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8 Days Culinary and Cycling Vacations in Portugal

  • Odeceixe - Aljezur - Pedralva - Sagres - Lagos - Tavira - Vila Real de Santo António

Food Tasting and Cycling Holidays Portugal

During this holiday, you will cycle through Algarave's picturesque and lively historical centers, enjoying the incredible and wild scenery on the coast of the Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina National Park. Also, enjoy tasty picnics served at the beach or at local restaurants and learn about the local economy and cuisine, with visits to a pastry factory, the salines, and an organic farm, where fruit is grown and transformed in jams, chutneys, cakes, and chocolates.

Highlights

  • Make some pastries and taste them
  • Visit the salines and learn about this local production
  • Visit to a biological farm and learn about the fig and carob trees
  • Cycle through incredible and wild scenery on Portugal
  • Try delicious, local Portuguese meals
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 6 days with instruction
  • Portuguese, English
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Aldeia da Pedralva

The Village of Pedralva, a rural village of Vila do Bispo, which was once inhabited by over 100 people, entered in the last 25 years a painful process of desertification. In 2006, when the owners discovered this village, it had only nine of its original inhabitants left, and a set of about 50 houses in an advanced state of disrepair. Only nine of these homes met the minimum conditions of habitability.

Against this background, and decided to give new life and dignity to this village, they initiated the first phase of this complex process of urban recovery. For a year and a half they searched Portugal and Europe for over 200 owners / heirs in order to negotiate and buy a group of 31 houses. Having overcome this, they started the process of urban rehabilitation, trying to reproduce faithfully the rural environment through the use of restored furniture in all the houses, as well as the use of building materials faithful to the traditional old buildings.

Their village has various typologies for your accommodation. They have cottages and villages that go from holiday villas with one bedroom for three persons to villas with three bedrooms for a maximum of eight persons. All the refurbishing work tried to maintain the original design and their unique details. The facilities include traditional ceramics floor, heating, living room, sofa, bathroom with shower, hair dryer (on request), kitchenette with utensils, fridge, microwave, two-burner electric stove, electric oven, blender, toaster, juicer, Nespresso coffee machine, crockery, and utensils.

Hotel Apolo

The Apollo Hotel offers 56 comfortable rooms, all equipped with private bathroom, air-conditioning, TV with multiple channels, wireless network, and balconies with views to the outside. The hotel is adapted to receive citizens with special needs, offering two fully adapted modern rooms.

The decor of the Hotel Apolo is careful and contemporary art-deco type. Guests can enjoy the swimming pool, sun deck, wellness services by appointment, free private parking, and a many other sympathies. Around the hotel, guests can find good restaurants, pharmacies, supermarkets, as well as an endless number of shops that tempt the palate of any good buyer.

In sunny days, guests can opt for a fantastic sunset by the pool or in one of the fantastic terraces facing the Guadiana river, near the marina, watching the boats and neighbor Ayamonte in Spain. The hotel also features a restaurant and a multipurpose room that can be reserved for groups. These spaces are easily adaptable to the wishes of customers, providing each event quality, sophistication, and the Hotel Apolo's glamour.

Hotel Tivoli

With its privileged location in the very centre of Lagos, this four-star hotel in the Algarve is a real reflection of local culture, from the decoration by Maria José Salavisa to the white and blue walkways, which connect the rooms, patios, restaurants, and bar.

The key colors in all types of rooms are blue and white. Located in a series of nine buildings in the style of a small village, the 324 rooms and suites are all highly original in their design. The hotel has one twin room especially adapted for disabled guests and around a

third of the rooms are designated for guests who smoke.

Hotel Vicentina

The Vicentina Aparthotel is a recent private condominium with 12 apartments, ideal for that well-deserved rest in the heart of Aljezur. These have been decorated and furnished (modern design) to create a light and relaxed atmosphere, away from your daily routine. For this reason, this is the ideal spot for those weekends away or for those well-deserved holidays. The unique development is situated close to the meadow of Aljezur, in the Algarve, between the west coast and the hills of Monchique, and has a fabulous view of Aljezur Castle.

Pousada Convento Tavira

Welcome to the convent of our Lady of Grace, the historical Pousada of Tavira, which made use and rebuilt the location of the sixteenth-century convent in order to offer you a pleasant, unique, and absolutely memorable stay, while offering you access to the warmest and widest beaches in Portugal. The Pousada de Tavira has 36 rooms, all with a view to the patio or the garden with pool. All the rooms come with air conditioning and a private bathroom with bath and hairdryer.

Pousada Sagres

There is something magical and mystical about Sagres. The unadulterated contact with nature and its elements in their purest state, make this Pousada one of the most rustic, free, and intimate Pestana Charming Hotels you will ever visit. An extraordinary place for its location, history, and features, it will set the tone for a completely different holiday experience.

Day 1 - Arrival

Arrive at Faro Airport (FAO) or Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) and transfer to Odeceixe. If you fly to Faro and arrive early, Portugal Best Cycling suggests a visit to the historic centre of Faro before the transfer to Odeceixe. Arrive in Odeceixe in time for a beer at the little square and maybe visit the windmill. It is also possible to use your bike to ride to the beach, classified as one of the seven wonder beaches of Portugal. You will be staying at a nice guesthouse in village centre.

Meal plan: dinner.

Day 2 - The wild beaches

Today, you will be cycling from Odeceixe to Aljezur. Cycle along the river until the gorgeous beach of Odeceixe. Enjoy the stunning views and the rock formations near the beach. Then, you will go through farmland with some green cornfields that contrast with the yellow grass in the warm seasons and reach another wild beach. A nice café will be a perfect place for a stop, enjoying a cool drink and a light lunch while watching the surf schools in action. Have a swim and then cycle to the village of Aljezur, one of the last ones to be conquered to the Moors. The local artist shop and gallery deserve a visit, as well as the local museums. If you want to do some extra kilometers, it is possible to ride to another beach or along a beautiful farmland valley. You will be staying at the four-stars Vicentina Aparthotel, which has a swimming pool. The base kilometers are 32; the total ascent is 350 meters; the difficulty level is easy; the terrain is mostly secondary roads with no traffic at all, some dirt tracks, and one more adventurous descent, where some people may prefer to walk but it is a very short and easy to walk 300meters. There are four optional extra kilometers plus 20 to ride to the extra beach.

Meal plan: lunch and dinner.

Day 3 - From impressive cliffs to charming valleys

Today, you will be cycling from Aljezur to Pedralva. Start by conquering the Castle of Aljezur, enjoying the beautiful views over the village and its neat and tidy vegetable gardens. Then, cycle to the coast again, visiting a fortress with stunning views over the cliffs; the perfect defence setting! From here, you can see the needle rock, an imposing rock standing in the middle of the ocean.

Later, you will go inland again and start your dirt track adventure. First, between eucalyptus; later, between the wild endemic bushes; and finally, along a gorgeous little lake and along a valley. It will be completely wild, surprising, and breathtaking.

Cycle to Bordeira, a lovely hamlet with a Manueline style church, and then ride along another enchanting valley until Carrapateira. Here, you will be stunned by the incredible views and rough coast line. Cycle for a few kilometers along the cliffs and take time to stop and enjoy. A picnic lunch will be served by one of these beaches.

The fisherman's museum is a visit not to be missed, with fantastic pictures of the man hanging from rocks to catch the famous local delicacy percebes. Learn about the lives of the people from the region that risk their lives to catch the best fish for your meal. Riding along another green valley, you will reach tonight's accommodation, a lovely hamlet where half of the houses were carefully recovered for tourism. You will be staying at Aldeia da Pedralva, rural tourism, which has a swimming pool

The base kilometers are 44; the total ascent is 650 meters; the difficulty level is medium; the terrain has a difficult start with some steep climbs, always on asphalt; then dirt tracks, most of them flat or down; and one technical descent, of 400 meters, where some people may prefer to walk. There are four optional extra kilometers with an ascent of 150 meters.

Meal plan: picnic, lunch, and dinner.

Day 4 - Infant D. Henrique and the sea discoveries

Today, you will be cycling from Pedralva to Sagres. Leave Pedralva through a dirt road along the valley, pass just under some modern wind farms, and reach the sanctuary of Guadalupe. Here, learn about the interesting life of Infant D. Henrique, the sea discoveries prince.

After cycling through a couple of lovely villages, reach the wild coast again. Have a swim at the beach and then cycle to the Cape of S. Vicente, the most South Western point of Europe. From there on, you will only enjoy the sea discoveries and the adventures of the sea sailing!

Stop for a swim again at a fantastic beach surrounded by huge cliffs. After visiting the Fortress of Sagres, you will continue to your very nice hotel, a pousada with gorgeous views over the cliffs and the fortress.

The base kilometers are 41; the total ascent is 500 meters; the difficulty level is easy; the terrain has good dirt tracks, mostly flat, with a couple of short climbs. Steep climb on asphalt to come back from the beach, where you will have lunch. There are four optional extra kilometers.

Meal plan: picnic, lunch, and dinner.

Day 5 - Beach roller coaster

Today, you will be cycling from Sagres to Lagos. The route goes along the south coastline, in and out to wild beaches. You will stop several times for swims and drinks. The ocean here is warmer than in the west coast, the waters are more tranquil, the cliffs change color from the black schist to the orange sandstone, and the villages are bigger, more touristic, with many cafés, restaurants, and shopping opportunities.

You will pass a couple of fortresses with fantastic views and go up and down on narrow secondary roads. The last kilometers will be on an amazing trek along the cliffs from where we can see beautiful rock islands in which erosion formed arches, caves, and different shapes. Lagos is a lively coastal city with charming architecture. Visit the local museum, the beautiful church, and enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere. You will be staying at the four-stars Hotel Tivoli, which has a swimming pool.

The base kilometers are 43; the total ascent is 720 meters; the difficulty level is medium but continuous; the terrain starts with a flat dirt track, with some rocks to challenge your senses. This is a real dirt track; there is a steep valley passage to be done walking by everyone. Steep down and steep up; too technical to ride. It is an asphalt roller coaster, always steep up and down but always short; maximum 80 meters each time. In the end, there is an optional flat cliff dirt track or asphalt.

Meal plan: picnic and lunch.

Day 6 - The charming villages

Today, you will be cycling from Lagos to Tavira. The day starts with a train ride along the coast, the salt production lakes, and the farmland away from the coast. Upon arriving in your destination, you will unload the bikes and cycle to a little village famous for its pottery; it is a quiet and charming place.

Later, cycle back to the coast and have a drink by the lagoon of the Natural Park of Ria Formosa. Cycle along this lagoon and stop to enjoy the quietness and watch the bird life. It is usual to see fisherman catching clams and razors in low tide and boats arriving from a fishing day in high tide.

Tavira is probably the prettiest village of the Algarve; its architecture is charming and the atmosphere relaxing. Save time to explore as this is a good place to buy some arts and crafts at the local association. You will be staying at a charming pousada, which has a swimming pool.

The base kilometers are 30; the total ascent is 220 meters; the difficulty level is easy; the terrain is flat asphalt most of the way, with very few dirt tracks.

Meal plan: picnic and lunch.

Day 7

Today, you will be cycling from Tavira to Vila Real de Santo António. From Tavira, you will cycle along the Natural Park again, passing several beach and golf resorts that make the wonders of tourists and golfers. Beaches here are busy and lively and to reach them you need to either walk over a wood board over the river or take a little charming train or a local boat. Between mainland and the beach, there is always the lagoon. Visit the charming Cacela-a-Velha and the views over the lagoon and then cycle inland to Castro Marim.

On the way, you will visit a biological farm and learn about the fig and carob trees, as well as the local produces that are made from their fruits. In this farm, the motto is: waste nothing; and everything the trees give them is used. Later, you will visit the salines and learn about this local production. Then, it will be time to cycle to your final destination, Vila Real de Santo António, where the second language is Spanish. All restaurants have their menus in Spanish as this is the main tourism market; after all, Spain is just across the river. Upon your arrival, you will get one last surprise; you will have the opportunity to visit a local pastry factory, make some pastries, and taste them! You will be staying at the three-stars Hotel Apolo, which has a swimming pool.

The base kilometers are 37; the total ascent is 250 meters; the difficulty level is easy; the terrain is flat asphalt most of the way, with very few dirt tracks. There are 13 optional extra kilometers.

Meal plan: picnic, lunch, and dinner.

Day 8 - Departure

Your trip comes to an end today. You will transfer back to Faro Airport (FAO) for your return flight.

  • Cycle along the lagoon of the Natural Park of Ria Formosa
  • Cycle from Aljezur to Pedralva
  • Cycle from Lagos to Tavira
  • Cycle from Odeceixe to Aljezur
  • Cycle from Pedralva to Sagres
  • Cycle from Sagres to Lagos
  • Cycle from Tavira to Vila Real de Santo António
  • Explore the Fortress of Sagres
  • Tour the sanctuary of Guadalupe and learn about the life of Infant D. Henrique
  • Train ride along the coast, the salt production lakes, and the farmland away from the coast
  • Visit a biological farm and learn about the fig and carob trees
  • Visit a fortress with stunning views over the cliffs
  • Visit a local pastry factory, make some pastries, and taste them
  • Visit the Castle of Aljezur
  • Visit the charming Cacela-a-Velha
  • Visit the gorgeous beach of Odeceixe
  • Teresa Vilas Boas

    Teresa is the soul of Turaventur and Monte do Serrado de Baixo. With an endless energy, she will guide a cycling tour as well as a canoeing trip, she will set up an original outdoor event for a company or invent a delicious new cake for the breakfast of the guest house. She is super versatile and has managed all the work of Turaventur for the last 10 years.

  • Maria José Verdasca

    Maria is, as they say in Portuguese, part of the furniture. She’s been in Turaventur almost since the beginning, in 1990. She loves cycling and, when she’s out of the office, she shows her best. Maria is a true Alentejana, a person from Alentejo, and very proud of it. You will truly appreciate to be guided by her as she is super attentive, very kind, and good fun.

  • Luís Carrapatoso

    Luís has worked with TurAventur for many years now. He grew up with them and, from a shy young boy, he became a communicative, interesting, and self secure adult. He is still shy at first contact but he will quickly conquer you! He is good fun, good company, and a really hard worker. He has a typical Alentejo rhythm (famous to be slow), but he is always doing something!

  • João Correia

    Whatever may happen, João is always cool, nothing can stress him. Sitting in a canoe, hanging from a rope, or riding a bike, as long as he is in nature, he is happy. You can always expect a relaxed smile from him. And besides all these, João is an excellent cook!

This holiday will take place in the Algarve region, in Portugal. Here, the beaches are beautiful and you will enjoy fun waves and impressive steep cliffs on the background, as well as quiet and crystal blue waters. You will find out that even in the more touristy Algarve areas there are still hidden away empty beaches.

During this holiday, you have included in the price daily breakfasts, two lunches at the restaurant, four picnic lunches, and five dinners with wine. You will also have the change to make some pastries and taste them, to try delicious, local Portuguese meals, and to enjoy a liqueur tasting.

  • Discover beautiful churches and charming architecture
  • Visit local artist shops, galleries, and local museums
  • Visit the windmill in Odeceixe
  • 1 gift
  • 1 guide who drives the van but also waits for the group at important places
  • 1 liqueur tasting
  • 1 Portugal Best Cycling jersey
  • 2 lunches at regional restaurants
  • 4 picnic lunches
  • 5 dinners with wine
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 24-hour phone support
  • Basic tools to fix small problems
  • Bicycle with rear bag for light cargo and helmet
  • Entrance fee at Fisherman's museum
  • Entrance fee at Fortress of Sagres
  • Entrance fee at Municipal museum of Aljezur
  • First aid assistance
  • Luggage transfer from hotel to hotel
  • Personal accident and third party insurance
  • Route instructions, detailed maps and history notes
  • Support car to go along during the 6 cycling days
  • Train ticket from Lagos to Olhão
  • Transfer on private bus from Faro airport to Odeceixe
  • Transfer on private bus from Vila Real de Santo António to Faro airport
  • VAT tax
  • Water and fruit for the day
  • Insurance for bikes
  • Tour cancelation insurance
  • Travel insurance

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Faro Airport (FAO) or Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS). Portugal Best Cycling will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up from Faro Airport (FAO) is included in the price. There is a 65 EUR supplement per person to be transferred from Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS).