Portugal bike tour
Across the Algarve
Famed for its mild climate and golden beaches, the Algarve is ideal for an early spring or fall cycling tour. Plus it has a hidden side perfect for discovering by bike! We'll leave the tourist crowds behind as we ride inland through little-known white villages, a lush mountain microclimate, and orchard-covered hillsides. Along the way, Moorish and medieval fortresses hint at the Algarve’s past as an independent kingdom. Reaching seaside Tavira, we’ll bask in its Mediterranean ambiance and bike the road-less-traveled to the Spanish border. Join us in discovering the hidden Algarve!
- Trip Feedback
- Diverse landscapes from coastal reserves to mountain forests
- Start at Cape São Vicente, the southwestern-most point of Europe
- End with a ride to the Spanish border and the Rio Guadiana nature reserve
- Optional climb to Foia, highest point in the Algarve (2931’)
- Relax at a mountain spa resort in Caldas de Monchique
- Tour the Moorish castle of Silves and medieval Castro Marim
- Boat cruise through the Rio Formosa estuary reserve
- Savor Algarve seafood delicacies and local wines
- Discover a unique blend of Moorish and Maritime history
- Accommodations in historic pousadas, a Romantic Period palace, and four-star hotels
Day 1: Morning transfer from Faro to Sagres, where our four-star hotel overlooks the Atlantic coast. A warm-up ride leads to the sea cliffs of Cabo de Săo Vicente, the southwestern-most point in Europe and once the end of the ancient world. Welcome dinner starring the fresh local catch! (8 mi.)
Day 2: Spin past fishing villages, then cycle inland through rolling hills of carob, almonds, and orange groves. End in Lagos, center of trade with Africa during Moorish times. Explore its historic Old Quarter or enjoy a boat cruise through the colorful sea grottoes of Ponta da Piedade. Our contemporary hotel overlooks the Lagos waterfront. (28 or 32 mi.)
Day 3: A challenging but rewarding ride into the Serra de Monchique mountains. The Serra’s amphitheater-like orientation to the Atlantic produces a species-rich microclimate of lush forests and gardens. Two-night stay at the Villa Termal Resort, a mineral water spa in Caldas de Monchique.(32 mi. / 3332’ el. gain)
Day 4: Free day for hiking, biking, or R&R at the spa. Our cycling route traces forested roads around the base of Foia, the tallest peak in the Algarve, with an optional climb to its summit (2931’) - a stage finish in the Tour de Portugal! Fertile terraces cascade down the slopes, planted with madronho (strawberry) trees, citrus, and figs. On a clear day the view stretches to the Atlantic far below. (0, 26 or 35 mi. / max. 4275’ el. gain)
Day 5: Descend through cool forests of chestnut and pine to Mediterranean lowlands of oak, palmetto, and grasses. Visit Silves for lunch, followed by a tour of its impressive Moorish fortress, the 11th century capital of Al-Gharb Al-Andalus. Rolling interior roads lead to panoramic views from our country hotel in Alte. (45 mi. / 3555’ el. gain)
Day 6: An easier day as we spin through the tiny white villages of Alte, Barranco Velho, and Querença, with their castle ruins and pretty squares. Quiet roads lead to our palace for the night in Estoi, the Palacio de Estoi - a Romantic-era gem perched high above the coast. We’ll offer a late afternoon excursion to the nearby city of Faro for sightseeing, dinner, and a boat cruise in the Ria Formosa Natural Park. (29 mi.)
Day 7: Pedal through hill towns of the Serra de Monte Figo, then descend to the coast at Fuzeta harbor, with its colorful fishing boats, nets, and octopus pots. The Ecovia bike path leads through the Ria Formosa reserve for views of marshlands, salt pans, and nesting waterfowl. End in atmospheric Tavira, with time to enjoy its riverfront, Roman bridges, and inviting plazas. Two-night stay at the Pousada Convento da Graça, built from a former monastery. (24 or 37 mi.)
Day 8: Free day in Tavira for sightseeing, shopping, or cycling a backcountry route to the Spanish border. Spin past river gorges, orchards, and the medieval fortress of Castro Marim before returning along the coastal ecovia. Don’t miss the tiny but historically significant village of Caçela Velha, with its turreted fortress and commanding ocean views (best savored over fresh oysters at the local café!). Conclude in Tavira with an al fresco farewell feast. (0, 27, 41 or 48 mi.)
Day 9: Morning transfers to Tavira Train Station and Faro Airport.
"Our Portuguese guides were an absolute joy to travel with—incredibly helpful, accommodating, and knowledgeable."
- M.C, Washington
"This entire trip was pure magic. Gorgeous interesting country, compelling architecture and history, wonderful people and food, great bicycle riding. The experience, professionalism and work that you and your guides put in to the planning and execution was a huge factor...well organized route reviews, technical support, and above all a real sense of comradeship made the trip flow seamlessly."
-C.J., Washington (Algarve BAC tour)
- 8 nights accommodations in historic pousadas, a 19th century palace, a mountain spa, and four-star country hotels (double occupancy, private bath)
- 6 dinners with wine, welcome lunch, 2 picnic lunches, and all breakfasts
- Use of a top-quality 27-speed Marin hybrid bicycle
- Detailed maps, written directions, and background information
- Choice of mileage options on most days; total mileage of 266 miles
- Two experienced, multilingual Portuguese guides
- Support van to carry luggage, provide snacks, and offer assistance and lifts
- Cruise through the sea grottoes of Lagos
- Transfers to and from Faro Airport at specified times
- Gratuities for all accommodations and group meals
- Comprehensive tour preparation information and training tips
- Easy Rider cycling jersey and water bottle
- Airfare is not included.