The 3 Best Cycling Routes in the Algarve

Do you know the best road cycling routes in the Algarve?

Reading time: 6min

The Algarve is not just about beaches, pools and energetic nights. The Algarve is the adventure and pleasure of discovering corners untouched by man, tradition combined with the contemporary in the villages, the mountains, the green landscapes, and above all, the discoveries of places that are not on tourist itineraries. We launch the challenge of cycling the best routes in the region, aimed at enthusiasts and the more experienced in road cycling.

Get your helmet and backpack ready because from here, you will see the other Algarve that everyone is talking about! There are three routes for all levels of difficulty that will have you cycling along country roads, dirt tracks and up into the Monchique mountains. The low season is one of the best times to do it due to the mild temperature and quiet roads.

Lagos – Burgau – Lagos Circular Trail
(Starting point 10 minutes from Belmar Resort)

The trail is a circular route through Lagos city and the nearby parishes, suitable for beginner cyclists.

Click here to access the map.

Start this journey on one of the most iconic avenues in Lagos city, overlooking the riverside area, where you will find one of the many examples of the city's Portuguese pavement. Pass by centuries-old buildings, such as the Governors' Castle or the Ponta da Bandeira Fort.

Head towards a different perspective of Porto Mós beach, and then cross the beautiful Luz village. The next parish belongs to Vila do Bispo and has the peculiar name of Burgau because, in that area, there are many molluscs with that name, which is more commonly known as whelks. It is a place with a fishing tradition and deserves a stop to appreciate the charm of this small parish and catch your breath. After the stop, the journey continues on tarmac road through typical vegetation of the Algarve coastal, until reaching one of the entrances to the national 125 road. Ride with caution for 1.5 km, following all the road cycling rules. Continue towards Almadena, where you will pass through a large expanse of vegetation until you reach Barão De São João, a parish full of details that should be visited as the pedestrian trails in the National Forest.

Pass through Portelas and follow the trail to Odiáxere. Here take a short diversion to the pastry shop Hélder dos Bolos and ask for a "Bola de Berlim" cake to keep in your saddlebag and enjoy later. Return to the trail and continue towards the coast, passing through an area of vegetation until you reach your destination, the extensive Meia Praia beach.

Distance: 51 km
Climbing: 600 m
Course: easy

Rent a bike near the starting point of this route.

Lagos – Monchique – Lagos Circular Trail
(Starting point 15 minutes from Belmar Resort)

This is a circular route through Lagos city, Aljezur, Monchique and other nearby parishes, suitable for intermediate cyclists.

Click here to access the map.

The trail starts facing the Boa Esperança Caravel replica, one of the Portuguese discoveries’ symbols, an omen for this route full of magnificent undiscovered views. Cross the town of Lagos in the direction of Bensafrim and pass along a tarmac road, but surrounded by the typical vegetation of the Algarve coastal area.

Delight in the scenery and catch your breath to start the climb up to the Espinhaço de Cão mountain. Rest a little before arriving in Aljezur. Or if you prefer, spend a little more time in Aljezur and get to know a surrounded locality by sea and mountains. If you decide to do this route in autumn, be sure to look for the famous sweet potato of Aljezur in the municipal market in the town centre. Through the valleys and mountains, head towards Marmelete on a steep climb on a tarmac road. Here is the land of small red fruit, called medronho. You can eat only the fruit or drink the brandy still made using ancestral and artisanal techniques.

The road now runs around the highest point of the Monchique hills, Fóia. Get ready to pedal through the twists and turns of this road until you reach Monchique town centre. If you enjoy a good ham or prefer something more natural, like honey, make a short stop at the Segredos, Saberes e Sabores grocery store, and bring back the best that the mountains have to offer. From here, head towards Alferce and climb to the top of Picota, enjoy the panoramic view of the western Algarve and get ready to start your descent, passing by the Algarve International Racetrack, until you arrive back in Lagos.

Distance: 125 km
Climbing: 2440 m
Course: intermediate

Rent a bike from the starting point of this route.

Lagos – Monchique – Aljezur – Vila do Bispo – Lagos Circular Trail
(Starting point 15 minutes from Belmar)

This is a circular route through the Lagos city, Monchique, Aljezur, Vila do Bispo and other nearby parishes, suitable for experienced cyclists.

Click here to access the map.

Start this trip on national road 125 towards Odiáxere when you pass this parish, cycle about 500 metres and turn left towards the Algarve International Autodrome. You will find fun up and down the road, which continues to Porto de Lagos. Then, fill your lungs and get ready for an 11 km climb up to the second-highest point in the Algarve, Picota. Rest and get back on your bike for a descent on a narrow road but with impressive stopping points. Bring your camera to capture the unique landscape of this route.

You will pass through the Monchique centre, and here you can quench your thirst with the health-enhancing alkaline water. Now heading towards Marmelete, you will pass a curvy road with many eucalyptus trees that will accompany you for a few kilometres. Further on, prepare your camera and take away a souvenir of the Chilrão waterfall.

The route passes through Aljezur, going down to the Bordeira and Carrapateira beaches. Here is an obligatory stop! The sea on this side of the Algarve gets even more fascinating colours and the natural beauty that surrounds these two beaches, deserve some time to be observed. We finish this route with a short stop in Vila Do Bispo, the most south-western place in Europe, and with the end marked in the Descobrimentos Avenue in Lagos.

Distance: 163 km
Climbing: 3330m
Course: Difficult

Rent a bike from the starting point of this route.

These routes include roads on which motor vehicles also drive. Always pay special attention to road safety rules. Get to know the Highway Code and the rights/duties of road cyclists here. If you need any last-minute repairs, go to this bike workshop in the city centre.

Know that the Belmar Spa & Beach Resort will be Bike-friendly very soon. We will provide an area with ample spaces to park your bicycles, and we are preparing everything for you to do small repairs and cleaning of all road cycling equipment.

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