Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Highlights

  • Cycling to Cape St Vicente, the southwestern-most point of continental Europe
  • Wandering through the warren of cobbled streets of Tavira
  • Taking in the birding paradise of the Ria Formosa Natural Park
  • Pedalling past the limestone cliffs of Ponta da Piedade
  • Taking a refreshing dip in the azure Atlantic Ocean or in your hotel’s pool
  • Immersion in the wild nature and hidden inland villages of the “real” Algarve
  • Enjoying an evening at the waterfront marina in the cosmopolitan town of Lagos

This cycling tour in the Algarve takes you all the way from the Spanish border in the east, to Sagres at the south western tip of Portugal. Pass through the “real” Algarve and explore hidden inland villages, the Natural Park and lagoon of the Ria Formosa and view fantastic cliff scenes in an array of bright colours.

This is the true Algarve, where the beach crowds are non-existent and where you can cycle through wonderful natural spectacles and relax in gorgeous hotels at the end of your day’s exertions. Also pedal through cork-oak forests, along rugged coastlines and encounter the “Pego do Inferno”, the most beautiful waterfall in the Algarve.

Discover the Moorish town of Silves, charming Tavira, and cosmopolitan Lagos. On this exciting cycling trip there is something for everyone; great inland and coastal scenery, immersion in Portuguese culture, twenty thousand species of birds in the Ria Formosa and Mediterranean forests!

DAY 1: Arrive Vila Real de Santo Antonio

Upon arrival in either Faro (1 hr) or Lisbon (4hrs) brings you to Vila Real de Santo Antonio, an interesting old town on the banks of the Guadiana river, which forms the border between Spain and Portugal.


Enjoy a pleasant evening stroll through the large town square, the Praça Marquês de Pombal, edged with orange trees and low white buildings, shops, cafes and restaurants.


Overnight: Apolo Hotel***, Vila Real de Santo Antonio


All the rooms at this centrally located hotel are colourfully decorated, have balconies and offer free WiFi. Take a refreshing dip in the pool and eat a delicious buffet breakfast on the outdoor terrace.  


DAY 2: Vila Real de Santo Antonio to Tavira via Ria Formosa

Your first day of cycling is on a gentle trail along the Ecovia do Litoral to Tavira. En route you'll pass through the coastal resorts of Monte Gordo and Altura as well as the interesting old coastal town of Cacela Velha, where you’ll have the best views over the Ria Formosa Natural Park. The Ria Formosa is a lagoon that has a system of barrier islands and is teeming with birdlife.


Here the trail is rolling and you can enjoy the Sapal area where you’ll admire the huge variety of birds. Reach Tavira by crossing the Roman bridge over the Gilão river. Tavira is a charming old town and the most beautiful and traditional town in the Algarve.


There's plenty to explore here. Why not visit the ruins of the hilltop castle, and the smattering of Gothic and Renaissance churches? Amble through the warren of cobbled streets which hide pretty, historic gardens and shady plazas. There’s also a small and dynamic fishing port.


Overnight: Hotel Vila Gale****,  Tavira


This four star hotel is blessed with a central location. Relax by the pool, drink a refreshing glass of wine or beer in the bar, or chill out on your private balcony.


Cycle: 39km, 300m elevation gain


DAY 3: Tavira to Marco

Start with a relaxing flat ride through the Ria Formosa. This natural park has been voted one of the seven natural wonders of Portugal and the views over the saltmarshes, mud banks, saltpans, lakes, ponds, brush and pine woods are simply amazing. During the winter months over 20,000 birds from northern and central Europe flock here.  


The Park is also an important stop-over point in the bird’s migration between Europe and Africa and it provides shelter for rare species such as the Purple Swamphen (Phorphyrio phorphyrio), the symbol of this protected area.


Turn north and leave the coastal region, heading to the rural inland area of the Algarve. You will pass small villages and ride along old roads and country paths, crossing a vast area fragant orange groves. Pass close to “Pego do Inferno”, the most beautiful waterfall in the Algarve. As you cycle you’ll see the landscape changing to Mediterranean vegetation, and the terrain becoming hillier.


Overnight: Hotel Quinto do Marco***, Marco


This delightful property has 24 rooms, all with terraces overlooking the Ria Formosa and the nearby mountains. Each charming room is distinct from the other and all have air-conditioning. Relax in the Jacuzzi or by the outdoor pool or book yourself in for a spa treatment (with advanced notice).  


Cycle: 37km, 500m elevation gain


DAY 4: Marco to Alte

This is the most challenging day of the tour in the rolling hills close to the Algarve Mountains, but well worth the effort for the tremendous scenery. Cross a hilly region passing small villages and riding close to valley streams and through a luxuriant Mediterranean forest. A great choice of roads and trails brings you to the lovely hillside village of Alte, famous for its white painted houses and fresh water springs.


Overnight: Alte Hotel***, Alte


Enjoy a pleasant stay at the Alte Hotel located near the village. There is an on-site tennis court, a panoramic rooftop terrace and a restaurant that serves regional cuisine. The rooms are spacious with all modern comforts.


Cycle: 52km, 1000m elevation gain


DAY 5: Alte to Silves

Revel in another day cycling in the inland area of the Algarve with great views all along the way! You'll ride down ancient and narrow roads where the landscape is dotted with carob and fig trees.


Then reach a large valley of cork-oak trees and enjoy a magnificent ride on a road close to the Arade Dam, before gently cruising down the valley to your destination for the day, the historic town of Silves. It is well worth planning to arrive here with plenty of time for exploration as a visit to the castle and the Moorish part of the town is a must.


Overnight: Colina dos Mouros Hotel***, Silves


This hotel overlooks the historic town of Silves and is surrounded by landscaped gardens. Relax on a sun lounger by the outdoor pool and enjoy the buffet breakfast on the open-air terrace. The restaurant serves local cuisine and the bar offers a variety of cocktails.


Cycle: 39km, 400m elevation gain


DAY 6: Silves to Lagos

Leave Silves and ride through a valley following the Odelouca rivulet. You'll cross a rural area and reach another traditional village, Odiaxere and from here ride south straight to the sea! You will reach the sea at “Meia Praia”, an incredible and long beach of fine golden sand all along the bay!


Cross a footbridge over the river “Bensafrim” before reaching the cosmopolitan city of Lagos. Explore the old city walls and the town’s waterfront, which is lined with elegant palm trees. As you walk through the narrow cobbled streets you can admire the terracotta pots of flowering bougainvillea and if you look up you may be able to spot beautiful appliqué tiles and intricately cast wrought iron balconies


Overnight: Hotel Tivoli Lagos****, Lagos


Situated in the very centre of Lagos, this hotel is set out in the style of a small village and the rooms are located in nine separate buildings. Enjoy the pool, the spa, restaurants and bars.


Cycle: 43km, 400m elevation gain


DAY 7: Lagos to Sagres

This is quite a challenging day of cycling as there are a few hills to negotiate as the terrain changes. Approaching the rugged cliff-lined coast around Sagres and Cape St Vincent you will follow amazing trails along the coastline to Ponta da Piedade where you'll find fantastic scenes of cliffs, caves and rocks, with an amazing mixture of colours; white, ochre, brown and red!


The route continues west and passes through quaint little coastal villages. Once you arrive in Sagres, you have the option of checking into your hotel and then cycling six extra kilometres to the edge of Europe, Cape St Vincent. This is the south western-most point of continental Europe and a fitting farewell to this wonderful cycling adventure!


Overnight: Memmo Baleeira Hotel****, Sagres


Overlooking Baleeira Bay and its 5 islands this hotel is in an exquisite location and offers a high standard of service as well as stylish and elegant rooms.


Cycle: 50km, 800m elevation gain


DAY 8: Onward Travel

The tour finishes after breakfast. A transfer will take to either Porto or Lisbon Airport for your onward journeys.   


Accommodation

On your 8 day, 7 night self-guided cycling tour in Portugal you will stay 4 nights in 4* hotels and 3 nights in 3* hotels. All the hotels have swimming pools and all are well-located in the village or town.  



 

 

 




Apolo Hotel - Vila Real de Santo Antonio

All the rooms at this centrally located hotel are colourfully decorated, have balconies and offer free WiFi. Take a refreshing dip in the pool and eat a delicious buffet breakfast on the outdoor terrace.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Vila Gale - Tavira

This four star hotel is blessed with a central location. Relax by the pool, drink a refreshing glass of wine or beer in the bar, or chill out on your private balcony.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Quinta do Marco - Marco

This delightful property has 24 rooms, all with terraces overlooking the Ria Formosa and the nearby mountains. Each charming room is distinct from the other and all have air-conditioning. Relax in the Jacuzzi or by the outdoor pool or book yourself in for a spa treatment (with advanced notice).


 

 

 


 

 

 




Alte Hotel - Alte

Enjoy a pleasant stay at the Alte Hotel located near the village. There is an on-site tennis court, a panoramic rooftop terrace and a restaurant that serves regional cuisine. The rooms are spacious with all modern comforts.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Colina dos Mouros Hotel - Silves

This hotel overlooks the historic town of Silves and is surrounded by landscaped gardens. Relax on a sun lounger by the outdoor pool and enjoy the buffet breakfast on the open-air terrace. The restaurant serves local cuisine and the bar offers a variety of cocktails.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Tivoli Lagos - Lagos

Situated in the very centre of Lagos, this hotel is set out in the style of a small village and the rooms are located in nine separate buildings. Enjoy the pool, the spa, restaurants and bars.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Memmo Baleeira Hotel - Sagres

Overlooking Baleeira Bay and its 5 islands this hotel is in an exquisite location and offers a high standard of service as well as stylish and elegant rooms.


 

 

 

Alternate accommodation

During the high season you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the main daily description. If those listed are unavailable the alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard than those described.


Single Rooms & Solo Cyclists

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. Solo cyclists are also welcome for an additional charge.


Meals

7 Breakfasts are included. All the other nights you can eat dinner at your accommodations, or in the local town or village. For lunches there are plenty of villages that you cycle through where you can buy goods for a packed lunch.

Availability

This cycling tour is available to start any day of the week all year round, except July and August (when it is too hot).


Time of Year

This trip is best enjoyed any time of the year as everyone is different, but you may feel a little more comfortable in the cooler months. You can start on any date that suits your travel plans and you will find up to date availability on our website.


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.


Experience & Fitness

This tour is suitable for people that are in very good physical condition. It is rated moderate as there are definitely quite a lot of elevation gains. These gains are mostly when you are cycling inland and on the coast it is much flatter, so the elevation gains each day vary significantly, but will be anywhere between 300 and 1000m. We therefore highly recommend that you practice some uphill cycling in the weeks or months before departure.


Grade & Terrain

This cycle is graded Easy to Moderate and includes daily distances of up to 55km. Some of the ascents and descents are steep and can be a little exposed to the elements, you should have a degree of experience, technical knowledge and fitness for all cycling trips.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

You will be provided with detailed route notes and maps to help you find your way. You will also be provided with a GPS unit loaded with the GPX tracks and you will be shown how to use it at your orientation meeting. The majority of the time you will be cycling on small roads or cycle paths, so it will be relatively easy to find your way. 80% of the time you will be cycling on paved roads and 20% of the time on dirt roads (off-road).


Baggage Transfer

Daily door to door baggage transfers is included in the price of your trip. We ask you to keep your baggage to a maximum of 1 bag per person (maximum weight 20kg).


Bike Hire


Question


Answer


Brand


Giant/FOCUS / Sensia (e-bikes)


Bike Type


Hybrid


Frame types


gents, ladies


Sizes


S, M, L


Front suspension


Yes


Stand


No


Mud guards


Yes


Luggage rack Rear/Front


Yes (optional)


Paniers


Yes (optional)


Handle bar Bag/ map holder


Yes (optional)


Bottle holder/Water bottle


Yes


Computer meter


GPS


Interchangeable pedals


Yes


Front gear set


3 (48,38,28)


Back gear set


8 (34,11)


Brakes


Hidraulic Disc


Helmet included


Yes


Puncture repair kit


Yes


Spare inner tubes/ how many


Yes/4


Pump


Yes


Lock


Yes

 

Equipment

Our pre-departure information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take. This includes cycling gear and lots of other useful bits and bobs.


Additional Nights

There is so much to see and do along the route that many of our clients choose to add extra nights along the trip either as a rest day or simply to do some extra sightseeing. If you are cycling the whole route solo try not to add too many extra nights along the way as you will lose touch with those you have met.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable Travel Insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sun screen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/cycling gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Getting to and from Faro/Lisbon

By Air: Faro is the closest airport and it is an approximate one hour drive from here to Vila Real De Santo Antonio, the location of your first hotel on the tour. Faro is serviced by at least one carrier from almost every regional airport in the UK. Direct flights from outside of London tend to be with the low cost carriers or charter flights. Flight time from London is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.


This tour is also accessible from Lisbon which is also served by many airlines in the UK. From here to the starting point of the tour in Vila Real Santo de Antonio, it is a 4 hour drive.


From Sagres, the location of your last hotel on the tour the journey to Faro Airport takes approximately 1 and a half hours and to Lisbon 3 and a half hours.


All transfers to and from the airport to the first and last hotels are included in the price.

Getting to and from Faro/Lisbon

By Air: Faro is the closest airport and it is an approximate one hour drive from here to Vila Real De Santo Antonio, the location of your first hotel on the tour. Faro is serviced by at least one carrier from almost every regional airport in the UK. Direct flights from outside of London tend to be with the low cost carriers or charter flights. Flight time from London is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.


This tour is also accessible from Lisbon which is also served by many airlines in the UK. From here to the starting point of the tour in Vila Real Santo de Antonio, it is a 4 hour drive.


From Sagres, the location of your last hotel on the tour the journey to Faro Airport takes approximately 1 and a half hours and to Lisbon 3 and a half hours.


All transfers to and from the airport to the first and last hotels are included in the price.


Included

  • 7 Nights in 3* and 4* hotels (4 nights in 4* hotels and 3 nights in 3* hotels)
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Baggage transfers
  • A transfer from Faro/Lisbon Airport to first hotel
  • A transfer from the last hotel to either Faro or Lisbon Airport
  • Orientation meeting
  • Detailed information pack, route notes, local maps, GPX tracks and loan of a GPS unit
  • Organisational assistance and backup from our team
  • 24/7 Emergency Support

Excluded

  • Flights to and from Lisbon/Faro
  • Dinners and lunches
  • Bike rental
  • Admissions or entrances
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance

Extras

  • Additional nights before or after the tour
  • Single room supplement if single room required
  • Solo traveller supplement (if applicable)
  • Bike rental

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as far in advance as possible. We will always try and accommodate late bookings but realistically you need to book at least 6 weeks prior to departure.

What about meals?

7 Breakfasts are included. All the other nights you can eat dinner at your accommodations, or in the local town or village. For lunches there are plenty of villages that you cycle through where you can buy goods for a packed lunch.

How do the baggage transfers work?

We can arrange for your bags to be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you limit your luggage to 1 bag per person and a maximum weight of 20kg.

How do I find my way?

You will be provided with detailed route notes and maps to help you find your way. You will also be provided with a GPS unit loaded with the GPX tracks and you will be shown how to use it at your orientation meeting. The majority of the time you will be cycling on small roads or cycle paths, so it will be relatively easy to find your way. 80% of the time you will be cycling on paved roads and 20% of the time on dirt roads (off-road).

How fit will I need to be?

This tour is suitable for people that are in very good physical condition. It is rated moderate as there are definitely quite a lot of elevation gains. These gains are mostly when you are cycling inland and on the coast it is much flatter, so the elevation gains each day vary significantly, but will be anywhere between 300 and 1000m. We therefore highly recommend that you practice some uphill cycling in the weeks or months before departure.

What equipment do I need?

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard gear such as good, comfortable cycling, lightweight clothes, waterproofs and a day pack.

When is the best time of year?

This trip is best enjoyed any time of the year as everyone is different, but you may feel a little more comfortable in the cooler months. You can start on any date that suits your travel plans and you will find up to date availability on our website.

Can I rent a bike?

Bike hire is available as an optional extra. Good quality Giant Hybrid (or similar) 27-gear bikes may be rented. When you are picked up at the airport the bikes will also be delivered to you at the same time and upon arrival at the hotel, you’ll have an orientation meeting and bike fitting. 

Full details about the bike will be in your information pack. All rentals include pedals (flat or SPD), lock, tool-kit, pump, inner tubes, helmet, handle-bar bag and also a rear bag if needed.

Please note that if you do want to rent a bike you need to provide us with your height so that we can make sure that the bike is going to be a good fit.

What happens if I can’t cycle a stage?

Public transport and taxis are available, if you are in need of support our local partner will be more than happy to help.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureAuthentic Algarve By Bike
 
4.0

(based on 2 reviews)

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Reviewed by 2 customers

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4.0

Great tour

By Briony

from Melbourne

About Me Avid Adventurer, World Traveller

Pros

  • Fun
  • Great Accommodations
  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
  • Well Organised

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Holiday
    • Trying Something New

    Comments about macs adventure Authentic Algarve By Bike:

    We enjoyed the cycle tour in Portugal - it was great to get off the beaten track and cycle through small towns, different landscapes and see the changes across the country. We enjoyed the second leg of the cycling through the hills and towards the coast of Sagres. The GPS is a great and easy way to navigate your way through towns.

     
    4.0

    Organized perfectly

    By Jim the Blogger

    from Ottawa

    About Me World Traveller

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Fun
    • Great Accommodations
    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Holiday
      • Trying Something New

      Comments about macs adventure Authentic Algarve By Bike:

      Be prepared for the climbs on the 3rd day of riding. The Garmin Oregon GPS is a little hard to read in the sunlight, especially with sunglasses. If you have your own cycling GPS it would be good to get the GPX files for the route and load them yourself. The shock absorbers are a must over some of the back roads and they perform well. The seat on the Focus bike is so comfortable I didn't even notice it.

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