Algarve cycling holiday in Portugal
Description of Algarve cycling holiday in Portugal
You’re on your own for this cycling holiday to the Algarve – and it’s grand. Armed with GPS route directions, maps, top-quality hybrid bikes and luggage transfers, you’ll cycle 30-40km a day along some of the prettiest paths in Portugal.
Leisurely does it. Wheel through rural pastureland where shepherds watch over their flocks, lunch in villages stocked with sun-splashed seafood restaurants, pedal through holm oak forests and skim along clifftops laced with head-turner views. Your maps will give you a choice between easy and trickier cycle routes, so you can tailor the trip to your ability.
This Algarve self-guided cycling holiday isn’t all rural idyll, though. Your halfway rest day in Lagos gives you the chance to explore the city’s 14th-century walls and cobblestone lanes. Rest your calves or do as the locals do and walk to Ponte de Piedade lighthouse.
Planet and peopleAccommodation & meals:
We spend the six nights on this cycling holiday in three very different hotels in Sagres, Lagos and Pedralva, including a modern “designer” hotel with wonderful sea views and a 24-room property that was once a deserted village made up of 24 houses. It has since been converted to retain its character, using traditional building materials and restored furniture. The hotels employ at least 75% of the staff from local residents. Our customers provide income to an area that does already benefit from considerable tourism; however the areas we travel through and some of the hotels we use are relatively small and untouched by mainstream tourism. Evening meals are included for five out of the six nights and on the last night guests are encouraged to eat out in local restaurants. The food at the Pedralva property is generally homemade and uses ingredients grown in the property’s kitchen garden. The hotel chefs focus on using locally-sourced seasonal produce where possible, some of which is actually grown at the property itself so has zero food miles! Most of our hoteliers have also demonstrated commitment to sustainable practices in the following areas: waste management, saving water and saving energy - this includes Solar panels, automatic lights, recycling of waste, the option of not washing customer towels every day and a garden for produce. Tap water is also drinkable in Portugal, so plastic mineral water bottles don’t necessarily need to be used (recycled).
Community: We encourage our customers to chat with the friendly local people, visit local attractions such as the lighthouse at Cabo São Vicente and the Fort at Sagres, dine in cafes and bars, purchase local specialities such as sardine pate, olive oils, gifts and crafts (cork products are popular in this area) and discover what life is really like in the Algarve.
Group size: Our self-guided holidays in our regions with a local rep (including the Algarve) are possible with a minimum of one person on any departure date; however we would always hope that more people would want to visit this amazing area of panoramic contrasts and delicious seafood!
Activity: Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a cycling trip. It is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support. All the cycling routes are direct from hotel to hotel so there are no transfers for cyclists to the beginnings of routes (only luggage between hotels).
UK office: In addition to the careful planning that goes into each and every one of our tours, we also have a policy of operating our office in a responsible manner - to reduce the impact on our local environment. We turn off all lights, printers, photocopiers and PCs at the end of each day: a PC monitor switched off overnight saves enough energy to microwave six meals; leaving a computer on 24/7 costs four times more than if you switch it off; a photocopier left on overnight uses enough energy to produce over 1,500 copies. We use energy-efficient light bulbs and make sure they're regularly cleaned - dirty bulbs can reduce the amount of effective light by over 25%. We've turned down every radiator by one degree in a bid to reduce energy consumption by as much as 10%. All our brochures are printed on paper from sustainable sources and sent in bio-degradable packaging. We strive to reduce paper consumption and, what we do use, we recycle. We recycle all our used laser printer and inkjet cartridges.