34 independent reviews for Cycling holiday in Portugal, self guided

Reviews for Cycling holiday in Portugal, self guided

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review 12 Nov 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Bert gave us a most varied route which gave wonderful views and varied terrain. His route instructions were spot on. We were on the Terra de Caldas tour.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Go for it! The bikes we had were fully capable of the route.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

As we ate locally each evening(restaurant recommendations were very good) we did benefit the local community. As we used no fossil fuel we must have benefitted the environment just a little

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent - and a lovely insight into the Algarve region .Berts route kept us away from the concrete jungles of the resorts which we were grateful for.

review 30 Oct 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Approaching picturesque towns from a distance after several hours of winding our way through small roads and alongside orchards.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take your time to explore the little towns markets ect, you will have enough time to cycle between destinations so don’t hurry.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Definitely. We pedaled, eat and shopped local and left very little environmental footprint.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Wonderful, although you have to have a little stamina to cycle for most of a week straight even with ebike option.

review 14 Oct 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We chose the Terra de Caldas tour for our cycling holiday. The peace and tranquility of cycling through the countryside and stopping off in small village cafes for a coffee and snack was one of the most pleasurable aspects of our trip, but there were so many other highlights too – Walking though the historic streets of Silves at night, relaxing in the Spa in Caldas de Monchique, an exhilarating downhill section of the Caldas de Monchique to Aljezur route (that seemed to last forever !!), the view from the Muslim fortification in Aljezur which was breath taking and the sound of the crashing waves at Bordeira Beach in Carrapateira – fantastic ! The accommodation that Bert arranged for us differed from location to location, with each place having its own unique charm and character. The Portuguese people were so friendly.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Setting off early (around 8am) each day is advisable, especially if the forecast is for high temperatures as you can get a good few kilometres under your belt before it gets too warm - It also allows you to reach your destination hotel in good time each day allowing time to unwind and have dinner without being too rushed. Be sure to carry plenty of water and snacks in your backpack as we found some cafes in the smaller towns / villages did not open before 11 am on one of the days. We decided to break the trip up by spending 3 nights in Carrapateria rather than an extra night at the start and finish of the trip - We found that this gave the trip a nice balance as it allowed us time to walk the cliff trails and enjoy the beaches, which were stunning. Sampling the Piri Piri chicken at the Café Imperio in Monchique is a must !!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, by visiting small rural cafes we felt we were helping contribute to small communities. By cycling through the villages it felt less intrusive than if we were to do so by car – we also felt that we could appreciate the villages more by cycling through them.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Cannot rate this holiday highly enough. Berts organisation was fantastic – the instructions for each route were detailed and clear, the bikes provided were excellent, our luggage was transferred from point to point without a hitch and the recommendations for cafes / restaurants did not disappoint. A wonderful trip from start to finish – thanks Bert !

review 8 Jul 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

At the end of a day riding, arriving at accommodation which far exceeded our expectations, both in terms of the standard of accommodation and its location.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

We were a group of 60/70 yr olds but were bike fit. We decided to hire e/bikes and were glad we did as stages of this tour are quite hilly and would be challenging for unfit riders not on E/bikes. Bert, who runs the tour was very helpful and responsive during both the booking process and the ride itself. We had absolutely no problems at any stage of our ride.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Hard to tell but we guess that our trip would have certainly benefitted economically some of the small poorer rural areas we rode through. We were environmentally conscious of not leaving a footprint during our travels.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very Good! Was well organised with a good variety of Terrain from orange and olive groves, up through foothills forests and back down to beautiful beaches. Generally on quite country roads and optional short rides available after reaching our destination each day. Great value for money.

review 11 Jun 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The fun of biking in Portugal. How beautiful and unspoilt the countryside was...the wildflowers everywhere. Clear blue skies everyday in early May. The organisation of our trip was first class. Bert had thought about everything - he anticipated our needs and had the bases covered. Our bikes were dependable and we didn't have any trouble at all. We had decided on electric bikes and they were new to us...fantastic and easy to manage! We still peddled all day (40-50 km) but we weren't exhausted at the end of the day.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Go with a company such as Bert's. He booked excellent accommodations for us that exceeded our expectations - there was always a lovely pool and very generous breakfasts. We always found good places for lunch and dinner.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, all of the above - because it was local people looking after all the accommodations - except perhaps one but the couple who ran the B&B were very much part of the community. We found the staff to be gracious and helpful everywhere we stayed.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Unreserved 5 stars.

review 4 Jun 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

In our experience these are the most important criteria for a successful bike tour (in this order): Easy to book, with informative, prompt, and reliable booking agent/tour operator; reasonable cost for the product. Bikes in good repair - including bike seats, handle grips, gears, panniers. Good route & route directions. Luggage transfer to next accommodation. Comfortable accommodation - with hosts that are welcoming, knowledgeable about the local area, and provide good coffee and breakfasts. This tour was successful on all levels. The written route directions we used could have been written a bit more concisely (in point form in a table format, rather than paragraphs), so that we could more easily read information while riding - but all directions were very accurate.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

May was an incredible month to travel through this area of Portugal - everything was in bloom, the temperatures were reasonable, there was not a lot of tourist traffic, and the local people were helpful and very friendly.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Traveling by bike is environmentally friendly. The tour operator used locally owned hotels or homes for accommocation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

This holiday met and surpassed our expectations. Thank you!

review 25 Apr 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Met all of our expectations which were high based on the previous excellent reviews we read. The trip allowed us to travel through a variety of landscapes and stay in places that were each very different from the others. The trip allowed us to get away from the more touristic areas and experience 'real' Portugal. This included coming across a village celebration in a large picnic area by the road we were travelling on where there was music, dancing and food. We enjoyed watching and absorbing the atmosphere and were given a piece of the special bread/cake being handed out to those attending.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Make sure you are able to tackle some of the steep gradients on this trip and if you have any doubts about your fitness level consider an E-bike. That said, lowest gear and a good level of fitness is all that is needed. Dogs were an issue in many places especially in the more rural areas where their role seemed to be chasing off anybody on a bike riding past! Rather than relying on eating out at lunch time, better option is to take a picnic snack to see you through until a main meal at the end of the day.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Cycling is environmentally friendly compared to travelling around in a vehicle and allows you to cover much greater distance compared to walking. Stopping at cafes and buying from shops along the way contributed directly to the local economy. The accommodation was either run by or staffed by local people which again helped the local economy. We were urged by Bert to re-fill our water bottle(s) with drinkable water from taps at our accommodation - we took this advice to reduce waste plastic bottles.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent. Well organised and managed by Bert Smeman of the tour operator. All went to plan from collection from the airport to returning there. The routes and stops chosen by Bert were varied and interesting. All accommodation was of a high standard and in every case the hosts (B & B) and staff (hotels) were welcoming and very helpful.

review 28 Oct 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


review 8 Oct 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The detail oriented instructions to get from one village to another, challenging climbs rewarded by descents. Great vistas, well though of tour.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Avoid summer months

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Hoping so, Portuguese people are so welcoming and chilled.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very good.

review 18 Oct 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

This was a fantastic trip, allowing us to get out of the more traveled parts of the Algarve, into the towns and countryside. We loved the vegetation – the cork oaks, the eucalyptus forests, the orange orchards, fig trees, olives trees, etc. We traveled through many picturesque small towns and hamlets. The terrain was extremely varied, ranging from mountain passes to surfing beaches. The accommodations were all very clean and comfortable. The instructions provided by Bert, the organizer, were clear. We didn't get lost. When we had a flat tire, Bert fixed it for us. We are both in our 60's and moderately fit, and we had no trouble with the level of exertion.. We did cycle lots of hills in the months before we came, to prepare, and this paid off. The bikes were great – better than we have at home. There is a small amount of cycling on busy roads, but most of the trip takes you on a maze of quiet back-country routes. The trip is very well organized, but allows participants lots of leeway to make it their own. There were options for longer days, which we never took, as the minimum proved to be enough for us. More serious cyclists would definitely have the option to cover more ground, but we did not feel that we needed to do the longer routes to get our money's worth. We traveled slowly, stopping to look at lots of plants and views, and enjoying the occasional excellent coffee. We were in the saddle five or six hours a day, but some people would be much faster.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

All the accommodations provided good breakfasts, and there are great dinner options every night as well. We did not find lunch quite as easy. We would recommend taking the time to stock up on picnic food each day. Maybe check with Bert in advance as to the locations of the Continente supermarkets, which have everything you could possibly need for a picnic. We did not do this, and wished we had. We figured it out after a day or two, but it would have been great to have this together from the outset. We really enjoyed the lovely fall weather (our trip was in October) but feel this trip would work almost anytime of year except in the heat of summer. In the spring, the wild flowers are probably stunning.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The company contributes to tourism in the off season, providing business for hotels and restaurants when the weather is cooler and the huge, summer tourist rush is over (or hasn't begin yet). Also, tourists on bikes do not cause the noise, pollution and congestion that tourists in cars cause, so it's a lower impact way of bringing business to the region.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

This was one of the most memorable holidays we have ever taken. We had a fantastic time, and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys an active holiday, and who loves to explore new places.

review 12 Jul 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We particularly enjoyed Carrapateira and de Terra de Caldas hotel

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Leave everything in the hands of Bert, he perfectly organizes the whole trip, from the route, to the bikes, the recommendations, all was good!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, I can see these cycling tours benefiting the local small businesses like hotels and restaurants. Regarding the environment, I don't see them making a huge difference for the time being, but it is always good to know that at least you are not adding more CO2, mobilizing by bike.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent. Maybe it is not possible, but I would suggest to find more B&B's or places like Terra de Caldas. Also, I may think about selecting routes closer to the ocean, and/or the cycling route that we used/crossed a couple of times.

review 14 Nov 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Cycling through fantastic countryside on quiet roads, orange groves, hill passes, really getting a chance to take it all in. The accommodation was also superb!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

We went in the last week of September and found it to be the perfect time to go.It was still ~30 Degrees each day, but the roads were very very quiet. Our accommodation was relatively quiet also. After a long days cycling, we were able to have the pool to ourselves in most places before we went off exploring again in the evenings. Spend a few days in Lagos at the end of the tour, a really chilled place in early October, perfect weather and none of the crowds! Stop for a beer in the midday heat to really appreciate a cold one!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Our luggage was carried by car, but was pooled with other travelers on similar routes to reduce environmental impact. All accommodation and restaurant owners were local.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic. We booked at short notice and Bert really went out of his way to get everything sorted for us. The quality of the bikes and routes were top notch. Bert kits you out with everything you will need on your first day. I really take my hat of to him, Bert thought of everything!

review 11 Oct 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Cycling through quiet villages and back roads. Lovely places to stay especially Casa do Palmeiro

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Probably by staying in local accommodation and eating in local restaurants.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Great accommodation. Route directions were excellent - we didn't get lost once. Berts helpfulness in answering questions and holiday planning when our late booking meant having to modify the advertised holiday slightly

review 26 Jun 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The first day of our cycling experience. Meeting Bert our host and having him explain our itinerary and routes. Getting on our bikes for the first time.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Dont cycle in The Algarve in July and August, unless you are used to high temperatures.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, We stayed in local accomodation and used lots of local, rural restaurants and cafe's.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent. You must try a Bert Smeman cycling holiday. They are superb.

review 9 Jun 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The 50k ride down from Monchique to the coast.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Go for electric bikes.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Cycling is good.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent all round.

review 3 Oct 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Arriving at our hotels, particularly the really rural ones, although they were all good.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Check the weather. We went the last week of September and it was still pretty warm. The cycling is reasonably challenging so we wouldn't have wanted it to be any warmer. Don't always believe Bert when he says things like 'this is one of only 2 climbs today'!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Difficult to say. Obviously we were using local hotels, cafés etc.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We really enjoyed the holiday. The roads were very quiet, hotels lovely, organisation great. Bert was very thorough, waiting for us outside the first hotel when we arrived, spent a lot of time making sure the bikes were right and responded to a phone call very quickly. We met him at the end if the holiday and offered some feedback which he was keen to have.

review 22 May 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Probably Duas Quintas outside Silves,

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Emphasise the rural nature of inland Algarve

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Difficult to say. Main expenditure was meals and drinks. No obvious impact on environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very happy with the care and attention provide by local company in Portugal. Bert Smegman was excellent and very detailed in his planning. Would highly recommend him to others.

review 13 May 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Cycling and staying in areas that I normally wouldnt as a tourist see or visit. The cycle takes you through rural areas of Portugal which are relatively untouched by tourism. Some of the accomodation was idyllic.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Its a great holiday if you are looking for a good mix of cycling as well as relaxing. Miles per day can be adjusted to suit, and arent overly long,the route itself isnt overly taxing and the bikes Bert provides are comfotable with sufficient gearing to get up all the moderate climbs.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Absolutely, we ate and drank in a lot of local cafes etc that probably only get visits from foreigners once in a blue moon.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Great holiday if your looking for a good mix of cycling, relaxing and sight seeing of some of Portugals untouched areas.

review 10 Oct 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

a) Getting to know some of the beautiful countryside and small towns of the Algarve; b) Bert's exceptional service.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

a) Enjoy every minute! b) If you are concerned about climbing some hills with a regular bicycle, choose an e-bike. For clarification: Even if I am in my sixties, I did not have any problems riding a regular bike. These bicycles are very suited to ride in this kind of terrain.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Visiting small towns and staying in smaller, very well selected hotels benefits undoubtedly the local economy. Travelling by bicycle provides for environmentally friendly transportation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Beautiful memories. I can only recommend this tour.

review 28 Jun 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The quiet rural roads and passing through little villages on the way. Views are spectacular too.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

My husband had not done a lot of cycling and took his own gel seat cover to put over existing bike seat and found this to be great. I am a cyclist and was fine with exisiting seat that was on bike .

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Absolutely. We stopped in the little tiny cafes and some of the fruit stores and spent our money in these towns that were away from the tourist areas. We were on bikes. No air pollution just the sound of us breathing hard up some of the hills and yahoos going down the other side.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was fantastic and would recommend it. June was a great month as the weather was stable and sunny everyday.

review 20 Jun 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Excellent choice of locations and accommodation, varied cycle routes, well serviced reliable bikes, it was all extremely well planned by Bert, who met us and explained it all so well.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Expect to be surprised at the lovely choice of accommodation, the friendly staff and beautiful countryside, close to nature, combines both rural aspects and towns,small villages with wonderful architecture. So much to view,- you will want to keep stopping to have a look.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Probably helps the smaller cafes, resturants , we did cycling trip so had frequent stops to eat/drink.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Really impressed with Bert's choice of routes, places to stay, standard of bikes and his over all helpfulness from the time of booking until we left. This is a great way to see Portugal, meet the people and delight in the countryside. The west coast is breath taking and feels unspoilt. I would really recommend this holiday, it is so well co-ordinated to appeal to lots of different tastes.

review 1 Apr 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Bicycling up Foia into the clouds and shivering in sub-zero clouds, then back down to a relatively balmy ride to the beach over a couple of hours. Then surfing at Praia Amado.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take your time. Trust Bert.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Benefitted the local economy, yes, and through small, generally very well run locally owned hotels and restaurants. The environment not so much, since we flew from Canada to Portugal and, though we biked, our luggage was driven for us from one waypoint to the next. (Very nice that was though.)

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Great, very well organized, good maps, well-considered route. Bert was very pleasant, helpful, honest and totally reliable. We ran into a couple of minor mechanical problems with a couple of the bikes and he met us promptly with a replacement bike in one instance and a replacement part in the other. One of our party had to leave a day early and, though we had not thought about it, anticipated it or asked about it, Bert handed him a refund on the day he left us.

review 3 Nov 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Arriving in Lagos, a beautiful town on a lovely sunny day.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Book or bring your own bikes, as the bikes we hired through the holiday were exceptionally heavy.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Good holiday.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for your feedback which we will of course consider. As you are probably aware there is always a bit of a trade-off between weight and comfort when it comes to tour bikes. On balance we have opted for what we feel are the most appropriate bikes for our tours. The feedback we have had about them in the past has always been very positive and this is why we are encouraged that we have found the right balance. However, we appreciate that everyone's experience is different and so as mentioned, we will take your comments into consideration. Our guests are always welcome to enquire about the bikes so that there will be no unexpected surprises. We hope you feel this adequately responds to your comment. Kind regards, Bert Smeman.

review 5 Dec 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

It was all just wonderful. Great weather, great food, great scenery, great accommodation. The organising of it was first class. Did the Terra de Caldas tour.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If you go late on in the year make sure you have warm clothes - days start a little chilly and the temperature drops around 3pm. Also, if you are a slow cyclist either start out early or take a torch - actually, a torch is useful for staggering back from the local restaurants in the evening!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, we stopped at many local cafes to re-fuel.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic

review 14 Oct 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Having the opportunity to cycle through the beautiful countryside and villages and looking forward to our next accommodation in spectacular locations. The first place we stayed in Querenca was a great start to the holiday. All the accommodation was way above our expectations and so well organized by Bert.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Just book it !!! We enjoyed the whole experience from start to finish.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. One of the best things was there was only local people and produce. We spent our money in local places and family run accommodation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Wonderful!! We are already looking for similar holidays.

review 25 May 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The spectacular locations of the accommodation which had been organised

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Book it! I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this holiday as we enjoyed the whole experience from start to finish.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I feel that local people will benefit from this holiday as we spent money in only in local establishments so it should be circulated locally. Enabling cyclists to visit and enjoy this beautiful countryside should encourage conservation and maintenance of the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

10 out of 10. We could not fault any part of the holiday. The rides were routed through beautiful landscapes, visiting interesting villages and all felt very safe. The accommodation was clean, friendly and in wonderful locations. The personal service Bert provided was great which meant that the holiday met our needs perfectly without any worry at all.

review 16 Sep 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Cycling along country roads alongside ripening pomegranates, grapes and quince and not having to worry about where we were going to stay. Part of each days adventure was the surprise factor of our next abode which never disappointed.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Do it! it's great fun and a wonderful sense of achievement reaching the destination. Bert, who is the organiser was always available although thankfully we didn't need him as his instructions were spot on.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

One of the best things was that there were only local people and produce

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

First class

review 9 Jul 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The Portugese landscape is as mild and friendly as its people. Bert is an excellent organizer and the accomodations he had booked for us all had lots of charm, swimming pools and excellent food.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

We found that this trip suits adults and children alike because one has a choice between a longer (ca. 50 km) or a shorter (ca. 30 km) ride nearly every day. One can also choose not to bicycle and rather stay at the swimming pool instead two of the days.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic! Recommend it to everyone from 8 to 80 years old who love to bike

review 27 Jun 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Just having the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful countryside at our own pace. We were able to stop and take photos when we wanted and felt like we were seeing a part of the country which often goes unnoticed. The accommodation in Querenca and Monte De Cima was something else as well. We were expecting rustic, what we got were luxurious idylls, perfect to recharge our batteries after the time on the road.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Prepare to put on weight! We though that six days of cycling would have us shedding the pounds, but the food we sampled (the Alte Hotel apart) was wonderful and plentiful, especially the breakfasts. As for the cycling, the first day was a little bit of a shock to the system, but my partner, who was carrying an injury and had little cycling experience, managed to get through the whole week fairly comfortably.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Obviously the car transferring our belongings had an environmental impact. However, by biking through unspoilt villages we were free to choose when and where we wanted to stop, spending our money at small community ventures and hopefully benefitting the local community. And, many of the stays were at family-run villas.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The fact that we were immediately scanning the website for similar holidays says how much we enjoyed it. Add to that the number of people who have asked us for links to the site after hearing of our experiences and you can see that our enthusiasm for the holiday was infectious.

review 7 May 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Riding through the countryside with all the spring flowers and trees in full bloom and the captivating orange blossom scent in the air! All the little villages/towns with lots of character and very friendly people. Delicious seafood and large selection of local desserts ( personal favourite -pasteis de nata and carob cake) Portuguese people are so nice and helpful! The whole trip was very well organised, with clear cycling instructions and baggage being transferred smoothly. We loved the freedom of doing a self- guided trip as a couple in the beautiful countryside.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Check the weather forecast and prepare well. It did rain on 3 out of the 8 days in the Sunny Algarve. We were well equipped and didn't mind cycling through the rain, in fact we loved it as we live in the desert :) Some of the rural accommodations ( Querenca and Monte de Cima) can take only cash and no card payments, so make sure you carry enough if you choose to dine there( highly recommended by the way!) We were pleasantly surprised to find out English is widely spoken. Took us a while to get used to the set lunch and late dinner opening hours of restaurants. Carry small snacks in case you miss lunch or don't want to eat dinner late. Bert gives excellent recommendations for restaurants and places to visit. If you like seafood, try the one in Silves. If you can, book an extra day in Lagos at the end of the trip- lots to see and do!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Definitely

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic! I have already recommended it to friends.

review 11 Oct 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The route that Bert had chosen for us was wonderful. We rode our bikes through Olive groves, orange groves, down dirt roads and through small towns and bigger towns. The variety was wonderful.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Go for it! Bert is really well organized and the trip is really well laid out. The directions are spot on and he has wonderful accommodations lined up.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I would say it benefited the local people because we ate at local restaurants and we stayed at local Bed and breakfast establishments.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

On a scale of one to ten I'd say eleven.

review 27 Jun 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We had a very relaxing and enjoyable holiday, cycling along the country lanes and through small villages in the Algarve. The most memorable part of the holiday was staying in the small casa's, tucked away from the main tourist area's. They were absolutely delightful, and we were so well looked after by the owners. The food was typical Portuguese, simple, and delicious.The maps and routes we were provided with were easy to follow, and well planned out. We cycled about 3-4 hours each day at a leisurely pace.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

The area was more hilly than we expected. Cyclists need to be reasonably fit to enjoy the experience, however the bikes were excellent - well maintained, light, and plenty of gears to make the hills a breeze! We enjoyed staying at different places, and the bag transfer worked really well. We were in the very capable hands of Bert, who provided us with a friendly and efficient service that ensured the holiday went well.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Cycling down small country roads,and through quiet rural villages reduced the impact on the environment, compared to other types of transport. We bought food and drinks from village shops and bars which would have been a small help to the local economies.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Really enjoyed our first experience of a cycling holiday. Will definitely do it again. Thank you to Bert for making it so easy and stress free!

review 18 Feb 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

My partner asks me this question everyday of our vacations together. It’s difficult to narrow it down to one thing. I will say that seeing the Portuguese countryside on bicycle was a definite highlight.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring your clothes and camera and just enjoy the scenery, the food and culture. Our tour went off without a "hitch"!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Certainly. we traveled from town to town by bike. Out luggage traveled by taxi. We did very little to contribute to pollution or traffic congestion.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent. bikes perfect, directions easy to understand. Hotel and restaurant suggests selected with care. Thanks!

review 15 Apr 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Just being alone with my husband, experiencing life on a bicycle. Free to roam and explore on our own time without having any worries concerning our night's lodging. No time constraints at all.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Learn a little of the language. You really travel some back roads which is absolutely wonderful, exhilarating and breathtaking, but each person understands directions differently, so it did help us immensely to be able to converse with the locals.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Of course, we left nothing behind and our travel dollars benefited the little local businesses which had to help the economy.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Wonderful! We would do it all over again. We have taken such wonderful memories and pictures and we will continue to travel with these in our minds throughout the rest of our lives.

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