Lisbon to Algarve Cycling Holiday

  • 3.9
    (5 reviews)
  • Category

    Cycle Touring
    Self Guided or Guided
  • Grade

    Leisurely
  • Duration/s

    7 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Sesimbra / Vila Nova de Milfontes
  • Distance

    143 miles/230 kms
  • Themes

    CoastalEbike
  • Accommodation

    Comfort
  • Tour code

    040-103CPT
Price From £1108

Overview

Travel down Portugal’s west coast on this wonderful cycling holiday that leads you south from Sesimbra, near Lisbon, to Vila Nova de Milfontes on the edge of the Algarve. Huge, deserted sandy beaches, rugged scenery, friendly fishing villages and panoramic sea views await. A real get-away-from-it-all cycle holiday. Pass through protected landscapes and fragrant pine and cork oak forests and stop for dips or just to admire the coastal views as you travel through a quiet, unspoiled part of Portugal. Rice fields, old olive mills, country hotels and hidden coves all add to the region’s charm.

Lisbon to Algarve - Cyclist (cropped)

Off the beaten track and heading south

This is a cycling tour where the emphasis is firmly on relaxation and getting to know the area at an unhurried pace, so there are plenty of chances to take it easy over a lunchtime picnic or café break. Although the terrain is varied, with a few sections on dirt tracks, this is a lesiurely cycle tour, covering between just 18 and 27 miles a day. With the exception of your first cycling day where there are a few hills to manoeuvre, the roads are mainly flat with some gently rolling sections.

Itinerary & Map

Although the terrain is varied, with a few sections on dirt tracks, this is a lesiurely cycle tour, covering between just 18 and 27 miles a day. With the exception of your first cycling day where there are a few hills to manoeuvre, the roads are mainly flat with some gently rolling sections.

View larger map

Day 1: Arrive Sesimbra

Sesimbra - Portugal

Sesimbra

On arrival in Sesimbra make your way to your hotel. After check-in you’re free to relax or explore this lively town at the foothills of the Serra da Arrabida mountains just 35 kms south of Lisbon. there is a welcome briefing at approximately 6pm.

Day 2: Sesimbra – Setúbal, 25 miles/40 kms

Lisbon to Algarve - Between Sesimbra and Setuba

Between Sesimbra and Setubal

Before setting off on your first day of cycling, why not take the time to visit the picturesque Sesimbra fishermans’s market first. Today’s ride then takes you into the Arrabida Natural Park, heading inland to ride through some sublime mountain scenery. Not soon after departing the coast you can enjoy the magnificent sea views at Sesimbra Castle then head further into the Natural Park before a long, sweeping descent back down to the beach. Take a quick swim and stop for lunch before following the forested coast road to Setúbal, where you’ll rest for the night. If you fancy a slightly easier route you can cut out the initial climb of 4kms and 250 metre climb to the castle by booking a transfer there with your bikes. Additional if you want a longer ride you can cycle on a more mountainous route which is an extra 19kms.

Day 3: Setubal – Carvalhal – Santo André, 22 or 45 miles/35 or 71 kms

Troia Peninsular

Troia Peninsular

It’s another day of great cycling and wonderful views. First cycle through the old centre of Setubal to catch the ferry with your bikes across to the Troia peninsula (included in the GUIDED option). Here your cycle route takes you through spectacular sand dunes, and there’s another chance to stop for a quick dip in the ocean. Later you’ll ride past ricefields and fertile fields to more sandy beaches as you approach Carvalhal, from which you’ll transfer to your overnight stop in Santo André, or you can extend the ride if you’re feeling energetic.

Day 4: Santo André – Santiago do Cacém, 22 miles/36 kms

Melides beach

Melides beach

Today you’ll be cycling to the Santo André Lagoon, separated from the ocean by protected sand dunes and a haven for bird life. Stop for a swim either in the sea or the lagoon then ride along the coast to the Lagoon of Melides. Afterwards cycle into Melides where you may wish to stop and have lunch. The afternoon sees your surroundings change as you enter a cork oak forest and pass an old olive mill before arriving at the historic city of Santiago do Cacém, which you’ll want to explore this evening.

Day 5: Santiago do Cacém – Porto Covo, 22 miles/35 kms

Traditional house - Porto Covo - Portugal

Traditional dwelling – Porto Covo

There will be more time this morning to get to know the centre of Santiago before heading back on the bikes to ride through peaceful green oak woodland before returning to the coast. You’ll then enjoy riding along a lovely scenic stretch of seaside of craggy black cliffs and sandy beaches. Your overnight stop is the traditional fishing village of Porto Covo, and you’ll arrive there by mid-afternoon so will have the rest of the day to relax and spend some time by the beach recharging your batteries.

Day 6: Porto Covo – Vila Nova de Milfontes, 15 miles/24 kms

Milfontes - Portugal*

Milfontes

Leaving Porto Covo you’ll follow an oceanside track to the fort at Pessegueiro Island for amazing cliff views. You’ll then ride through rolling countryside and past a small fishing port. Once in Vila Nova de Milfontes enjoy the surrounding coves and dunes. This lovely little seaside town is just a short distance from your farmhouse hotel.

Day 7: Vila Nova de Milfontes Roundtrip, 38 miles/60 kms

Vila Nova de Milfontes

You won’t be disappointed with the last day of your cycling tour. Cycle along some dirt roads (part easy and part a bit more complex) and enjoy the colourful coastal scenery with its hidden coves and small beaches. Perhaps enjoy a last picnic lunch on the beach where you can relax and enjoy the warmth of the sun. Then head back to Vila Nova de Milfontes for the evening.

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast it’s time to check out and head for home or your next adventure.

Dates & Prices

2020 Arrival Dates
Self-guided
Arrivals every Saturday from 21 March to 24 October excluding 8-18 April
Guided
Arrivals 25 April, 16 & 22 May, 13 June, 04 July, 01 Aug, 19 Sept, 24 Oct

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2020 Prices
040-103CPT
Per person
21 Mar
to
31 May
01 Jun
to
15 Sep
16 Sep
to
30 Sep
01 Oct
to
24 Oct
Self-guided
Comfort category
Double/twin £1108 £1231 £1108 £1108              
Single £1439 £1790 £1667 £1439              
Guided
Comfort category
Double/twin £2498 £2620 £2498 £2498              
Single £2828 £3179 £3056 £2828              
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Deposit per person £150

Price Includes

7 nights accommodation. See practical information
Self-guided: 7 x Breakfast
Guided: 7 x Breakfast & 6 x lunches (5 x packed lunch) & 5 x Dinners with wine
Luggage transfer
Maps & route information
Optional transfer Carvalhal to Santo Andre
Local assistance
GUIDED tours also include:
Guide
Airport transfers
Ferry crossing, wine tasting, water and fruit
Regular bike with pannier & lock

Price Excludes

Flights
Airport transfers (self-guided option)
Bike hire (see supplements)

Supplements

Lisbon Airport - Sesimbra (min 2 pax) (£42)
Vila Nova Mil Fontes - Lisbon Airport (min 2 pax) (£115)
Regular bike with pannier & lock (Self-guided tour). See practical information (£82)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (Self-guided tour) (£163)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (Guided tour) (£82)
GPS device (£41)
Non Saturday arrivals for self-guided tours (£65)

Practical Information

Bikes

Example of the hybrid bike used on this tour

Example of the hybrid bike used on this tour

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 24 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are supplied on arrival.

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the accommodations typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.

Comfort: A mix of good quality hotels, good pensions and a lovely farmhouse with swimming pool.

Sesimbra: Hotel do Mar
Setubal: Hotel do Sado
Santo Andre: Hotel Vila Park
Santiago do Cacem: Hotel Dom Nuno
Porto Covo: Pension Zé Inácio in Porto Covo
Vila Nova de Milfontes: Monte do Zambujeiro

Local taxes: Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. The fee varies and is frequently changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night.

Getting There

Fly to Lisbon airport.

Research flights from the UK here

Gallery

Current rating for this cycling holiday based on 5 reviews 3.9
  • Date - 21/06/2019
  • Name - Anonymous
  • Service rating -
    5.0
  • Service comment - Great service. The online maps are excellent and clients need to take note of these and use them!!
  • Product rating -
    4.0
  • Product comment - Wonderful sun but icy seas and winds made this a challenging trip and we were grateful for the e bike. Accommodation and towns were lovely but landscape of wild moors, Cork trees, cliffs and sea does not change a lot.
  • Flexitreks response - Service rating : The
    Product : Sounds like you had some headwinds on this route which is when e-bikes are manna from heaven. Thanks for submitting this balance review.
  • Date - 20/06/2019
  • Name - Gordon Hall
  • Service rating -
    4.0
  • Service comment - The cycle hand over was well done.
    The briefing was hard to hear at times and too much information to take in
  • Product rating -
    4.0
  • Product comment - The tracks were good although the cycle tyres would have handled the soft sand conditions better had they been mountain bike tread

    The ebikes had intermittant loss of power
  • Flexitreks response - Thank you for the feedback Gordon. The bikes and tyres used on this route are considered to be the best option for the overall route.
  • Date - 20/06/2019
  • Name - Anonymous
  • Service rating -
    3.0
  • Service comment - Would have been good to receive documents earlier.
  • Product rating -
    2.0
  • Product comment - Disappointed as expected more of a coastal experience, with a destination focus. Whilst the first 2 hotels were good, the balance of accommodation was poor and in bizzare locations, neither coastal or what I would consider tourist towns. I don't believe that we got good value for money and it was well overpriced for what was delivered. It was also disappointing to end up in the final town with little transport options.
  • Flexitreks response - Service rating : Thank you for your feedback. Mailing quite weighty road books and maps to customers in advance would add considerable cost to the holiday. It also means we would be unable to annotate last minute changes to the route due to roadworks etc. We believe that delivering them to the first hotel on the day of arrival is the best solution.
    Product : Thank you for your feedback and I am very sorry that on this occasion the holiday did not match your expectations. We believe this tour offers excellent value for money with good quality accommodation, located in interesting towns and villages along a fascinating route.
  • Date - 13/06/2019
  • Name - Gordon Mounsey
  • Service rating -
    4.0
  • Service comment - Pick up at Lisbon was late and didn't have the information on his board that we were expecting.
  • Product rating -
    5.0
  • Product comment - Very good introduction by Portugal. Enjoyed the tour.
    Suggest adding in the beach by the power station as a good place to swim as the water was warmer.
    Suggest adding Black Pig Distillery as an option.
  • Flexitreks response - Thanks for the feedback Gordon. The Atlantic is a little cooler than the Med of course so I'm not sure about your swimming tip!
  • Date - 11/12/2015
  • Name - Herb DaSilva
  • Service rating -
    4.0
  • Service comment - Very organized tour
  • Product rating -
    4.0
  • Product comment - Great ride and great experience
  • Flexitreks response - Dear Herb,
    Thank you kindly for taking the time to reply and we are glad you had a great experience. I look forward to seeing you again on one of Flexitreks European cycling holidays and tours. Ally and the Flexitreks team