Grand Atlantic TourLeisurely cycle tours
Grand Atlantic Tour 3.14
Cycle along two of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe! These two unique stretches of coast offer an unforgettable experience. The tour takes you along the south coast of the Algarve with its varied coastline from east to west. You then reach the south west of Portugal and cycle through the Costa Vicentina nature reserve. Finally you continue on north along the stunning, secluded beaches of the west coast.
Self-guided bike tour by trekking bike or mountain bike. E-bikes are available in both ranges
15 days / 14 nights / 11 daily tours
The daily tours average 50 km and 500 metres of ascent
Total distance: approx. 520km
It is also possible to do this tour in the opposite direction.
Extra days can be booked on request
Tour start is possible at any date
Along the south coast, the route is flat to hilly, mostly on good natural roads or on asphalted secondary roads with some steep climbs and descents, especially on the last three stages. The west coast routes are mostly flat, mostly off-road and, as on the south coast, include some steep climbs and descents.
Holiday and bike tour description
Day 1 Arrival
Individual arrival in Faro. At the agreed time, welcoming and discussion of the bike tour. Handover and adaptation of the bicycles.
By train to Vila Real de Santo António (incl.), then by bike along the Guadiana river to the sea. You ride through pinewoods, citrus groves and vineyards and pass Cacela Velha, a small town, full of history, with white houses and an old fort. It stands high on top of a sea cliff. Here the Ria Formosa begins, a beautiful nature reserve with 60 km of sandbanks, islands and water channels, stretching as far as Faro and further west. The dunes provide nesting grounds for countless waterfowl. Large mussel beds alternate with salt flats from which the famous 'Salt Production' is extracted. You cycle on smooth paths to Tavira, an old town which has kept its character over many centuries. Its buildings tell the story of its historical and commercial development. You won't want to rush away!
With the Atlantic breeze in your face and on good paths you ride through the fishing village of Santa Luzia and Pedras del Rei to Fuseta. Take a break by the harbour and watch the fishermen in their brightly coloured boats! Then ride on to the large and very busy fishing port of Olhão. As you cycle in, you can stop and explore the large Visitors' Centre. You will get to know Olhão as you explore the busy harbour and the old town with many small seafood restaurants. Next stop: Faro, capital of the Algarve. Good, well- signed cycle paths take you into the old walled town, rich in history and with many beautifully renovated buildings from the 16th and 18th centuries. You cycle through the town; on past the marina and you will reach your hotel.
Day 4 Bike tour 3 Faro – Olhos de Água, 42km/ 330hm
Very soon you will be back in the Rio Formosa, nature reserve. You cycle on small paths by the sea – past lagoons with countless wading birds, groups of flamingos and storks, past smart villas, parklands and very attractive golf courses. You reach an idyllic bay...stay a while! Afterwards you circumnavigate the marina of Vilamoura, with over 800 berths one of the largest private marina in Portugal, cycle on the port promenade. A small bridge leads to the broad, long white sand beach of Falesia and a gentle ride alongside this beach takes you to Olhos de Água, your next bed for the night.
Day 5 Bike tour 4 Olhos de Água – Portimão, 57km/ 750hm
You ride through Albufeira, previously a fishing village, now a busy Algarve tourist resort – and on to Galé, continuing on a long board walk through Salgados, a protected area of dunes, as far as Armação de Pêra. The beautiful chapel of 'A Nossa Senora da Rocha' stands on a high sea promontory and is worth a visit. Here the coastal scenery changes: reddish Cliffs falling steeply into the sea and small sandy bays make a beautiful picture. The Alfanzina lighthouse marks the beginning of the deeply indented cliff scenery, where the high waves crash and foam. You cycle along the Cliffs by a blue Atlantic as far as the wide mouth of the Rio Arade delta. Very good cycle paths take you along the delta to 'Praia da Rocha', a beautiful beach with a backdrop of reddish-brown Cliffs.
Day 6 Bike tour 5 Portimão – Luz, 49km/ 500hm
First you reach the small fishing village of Alvor with its winding streets. Then on to the mouth of the Alvor delta and on down to the sea, to the largest cultivated oyster beds of the Algarve, clearly visible at low tide. You ride along the wide beach of 'Meia Praia' and reach Lagos. Crossing a bridge at the imposing marina, you reach the old town, rich in history. You go along by the old town walls, the former slave market and the 'Bandeira' fort and then you reach the 'Costa d'Oiro', the most beautiful stretch of the Algarve coast with its strangely shaped golden-yellow rocks, some rising needle-like out of the sea. Then on to Praia da Luz, a quiet seaside resort with an old church and a fortress.
Day 7 Bike tour 6 Luz – Sagres, 37km /490hm
First it's up to a hilltop, along close to the steep Cliffs with a marvellous view of the deep blue ocean and the distant coast of Sagres. It leads further down to a secluded bay and then again a short climb up to another hilltop with a view to the small fisher village Salema, situated by a sandy beach and backed by high Cliffs. Afterwards it goes up to the village of Figueiras, and then an undulating route across a steppe-like landscape with a number of megaliths, reminders of settlements here 1.000s of years ago. You pass a small bay with a nice restaurant and come to Raposeira where Henry the Navigator once lived and built a small chapel. It goes on and you reach Sagres.
Day 8 Rest day in Sagres
The place impresses through the wild rocky landscape with high steep Cliffs. Discover the beautiful nature and history in this area. Enjoy the resting day before the bicycle tour will continue on the next day along the breath-taking west coast.
Day 9 Bike tour 7 Sagres – Cabo de São Vicente – Pedralva, 41km/ 500hm
You begin by cycling along a beautiful coast road from Sagres to the Cabo de São Vicente, where the lighthouse stands on top of the high Cliffs. This is the most south-westerly point of Europe. Your route then continues across a steppe-like, high plateau until you reach the small village of Vila do Bispo. From here you cycle steeply down to the Praia da Cordoama beach where there is a restaurant. At low tide you can cycle along the beach to the next bay, the Praia Barriga. If the tide is in you must climb the hill and then cycle down to reach the Praia Barriga, a beautiful beach which you may well have all to yourself. You climb steeply up from here and then ride through attractive evergreen shrubland, known in Portugal as the macchia.
Day 10 Bike tour 8 Pedralva – Aljezur – Odeceixe, 52km/ 600hm
Today you set off from your accommodation and head for an incomparably beautiful route along the beaches. You drive around the village Carrapateira down to the sea and sandy coves with fantastic views over the deep blue Atlantic. At first you reach the beach, "Praia da Amado" and afterwards the very big area of the “Praia da Bordeira”. Then the route leads towards Aljezur where you cycle over the hill where the ruins of the 9th century Moorish castle stand and then through the old part of the village. You cross the Rio Aljezur river, after which the area is mostly flat with large fields of sweet potatoes. Today's route takes you on through this landscape of vast fields. Wild herbs grow here which, together with the wildflowers, grasses and eucalyptus groves, fill the air with a wonderful fragrance. In the spring this area is just one mass of flowers with swathes of green pastureland, deep red carpets of flowers and almond trees in blossom. Your destination is Odeceixe. This village features attractive, whitewashed and red roofed houses. It is situated above one of the most beautiful sandy bays of the whole tour and on the wide estuary of the Seixe river. It's also here where the change is made from being in the Algarve to the Alentejo.
Day 11 Bike tour 9 Odeceixe – Vila Nova de Milfontes, 50km/ 510hm
Today you leave Odeceixe behind and cycle through unspoilt, agricultural countryside with a lot of greenhouses for growing vegetables. You go up to a plateau and reach the next beach the “Praia do Carvalhal”. After then the route leads on to the pretty village of Zambujeira do Mar. The village lies right on the cliff edge, has a beautiful circular village square with a small chapel – the "Capela da Nossa Senhora do Mar" which is a listed building. You will be heading for the “Sentinela do Cabo Sardão” lighthouse. The lighthouse is on the edge of a spectacular rocky peninsula. The greatest surprise here is that a colony of great white storks has established itself here, nesting on rocks. This section of coastline is recognised as the only place in the world where storks nest on sea stacks and rocky Cliffs and in fact have become so established here that they can be observed all the year round. From the lighthouse go in a northerly direction on a narrow path running along the Cliffs. The path is the Costa Vicentina hiking trail which can also be used by bikes and was, and still is, the way to work for fishermen and the “Perceveiros”. After then you go towards the village Cavaleiro and continue over the mostly flat landscape to the small village of Almograve, which is blessed with two beautiful beaches. One beach is over a gentle sand dune and the other is surrounded by high slate rocks. The route leads you near along the coast in northerly direction. You cross the river Mira via a high bridge near the estuary, and after then branch to the left, heading for Vila Nova de Milfontes, your destination for today. It is a picturesque place situated on the wide Mira river, just where it flows into the sea.
Day 12 Bike tour 10 Vila Nova de Milfontes – Vila Nova de Santo André 57km/ 430hm
Today's route takes you first through countryside typical of the Alentejo region with its large, flat fields and areas of Cork oaks and pinewoods. Further on and far out at sea you will see the Ilha do Pessegueiro island on which there is a fortress built as a defence against pirates. You will pass the ruins of another fortress built in the 17th century to serve the same purpose and then you will reach the small fishing port of Porto Covo. You cycle on through the Costa de Vicentina nature reserve where rocky Cliffs and small sandy bays are striking features of the landscape. At the northern edge of the nature reserve you come to the very historical town of Sines. As you leave the outskirts of Sines you will come to a bridge which will take you over the motorway. You continue and will reach your hotel for today in Vila Nova de Santo André.
Day 13 Bike tour 11 Vila Nova de Santo André – Tróia (with Ferry boat) – Setúbal 55km/ 320hm
You begin today by cycling through the Lagoas de Santo André nature reserve, an area of lagoons and dunes with a great number of wading birds, including storks and flamingos. Today's ride takes you past the rice fields which make this area so beautiful. A small, freshwater lake, idyllically situated very close to the sea at Melide, is very inviting for a quick swim. As you come to the end of the fields you have the opportunity to visit a small museum dedicated to the cultivation and harvesting of rice. As you leave the fields behind you cycle alongside a white, sandy beach with crystal-clear water before coming to the ferry boat in Tróia, which will take you across the Sado river estuary to your very comfortable accommodation in Setúbal.
Day 14 Return by train to the hotel in Lisbon
Day 15 Departure
Individual departure or an extension to your holiday.
From 01.01.23 to 31.03.23
From 01.11.23 to 31.12.23
From 01.04.23 to 31.05.23
From 01.10.23 to 31.10.23
From 01.06.23 to 30.06.23
From 16.09.23 to 30.09.23
From 01.07.23 to 15.09.23
THE INDICATED PRICES ABOVE ARE BASE PRICES PER PERSON AND INCLUDE:
- 14 nights in a 4-star/ 3-star hotel and typical Portuguese Pensions, double room with continental breakfast
- Train travel from Faro to Vila Real do Stº António
- Ferry ticket Tróia - Setúbal
- Train trip from Setúbal to Lisbon - Entrecampos (1 change in Pinhal Novo)
- 11 carefully planned routes
- Bike map per route with directions and elevation profile as well as useful information
- Travel documents with a detailed tour description, information on sights and interesting facts on the routes
- Personal welcome with briefing / meeting, bike handover and fitting
- Phone/GPS holder
- Service hotline Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 18:00, weekends and bank holidays only in emergencies
EXTRA PER PERSON/ BICYCLE RENTAL
- Trekking bike, 29“ wheels, 20 or 27 gears, front fork suspension, disc brakes, rack, 280€
- MTB bike, 29“ wheels, 20 or 27 gears, front fork suspension, disc brakes, rack on request, 280€
- MTB Premium bike, 29" wheels, fork suspension, disc brakes, 330€
- E-Trekking bike, 29" wheels, 11 gears, 3 el. levels, central fork suspension, 7 gears, disc brakes, rack, 380€
- E-MTB bike, 29" wheels, 11 gears, 3 el. levels, fork suspension, disc brakes, optional rack, 380€
- Standard equipment per bike: Pannier (on request for MTB and E-MTB), bottle holder, lock, frame pump, repair kit, tire lever, spare inner tube, tools and reduction valve for petrol station pump; in addition for e-bikes: battery and charger
ADDITIONAL CHARGES FOR:
- Single traveller supplement 200€
- Transfer from airport to the Hotel in Faro approx. 30€
- Transfer from Setúbal to Lisbon up to 3 persons approx. 105€ (4 to 7 - 130€)
- Half board on request
- In some towns visitor's tax/municipal taxes are due. These range between from 1.50€ and 2.50€ p.p. and have to be paid locally.
- Guide 150€/ day
- Taylor-made options on request
- Upgrades, transfers, excursions, additional nights, alterations to the tours, etc... Please contact us and we will be pleased to advise you!
Package from 1.950 €