Trans-Algarve Hill&Coast tour
Holiday and bike tour description
Day 1 Arrival
You arrive at Faro airport and take a taxi to the hotel in Faro. At the agreed time you will be welcomed by a representative of LisaBikes. The tour information will be given to you, and we will answer any questions you may have. Your bicycles will be handed over to you and any necessary adjustments made.
Day 2/ Bike tour 1 Azinhal - Vaqueiros 39km/ 860hm
At first you will be transferred to Azinhal near the Spanish border to the start of the tour. And off you go on the bike! The route takes you on a very quiet, well surfaced, tree-lined road through the village and on towards the Guadiana River, which forms the border. Just before you get there you will enter in the hilly Serra – the Outback! First it leads towards Odeleite. The village is located on a steep slope below the water-reservoir, you ride through steep alleys then up to a hill where the deep blue reservoir lies before you. Pass the lake and continue in the "Serra do Caldeirão", a completely natural, untouched area. From the hilltops offers wonderful panoramic views of the surrounding green countryside, with vast pine plantations, fields with low shrubbery and cistus bushes. Along the way or in the far distance you will see small villages where only a few or no inhabitants live. At the end of the stage, you reach the small village of Vaqueiros where your accommodation of this day is. The village has shops, a cafe and a restaurant.
Day 3/ Bike tour 2 Vaqueiros - Barranco do Velho 39km/ 840hm
Today's tour is defined by constant uphill and downhill. The landscape has changed, and cork oaks dominate the area, but also spruce, almond, and eucalyptus trees and many shrub species, especially the Medronho shrub, line the way. You reach Cachopo, a quiet village with its original character. The various cafés around the village square invites for a break. You continue through a varied area with dense forests and many shrub species, the top of the hills offers beautiful panoramic views. Passed the pretty village of Castelão, continue the ride to the river Ribeira de Odeleite, which is crossed on a stone bridge. The river valley impressed with its lush vegetation rich in different species. Then the trail leads winding up the hill to the village Parizes where you cross the "Rota da Cortiça”, the Cork Route. Passing many cork oaks the trail leads towards Barranco do Velho, your destination for today.
Day 4/ Bike tour 3 Barranco do Velho - São Bartolomeu Messines 45km/ 560hm
Back to civilisation today! First you will enjoy a very long and exhilarating descent on a newly resurfaced road with hardly any traffic. You ride through a densely wooded area with ancient cork oaks. Time seems to stand still here! You continue on a beautiful panoramic road. It’s a straight road and it undulates gently, passing many small villages in the direction of Bartolomeu de Messines and rewarding you constantly with fantastic views of the coast. However, just after leaving Salir, you take a small detour around the Rocha da Pena. Benafim is an inviting place for a break in one of the Pastelarias that line the street. The route leads through the fertile landscape of Barrocal, an agricultural area with lots of orange groves and the trees that are so typical of the Algarve – carob, fig and almond. You cycle then briefly uphill again before enjoying a long descent to reach the end of today’s stage. Your accommodation is in a beautifully renovated 16th century building with its own restaurant.
Day 5/ Bike tour 4 São Bartolomeu de Messines - Portimão 49km/ 610hm
From São Bartolomeu you ride on a hill with a view to the water-reservoir "Barragem do Funcho". After a short descent, through a magnificent valley, you reach the lake, which you ride along on winding nature trails, lined with flowering gorse-, cistus- and Medronho bushes, and then you cross the dam. After then you reach another reservoir, the “Barragem do Arrade”, which you ride along and over the dam, slightly downhill in direction Silves. Shortly after you leave Silves in a southerly direction and pass through the area of Barrocal, a landscape with predominantly orange and vine plantations. The closer you get Portimão, the more populated the land is. In Ferragudo you reach again the Rio Arade, and it offers a beautiful view over the estuary and the city of Portimão. On very well-prepared bicycle paths you head towards Praia da Rocha and reach your hotel.
Day 6/ Bike tour 5 Portimão - Burgau 48km/ 520hm
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. After that, only a few pedal rotations to today’s stage end in Burgau, a small village on a beautiful sandy beach.
Day 7/ Bike tour 6 Burgau - Cabo S. Vicente - Sagres 44km/ 590hm
Today, the last stage leads to the most south-western point of Europe! 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. Further on through an open area with fields towards the village Figueira. After then you'll continue on slightly hilly terrain through farmers’ fields, pass a constant uphill and downhill on natural trails to the small village of Raposeira, by narrow alleys, and reach Vila da Bispo. The tour leads through a barren plateau directly to the main road to the lighthouse complex at Cabo de São Vicente. The lighthouse stands on cliffs 60m high above the raging of the sea. Then you follow a lovely coastal route to Sagres, a place steeped in legend. In the 16th century the nautical college for maritime explorers was to be found here. The greatest Portuguese navigators were educated here and went on to explore the oceans of the world. Finally, you reach your hotel and the end of the tour.
Day 7 Journey back
Transfer (included), you will be chauffeured by us to Faro airport or another agreed destination in the Algarve.