The Algarve is renowned for its beaches, cliffs and sunny weather. There are various ways to explore this Southern region of Portugal but the virtually car-free roads, beaches, country roads and trails make this an ideal for cycling tours. There are plenty of options, but Costa Vicentina is always a great option because offers plenty of sun, beaches, great landscapes, good surf, weather and great food.
There are bike tours throughout the year starting. Cyclists can start off by exploring the rough trails to the top of the Monchique mountain range. A popular route with bike tourists is the “Via Algarviana” that travels across the region to Cape St. Vincent near Sagres through the Costa Vicentina Natural Park. This follows a meandering rural path through the Serra do Caldeirão and Serra de Monchique.
For a softer ride, cyclists can take the coastline route from Vila Real de Santo Antonio to Sagres. Serious mountain bikers can explore the Vicentina Natural Park following the Rota Vicentina exploring less touristy beaches of Arrifana, Carrapateira, and Bordeira.
#1. Cycle from Santiago do Cacém to experience the culture and the people of the region
Cycling through Costa Vicentina allows you to explore the area, the people, the culture, the history of the region and everything that makes this region especial in an immersive way. One way to experience everything is to start off at Santiago do Cacém which is easily reachable by train or bus from Lisbon.
This historical route has received the certification for Leading Quality Trail from the European Ramblers Association. The trail goes through villages between cork oak forests, hills, and valleys with the Atlantic as a backdrop. You can explore the architectural heritage of the Santiago do Cacem and you can´t miss the castle and the Mother Chapel of Sao Pedro.
#2. Travel to the Ruins of Mirobriga
These ruins are the last remaining vestiges of an old Roman town that offered sanctuary to pilgrim’s travel. To get here from Santiago do Cacém you can take a scenic 10km circular route. From here you can take a ride through Vale Seco and pass Campilhas Dam and Reservoir. Explore the small town of Cercal do Alentejo located between Santiago do Cacem and the town of Odemira.
Just southwest of the town lies Vila Nova de Milfontes, a resort town located at the mouth of the River Mira. Here you can visit the remnants of the old Moorish castle that has been turned into private residence. At this stretch of this route, you will get to experience the gastronomy that the region is famous for. It varies from unique meat delicacies to Mediterranean style fish dishes. Here you simply must try local delicacies from simple sausage pizza or simple but unique and special bread.
#3. Ride the water section of the “Caminho Histórico” (Historical way)
Take a 46 km ride from Cercal do Alentejo through the Serras to Odemira along what is known as the water section of the Historical Way. You can enjoy the various amenities, but you absolutely must visit the Pego da Pias pools.
#4. Make your way from V. N Milfontes to Odeceixe.
You could also take a 52km ride from Vila Nova de Milfontes to Odeceixe. You can enjoy all that the beautiful coastal Odeceixe beach has to offer. You can ride up to the cliff tops and ride through country roads along the Esteveira nature reserve with some of the most breathtaking views in the area. From here, you can make your way to the Moorish town of Aljezur and explore the old castle with a history of human occupation dating back to the Iron Age. The castle was built at the height of Arab occupation in the tenth century. There are some landmarks like the Church of Mercy, the statue of Nossa Senhora de Alva, the fountains of Amores and Santa Catarina. From the architecture and historical buildings, there are also a lot of eateries that serve what the town is known for, Sweet Potatoes. Do not leave without sampling some delicious sweet potato pastries. Make a lunch stop at the idyllic village of Zambujeira do Mar that has great beaches, but it is mostly known for its fishing.
#5. Odeceixe to Lagos
The 60km stretch of the trail takes you on the southwestern tip of the Algarve. There is a lot to do and see around this stretch. The route from Odeceixe to Lagos is about 60kms. A lot of cycling tours along the Costa Vicentina end in Lagos where cyclists get to explore the beach and sail out to visit the grottoes that line the coast line along the Lagos stretch of beach.
There are lots of places you can visit, and the different ways you can tackle a bike tour route. Costa Vicentina hosts many cycling events throughout the seasons. Vicentina is located close to the Cosmopolitan Lisbon, but is far enough to offer the calmness of the countryside of the marshy Algarve and the tranquility of beachfront living. It offers a variety of options and caters to cyclists at different skill levels, from beginners to pros. Avid cyclists can have the best holidays doing what they love, soaking up the sun, catching some great surf and enjoying great food, regional wines and beers.
Travel between Lisbon and Costa Vicentina is easy. There is public transport that you can take if you opt for a self-guided tour. The best and convenient way of booking a cycling tour is to book with us because the transport is arranged, accommodation and the route mapped out. All assistance is given during the course and there will also be a support car.