Portugal Inland Tour

Overview

This tour is ideal for anyone who would love to cycle through peaceful, unspoiled countryside of Algarve’s hilly inland where it is common to not see a car in miles! The itinerary will take you to the west coast as far as the Cabo de São Vicente and finally back to Sagres.

  • Self-guided bike tour by touring bike or trekking bike. E-bikes are available in both ranges
  • 8 days / 7 nights / 6 daily tours
  • The daily tours average 50km and 600 m. of ascent
  • Total distance: 240km
  • Extra days can be booked on request
  • Travel beginning is possible at any date
  • The tour leads mostly on very quiet metalled roads or good unsurfaced tracks. The routes are alternately flat or hilly, with some steep climbs and descents.

General Itinerary

An ancient pilgrim path takes you through the quiet hills of the Serra to the amazingly beautiful and rocky south coast of the Algarve. This route could not be more varied! It follows the paths taken in ancient times by pilgrims who were seeking to honour the relics of St. Vincent. The total distance is 290 km in 6 stages from the Spanish border to the Cape St. Vincent, the most south westerly point of Europe. This is a tour where the landscape is constantly changing.

First you cycle through the sparsely populated and unspoilt hinterland, the Serra de Cadeirão and the Serra de Monchique. You will have wonderful views across what looks like a vast sea of hills with the coast in the far distance. The penultimate stage brings you right down to the sea. You will cycle right along the coast with its steep golden cliffs and beautiful beaches. You will also journey through Portugal’s varied history, often coming face to face with evidence of the era of the discoveries and also . You can look forward to a very varied and unforgettable cycling holiday!

Itinerary

DAY 1: Arrival and taxi (approx. 10 € not incl.) to your hotel in Faro. Welcome, tour information, handing over and adjusting of the bicycles.

DAY 2: Stage 1 Faro – Azinhal-Vaqueiros – 45 km/ 840 m elevation gain

Today you will be transferred to Azinhal on the Spanish border. From there you set off on your bike and ride down to the Guadiana river which forms the border at this point. Your tour takes you along a beautiful bank by this impressive river and then into the Serra do Caldeirão, part of the Algarve hinterland, a hilly region with few inhabitants. You cycle through the narrow streets of Odeleite which is the last place of any size on today’s route. You come to a deep blue lake and then extensive pine forests and fields with some small shrubs, also broom and rock rose bushes – a magical sea of flowers in
the springtime! The air is filled with the scents of aromatic herbs – wild thyme, sage and rosemary. Far in the distance and on your immediate route there will be small hamlets with whitewashed houses. This is a quiet, unspoilt area – just nature all around you! At the end of today’s route, you reach Vaqueiros, where you will spend the night.

DAY 3: Stage 2 Vaqueiros-Barranco do Velho – 43 km/ 1.420 m elevation gain

The undulating landscape is what marks out today’s tour. The countryside has changed. You will see fig, almond and eucalyptus trees and many different bushes, particularly the medronho bush, growing by the roadside. You will come to Cachopo, a quiet village, unspoilt and unchanged in character over many years. Then your way goes towards Castelão, cycling through thick and fragrant fir tree woods and over hilltops which give wonderful views down to the coast. You ride steeply down to the Ribeira de Odeleite river, crossing an amazing old stone bridge and continuing through the river valley. This is a green and shady section of your ride with many grassy plants growing by the path. Further uphill to Parizes and along the ‘cork route’ with its many cork oaks. This brings you to Barranco do Velho, the end of today’s ride. The Tia Bia guesthouse has a restaurant which is well known throughout this region for its excellent roast wild boar – known as Javali!

DAY 4: Stage 3 Barranco do Velho-São Bartolomeu de Messines – 39 km/ 550 m elevation gain

Today the tour starts along a beautiful panoramic road along a chain of hilltops with spectacular views over the coastal region. You then ride down alongside the small Salir river, coming to another constantly undulating panoramic road and continuing towards Salir and Benafim. The tour leads through the lovely Ribeira de Alte river valley to the little town of Alte, one of the most beautiful places in the Algarve. After then it goes through an agricultural region with orange groves and other fruit trees. Your route brings you finally to São Bartolomeu de Messine and to your todays accomodation.

DAY 5: Stage 4 São Bartholomeu de Messines – Caldas de Monchique 47 km/ 1.100 m elevation gain

Very soon after you set off today you cycle up to the top of a hill and have a great view of the Barragem do Funcho reservoir which nestles amidst the green hills of the Serra. A
short downhill stretch through a lovely valley will aid your recovery from the climb. You will then come to a winding path alongside the bank of the reservoir. Many varieties of rich vegetation including broom, rock roses and medronho bushes grow by the path. You continue along by the reservoir to the end of the dam wall and then cross over. A steep descent then brings you down to the next reservoir, the Barragem do Arade, in an equally idyllic setting. Again, you ride along the bank and then continue small paths through a section of wooded and hilly countryside of the Ribeira de
Odeluca valley. A ride through a shady valley brings you to the end of today’s ride at the spa resort of Caldas do Monchique. This little town nestles at the foot of the highest mountain of the Algarve amidst rich evergreen vegetation.

DAY 6: Stage 5 Caldas de Monchique – Lagos – 62 km/ 1.170 m elevation gain

Right at the start of today’s ride you are faced with the challenge of conquering the Foia, 902 metres above sea level, the highest peak in the Algarve! Steep hairpin bends go up to the summit. You will be rewarded with a breath-taking panoramic view over the coastal region and the Serra. You then continue first on a short and then on a wonderful long descent down to the sea where there is the largest oyster farm in the Algarve. The oyster nets are attached to wooden posts which are fixed in the sea bed and are clearly visible at low tide. A very good path takes you all along by the Maia
Praia beach and on to Lagos. A bridge takes you over the marina. You then come to this most historic old town. Just beyond the old town walls, the old slave market and the
“Bandeira fort” you will reach the Costa d’Oro, the ‘gold coast’, the most beautiful section of the Algarve coastline. The strangely shaped, golden-yellow rock formations and the pointed sea stacks rising from the waves are typical of this unbelievably beautiful stretch of coast.

Day 7: Stage 6 Lagos – Cabo de São Vicente – Sagres – 54 km/ 930 m elevation gain

Today’s tour begins with a diversion to the Ponta de Piedade lighthouse. From there you continue a footpath along the rocky coast. You will pass some lovely bathing beaches
before reaching Salema. The gradient is gently undulating. The highest point is 80 metres above sea level at Rocha Negra with its black granite cliffs. Here you have a stunning view of the whole of the coastal region. At this point you cycle briefly inland before coming back to the coast but now the route goes steeply up and down to three bathing beaches which all lie at the foot of very high cliffs. When you reach Sagres you then cross a steppe – like plateau which brings you to the Cabo de Sao Vicente, the most south westerly point of Europe. You then return to Sagres on a lovely coast road. Sagres is full of myths and legends. A nautical school was founded here for the education of Portugal’s best explorers of the world’s oceans. Sagres stands on a headland at the end of which you will find the Fortaleza de Sagres fortress which has been carefully and extensively renovated.

DAY 8: Departure day. Transfer from your hotel to Faro airport or to a different destination in the Algarve which we will have agreed with you. (included)

Dates available and price

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What is included

  • 7 nights in a 4 or 3-star hotel and typical Portuguese Pensions, double room with continental breakfast
  • Transfer from Faro to Azinhal, where you will start biking
  • Luggage transfer between hotels
  • 6 daily routes
  • Topographic maps at a scale of 1:33’000 with directions and elevation profile
  • GPS device provided on all routes
  • Detailed tour description with useful tips and attractions
  • Personal welcome, briefing meeting and hand over of bicycles with careful checking
  • Standard equipment for each bicycle: bottle cages, lock, frame pump, repair kit, tire lever, spare tube, tools and reduction valve for petrol station pump.
  • GPS device, cyclo-computer, pedals SPD or SPD-SL, bike lights, helmet, map holder. In addition for e-bikes: battery and charger
  • 24-hour backup service including weekends and holidays
  • Last day, transfer from Sagres to the airport in Faro

What is extra

  • Travel insurance as well as medical, disability, life, dismemberment and accidental death insurance.
  • Flight to and from trip destination
  • Transfer from the airport to the Hotel in Faro approx. €15
  • Dinners approx. € 25
  • Guide €150/day
  • Mountain bike, aluminium frame, 2×10 gears, front fork suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, 29“ wheels, rack and fenders on request: €140
  • or
  • E-Mountain bike, aluminium frame, 3 el. levels, 9 gears, 29“ wheels, front fork suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, rack and fenders on request: €170
  • Upgrades, transfers, excursions, additional nights, alterations to the tours, etc.; Please contact us and we will be pleased to advise you!

Deposit

  • A deposit of USD 400 / CAD 500 / EURO 350 is due at time of registration and is NON-REFUNDABLE.
  • Remaining amount: is due 90 days from trip departure date.

Cancellation Policy

We understand that sometimes things happen that make it impossible for you to attend the trip you’ve been looking for so here is our Cancellation and Refund policy:

  • Cancellation requested 180 days (6 months) prior to trip start date = full refund, minus non-refundable deposit.
  • Cancellation requested 90-180 days (3-6 months) prior to trip start date = 50% refund, minus non-refundable deposit. This unless we are able to transfer your registration to another participant or unless you find a person willing to take your registration.
  • Cancellation requested less than 90 days (3 months) prior to trip start date = no refunds given unless you find a person willing to take your registration.

No exceptions will be granted to our Cancellation policy.

We reserve the right to cancel trips with inadequate participant attendance, in which case all money paid to Nat’s Adventure Travels will be fully refunded. Nat’s Adventure Travels CANNOT be held responsible for any personal expenses, such as airline tickets due to changes in itineraries or tour cancellations.

Nat’s Adventure Travels reserves the option to modify trip itineraries at the discretion of your tour director as necessary due to weather, conditions, illness, injury, group dynamics, safety, or other unforeseen incidents.

We strongly encourage participants to purchase Travel Insurance.

Questions, concerns?

Please make sure you consult our FAQ tab and if you don’t find the answer, use our Contact form under tab of same name, thank you!

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