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Algarve Coast – Little Gem

Tour: PAFV4
Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday
Linear Cycling Holiday

Take just a little time out on two wheels to discover some of the finest jewels in the Algarve’s coastal crown. Right on the Rio Formosa natural park with its lagoons and string of barrier islands, Faro makes for a fascinating Atlantic Ocean-side capital. But Baroque city gem, Tavira is only a short pedal away along the gentle ‘Ecovia do Litoral’, whilst beckoning by the Spanish border, lie the ancient castle treasures of Castro Marim and the saltpan landscapes and bird-filled wetlands around Vila Real de Santo António. Golden beaches, bright bobbing boats; pink flamingos and Caspian terns; even over-wintering short-toed larks and black-shouldered kites – so many colourful and precious encounters are only a few miles of superb scenic cycling away. Go on, treat yourself to a breath of warm, fresh air - it’ll soon give you an appetite for all those amazing Algarve seafood specialities! Read More


Europe, Portugal

Start Day

Any Day

Board Basis

Bed & Breakfast

Prices from



4 Days, 3 Nights


Jan - Dec

Tour Grade

Grade 2 (Easy)

Read Overview
Home > Europe > Algarve Coast – Little Gem


Follow the Algarve’s ‘Ecovia do Litoral’ path, maritime forest tracks and urban lanes on a gentle short cycle tour through some of Portugal’s most iconic ancient and wildlife-rich coastal scenes. Explore two impressive natural parks – the Ria Formosa estuary and Castro Marim marshes – as well as the Algarve’s capital city of Faro and historic castle towns at Tavira and Castro Marim. Windmills, saltpans, coastal pine forests, beaches and the Guadiana River estuary are all en-route, and there’s even a chance to cross by ferry from Vila Real de Santo António to sample a spot of Spain too.

Tour Code:
Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday, Linear Cycling Holiday
Europe, Portugal
The Algarve
4 Days, 3 Nights
Board Basis:
Bed & Breakfast
Jan - Dec


Day 1 Arrive & explore

Arrive in Faro on the Rio Formosa estuary and enjoy a stroll around the beautifully preserved medieval quarters of the old town with its pedestrian lanes and tempting café terraces. A wander along the marina is a must too, or why not take an evening amble like the locals through Faro’s well-maintained parks and plazas?

Overnight in Faro.

Day 2 Ferry good idea – Barrier islands & Ria Formosa natural park 

Take to two wheels and set out eastwards to nearby fishing port, Olhão, home to the traditional morning fish and vegetable market, championing the local fruits of land and sea. Around here, there’s a gentle Moorish influence in the architecture, but the really big attraction is Portugal’s third largest wetland natural park, Ria Formosa. It stretches all the way to Santa Luzia and beyond the historic town of Tavira – an area of lagoons, marshes and dunes, mudbanks, channels and pools. The place is an impressive haven for thousands of waterfowl throughout the year, but the unusual string of barrier islands boast some awesome beaches and unusual coastal vistas too, so it’s worth taking the ferry across to Ihla do Farol or Ihla da Armona perhaps. Barril beach near Pedras D’el Rei is an Algarve favourite with sun-worshippers, but the little fishing village of Fuzeta has a charm all of its own and so too Santa Luzia. Finish the day with a flourish of Baroque swirls amidst the elegant mansions of Tavira.

Overnight Tavira.

Miles 26 Kms 42

Day 3 Ancient connections & something a bit fishy 

With its smart Roman bridge, thirty-plus churches and castle remains, there’s plenty to explore at either end of the day in Tavira. The remains of the ‘castelo’ may seem a little on the ‘pequeño’ side, but it’s worth climbing the walls for the urban vistas, if only to compare later with the rural contrasts of views from key destination of the day, Castro Marim.  Many fortifications along the eastern Algarve coast were designed to protect the local tuna fishing fleets, but by the Guardiana River estuary roots go way back to truly ancient settlements. Explore some of the Algarve’s most time-honoured lands, a region marked by Phoenician, Roman, Greek and Carthaginian settlers. Stop by the most historic village of Cacela Velha or Manta Rota Beach before exploring the maritime pine forests around Monte Gordo and the flamingo-favoured wetlands of Sapal natural park. Castro Marim has a windmill and mighty walls to wow you, but it’s the views across the saltpans towards the Guardina river bridge or Vila Real do Santo António which will surely leave the biggest impression. To top all, if you fancy a quick ferry foray into Spain, then why not. Hop across – taking note of the time difference! – and win a few extra hours by taking the train back from Santo António to Tavira.

Overnight in Tavira.

Miles 21-42 Kms 34-68

Day 4 Depart after breakfast

Depart after breakfast following your final night in Tavira or maybe take just one last stroll along the Rio Gilão and over Roman Bridge..?

Extra nights can be booked in Tavira on a bed and breakfast basis after the tour to allow more time to enjoy the sunshine coast and its beautiful beaches.

Dates & Prices

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For tour start days/dates, seasons and all prices, please click on the PRICES button above


Ensuite accommodation as described with buffet/continental breakfast (prices based on two adults sharing). If half-board is booked, dinner each night (3 dinners). If upgraded room is booked, this will normally overlook the garden or have a seaview

Luggage transfer between hotels

Taxi transfers to the first hotel and from Tavira to Faro airport or station at holiday end

Hire of hybrid bicycle and ancillary equipment single pannier (pump, basic tools, spare inner tube & puncture repair equipment shared between 2)

Local assistance on call (although puncture repair is excluded)

Information pack with detailed joining instructions and daily route overviews sent out approximately 2 weeks before departure so you can plan ahead and look forward to your cycling adventure

Detailed route notes and maps with marked routes provided on arrival, 1 per room

GPS and odometer (1  per party, extra units can be hired at additional cost)

Please note that the price EXCLUDES

Costs of getting to and from the tour area

Accommodation Options

Selected 4 star hotels in Faro and Tavira (2 nights).

We are pleased to discuss details on request.


More Information

Useful websites, travel information and tips to help you plan your journey to and from the country and location of your holiday.


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