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We have specially adapted our popular Algarve coastal cycling holiday into this short break version, which is the perfect way to discover the beautiful Portuguese coast and traditional towns such as Tavira, Vila Real de Santo Antonio and Olhao as well as gorgeous beaches and fishing villages. Easily accessed from Faro, this tour offers the chance to cross the border into Spain, try the freshest fish and enjoy local tapas.
This tour is operated by our preferred local partner.
Arrive at Faro. Transfer by minibus or taxi to your hotel in Loule where you will be equipped with your bicycle. Loule is a small traditional market town and perfect for wondering through its narrow-cobbled streets and exploring the central market building housing the daily fish and local produce. There are plenty of cafes and a good few restaurants which all help to add to the ambience of the town, a local treasure.
Your first day’s cycle will take you from Loule eastwards to the town of Tavira, a charming old fishing town founded in Roman times (28 miles/45 kms). On route, you will first come to Sao Bras, a traditional town like Loule and well worth a visit if only for a coffee and Pastel da Nata. The central square is particularly interesting and there is a stretch of very well preserved Roman road just on the edge of town, if it's to your taste, call in at the Museum for a glance back at Portuguese traditions, lifestyle and history.
Next you will head south to the town of Estoi. Famous for its Roman ruins and Pousada Palace. Continuing east you will reach Moncarapacho, with an option for a tour of the Monterosa Olive Groves where you will find trees that are 2000 years old and a selection of oils to taste (There is no charge for this tour, which may last just over an hour, but it does have to be pre-booked, so please request when booking). Leaving Moncarapacho, the path leads down to a pleasant green valley where you join the river and follow it into Tavira.
Tavira is a beautiful and traditional old town close to the coast with its own unique architecture and character. The town is built either side of the river Gilao and is linked by several bridges. The Roman bridge gives both great views and ambience with its cobbles and architecture, there may even be a street artist to entertain you. The many shops, cafes and restaurants make the town an easy place to visit and have a relaxing wander around.
With two nights in Tavira, today’s route is a round trip to Vila Real de Santo Antonio and those preferring to cycle half of the route can take the train to or from Tavira (19 miles/30 kms or 37 miles/60 kms). Cycling east on a quiet and beautiful route towards the Spanish border, the first coffee stop is Vila Nova de Cacela before reaching Castro Marim almost on the banks of the Guadiana river, the natural border with Spain. With the town’s landscape dominated by the old castle and fortifications, dating back centuries, Castro Marim has plenty of history and is worthy of a browse. A little further is the old border town of Vila Real de San Antonio, where you can see across the river to Ayamonte in Spain. A ferry crosses from here for a couple of euros. (Time this right and you could partake in lunch in Spain at one of the delicious Tapas Bars). The cycle back to Tavira is along the coast and passes through some small coastal resorts like Monte Gordo, Manta Rota and the highlight of the journey, Cacela Velha. This tiny village high on a hill above the Ria Formosa offers splendid views of the coast and is truly a spectacular place for a photo stop before passing through the small resort of Cabanas and through the salt flats on the way back into Tavira.
A gentle cycle today west along the coast to the charming old town of Olhao (19 miles/31 kms). The ride passes though the quaint little fishing village of Santa Luzia, famous for Octopus fishing, the old village of Pedras d'el Rei and the larger fishing village of Fuseta. This is a great stop for lunch in one of the fish restaurants which have excellent views out to sea. Leaving Fuseta on the cycle paths alongside the salt pans and the Ria Formosa you will arrive in the larger fishing town of Olhao, your destination for the night. Olhao is still the hub of the fishing industry, renowned for its Moorish style architecture and views from the waterfront to the small islands of Armona and Culatra. If time allows you can take a ferry to one of the islands where deserted beaches can be found as well as a few great fish restaurants. In Olhao’s old town, there are a maze of tiny cobbled streets that can be explored and cafes, Tapas bars and restaurants waiting to be discovered.
After breakfast, we say “Adeus” before returning home from Faro.
A fine selection of options to choose from
Loule Jardim situated on a quite square overlooking a park. Just a 4-minute walk to the ruined Castle of Loule. A rooftop salt water pool overlooking the village and surrounding mountains is a real bonus. Bright rooms offer free WI-FI, flat screen TV. The hotel has a relaxing bar with a rustic fire place.
Hotel Mares overlooks the Rio Gilao river, perfect for exploring the old town. Rooms in the colonial hotel have air conditioning, WIFI, satellite TV and mini-fridges. Added bonuses are a Sauna and a sun terrace.
Real Marina is an elegant spa hotel overlooking marina and the Ria Formosa lagoon. The main attraction of Real Marina is the Thalassotherapy (Salt Water) Spa, as well as the indoor and outdoor pools. The hotel has a relaxed restaurant with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lagoon. Coastal tones to the room give the hotel a laidback feeling, all rooms have WIFI, satellite TV, minibars and some offer lagoon views.
Tour Only Price
|2018 Departure Dates||Adult Prices|
Flights and Transfers included
|2017 Departure Dates||Adult Prices|
Dates are subject to availability, please call for more information
If you wish to add extra nights to your holiday, please call us for help and advice.
The air holidays and flights in this brochure are ATOL Protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 4055.
This is a BSpoke Original Tour.
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