Cycling in Vilamoura
The dry mild climate, flat terrain and excellent network of cycle paths make Vilamoura a cyclist’s paradise. The abundance of green areas and low-traffic areas make it the perfect place for beginners to cycle. For more experienced cyclists the Algarve offers some challenging routes and beautiful scenery.
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Cycle Lanes in Vilamoura
Over the last years Vilamoura has invested in the development of the cycle lane network and at present there are over 25km of cycle lanes within the resort. A good part of these lanes are fully integrated in the green areas.
Residents and tourists make good use of the lanes for both transportation (shopping, beach or work) and leisure.
The two Eco Bike Counters in Vilamoura registered over 222,000 bike counts in 2019, that is an average of 305 bikes per day riding past the counters. You can consult the recent numbers and also pedestrian counts on the Inframoura site here.
Vilamoura Public Bikes
The Vilamoura Public Bike system is a shared use bike programme, commonly referred to as the Vilamoura White Bikes. The network has 43 stations and 260 bicycles covering the whole of Vilamoura (business, tourist and residential areas) and integrated in the cycling lane network.
The bikes can be used for 45 consecutive minutes before they have to be returned to any one of the stations, if needed for longer, you can just swap the bike for another one. There is no limit on the number of times you can take or return the bike.
Can tourists use the Vilamoura White Bikes? The system is available for residents who register and purchase an annual or monthly card to unlock the bikes. This system is not directly accessible to tourists. However, some hotels and self-catering units provide their guests with cards to use during their stay. Check with your accommodation provider if they have this option.
Best time to cycle in Vilamoura
Anytime is great to cycle in Vilamoura. During mid and low season the traffic is light and the weather is usually dry. This is also the best time to explore the region or try one of the more challenging routes.
During the high season the weather is too hot for long rides and the traffic (especially outside Vilamoura) is very heavy. On the other hand, inside the resort the bike is a very convenient means of transport and a great way to get around.
Cycling in Vilamoura with Kids
For cycling with kids there are a few options: children´s bikes (ages 8+), child seat or trailer. The bike rentals we suggest below have all the equipment necessary to accommodate kids.
Bike Hire and Bike Tours in Vilamoura
Cycling is so popular in Vilamoura it is highly recommended you reserve your bike especially in high-season. Prices vary according to season, length of rental and obviously type of bike.
Guided bike tours are a great way to discover and explore the area. From Vilamoura you can join some active tours like the Bike and Sup Tour (bike and stand-up paddle boarding) or a nature tour within the environmental park at a more leisurely pace.
Tips and safety
Use a helmet: Not obligatory but highly recommended. Usually bike hire will include helmet.
Pedestrian crossings: By law you are required to get off the bike and walk across zebra crossings.
Mobile phones: using a mobile phone while cycling is dangerous and also prohibited by Portuguese law.
Sidewalks with metal markings are not cycle lanes. These markings are guides for the visually impaired.
Weather: Make sure you use adequate sunblock and keep hydrated especially in the summer when temperatures soar.
Lock: use your bike lock, Vilamoura is very safe but petty theft does occur.
Vilamoura’s Top Cycling Routes
With its 25km of cycling lanes you can visit all the areas of the resort by bike. The Environmental Park with almost no traffic is a great area to cycle.
Suggested by visitalgarve.pt
Visit Algarve promoted by the Regional Tourism Board has a whole section dedicated to cycling and walking in the Algarve. Here are some suggested routes from Vilamoura listed by difficulty level:
All routes have GPX file you can download and upload to your GPS.
Algarve's Major Cycling Routes
Eurovelo 1/ Ecovia do Litoral
The Ecovia do Litoral biking route runs from the east to the west coast of the Algarve, is approximately 214km long and takes about 18 hours to complete. The route connects Vila Real de Santo António (just on the Spanish border) to Sagres in the west. This route is actually a section of the international cycling route the EuroVelo 1.
This is a beautiful scenic route but it is not an easy route. Along the route you will see some of the most important landmarks of the region, dramatic cliffs and beautiful beaches. You will also encounter steep uphill gradients, difficult terrain and in some places lack of signage.
Plan accordingly. More information here.
Grande Rota do Guadiana
The Grande Rota do Guadiana in the east ,runs from Vila Real de Santo António to Alcoutim following the Guadiana river. The scenery is stunning and stretches for 65km connecting to the Via Algarviana in Alcoutim and the Ecovia in Vila Real.
The Via Algarviana is an inland walking route which runs from Alcoutim to Sagres (300km). Although it is essentially a walking trail it is perfect for mountain biking.
The Vicentina Route is a network of walking trails and routes on the south-west coast of the Algarve and Alentejo region. It spans 450km and trails vary from 15 to 25km. The Historical Route (263km and 13 sections) is the best known trail and has won numerous awards. These routes are mainly walking trails but are suitable for cycling. The Fisherman’s route is also popular but reserved for walking.