1. Luxuriant Mediterranean forests
2. Ria Formosa, sand and water paradise for birds
3. Streams crossing trails and single tracks
4. Tavira - the most typical town in the Algarve
5. Tasty fresh fish of the Algarve
6. Moorish-style town of Silves and its castle
7. Thousands of orange trees in the fields
8. Sagres - the south-westernmost town of continental Europe
9. Cape S. Vicente, once known as “the end of the world”
10. Monchique SPA located in a luxuriant rain forest
Crossing the Algarve will show you this beautiful region of Portugal taking you along trails and tracks, riding up and down the hills of the Algarve inland, crossing rivulets and passing typical villages! The Tour will start in the typical city of Tavira with its innumerous buildings and monuments and the amazing Roman bridge over Gilão river in the historic center. This is the Natural Park of Ria Formosa, a lagoon system that extends itself over 60km of coast and which is a passing area for the migrating fauna from Europe to North of Africa and it is also the “winter resort” for many birds from North and Central Europe. We will ride on to the inland and here the MTB pleasure will start, riding along spectacular trails, surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation and we will have to cross several rivulets. We will visit some lost villages on the hills of the Algarve and beautiful cork-oak forests. We will visit and spend one night in Silves, which was the capital of the Algarve when the Arabs were here; we will visit Monchique where we will stay in a thermal hotel located in a luxuriant valley of rain vegetation. This Tour will end near Sagres, on the cliffs of Cape S. Vicente, the place where the land ends and the sea begins, once known as “the end of the world” and an important and sacred location for the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Greeks and the Romans �" the south-westernmost point of Continental Europe. This is the place from where our forefathers sailed away on their caravels seeking new worlds and cultures five centuries ago!
Day 1: Arrival - Welcome at FARO airport. 1H00 drive to Tavira, briefing about the tour followed by dinner. Lodging in a 4* Eco-hotel whose building was once a typical old tuna fish market.
Day 2: From the coast to the hills and rivers inland - 54km (34mi), 853m alt. gain, level 4. Breakfast. We start from the Natural Park of Ria Formosa where we can admire many sea birds. We visit the typical city of Tavira with its Roman bridge. Picnic on the way at an idyllic spot with a waterfall. We ride into the Algarve hills with Mediterranean vegetation and amazing trails. Lodging in a Bed & Breakfast unit with a swimming-pool.
Day 3: “Benémola” spring and single-tracks - 55km (34mi), 1140m alt. gain, level 5. Breakfast. We ride on the hills where apart from cork-oak trees we can find strawberry trees with their red berries. Fauna and flora are abundant. Picnic on the way. Dinner with the group. Lodging in a 3* hotel, located near the most typical inland Algarve village, in a genuine natural beauty area where the sight extends itself to the mountain range.
Day 4: Streams and orange trees - 46km (29mi), 546m alt. gain, level 3. Breakfast. We ride on the hills with amazing views over the sea. We can also admire the rich flora in the Algarve: orange trees, fig trees, carob trees, olive trees, strawberry trees, almond trees, cork-oak trees, etc. Picnic on the way. The day ends in Silves. Dinner with the group. Lodging in a 3* hotel with a spectacular view to the Moorish castle and to one of the most historical cities of the Algarve.
Day 5: Up to the highest village in the Algarve, Monchique - 45km (28mi), 456m alt. gain, level 3. Breakfast. The splendor of the Algarve hills with its specific habitats. Picnic on the way. The day ends in Monchique, a spot on the top known by its spa. Dinner with the group. Lodging in a 4* hotel with SPA whose recovered old buildings are surrounded by luxurious rain forest.
Day 6: From the mountains to Cape S. Vincent - 77km (48mi), 1090 alt. gain, level 5. Breakfast. We leave the hills and we ride towards the sea, to the “end of the world”. The tour ends in Cape S Vincent, the place “where the land ends and the sea begins”. This was the place from where the Portuguese caravels sailed to look for new worlds in the 15th and 16th centuries. Picnic on the way. Dinner with the group. Lodging in a 4* new hotel with swimming-pool, surrounded by stunning deserted beaches and the wild nature of an unforgettable beauty.
Day 7: Departure - After breakfast transfer to FARO airport. 1H30 drive to airport.
Type: mountain bike tour
Class: LANDSCAPE TOUR
Version: Guided or Self-Guided
Region of Portugal: Algarve (mostly inland)
Duration: 7 days / 6 nights / 5 days cycling
Begin: Tavira (Algarve)
End: Cape S. Vincent (Algarve)
Difficulty level (1-5): 1 2 3 4 5
Advanced. You are fit and in good shape
Distance: 261km (163mi)
Average: 52km/day (33mi/day)
Trails: 58% off-road + 42% asphalt
The price includes:
- 7-day mountain bike Tour with a Guide (*)
- Mountain Bike rental with helmet and backpack
- Transfers from and to Faro Airport
- Accommodations (6 nights): 3 four* Hotels (1 Design Hotel from to the ocean, 1 Eco-Hotel in a natural preserved area, 1 charming Hotel in the mountain, 2 three* cosy Hotels, 1 B&B/Rural Tourism. Double bedroom occupancy.
- 6 Breakfasts
- 5 nourishing and energetic picnics (*)
- 6 Dinners (including our famous wines, our amazing cheeses and lovely desserts) (*)
- Daily energy-bars and water (*)
- Luggage transport from Hotel to Hotel
- Documentation about Portugalbike tour
- Liability Insurance
- Personal Accident Insurance
- Techno-Mechanical Assistance
- First-Aid assistance on location
- Permanent Backup Vehicle (*)
(*) Not included in Self-Guided tours
=> Prices per person, double bedroom occupancy, 3-4* quality Hotel.
=> If you want a different date, ask us about prices and availability.
MOUNTAIN BIKE: SCOTT Aspect 710
Frame: Light aluminium
Fork: Front suspension 100mm with lock on the handlebar
Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes
Gears: Shimano XT/Deore, 30 speeds
Pedals: Normal (with cages or not) or Shimano SPD
Tires: MTB 27.5" x 2.25
Other: Man or woman seat
I must say that both Liz and I were most pleased with the entire week. All aspects of the tour were first rate �" the accommodation, the meals, the route/itinerary and the support we received from both Jose and Miguel. Both men are superb ambassadors for your beautiful country. Neither one of us can remember any time in our lives were we have laughed so much! Miguel managed to be both personable and professional at the same time �" not an easy task, and that Jose loves his work and his country were plainly evident! If I was asked to rank our overall experience on the Crossing the Algarve Mountain Bike Tour out of 10, I would give it a resounding 20!
We are looking forward to our return to Portugal and another Mountain bike adventure with PortugalBike in the next year or two. Both Liz and I wish you, Jose, Miguel and the rest of the Portugal Bike team the best of success in the coming season! Warm regards.
= Eric Vanderkruk (Invermere, British Columbia �" Canada), 2010 =
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