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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.

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

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.
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Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author

19 comments:

  1. I have put it on the list for my next trip (y)

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  2. I have visited Portugal before, what a lovely place to vacation.I`m not that into cycling but will have to rent a bike next time and visit villages there like a local.

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  3. This post made me so jealous. I recently learned how to drive a bicycle (lame I know 😂) but since then I have been obsessing over it. These trops sound fantastic!

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  4. That sounds like such a great idea on a trip! Great way to slow down and see the sites and enjoy the food.

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  5. I don't know cycling but this place looks wonderful😍 I am going to share this with my friend who would love to visit this place ☺

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  6. I'm not much into cycling, but I have enthusiasts among my friends. I'll be definitely sharing your post with them.

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  7. This is twice today something has called me to visit Portugal... a sign perhaps? Also, I had no idea it was so beautiful there.

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  8. I can't ride a bike so I can't really apply these BUT I have a lot of friends who do and this would be perfect. You've covered almost everything!

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  9. A cycling trip sounds like an awesome way to see the Algarve. The photos are breathtaking and I can almost imagine the views. I have Portugal on my bucket list but didn't consider venturing further than Lisbon and Porto.

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  10. I love that photo! This place really looks wonderful! I would love to travel there someday :)

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  11. Oh wow, I have never been to Portugal but I would love to go there. It looks beautiful.

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  12. Not a cyclic fan but I love this place and the view is just perfect. Now on my bucket list.

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  13. That would be such a fun lunch and ride while traveling! Nice way to break it up.

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  14. I never thought of trying cycling but it sounds so exciting. I may add this on my list.

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  15. What a fun and great experience. I always wanted to try cycling. Such a gerat thing to do especially in Portugal.

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  16. Looks like a great place for cyclist. I'll definitely go here one day and would love to try cycling.

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  17. Never had a plan to visit portugal cause it's far away from my country. Thanks for sharing btw, it was a good read!

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  18. It looks pretty amazing out there. It would be quite a trip to do it out there while you are cycling. I can imagine how an amazing experience it would be.

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  19. Cycling is so much fun to do plus a breathtaking place. I should try this as well.

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