The Ecovia do litoral is a 214 km cycle route which completely runs in the Algarve region, South Portugal. It connects Cabo de São Vincente, on the Atlantic Ocean, to Villa Real de Santo Antonio, on the Spanish border. Along its course (or with short diversions) you can see the main landmarks of Algarve, as for example Ponta da Piedade, Ria Formosa Natural Park, and many other wonderful beaches, castles and towns.
The Ecovia do litoral partly coincides with the EuroVelo 1 international cycle route and runs mainly on secondary roads with limited
Despite the fact that the maximum altitude of the Ecovia does not exceed 100 meters, it is not to be considered as an easy route because you will find hard uphill gradients, possible adverse wind, challenging terrain and orienteering difficulties due to lack of signs.
38 comments on “Overview”
Aileen NicholsonNovember 16, 2017 at 19:09
Hi. Thanks for setting up this website as we (my husband and I) are finding it extremely difficult to pull information together on this route. We will be flying from Glasgow to Faro in September and looking to hire bikes with panniers when we get there. We have lots of questions and wonder if you would mind if I messaged you with them to see if you can assist? Many thanks in advance. Aileen.
LorenzoNovember 17, 2017 at 21:53
Thanks Aileen! Why don’t you post your questions here? I’ll be happy to answer you and to share info with the other site visitors!
john vrskovySeptember 17, 2018 at 00:18
My wife and i are spending most of November in Tavira. We are both seniors but we are still very active. Our hope is to spend most of our time hiking and possibly cycling in the Algarve. Hiking would definitely be day trips but am wondering about longer trips on bicycle. Also thought that e bikes might work for us.
We are from Canada so we are hoping for better weather than we will have here but we’re wondering how much rain we should expect. Also we’re not sure if we need to rent a car but we’ll likely need one to get to the starting point of our hike and possibly bike ride.
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
LorenzoSeptember 17, 2018 at 17:44
Hi John! Wikipedia climate statistics for Algarve say that there are an average of 10 precipitation days in November for a total of 90mm over the month.
You could consider to rent a car only for some days, there are car (and also bike) rentals shop in town.
Andrew WallaceDecember 31, 2018 at 09:23
hi – I see the original site has disappeared – I have a KML map for anypone who finds it helpful – https://drive.google.com/open?id=1m86nlvxdgDhZwlwphav-T_eag68&usp=sharing
LorenzoJanuary 1, 2019 at 19:22
Thanks a lot Andrew!
paul dudleyFebruary 19, 2019 at 13:43
Hi. Can you tell me if there are any plans for the local authority to replace the closed bridge on the cycleway between Tavira and Cabanas which has been shut for 12 months
ENRICO TREVISANJuly 21, 2019 at 12:08
complimenti per il tuo sito, io e la mia famiglia abbiamo iniziato le nostre avventure come cicloturisti nel 2015, percorrendo 222 km. della ciclabile francese Vélodyssée che si affaccia sull’atlantico. A suo tempo Zoe la più piccola aveva 4 anni e mezzo e Gioele 7 e mezzo, muniti di carrettino con tenda, sacchi a pelo e tutto il necessario per campeggiare abbiamo trascorso quasi venti giorni pedalando e godendoci l’oceano atlantico.
Entusiasti di quest’esperienza abbiamo provato a replicarla, purtroppo non c’erano itinerari completamente ciclabili che si affacciano sul mare ad eccezione dell’ecovia dell’Algarve di cui già a suo tempo non c’erano informazioni sufficienti per poter affrontare il viaggio con famiglia a seguito, così negli anni successivi abbiamo fatto altro, sempre con le biciclette; questa premessa per chiederti:
-la ciclovia si sviluppa non solo in strade riservate alle biciclette, il resto, sono strade a bassa percorrenza di auto e/o secondarie e in ogni caso “sicure”?
-la larghezza della ciclovia nei punti più stretti consente il passaggio di un carretto per bici?
-c’è la possibilita di rifornirsi d’acqua durante il tragitto?
-scaricando il percorso che hai tracciato è possibile visualizzato con un app sullo smartphone o è consigliabile l’acquisto di un gps dedicato?
-sono presenti campeggi nelle vicinanze del percorso e se sì sai dirmi approssimativamente con che frequenza?
Ringraziandoti per il tempo che vorrai dedicarmi per rispondere ti saluto cordialmente.
LorenzoJuly 21, 2019 at 22:24
grazie per il messaggio! Allora parto subito per dirti che l’Ecovia non si affaccia sempre sul mare, sebbene ovviamente lo costeggi e quindi non si sia mai a eccessiva distanza. A differenza di altri percorsi ciclabili (visto che vi piace il mare vi consiglio la ciclabile nazionale n.1 in Olanda) è poco segnalato, ai tempi non avevo il tracciato e ho dovuto improvvisare in molte situazioni. Per questo non posso dare grandi garanzie sulle risposte alle domande che mi fai. Comunque, purtroppo ci sono alcuni tratti su strade nazionali e trafficate, nella maggior parte dei casi con corsia riservata. E’ possibile che comunque rimanga qualche tratto poco sicuro, direi massimo il 5% del percorso. Nel percorso che ho fatto io ho dovuto fare alcuni piccoli tratti su sentierini, anche qui piuttosto rari, ma forse con il tracciato giusto questa cosa si evita. Nonostante non mi ricordi di fontane pubbliche sul percorso, raramente si è a più di 5km di distanza dagli abitati, quindi si fa presto a deviare verso un bar o un supermercato. Ti consiglio di usare il link del tracciato postato da Andrew Wallace, puoi visualizzarlo direttamente sul browser e funziona su tutte le app di mappe senza dover acquistare un navigatore. Per i camping vedi la pagina specifica https://www.ecoviadolitoralalgarve.com/campsites/ – la frequenza non è costante ma in tutti i principali centri ne trovi. Concludendo, l’Ecovia è stata per me un’avventura che ha richiesto pazienza (visto che mi sono perso almeno 2 volte al giorno) e anche energia (ci sono alcune salite piuttosto ripide), quindi considera bene questi fattori nel decidere se affrontare questo percorso con la tua famiglia. Non ti dico di non farlo, perché dipende anche dai caratteri: se avete abbastanza tempo e lo spirito giusto potrebbe essere una bellissima esperienza.
Se posso, ti faccio anch’io una domanda: quale tratto della Vélodyssée avete fatto? Come mai avete scelto quel tratto, lo considerate preferibile agli altri?
David StebbingMarch 19, 2020 at 16:28
I have just completed the ecovia route. I cycled for 6 days from Vila Real da Santo Antônio to Sagres, and stayed in 5 very good hotels. The route is EXCELLENT. It follows remote roads, through peaceful farmland and along the best parts of the coast. The hotels were good value.
BUT… the route is very difficult to follow. The blue lines have mostly disappeared. Some places have bicycles painted on the road and yellow stickers on poles (one side only), but in most places there is nothing.
This would not be a problem if the map on the website was helpful, but it is not. It is a plain PDF format, so it’s not interactive. If this were on Google Maps, then it would be easy to work out where we are and plot a route. It is very difficult to find your way in the Ecovia map.
This tour is a fantastic tourist attraction, but you are chasing tourists away. The simplest thing would be to create an interactive map. Then they’re would be no need for blue lines and yellow stickers.
I would be interested to hear your comments.
LorenzoMarch 19, 2020 at 21:08
Hi David! You’re completely right. All of us are cyclists from abroad and we are not in touch with the administrative authorities, this site was born for the love of this tour. It would be helpful if the next one who goes through the Ecovia would track his/her route…
Arizona BrookeJanuary 15, 2022 at 01:27
I can see you did this in 2020. It is now 2022 and I am desperate to do it in a week also, staying in a tent and the odd hostel along the way.My MAIN concern is that I will get lost, because I have a terrible buit in GPS in walking, driving etc anyway. Can you contact me please to suggest a map route or someof what you followed.Plain PDF will not work for me, I will get very lost and discouraged. How did you do it? Please find me on fb, Arizona Brooke. Thank you x
Michael PaulAugust 3, 2020 at 19:03
Cycled part of ecovia from VRSA to Faro in Feb this year with my mate. Our intention is to cycle from Faro to say Portimao over 2 days, breaking trip at Albufeira next Feb. Assuming this is reasonable, how far will it be from Faro to Albufeira and then from Albufeira to Portimao.
In addition to this, we will probably have to stay in Portimao on our first night, hire bikes there and get the train back to Faro the following day and work our way west, travelling light with an overnight stop in Albufeira. Are there bike shops open in Portimao on a Sunday in February.
Any help or alternative suggestions would be appreciated.
LorenzoAugust 4, 2020 at 10:03
Hi Mike, your plan looks pretty good: Faro-Albufeira is about 40 km, and Albufeira-Porimao the same. I am afraid that bike shops will be closed on Sunday, I advise you to contact one of the big rental shops listed here. They can deliver bikes in one location and pick them up in another, usually also on Sundays, but I don’t know if it is the same in low season: https://www.ecoviadolitoralalgarve.com/bike-rentals-and-shops/
GrainneNovember 13, 2020 at 20:36
Hi, where can I start to access the route in Lagos. Hoping to make my way to Sagres?
LorenzoNovember 14, 2020 at 09:28
Go and check the maps on this page! https://www.ecoviadolitoralalgarve.com/gps-tracks-maps-guides/
KimOctober 28, 2020 at 22:34
Hi! I’m thinking of cycling from Faro to Lagos (mid-November). I’m wondering how many kilometres it would be and if 3 days sounds reasonable for this trip. I’m quite active, but don’t specifically have experience in a cycling trip like this. Because of this I’m wondering if you think it’s doable by myself and what kind of bike you would recommend as a minimum requirement.
Next to that, do you know if it’s possible to rent a bike in Faro and leave it in Lagos, so I can take a bus back to Faro? Or would it be better in that case to buy a bike and then sell it after the trip for example?
Thanks a lot!
LorenzoOctober 29, 2020 at 00:05
Hi! Faro to Lagos is ok in 3 days. A common cross-terrain bike will be ok. Check out any rental service listed in this page, usually you can organize pick up everywhere you want, but I don’t know now that it’s low season and in Covid time. https://www.ecoviadolitoralalgarve.com/bike-rentals-and-shops/
Stylianos PournisNovember 11, 2020 at 14:36
This might be odd but I have a very specific question with regards to ecovia algarve road.
I am Stelios and I work as a fact-checker for Ellinika-Hoaxes.gr.
My team and I were wondering if this picture [https://i.pinimg.com/originals/44/b4/6a/44b46a4e440614997b9a4ddead9feeb4.jpg] depicts the ecovia cycle route in southern Portugal…?
Thank you in advance,
LorenzoNovember 11, 2020 at 15:41
Hi Stelios, it could be, but I can’t offer guarantees about it.
Robert MellishNovember 17, 2020 at 20:49
I am a resident in the Western Algarve. I am writing to complain that a landowner has obstructed a branch of the Ecovia in the Freguesia of Budens in VdB with a chain. The exact Google co-ordinates are 37.075608, -8.794149. I have photos of the obstruction taken today, if you are interested.
LorenzoNovember 17, 2020 at 22:59
Hi Robert, this website is managed by an Italian fan of the Ecovia and has no relation with the local authorities, to whom you should forward this complaint. However, sorry for what is happening.
MarianneJanuary 1, 2022 at 12:55
Grazie per questo site. Ci stiamo preparando per un viaggio in bici in Algarve e per caso ho trovato l’esistenza di questa Ecovia. Infatti è stata difficile trovare informazione sul percorso. Ma vostro informazione è stata molto practica. Siamo 2 olandesi da Amsterdam, esperti (fatto Himalaya e Nepal qualche volte, Andes è tutto il resto del mondo). Partiamo il 15/01/2022 per Faro. Se trovo altro informazione che può esesere utile vi faccio sapere dopo. Grazie ancora, ciao da Amsterdam.
LorenzoJanuary 2, 2022 at 00:40
Ciao Marianne, I hope you’ll have fun along the Ecovia, I’ll wait for your updates if you find new info!
Arizona BrookeJanuary 15, 2022 at 01:23
I am a pretty good cyclist but I am recovering from some health conditions, therefore I will do the whole trip at my own pace, how I feel on the day. I have seen a 4 day plan and a 7 day plan. Does anyone have experience of either with a map? Or has anyone done either. I will be alone with a Biachi Road bike, thin normal road biking tyres and the usual bare essentials. It is now Jan 2022. I am concerned that road bike tyres may be too thin for some of the route, I would rather not have to hire or use another bike as I am familiar with my own. I have no panniers. Any recommendations? Back pack orother type of carrier? Many thanks.
Dave RidleyApril 24, 2022 at 20:45
Hi there, I’m also looking at doing this later in the year over 3-4 days. From the bits I’ve seen when I’ve holidayed in Portugal previously, I think you’ll struggle on a standard road bike as a lot of the route is off-road. I’m planning on doing it on a cyclo-cross/gravel bike complete with panniers etc. Might be worth having a read of the John Hayes ‘Follow the Blue Line’ book (Amazon) to get a feel for the terrain. I’ve also got a Google Earth GPS file I can share if it’s of any use to you for planning.
Raymond ChevretteOctober 11, 2022 at 20:33
Hi Dave, I was thinking of doing the trail in November this year. Any chance you can email me a copy of the map? [email protected].
Thx in advance
MargheritaNovember 25, 2022 at 13:58
Hi Dave, could you please share the Google Earth GPS file or the Garmin map also with me?
My email address is [email protected]. Thank you a lot!
With my boyfriend, we are planning to do a part of the Ecovia at the end of December.
jennyNovember 27, 2022 at 23:21
HI DAVE, WE ARE doing this trip in February on E-bikes with our two kids
any way you can forward me the google earth GPS file?
Davy De KerfOctober 22, 2022 at 08:09
I found map in Garmin, send me your email and I can copy you the link.
Or if you did allready the tour you can give more information [email protected]
GiovanniMarch 30, 2022 at 16:36
Ciao Lorenzo, vorrei pianificare l’ecovia la prossima estate in 7 giorni da Capo San Vincenzo a Villa Real di sant’Antonio. Ti chiedo alcuni consigli: Arrivo a Faro-Aeroporto per noleggio bici in uno dei posti che indicate pensi sia possibile farsi capitare la bici a Capo san Vincenzo che raggiungerò in treno per iniziare il giro e lasciare la bici all’arrivo per poi tornare a Faro e prendere aereo per ritorno? Le bici che noleggiano sono dotate di accessori con borse laterali per bagaglio? Il giro classico è da ovest verso est? esiste una rete di B&B lungo il percorso per dormire la sera? ho letto che non è banale trovare mappe on line ma nel caso sul posto esistono mappe o pubblicazioni specifiche? Grazie per la risposta
LorenzoMarch 31, 2022 at 08:28
Ciao Giovanni, la mia ultima visita in Algarve risale al 2015, a quel tempo è stato possibile farmi recapitare la bicicletta in tutto il territorio, non ricordo se mi hanno fornito anche le borse ma credo che anche questo sia possibile. Il noleggiatore che ho usato io, Megasport, esiste ancora, trovi il link nella pagina “Bike rentals and shops“. Il giro classico è da ovest a est. Non credo esista una rete di B&B, ma ci sono tante strutture visto che comunque è una zona turistica (in questo senso, meglio prenotare in anticipo). Sul posto, al tempo, non esistevano mappe. Ho appena aggiunto un nuovo link per delle tracce GPS che sembrano aggiornate. Spero tu ti diverta, al ritorno magari raccontaci come è andata e fornisci eventuali informazioni aggiornate che possano arricchire il sito!
BillApril 21, 2022 at 13:07
I think a fine wheeled bike might be a little weak for some of the trails but fine on the main road bits. If in doubt stay on the road or get a tougher bike. Try https://www.ciclovia.pt/ciclovias/5algarve/1algarve/litoral/ecovia-do-litoral-algarvio.php to complain
RickJuly 18, 2022 at 21:40
We recently visited Tavira for a few weeks and stumbled across the Ecovia…very impressed! We cycled from Vila Real to Olhao. Can anyone that has completed the full trail let’s us know whether the trail is equally as “quiet” and manageable as it progresses further West? We are actually considering walking the trail from West to East as we have time for a slower tour and can manage 20-30km per day. Many Thanks
LorenzoJuly 18, 2022 at 22:28
Hi, what do you mean by “quiet”? The greatest difference in the Western part is that it is hilly, while the Eastern part is almost flat.
RickJuly 19, 2022 at 00:39
Thank you Lorenzo…quiet in the sense of little cycling, hiking or vehicle traffic. We really enjoyed the peacefulness and landscape of the Eastern section…albeit in late April. Hills are not an issue. Ideally we want to hike West to East in early October.
LorenzoJuly 19, 2022 at 08:57
Ok, for sure there is more people, in average, in the Western section, but the Ecovia is not so popular (or, well, it wasn’t when I was there in 2015) because of rare signs and poor advertisement. People usually stay in crowded beaches and villages by the sea. However, the season is on your side, in October there are not so many tourists as in Summertime so I am sure you’ll enjoy your journey. Please give back a report here when you come back, so everybody can have an update about the current situation. Thanks!
DanielJanuary 8, 2023 at 16:48
Rick, when you talk about the Eastern section as being less hilly with less traffic, where are you talking about “to and from”. I am interested in a more relaxing, slower experience, without the fear of lots of traffic. I am a bit older and a bit visually impaired. Daniel