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Do you like cycling? Do you like sunshine? Do you like the sea? If you answered Yes to three questions out of three, you should absolutely consider planning a cycling tour along Algarve. The southern part of Portugal, in fact, is crossed by a fantastic cycle route among the wonders of that amazing region: the Ecovia do Litoral.

Cycling Ecovia do Litoral in Algarve in Portugal

You will need a bit of an adventurous spirit to face a 4-to-7 days travel on a route where you can find some steep but short climbs, missing signs, rough terrain and... the wind. Yes, because as in many other sea regions, some days you could face winds that can make your traveling hard.

This is the reason why many cyclists choose to travel West to East, even if going in the other direction can assure you a gradual escalation of wonderful beaches and views to see. Anyway, to get rid of some weight, you could also join one of the locally organized tours which assure you also luggage transportation from one stop to the next one.

Another aspect that will make the trip a little tricky is that... there are only partial and not very accurate Ecovia do litoral maps but follow the link to find some.

The Ecovia officially starts in Cabo de Sao Vincente and ends in Villa Real de Santo Antonio, on the Spanish border, after 214 kilometers of beautiful sea, beaches, cliffs, road, hills, and sunshine. The region, Algarve, is famous for its amazing beaches, with giant orange rocks and cliffs which contrast with the blue of the sea and the sky.

Cabo de Sao Vincente is the southwesternmost point of Europe: there is a lighthouse on high cliffs, where the wind blows hard every day. The first part of the route is paved and well-signed, but this will not be the usual situation you can find cycling on rough terrain with occasional steep hills will make the trip harder, but it will allow you to stay close to the coast and/or surrounded by nature.

It will be easy to get to the most amazing and famous beaches of Algarve, like Praia Dona Ana, Praia da Marinha, Praia da Falesia, and many others. You will cycle through many towns, with so different souls: from Lagos with the amazing cliffs, to Faro, with its long history, to the lively nightlife of Albufeira.

Near the end, the route goes into Parque Natural de Ria Formosa, the wonderful ecosystem of the Formosa river mouth, with sandy beaches, islands, and astonishing wildlife.

How can you get to Algarve? Faro has an International airport and a train station which connects to central and Northern Portugal. It also the main station on the Algarve railway, that goes from Lagos to Villa Real, a backup solution for any difficulties you can find on the way (also because bikes travel free on Portuguese trains!).

The Ecovia litoral is connected to - and for a small part overlaps with - EuroVelo n. 1, an international bike route that comes down from North Cape traveling through all the European countries which face the Atlantic Ocean.

On your way, you will find every kind of accommodation facilities, but with some differences depending on the area. Tourists are concentrated in the central and western part of Algarve, between Lagos and Faro.

If you are looking for a five-star resort you should head to Vilamoura and its big golf courses but... if you like cycling adventures you are probably not that kind of person. Also, apartments will not suit you, because they are usually not rented for single nights.

Bike tourists usually prefer hostels and cheap hotels, and you will find certainly this sort of accommodation, but beware. If you plan to travel in high season, be sure to book in advance, otherwise, you will find only expensive or bad structures.

What about food? Since you are in front of the ocean, many dishes are based on fish or seafood. One typical way of cooking it is in the "cataplana", a copper pot which is brought directly to your table. Before that, the waiter will serve you some "couvert", the Algarvian starter: olives or carrots cut into pieces and marinated.

If you prefer meat, you will find different dishes based on chicken or pork, such as "leitão", a piece of pig roasted on a spit for 12 hours. The algarvian kitchen also offers you soups, cheese and delicious desserts like the "Dom rodrigos", strings of egg yolk with cinnamon and almonds made up in a little nest. And to drink? You will find a wide variety of local wines, and the Algarvian beer, the "Super bock".

So, are you ready to start? Here there is some advice for getting prepared for your bike travel through Algarve.
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Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author

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