With 300 days of sun each year, Portugal's west coast — the Algarve — is one of the best places to head for a cycling holiday, wherever you go. Situated right in the middle of this beautiful region, however, is the Costa Vicentina Nature Park, a stunning region comprised of fantastic hills and breathtaking beaches — a sight that is bound to warm you up.
Whether you are an ambitious roadie or a leisurely touring cyclist, the Algarve offers rides for everyone. What's more, being a well-developed destination for other fans of outdoor activities, there's still plenty to do when you're not in the saddle, from horseback riding and surfing to hiking and mountain biking. This makes it the ideal destination for a week away with the family, or as the training ground for your next off-season prep.
The easiest way to arrive is to fly. Several low-cost airlines fly here from cities all over Europe, although if you're coming from further afield, Lisbon might be a good alternative. There are direct buses and internal flights from Lisbon to Faro. Once you arrive, you can get to all of the numerous cities in the region — the places that serve as our routes' starting points — within an hour in a rental car, or you can also take a public bus to save some money. Just bear in mind that there are numerous beautiful gravel roads to be found down here, so we'd recommend kitting your standard road bike out with thicker tires so you can enjoy them all.
The hub of our rides is the small coastal town of Arrifina, a wonderful alternative to the well-known destinations of package tourism. We chose this place because of its quiet and beautiful location; an area where you can really relax after a day in the saddle. To avoid the searing hear of the summer, the best time to visit is in spring or autumn — but you'll find a host of great activities to take part in whenever you come.
From the starting point in the tranquil fishing village of Arrifina you start today on a short (culinary) introductory round. First, head inland to Aljezur, a small town that has the best ice cream parlor in the area. While you enjoy the delicious ice cream, you can decide whether you want to cycle back from here to the coast or just hang out for a little while.If you drive even further, you can get to know a special feature of this area. The area around Aljezur is known for its sweet potato cultivation. For this reason, there is also the Museum Batata Doce in Rogil. There follows the theory of the delicious practice. The sweet potato cake in the attached café is a must-have on this tour. This highlight costs about 15 extra kilometers and takes you back to Aljezur, so you can just swipe this point if you want to take it easy.
Fancy a challenging day in the saddle? Then this road bike tour is just right. With 172 kilometers and 2210 vertical meters, this tour is challenging, but it also has plenty of motivating highlights to offer. It starts from Arrifina in the direction of Monchique Mountains, which houses the 902 meter high Fóia the highest mountain in the Algarve. And this is the first thing on your tour menu for today. Although this tour does not lead you to the summit, you still have breathtaking views of the entire Algarve over much of the ascent and can look down on both the south and the west coast. In Monchique, some cafés line the road, so you can easily strengthen after the climb. By the way: Monchique is also a very popular destination among mountain bikers, even a city downhill race took place here.
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Above all, this tour has a bit of beach, a bit of town and a few fine climbs over the Algarve hills. Not too much, not too little. But wonderful.Let's start from Arrifana up to the Sierra de Monchique. Once at the top you can treat yourself to a break, here there is a small supermarket and a few bars and restaurants. Or you can start straight on the beautiful descent, which now waits for you and leads you straight to the port city of Lagos.Now you have earned a break. We recommend a lunch break in the historic center of Lagos. Because there are not only enough opportunities here, it is also really nice here. Do not miss to look at the historic city wall and make a short detour to the harbor. A view towards the beach can not hurt either, even if you with bike and Klickschuhen perhaps better not to the sandy beach.
This tour combines your passion for cycling with the fact that you are on vacation. That's why you'll cycle today to an absolute highlight of the Algarve, a boat tour through the impressive rock caves of the Ponta da Piedade in Lagos.For this you drive a loose tour from Arrifana to Lagos, the port city on the Portuguese Algarve coast. Lagos in itself is a highlight and if you have not already, this tour is the chance to see the beautiful old town with its impressive city wall in peace and to enjoy lunch in one of the many restaurants in peace.After this nice mood you are ready for the tourist highlight of the Algarve: a boat tour that you will not forget. For about 40 minutes you drive through the caves of the cliffs and do not even know which motive you should take first.