Would you like to spend your holiday in the sunny south, combining fantastic beaches with a great fitness opportunity? Then we will let you into what is perhaps Europe’s best kept secret: the ALGARVE – blessed with glorious sunshine and an exceptionally varied and fascinating landscape. The Algarve offers a wonderful, long coastline and a hilly interior known as the “Serra“, a region of unspoilt countryside and little development. In between coast and hills is a fertile plain with citrus groves and vineyards. Good roads right up into the Serra offer great training opportunities for every level of fitness. This tour follows parts of the route of the annual ride, the „Volta ao Algarve“. Why not come and ride in the tracks of the greatest stars of world cycling?!
TOUR PROFILE: The gradients vary from flat to hilly with some steep climbs, for which the corresponding excited descents more than compensate! You will enjoy many wonderful views towards the coast or inland. You cycle almost exclusively on quiet, well surfaced roads.
Individual arrival to Olhao at Hotel & Spa Real Marina
Your route takes you out of Olhão and up via Estoi to São Bras and into the cork oak region. You continue along the “Rota da Cortica“ (the cork route) through Santa Catarina and on to Tavira, “the Venice of the Algarve“, so-named because of the river Gilão which flows through the town. You cross this river and enter Tavira. On leaving the town you cycle along through an area of lagoons with their large salt flats, from which the famous „flor do sal“ salt is extracted. You continue on through the Ria Formosa nature reserve. You then leave the coast and cycle through the fertile Barrocal region with its many fruit orchards, finally reaching your hotel.
Today you cycle first into the Serra, a hilly region, criss-crossed by many river valleys. You begin with a gentle climb until you are nearly at São Bras. After that it gets steeper and you have to cross the first river, the Ribeiro do Alportel, before you reach the highest point of today's tour at Javali, 518 metres above sea level. Your efforts are rewarded with a marvellous view over the Serra and down to the coast. You continue with a terrific descent through a small valley to Barranco do Velho and from there on a good road down to Querenca. You will come to another river, the Ribeiro de Algibre. You cycle on over a hilltop to São Romão following one long road with very little traffic. São Romão is a small village with a beautiful church. From there another downhill ride brings you to the third valley and then there is one more steep climb up to Corotelo, from where you have a mostly downhill ride back to Olhão.
To get you warmed up, you begin the day with a 15km ride from Olhão to Azinheiro, 300 metres above sea level. You continue on to Santa Catarina, 154 metres above sea level. It is here that a series of hairpins begins which wind all the way up through the wonderful landscape of the Serra as far as Alcaria Cume. This is where you reach the highest point of today's tour, 502 metres above sea level. A great downhill ride takes you to Tavira. Finally, you cycle for another 24 km on mostly level roads through the Barrocal region and back to Olhão.
Quiet side roads take you to Loulé, a small market town in the middle of the Barrocal region. From there the route leads over a hill down into the Ribeira Algibre river valley and on steeply uphill to the attractive village of Salir, 225 metres above sea level. Soon after this the road continues to rise, taking you through beautiful countryside with many very old Cork oak trees. The very quiet and well surfaced road leads to Barranco do Velho, 500 metres above sea level. After this you take another very quiet road down to São Bras and then back to Olhão via Estoi with its famous Milreu ruins. You cycle right through the Old Town of Olhão to reach your hotel.
After a few kilometres of gentle cycling, you ascend steeply to San Miguel, the hill with the transmitter masts that can be seen from far away in all directions. It stands at 310 metres above the sea. After that you continue at this high level along a beautiful road with views of the Serra. You continue to Sao Bras and Loulé, where you turn towards the coast. You ride along an attractive road with great views. It takes you through the two luxury resorts of Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago and then through the extensive surroundings of the Algarve football stadium. From here on your route undulates gently through Santa Barbara, Estoi, and Pechão and back to your hotel
You cycle from Olhão to Estoi via Pechão and on to the N2, the old main road to Lisbon. You take this road through São Bras and up to Barranco do Velho, 500 metres above the sea. After a short descent, you reach a beautiful road which takes you at this high level through Salir and on to Benafim. This road is newly re-surfaced and very quiet. You then cross the Ribeiro Algibre River again and continue in the direction of Loulé. The final part of your ride takes you back to your hotel through the Barrocal region and Santa Barbara.
Individual departure or extension
This hotel in Olhão is right by the marina and the Ria Formosa nature reserve and 15 km from Faro airport. The rooms meet the highest specifications and look out onto the Ria formosa. Your session in the fitness room can be followed by some relaxation in the spa area with its Jacuzzi, sauna and turkish bath. Both the indoor and outdoor pools have wonderful panoramic sea views. The two restaurants in the Real Marina hotel offer regional specialities as well as international gourmet cuisine and fresh seafood. There are two bars which serve a good choice of drinks and light snacks. There are ferries close by which run a regular service, taking just 15 minutes, to the islands of Armona, Culatra and Farol with their lovely, sandy beaches.
Airport Faro. By taxi to the Hotel in Olhao (around € 20,-).
Daily arrival possible from 01.01. - 31.12.2023
|INDIVIDUAL TOUR||01.01.-31.03. & 01.11.-31.12.|
|P.p.P in DB/BB||€ 725,-|
|P.p.P in SR/BB||€ 990,-|
|INDIVIDUAL TOUR||01.04.-31.05. & 01.10.-31.10.|
|P.p.P in DB/BB||€ 875,-|
|P.p.P in SR/BB||€ 1.150,-|
|INDIVIDUAL TOUR||01.06.-14.07. & 01.09.-30.09.|
|P.p.P in DB/BB||€ 990,-|
|P.p.P in SR/BB||€ 1.425,-|
|P.p.P in DB/BB||€ 1.100,-|
|P.p.P in SR/BB||€ 1.590,-|
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