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Cycling in Algarve, an unforgettable journey made easy by quality cycling trails

The Southernmost part of EuroVelo 1 – Atlantic Coast Route crosses the stunning Portuguese region of Algarve in its entirety, from the Spanish border to Sagres, a 15th-century town looking at the ocean. Discover Ecovia do Litoral, this convenient cycling trail!

Visiting a country by bike is a unique experience. It is quick enough to explore many different places, and slow enough to immerse yourself in the region’s atmosphere, to notice every small village, to exchange a few words with the locals and to experience changes in the weather… But in Algarve, you are more at risk of sweating than shivering! With a yearly mild temperature almost never falling below zero, you can choose between 365 days of the year to visit Algarve by bike.


The cycle route Ecovia do Litoral takes you from Vila Real de Santo António in the east to Cabo de São Vicente in the west (or the other way round), over a distance of 214 kilometres. The trail, following the coastline, offers direct access to a large number of beaches and of course breath-taking views of the ocean. You will climb cliffs that will reward your efforts with magnificent sceneries, pass through coastal fishing villages like Salema and Burgau and historic towns like Faro and Tavira. At Cabo de São Vicente, the westernmost point of the world before the discovery of America, you’ll stand in the footsteps of the great explorers of the past, daydreaming of setting off into the unknown.

 

 

But most of all, you will cross beautiful areas of preserved nature offering peace and tranquillity. Ria Formosa Nature Park is a vast lagoon system along the coast of eastern Algarve, famous for its birdlife. The Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Nature Park stretches along the coast for 100 km with curious rock formations and intriguing myths and legends. And Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo Antonio Marshland Nature Reserve is a wetland area occupying even more space than its name, where fish-farming and salt production takes place.

 

After you have cycled the Ecovia do Litoral all the way to Cabo de São Vicente, you could either continue on EuroVelo 1 and go north along the west coast, or explore further the Algarve countryside. There are dozens of well sign-posted cycling paths in Algarve, ideal for a day long adventure or a few days trip.

 

 

For instance, the spectacular Via Algarviana, coming from east Algarve, ends in Cabo de São Vicente and you can do more than 90% of this trail riding a bicycle. Rota Vincentina brings you to a network of rural trails along the west coast and through centuries of history. And the Great Guadiana Route starts in Vila Real de Santo António, like the Ecovia do Litoral, before following the course of the river Guadiana, which is also the border with Andalusia in Spain.

 

And why not combining cycling with other activities, like surfing in Sagres, in the strong Atlantic waves, or walking on one of the many Algarve’s hiking trails? With almost 5000 km² of lush nature, scenic beaches and sparse villages, Algarve certainly holds a fruitful future for cycling!

 

 

Some useful links:

 

Source of the pictures: http://euroveloportugal.com/en/