It’s a region known for its beautiful beaches and year-round sunshine, but on a self-guided cycling holiday in the Algarve you’re free to venture beyond the beaten track – to unspoiled hills and valleys where the cycling is peaceful and the accommodation welcoming and authentic.
Forests of pine and eucalyptus, groves of orange and almond trees and honey-coloured cliffs punctuated by sleepy, whitewashed fishing villages. This isn’t the well-known face of the Algarve, but it is a side to the region that’s just as real – and which you can discover for yourself on a cycling holiday in southernmost Portugal.
The Algarve is a region ideally suited to two-wheeled exploration, with a wide choice of routes that includes such wonderful long-distance trails as the Ecovia do Litoral – which spans the entire southern coastline – and the Via Algarviana, an excellent way to discover the timeless lands of the interior. Thanks to the Algarve’s year-round warmth, cyclists can avoid the busy summer months and instead enjoy the region when tourists are thin on the ground: in spring when the fields and headlands are awash with wildflowers; in autumn when the chestnut woods of the Monchique hills glow; and in winter when the orange trees hang heavy with fruit.
Although the Algarve is not yet a destination Inntravel explore on two wheels, we can introduce you to a perhaps even more idyllic Portuguese coastal region – the Aveiro, where our traffic-free trails take in lakes, lagoons and vast, sandy beaches. We also visit the northerly Lima Valley – often described as the greenest and most picturesque corner of Portugal, with delightful riverside scenery, ancient towns and abundant birdlife.
Whenever we’re asked which corner of the Algarve offers cyclists the best trails and most rewarding views, we have to sit on the fence. Because it all depends on what you are looking for… if that’s untamed seascapes and inclines that make the heart beat a little faster, the western Algarve is for you. A much easier, flatter ride can be had on the region’s south coast, while inland you will find undulating routes that wind serenely through pine forests and river valleys.
The Algarve’s huge network of cycling routes has something for everyone – both in terms of level and interest. For as well as its choice of easier and more challenging trails, the Algarve offers stunning natural parks, delicious cuisine and a wealth of history and culture.
We grade all our cycling holidays by difficulty, and we recommend taking a look at the grade definitions below for more guidance on which of our trips might best suit you. (Our grading system assumes you are using a ‘regular’ bike, so if you choose an e-bike, bear in mind that the cycling will be considerably easier.)
Easy cycling for all with shorter days mainly on the flat, but some gentle ascents.
Easy-to-moderate cycling featuring undulating routes with more frequent short ascents, and a mix of shorter and longer days.
Moderate cycling with some longer, steady uphill sections, and longer days.
Fairly strenuous cycling featuring longer days with some sustained climbs. (We don't currently have any holidays at this level.)
What to expect from a cycling holiday in the Algarve
Unspoiled scenery is a feature of all Inntravel holidays – but it comes as a particularly lovely surprise in the Algarve, which is better known for its busier resorts. As you explore away from these, you will also encounter charming, family-run accommodation and traditional regional fare.
Route notes you can rely on
We take pride in producing route guides with all the information you’ll ever need, and update them continually, so you can trust their accuracy. As well as containing directions from A to B to C, which you follow at your own pace, they enrich your holiday experience by telling you about the places you pass through, local traditions, and more.
Freedom to choose
Holidaying independently, not in a group, means you can stay in intimate hotels, and decide which places to visit each day. What’s more, there’s no set start date, no set duration (feel free to add extra nights), no set travel arrangements – we’ll happily book a bespoke travel package for you, either by air, by rail or by ferry.
We’ve been offering holidays since 1984 and have built up a wealth of experience. Whenever you contact us, you’ll deal with friendly experts who share a passion for travel and who have stayed in our featured hotels and cycled our routes. They’ll be delighted to answer your queries and help you plan your perfect holiday.