What to expect
Cycle the eastern end of Portugal’s famous Algarve region on a short break, riding a loop from the market town of Loulé to the Spanish border and back. Your rides will take in the best of the region, including traditional towns, castles and valleys laden with orange trees. This part of the Algarve is less busy than the central Algarve, with mostly quiet roads and relatively flat terrain that is great for cycling.
Tavira, your destination on day one, is one of the most charming towns along the Algarve coast, with a castle, pretty cobbled streets and a relaxed atmosphere that harks back to the Algarve of days-gone-by. By day two, you’ll be riding inland along the Gilão river through beautiful countryside, stopping for a coffee as you pedal towards the border towns of Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António, before cycling back along the coast to Tavira. Your final day sees you ride to quaint seaside villages, through the Ria Formosa Natural Park UNESCO heritage site with incredible views across the salt flats. Your tour ends in Olhão, a pretty town with Moorish style architecture.
At a glance
- Pretty seaside villages and charming towns
- Less developed areas of the Algarve
- Wonderful coastal cycling and rides through the countryside
- Moderate cycling distances that can be shortened by taking a train
Arrive in Faro
Land in the Algarve’s capital of Faro and take a transfer to your accommodation in Loulé (transfer included).
Loulé – Tavira
34 miles (54 km)
Start your tour with a ride from Loulé to the town of São Bras de Alportel, a former cork-harvesting town. Your next stop is Estoi, with its Roman ruins, and charming church square. From here you ride on quiet roads to the traditional houses and cobbled streets of Moncarapacho. Continuing on, you’ll cycle through valleys surrounded by orange trees and pine forests, following the River Gilão to Tavira, a delightful fishing town which dates back to Roman times. Relax in the evening, exploring the town’s historic buildings, castle and many restaurants.
Tavira - Vila Real de Santo António – Tavira
40 miles (64 km)
Today starts with a ride inland, following the Gilão river upstream. You’ll ride on quiet roads through wonderful countryside and farmland, before stopping for a coffee break in Vila Nova de Caçela. Ride on to the town of Castro Marim, with its famous castle, before arriving in Vila Real de Santo António where you can gaze across the river border into Spain. The return ride takes you along a stretch of stunning coastline, riding through picturesque fishing villages and admiring the panoramic views across the lagoon as you cycle back to Tavira.
You can shorten the ride by taking the train from Tavira to Vila Real or from Vila Real back to Tavira.
Tavira – Olhão
19 miles (30 km)
Your final ride of this short break begins with a gentle ride, heading in the direction of Faro. Your ride takes in pretty seaside villages and the Ria Formosa Natural Park, a UNESCO heritage site with wonderful views of unspoiled coastal countryside. The end point of this tour is the charming town of Olhão, the Algarve's largest fishing port which is renowned for its moorish style architecture.
Depart from Olhão
Take a transfer from Olhão back to Faro airport (included) or extend your holiday in Portugal.
3, 4 & 5 Star Hotels
We use a pool of 3, 4 & 5 star hotels to maximise our availability for this tour, so regardless of the time of year we do our best to secure your dates of choice.
- Four nights in 3, 4 & 5 star hotels
- Breakfast included
- Luggage transfer
- Secure bike storage
Dates & Prices
Please click on a departure date for price options at a glance
- Four nights accommodation in 3, 4 & 5 star hotels
- Board basis: Bed and Breakfast
- Hybrid bike with 24 gears, pannier and helmet
- Luggage transportation
- Maps and route information (GPS tracks and device available on request)
- Return transfers from Faro airport
- Local contact number for assistance
Single rooms and solo travellers - please enquire
Triple rooms available on request - please enquire
Reductions for 3 or more customers - please enquire
Bike Hire & Extras
Bike hire included
Hybrid bike with 24 gears included.
Pannier, map holder, water bottle and holder, spare inner tube, pump and lock all included at no extra cost.
Helmets can also be provided at no additional charge - please advise at time of booking if required.
How to Get There
Fly to Faro
You will be collected from Faro airport and transferred to your hotel in Loulé
Take a transfer from Olhão back to Faro airport (included)
Fly from Faro
News, Reviews & FAQs
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Why are the hotels not listed in the itinerary?
We use a pool of hotels to maximise availability for you.
What is the average temperature on this tour?
What other customers have said
Been on this tour? Add your review!
My friend and I had an absolutely amazing time on this self guided tour. We had done ZERO research and had no problems navigating as well as enjoying our ride. The countryside was incredible and the people were so beautiful inside and out. Each day of the tour was different and was definitely doable for all skill levels. The Customer service from Freedom Treks was TOP NOTCH. We will be reaching out again to them next time we are in Europe!!! This was the highlight of our trip.Ellen Jones, USA, April 2019
Fantastic first cycling holiday. Great roads, restaurants and scenery.Tom Saggers, UK, December 2018