Author Topic: First-Time Solo in Portugal: Seeking Algarve Advice for Fall  (Read 977 times)

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Offline Jocycleph

First-Time Solo in Portugal: Seeking Algarve Advice for Fall
« on: April 04, 2024, 09:17:11 pm »
Hi everyone!

I am thinking about going solo to Portugal in the fall of 2025. I seek advice from people who have traveled to Portugal, as it will be my first time to visit the country. I cannot speak Portuguese, so this makes me feel somewhat anxious about the trip. I discovered a thread at https://forums.adventurecycling.org/index.php?topic=15884.0; however, there are no responses there.

I am thinking of traveling to the southern part, most likely Algarve, because many people tell me it has very nice views and paths for biking. If you’ve been there around fall, I’d be grateful for any insights on the climate and navigating the language difference.

I’m also curious about your favorite local spots to stay or eat. Are there any local specialties or lesser-known spots that you’d recommend?

Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences and guidance!

Offline ewm

Re: First-Time Solo in Portugal: Seeking Algarve Advice for Fall
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2024, 11:17:10 pm »
I rode last year in the Algarve region from Faro - to Lisbon.  I am a very experienced bicycle tourist... and I loved bicycling here.  2 things to note: 1) I rode in Late September/Early October...  something weird  - while the weather was perfect (80F/65F and mostly sunny)  - many campgrounds were closed as the "season" for camping was over?  Ok! - a couple time I rode in and found out the campground was closed - and realized I would have a long ride in the evening to get to the next place)  The few campgrounds that were open were mostly empty.  The youth Hostel I stayed at in Porto Corvo  - Awesome Hostel named: "Mute Port Corvo" - was sold out - but it's pizza restaurant closed for the season.  2) I recommend very large volume tires, as the recommended bike roads are at times very sandy, rocky, bumpy, hilly.  You can always instead ride on the highways - but then you will likely miss some of the better views at the ocean, and you will get to deal with traffic. In the city most places speak English, in the countryside - you will encounter many people who don't).  In the city beware of the placement of butter and bread on the table ....  they charge a lot for slices of butter (which look like they gave it to you for free)

Offline Jocycleph

Re: First-Time Solo in Portugal: Seeking Algarve Advice for Fall
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2024, 11:08:40 pm »
I rode last year in the Algarve region from Faro - to Lisbon.  I am a very experienced bicycle tourist... and I loved bicycling here.  2 things to note: 1) I rode in Late September/Early October...  something weird  - while the weather was perfect (80F/65F and mostly sunny)  - many campgrounds were closed as the "season" for camping was over?  Ok! - a couple time I rode in and found out the campground was closed - and realized I would have a long ride in the evening to get to the next place)  The few campgrounds that were open were mostly empty.  The youth Hostel I stayed at in Porto Corvo  - Awesome Hostel named: "Mute Port Corvo" - was sold out - but it's pizza restaurant closed for the season.  2) I recommend very large volume tires, as the recommended bike roads are at times very sandy, rocky, bumpy, hilly.  You can always instead ride on the highways - but then you will likely miss some of the better views at the ocean, and you will get to deal with traffic. In the city most places speak English, in the countryside - you will encounter many people who don't).  In the city beware of the placement of butter and bread on the table ....  they charge a lot for slices of butter (which look like they gave it to you for free)

Thanks for sharing your experience biking in the Algarve region, @ewm! It's helpful to know about the campground closures in late September/early October and the importance of bringing extra tires for the varied terrain. I do plan on taking the routes with the ocean views rather than the highways. The tip about being cautious with butter and bread charges in the city is quite interesting and good to keep in mind. Your insights on the weather, road conditions, and language differences are valuable for someone planning a biking trip in that area. Taking all these into consideration, I may encounter a few more unexpected surprises, perhaps I also need to plan on getting a local guide like https://gowithguide.com/portugal/guides but I will need to check if they offer bicycle tours. A local guide in the Algarve where English may be less commonly spoken can facilitate communication with the locals.