If you’re looking to cycle in/around Lagos, Portugal, this article is here to help.

We’ve spoken with local cyclist Jerom Pannier and here we share some of the best inland and coastal Algarve cycling routes. You’ll find some stunning riding with beautiful villages, climbs and vistas to make your heart sing!

If you’re looking for riding in other parts of the Algarve, don’t miss the other articles in our series on the Algarve’s best cycling routes:

  • The west, around Lagos (in this article)
  • The centre, around Albufeira (here)
  • The east, around Tavira (here)

Looking for our in-depth guide to cycling the Algarve? Read this. All distances are estimates.

Barriga – Baranco gravel ride

Distance: 40 km
Total climbing: 500 m
Highlight: Solitude: deserted trails and beaches
Suitable bike: Gravel bike

Jerom from Musette Bike says “The Algarve is the place to come for gravel riding and this is one of the best rides there is. You head out into the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano and Costa Vicentina on sandy trails through scrubby grasslands, shaded woodland and along craggy coastal cliffs down to the deserted beach at Praia da Barriga. It’s quite a special thing to find a huge beach that’s not accessible by car and untouched by a beach restaurant.

You then head south, down to the beach at Praia do Barranco, another isolated gem in the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano. Small roads then lead back to Salema.

As most of this ride is extremely rural and in the Natural Park, there are very few villages or restaurants. You can refuel at Raposeira, on the way down to Praia do Barranco but you’ll need to be self-sufficient before then.

This ride is one for those that love splendid isolation and getting away from it all.”

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Lagos road bike spin

Distance: 59 km
Total climbing: 634 m
Highlight: Experiencing coastline and tranquil inland countryside in one ride
Suitable bike: Road bike

Jerom from Musette Bike says “On this undulating ride we head east along the coast from Salema, heading towards Lagos. The route passes through several nice villages. Burgau is first and is quiet and pretty while Praia da Luz a little further on is busier and popular with holidaying Brits.

Soon you come to Lagos, which is a little busier again (though bear in mind I’ve only ever been caught in a traffic jam three times in Lagos – and one of those was due to loose goats on the road!). You head around Lagos’ marina and past the sandy sweep of the Meia Praia beach.

Turning inland, this is where the “real Algarve” begins as you head out into the countryside. It’s all vineyards, farms growing avocados, oranges and fig trees. You’ll pass small villages and many have little cafes and restaurants usually serving an excellent daily dish of the day for a mere 6-9 euros.

Our guests often comment on how much they enjoy seeing the Algarve’s unspoilt countryside on this ride.”

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King of the Hill Road Bike Challenge

Distance: 178 km
Total climbing: 2,543 m
Highlight: Reaching the highest point of the Algarve: the summit of the Foia climb
Suitable bike: Road bike

Jerom from Musette Bike says “This route takes you from sea level to the highest point in the Algarve, the summit of the Foia climb in the Serra de Monchique range of mountains. It’s often used by the Volta ao Algarve and, despite the fact the summit is (only) at 980m, because you’re climbing from sea level, this route has the feeling of a mountain stage.

We reach the north side of the Foia climb, via small roads that lead along the picturesque edge of the Natural Park. The north side hasn’t got the best tarmac and is steep, but the upside is that there is virtually no traffic as you wind upwards surrounded by cork, olive and eucalyptus trees. At the top there are far-reaching views. The descent down the south side of the Foia climb is brilliant, on much better tarmac and with nice long turns.

Make sure you stop at the Tasca do Petrol restaurant about half way down to refuel – and perhaps even sample the local delicacy of wild boar stew!”

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A huge thank you to Jerom for sharing his expertise. We hope you enjoy exploring this area of the Algarve – let us know how you get on in the comments below!

Want to know more about cycling in the Algarve?

Don’t miss our in-depth guide to cycling in the Algarve. We share everything from where to stay, to when to come and what to bring.

Once you’ve read that, you might also like
The best cycling routes from Albufeira
The best cycling routes from Tavira
Our article on the best cycling events in the Algarve to watch and take part in.

Jerom Pannier runs Musette Bike and has lived in Portugal for many years.

Jerom says “Our mission is to provide a high quality service. We have two shops, one at the exclusive Martinhal resort near Sages and one in Salema, close to Lagos.

From each shop you can hire high quality carbon and aluminium road bikes as well as e-bikes, mountain bikes, gravel bikes and kids bikes. Our prices include little extras, like helmets, pedals and access to their library of routes. Bike delivery is available (1 euro per kilometre and a 15 euro minimum) as well as guided tours.

Our multilingual team (but fear not, everyone speaks English!) love to take guests out to explore their beautiful region. Our mantra is that good service starts with a smile.”

Last Reviewed: 04 November 2002

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