bikes. Kind regards Caroline & Wallace

    • Happy the site’s doing it’s job!
      If you’re heading out from Lagos, I’d probably go either north towards the Barragem da Bravura or west. I don’t know all the smaller roads to the west but this will probably be more gentle, compared with heading up into the hills.
      You could also put your bikes on the train (it’s pretty cheap) and head back east towards Silves – there would be some more countryside options around here.
      Going immediately east, you run into Portimao, which is big and ugly and – unless you loop way inland – you’ll be limited to the main road along with a lot of traffic. Hope this helps.

    • Hi Caroline & Wallace. Living in the Algarve, and having spent last year in Alvor, between Portimão and Lagos, I agree with Huw about riding around the Baragem da Bravura area and also west if Lagos is your holiday location. Check out the Monchique Explorer day ride on this site. From Lagos you could head along the EN125 for about 10km and then head inland around Figueira to start this ride. I would say a good three quarter or full day is needed.
      If you choose to head west, the ride to Sagres along the coast through Praia da Luz, Budens and Salema will keep you off the main EN125. Another nice ride is directly north from Lagos to Bensafrim on the N120, taking a left just before Bensafrim to Barão São João past the zoo. You could then take the road to Barão S Miguel and check out Burgau on the coast. If you are feeling fit, continue through Bensafrim to all the way to Aljezur or take a left before Aljezur onto the N268 and head down to Vila do Bispo enabling you to stop at some west coast villages on the way. I hope these routes are of use to you.
      Of course if you haven’t already booked any accommodation, please check out my apartment, Casa Londrina in Olhos de Agua on this site 🙂 I offer 3 free full day guided rides for a 7 night stay. I am 30 minutes from the airport, I can collect you and there are 3 bike hire shops within 10 minutes. Just saying 🙂
      I hope you enjoy the wonderful Algarve.
      Andy

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