If you want to combine biking with lots of sun, picture postcard beaches and nightlife the Algarve is the right spot for you. The most southern coastal region of Portugal is famous for its year-round mild climate and lively beach life, not to mention: surfer bars, seafood restaurants, clubs and swanky marinas. All this attracts many tourists and the Algarve is definitely not a place to look for solitude; but the quaint idyllic hinterland is full of great mountain biking spots, where you can quickly escape the coastal hubbub. All spots are located within a 30 to 60 minute shuttle drive from typical holiday accommodation locations such as Albufeira. Each trail area has its own character, but in most spots the wide sea view will be part of the “Algarve biking experience”.


Serra de Monchique: This mountain range is great for All-mountain and Enduro riders. Here the climate is cooler and more humid than at the coast and the runs are also longer than other Algarve spots. That’s because Monchique features the highest peak of the region: the 902 metre high Fóia. The mountain range offers trails for every taste and skill level: fast and flowy, some with built berms, drops and jumps (particularly around Marmelete), but also more technical trails with small rock gardens, roots, switchbacks and natural drops. To enjoy many of the longer trails in one day, the shuttle services are worth a call. Riders can also look forward to riding through lush green eucalyptus forest, orange groves and blooming meadows with gnarled cork trees on the flanks of ravines. Post-ride, join the locals in the pub at Marmelete, where the ambiance is just right for a celebratory Medronho, the traditional local fruit brandy or a cool Sagres, the most famous brand of Portuguese beer. By the way, you can also buy it in mini-bottles to take home.


São Brás de Alportel: A little enduro track paradise which is easily accessible from Faro for an evening ride. Here the young local bikers eagerly build and optimise trails. Most of them are rather short, but the fun factor is high – and typical for all runs at São Brás is the wide sea view. This combination might be a reason why the Portuguese Downhill series “Portugal Cup DHI” chose to have one of its races here. Also there is no need to shuttle; you can pedal up as the altitude is pretty manageable. São Brás de Alportel is also the only spot near Faro, where you can bike even in or after rain, because the ground here does not turn into a tough muddy glissade.


Cerro Cabeço de Câmara: A hill not far from the coast, with fast, flowy and curvy fun trails. Good for a “first day of vacation-ride” to get used to the grip of the soil in this area – there is hardly any! These trails are also a nice option to combine with a sunset ride at Falésia (see below).



São Miguel: Here experienced enduro and downhill riders can take advantage of shuttles to go up, before really going for it on the way down. These trails are fast, with rock sections, big drops and jumps. Besides full protection gear, a downhill bike and downhill tires are a must. Warning: In São Miguel the red soil has very little grip, so don’t get too fast and enthusiastic on your first runs. Also, during rain this area becomes virtually unrideable; the “red dirt” turns into soft soap which sticks firmly to bikes and tyres.



Falésia: Typical for this stretch of coast (very close to holiday accommodation around Albufeira) are the red soil and eroded cliffs. Falésia is not about hardcore runs (although there are a few steep challenges for those who look for it), instead it is a place to simply enjoy an easy pleasure ride with impressive sea views. Falésia is also a great place to relax after a more demanding biking day in the hinterland; enjoy a coffee or drink in a fancy marina bar and cruise towards the sunset along the cliff-top plateau. Another highlight is the 8 km long sandy beach of Praia de Falésia, a great swimming spot. This area is ideal for a relaxed afternoon trip with less experienced trail bikers or children.

Helpful information at a glance

Best time: Winter (pleasant daytime temperatures, but often very cold nights), autumn (when the Atlantic Ocean has warmed to the perfect temperature for a post-ride swim) and spring (to see blossoming trees and meadows). In the summer months the Algarve is rather too hot for bike rides, with temperatures around 30°C.

Good to have: Tubeless tyres or many spare tubes as there are lots of thorns on the trails. If you really want to shred on the challenging trails in São Miguel and São Brás, you will have most fun with a downhill bike and downhill tyres.

Good to know: You can buy fresh oranges at street stalls everywhere, directly from the farmers. Oranges from the Algarve are considered the sweetest in the whole of Portugal! Also a “bica” (Portuguese espresso) in the small village pubs of the hinterland only costs around 80 cents to 1€. That makes short caffeine stops even more fun!

After-ride Spot: The “Wax Restobar” in Faro is right on the beach.

Rest day: The Ria Formosa is one of the largest sheltered lagoon landscapes in Europe. Paddling between the islands on a SUP board is a great experience! ( offers board rental and guided trips).

Guided bike tours and shuttles: