Would you like to spend your holiday in the sunny south, combining fantastic beaches with a great fitness opportunity?
Then we will let you into what is perhaps Europe’s best kept secret: the ALGARVE – blessed with glorious sunshine and an exceptionally varied and fascinating landscape. The Algarve offers a wonderful, long coastline and a hilly interior known as the “Serra“, a region of unspoilt countryside and little development. In between coast and hills is a fertile plain with citrus groves and vineyards. Good roads right up into the Serra offer great training opportunities for every level of fitness. This tour follows part of the route of the annual ride, the „Volta ao Algarve“. Why not come and ride in the tracks of the greatest stars of world cycling?
TOUR PROFILE: The daily stages vary considerably from flat to hilly, sometimes even mountainous – each one offers something different! Conquering the steep ascents is very worthwhile – you will be amply rewarded with fantastic panoramic views. You will ride on well-maintained asphalt roads with little traffic and in the inland with very little traffic.
Individual arrival to Faro
This circular road bike tour begins with a gentle warm up. First you ride to São Brás in the direction of the Serra. Then a gently undulating inland ride before heading for the coast which you reach at Tavira. From there a level stretch along by the sea to Vila Real de Santo Antonio. You ride through the town and past the lagoons and salt flats of the Guadiana River after which the road climbs, winding up into the hills. Today's ride ends on the banks of the river Guadiana, the Spanish border. Your accommodation is in a guest house, located beside the river with a fantastic view.
Now you ride into the heart of the Serra region, a hilly area of pinewoods and bush. You cycle on good, almost traffic free roads. The wonderful, panoramic views get better and better at each succeeding summit. Once you've passed the dark blue Odeleite reservoir, you will reach the first 'mountain top' – then straightaway down into the Odeleite river valley and finally steeply uphill to the highest point of the tour at 500 m. After this you ride continuously up and down through ever thickening Cork oak and eucalyptus woods to reach the hamlet of “Malhada”. From here you can enjoy a terrific downhill ride on a road of multiple hairpins, followed by 17 km of mostly more moderate descent but again you can really speed down all the way to your hotel.
An early, steep climb up to Corotelo will really wake you up and get your legs going! This is followed by a whizz down into the valley and on to the market town of Loulé. You then go on up through a beautiful river valley and then through a very quiet, almost completely uninhabited, stretch of countryside before coming to a panoramic high road which you reach at Salir. From this point your route is mostly level and takes you through the picturesque little town of Alte, which rates as one of the prettiest places in the Algarve because of its position, its attractive white houses and the little river which flows through it. You then continue on to São Bartolomeu de Messines and here you begin a great downhill ride to Silves and Caldas de Monchique.
First you go to the small town of Monchique, which is situated in the middle of a line of hills of the same name. The highest point of these hills is here: the Foia, 902m. Now you have to tackle the climb to this summit. It is 8 km of continuous climbing – short, sharp bursts for the first 2 km and then long, extended hairpins for the remaining 6km. You will be rewarded by an amazing view all-around of the inland region of the Algarve and also towards the west and south coasts. You go back down the same way to Monchique. Enjoy the descent to the full and you will soon forget the effort of toiling up there! Continue towards the west coast, first over another small hilltop and through thick woodlands as far as Marmelete. From here you enjoy a wonderful, long descent to Aljezur about Odeceixe along the west coast.
With the Atlantic breeze on your face you will make good, speedy progress along the west coast to the furthest point of Europe, the “Cabo de São Vicente” lighthouse. This stands 60 m above the sea on sheer, rocky Cliffs below which the rough waves crash to some considerable height. You follow the coast road to Sagres, a place steeped in legend. In the 16th century the nautical college for maritime explorers was to be found here, founded by Henry the Navigator. The greatest Portuguese navigators were educated here and went on to explore the oceans of the world. After this you begin one of the most impressive parts of the tour, an unbelievably beautiful ride along the deep blue Atlantic as far as Lagos.
Today's ride takes you back to Faro. The route is constantly but gently undulating and mostly avoids busy roads. It crosses the fertile Barrocal plain, passing fruit and citrus orchards and vineyards. You cycle through small villages with pretty white or coloured houses. You can take this section just as you fancy to conclude your cycling week – complete it in record time or at a leisurely pace. When you get to Faro you will be able to round off the day very pleasantly in a small restaurant by the harbour or in the old town with some lovely food and maybe a bottle of wine!
Individual departure or extension
You will stay in 4-Star hotels and a typical Portuguese pension. Breakfast is included in the price.
Individual arrival to Faro. The taxi price (around € 20,-) from the airport to your hotel is not included in the tour price.
Do you need further information? Or do you want an offer? Just let us know: