Gravel
Portugal

Gravel Portugal

Southern Portugal’s Algarve region - maybe the best gravel riding in Europe!

A spectacular ride  on the cliffs high above the Atlantic Ocean and through the Monchique mountains,  the Algarve, in the south of Portugal, has some of the best Beyond Tarmac riding in Europe.

Overview

Details

Next Departure

April 21st 2024

From

USD $3,895

Duration

7 days / 6 nights

Non-Rider Friendly

No

Rental Bike

From USD $550

Ride Program

Total Distance

Total Elevation

Daily Av. Distance

Daily Av. Elevation

Overview

Loosely based on the famous Via Algarviana cycling and hiking route, this 6 day traverse of the Algarve region in the south of Portugal is one of the favorites of the Thomson gravel staff. Spectacular views, perfect gravel, smiling people all around, excellent food and great hospitality make this a bucket-list trip that you should not miss!

 

Video

Get a glimpse of what to expect in our short film following the Thomson ride leaders on our reconnaissance trip through the Algarve

Trip Technical Difficulty

1
2
3
Mixed terrain gravel, from perfect double tracks to flowy singletrack. Possibly a few more technical sections, overall what most people would recognise as “classic gravel”.

Ride Surfaces

Grade 1
30%
Grade 2
30%
Grade 3
25%
Grade 4
10%
Grade 5
10%

Bike Setup Recommendations

Recommended Tires

700×38

A minimum 700×38, but feel free to use more rubber for more comfort and grip if your bike has extra tire clearance.

Recommended Gearing

38T × 11-42

We recommend a minimum gear ratio of 0.90 using a 38T chainring × 42 rear cog (or equivalent). Check your gear ratios at www.bikecalc.com/gear_ratios.


Gravel Explained

Read below for a brief description of our gravel definitions. We have classed the surfaces into five categories, from tarmac to boulders, to give an indication of the amount and level of rough stuff on each trip.

Click below to see Cycling Tips’ great explainer video on gravel surfaces.
GRADE 1
Bad roads, cobbles and rough paved surfaces. You’d find this rideable on a standard road bike.
GRADE 2
Well-made, hard-packed dirt roads offering a road-like experience but without the traffic. Some rutting and looseness of stones.
GRADE 3
Reasonably smooth gravel. Discernible small rocks over a hard-packed surface.
GRADE 4
Rough gravel with conditions that may include shale, larger gravel and rocks. Tubeless tyres and big clearance are the most practical choice.
GRADE 5
Borderline MTB terrain, at the rougher end of the spectrum for the capabilities of most gravel bikes.

star star star star
Gravel Portugal
This was my second Thomson trip to Portugal. I have ridden in many places and Portugal is one of my favorites. Amazing roads and terrain ...

Roger Malinowski, USA — 2021

star star star star star
Gravel Portugal
The trip experience was terrific and very satisfying. Terrain required concentration and required you to be totally in the moment. Fantastically mindful and relaxing. A ...

Willy Catsbaril & Isabelle Desjardins, USA — 2021

star star star star star
Gravel Portugal
Thomson Bike Tours nailed it again! Well organized and researched routes, superior support both on and off the bike, excellent accommodations and food. Support Staff ...

Brian Davis, USA — 2021

See more reviews
Cycling helmet, sunglasses and shoes illustration

Itinerary

Day Description Distance Elevation Hotel
01 Bem vindo a Portugal Porto Covo Hotel & Spa
02 Atlantic Festival Hotel Alto da Lua
03 The heart of the Via Algarviana Monchique Resort & Spa
04 The Monchique Mountains Monchique Resort & Spa
05 Back to the Ocean Hotel Alto da Lua
06 Salty Gravel Memmo Baleeira Resort
07 Obrigado!
Daily Averages
Itinerary View Itinerary View
Map View Map View
01
02
03
04
05
06
07

Itinerary Detail

Day 1

Distance

Elevation


Bem vindo a Portugal

Your trip starts at the Lisbon Airport where our staff will meet you before the transfer to your hotel in Porto Covo

After lunch, orientation meeting and bike build-up, you’ll head out for your first ride, an easy loop to shake the jet lag off and get sure your bike is ready for the epic week ahead

Day 2

Distance

Elevation


Atlantic Festival

Embark on our Algarve journey with a breathtaking ride heading south, tracing the stunning Atlantic coast. Traverse small fishing villages, feel the salt in the air, and revel in countless cliffside photo opportunities on this unforgettable day!

Day 3

Distance

Elevation


The heart of the Via Algarviana

Another captivating stage today. While yesterday showcased fishing villages and cliffs, today promises adventure and remoteness. We’ll trace the Via Algarviana official track, winding through expansive eucalyptus forests without a town in sight until we reach the road near the renowned Formula 1 track (Autodromo do Algarve). Our route alternates between beautiful little roads and gravel tracks, leading us to the thermal resort in Monchique—where spa time awaits!

Pro tip: Don’t forget your swimsuit; tonight, we’re staying in a Thermal Resort!

Day 4

Distance

Elevation


The Monchique Mountains

Time for  a magnificent loop today, starting and finishing at the thermal resort. Departing from the hotel, we ride up to Monchique, where a proper espresso awaits at the trendy Velochique cyclist coffee-hub. Descending on a perfect gravel pista through the Taipas valley, the journey includes a challenging climb to reach the main road before the rewarding long downhill back to our spa.

Day 5

Distance

Elevation


Back to the Ocean

One of our crew’s favorite stages is the ride from the mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. Leaving our thermal retreat (with some sadness), we begin the day with a climb on the road to the Estrada da Foia, the highest point in the area, offering a wonderful 360-degree viewpoint. Descending from the summit, we rejoin the Algarviana route, navigating an infinite network of perfect double-track gravel to Aljezur. There, we start to smell the ocean breeze and can admire the hanging cliffs, along with the surfers enjoying a sunny, offshore, chest-high surf day.

Day 6

Distance

Elevation


Salty Gravel

Concluding the trip, enjoy magnificent ocean vistas and an extended stretch of gravel, crossing the interior between Aljezur and Sagres.  Once reaching Vila Do Bispo, we turn back towards the ocean, passing through idyllic beaches with the southernmost point of Portugal already visible on the horizon. Our ultimate destination is the beautiful surfer town of Sagres, where we’ll spend the final night in a very cool beachfront hotel!

Day 7

Distance

Elevation


Obrigado!

Unfortunately, your trip across the Algarve has come to an end.

Our shuttle will drop you off at Lisbon Airport.

Map & Profile

Read our Gravel Explainer for a full description of our gravel definitions.

Grade 1
55%
Grade 2
20%
Grade 3
25%
Grade 4
0%
Grade 5
0%

Read our Gravel Explainer for a full description of our gravel definitions.

Grade 1
50%
Grade 2
30%
Grade 3
10%
Grade 4
10%
Grade 5
0%

Read our Gravel Explainer for a full description of our gravel definitions.

Grade 1
40%
Grade 2
20%
Grade 3
20%
Grade 4
15%
Grade 5
5%

Read our Gravel Explainer for a full description of our gravel definitions.

Grade 1
60%
Grade 2
25%
Grade 3
10%
Grade 4
5%
Grade 5
0%

Read our Gravel Explainer for a full description of our gravel definitions.

Grade 1
30%
Grade 2
20%
Grade 3
25%
Grade 4
15%
Grade 5
10%

Read our Gravel Explainer for a full description of our gravel definitions.

Grade 1
35%
Grade 2
40%
Grade 3
20%
Grade 4
5%
Grade 5
0%

Read our Gravel Explainer for a full description of our gravel definitions.

Grade 1
0%
Grade 2
0%
Grade 3
0%
Grade 4
0%
Grade 5
0%

Surface Details

Day 01
Day 02
Day 03
Day 04
Day 05
Day 06

Dates & Prices Illustration

Dates & Prices



Date Booking Status Availability Price / Per Person Single Supplement Non-rider Discount
2024
Apr 21 - 27
Taking Bookings
Places Available
USD $3,895
USD $700
USD $730
Book this trip
Oct 20 - 26
Taking Bookings
Places Available
USD $3,895
USD $700
USD $730
Book this trip
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Waiting List


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    Trip Hotels

    Porto Covo Hotel & Spa

    Hotel Alto da Lua

    Monchique Resort & Spa

    Memmo Baleeira Resort


    What's Included

    What's Included What's Not Included
      Accommodations & Meals arrow
    • 7 days / 6 nights fully accompanied trip
    • All accommodations
    • All breakfasts
    • All dinners
    • Lunch on the 1st day
    • Transportation arrow
    • Pick-up and Drop-Off at Lisbon Airport
    • All transportation during the trip
    • All luggage & bike box transfers
    • Cycling Support arrow
    • 1 x Ride Leader per 8 guests (approx.)
    • 1 x Support Van & 4WD vehicle
    • Experienced bike mechanic
    • Park Tools Toolkit
    • Daily ride gpx files provided
    • Nutrition during the ride arrow
    • Energy bars, gels and sports drink
    • Variety of snacks and local specialties
    • Bottled water
    • Airfare
    • Travel and personal insurance
    • Additional hotel expenses i.e. phone charges, mini-bar, gratuities
    • Staff gratuities
    What's Included
      Accommodations & Meals arrow
    • 7 days / 6 nights fully accompanied trip
    • All accommodations
    • All breakfasts
    • All dinners
    • Lunch on the 1st day
    • Transportation arrow
    • Pick-up and Drop-Off at Lisbon Airport
    • All transportation during the trip
    • All luggage & bike box transfers
    • Cycling Support arrow
    • 1 x Ride Leader per 8 guests (approx.)
    • 1 x Support Van & 4WD vehicle
    • Experienced bike mechanic
    • Park Tools Toolkit
    • Daily ride gpx files provided
    • Nutrition during the ride arrow
    • Energy bars, gels and sports drink
    • Variety of snacks and local specialties
    • Bottled water
    What's Not Included
    • Airfare
    • Travel and personal insurance
    • Additional hotel expenses i.e. phone charges, mini-bar, gratuities
    • Staff gratuities

    Travel details - airport departures

    Pick-up/Drop-off Info

    Arrival

    Pickup Location Time

    Lisbon Airport

    9:00am

    OR

    Radisson Blu Hotel Lisbon

    View website arrow

    9:00am

    Departure

    Drop Off Location Time

    Lisbon Airport

    11:00 am


    Rental Bikes

    3T Exploro Boost e-bike

    Frame

    3T Exploro Ultra Boost Carbon

    Groupset

    Sram Rival AXS XPLR Electronic

    Weight

    12.8kg

    Wheels

    Rodi alloy 700c

    Chainrings

    40

    Cassette

    12-speed 10-44t

    Sizes

    XXS, 51, 54, 56, 58, 61

    USD $750

    View Details

    Specialized Diverge Expert Carbon

    Frame

    Specialized Diverge FACT 9r carbon

    Groupset

    SRAM Eagle

    Weight

    Under 1kg (size 56)

    Wheels

    Roval Terra C

    Chainrings

    40T

    Cassette

    11-50t (12-speed)

    Sizes

    49, 52, 54, 56, 58, 61

    USD $550

    View Details


    Gravel Portugal

    A stunning "beyond tarmac" ride across Southern Portugal's Algarve region!


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