Saturday Ride

Jan 16 beach 6

Blossom on the almond trees

There are many reasons to love being in the Algarve in the winter – the lack of tourists, cheap wine, Portuguese cakes, almond blossom, being able to buy two large tuna steaks from the supermarket for less than €4. 

And that’s before I even get on to the cycling.

One of the biggest draws has to be the weather – being able to ride in shorts and a short-sleeved top in the middle of January (while needing wraparound sunglasses) is a definite improvement on conditions back home in the UK. 

Jan 16 beach 3

Blue skies, green fields and not a lot of traffic

By the way, my apologies if this is making you green with envy. That’s not the intention.

Many people think of the Algarve as a summer holiday destination. To me, though, it’s the winter cycling that’s a huge draw. It’s way too hot and busy here in the summer to even contemplate getting on a bike but just now it’s glorious. There’s a cool edge to the breeze but as long as you don’t sit still, or find somewhere sheltered, that’s not a problem.

Today’s ride was a reasonably gentle one. A loop of about 48km (30 miles) out to the west of Lagos in aid of ‘bagging’ some of the beaches in the area – all stops on the last day of the Algarve East-West guided cycle tour, which sets off on Sunday 13th March.

First up was a quick halt at Praia da Luz, after which came Boca do Rio (one of my favourites), Burgau and Salema – see photos below. There were a few hills along the way but none of them particularly long.

After a picnic on the beach, we turned inland for a loop through some of the nearby villages and home for a cup of tea!

Jan 16 beach 1

The promenade at Praia da Luz

Jan 16 beach 4

On the way from Burgau towards Boca do Rio

Jan 16 beach 5

Looking back down at Boca do Rio – popular with over-wintering camper van owners

Jan 16 beach 2

The beach at Salema, one of the low-key resorts west of Lagos

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