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Today's post is all about Algarve, on the south coast of Portugal. Don't blame us if you find yourself wanting to book a bike tour by the time you reach the end!

Summer bike tour season is in full swing, and we are living vicariously through our tour guests and bike tour guides. Last week our Algarve Blue tour riders enjoyed perfect weather for cycling under blue skies and took in even-bluer ocean views. Tour guide extraordinaire Gonçalo captured the tour and the best of Portugal in an incredible video. You can watch by clicking on the image below or by visiting our YouTube channel

Algarve Bike Tour

 

First, we get rolling with a bike fitting at the stunning Caminhos de Santiago hotel.

Our cycling tour route begins inland in the traditional Alentejo region, as we glide along a wonderful ridge-top road lined with olive groves and cork trees. Did you know that Portugal is the world's biggest producer of cork?  It feels like we're on top of the world when we catch glimpses of the sea on the horizon.

Wheat fields and windmills appear as we near the coast, anticipation building for that first dip in the ocean. Spin like Lance, it's all downhill to the Atlantic!

Next we arrive in the little seaside village of Porto Covo for a cafe break and panoramic ocean views.

Quiet back roads lead down the coast to the Parque Natural of Southwest Alentejo. Here we cycle the ultimate dirt road, following 300' high wave-sculpted cliffs with pristine Atlantic beaches far below, to the ultimate picnic spot. Portuguese chouriço and queijo da Serra (cheese from the Serra da Estrela mountains) never tasted so good!

You'll hear the cheers as we cross the regional border into the ancient kingdom of the Algarve. Our weather was perfect for the whole week - that's Portugal at its best.

At our next stop (the famous Easy Rider "urban picnic") we were personally introduced to our sea bass before it was grilled for our al fresco lunch overlooking the coast at Carrapateira. That was midway through our 50 mile ride to Sagres, Portugal - the southwestern-most point in all of Europe (and the namesake of Portugal's most popular beer!). Slightly less important, it was famous long ago for Prince Henry the Navigator's expeditions!

We spend our last two nights based in the southern resort town of Lagos, which gives us time to include a spectacular downhill bike ride from Foia - the highest point in the Algarve at 2800' - all the way to Silves and its impressive Moorish fortress. In the 10th century, the Algarve was ruled by the Caliphs of Córdoba and Silves remained a Moorish stronghold for 300 years. More relevant, we know a great cafe there for lunch :)

Since our Algarve tour is all about the sea, we end with a guided boat cruise through the fantastically shaped sea grottoes and caverns along the Lagos coastline. Then a walk through the Old Quarter to the fish market and, guess what... another gem of a lunch spot! This time it's for fresh grilled sardines...that's tasting the real flavor of Portugal!

What a bike tour! Six days of sea, sun, and fun with our new friends.

Grottoes Boat Tour
 
Algarve Ponta da Piedade tour

 Our Algarve bike tour guests take to the sea for a cruise through the Ponta da Piedade grottoes.

Sea Grottoes in the Algarve

 

Algarve bike tour picnic with chorizo

 Food tour or bike tour? You get the best of both when you take an Easy Rider Tours bike tour. We ride to eat and eat to ride. Above, cyclists take a break for a picnic lunch with a view. You can't visit Portugal without trying the local chouriço!

Below, our tour guests visit the fish market in Lagos. 

Fresh seafood in the Algarve

 Below, fresh grilled sardines- a local delicacy and a good reason to visit the coast of Portugal at lunchtime!

Grilled Sardines - Algarve

 

 

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