Going over to the Algarve region for a week in July. Any recommendations on guide company, routes, MTB rental and 'must do's'... any advice appreciated. Looking at doing couple of single day 'All Mountain' adventures while there. Cheers.
MTB Algarve region, Portugal - Guide/MTB Rental recommendations
I did a mountain bike/kayaking day with AlternativTour while on holiday in the Algarve. Was a long time ago though. No idea if they're still any good.
Their base is in the Serra do Monchique. Beautiful part of the world about 30 miles inland from the coast, with a pleasant microclimate and very different vegetation from the parched coastline. Lots of descending through cork oak forests. The hire bikes were a bit rough and ready but the scenery was lush. Monchique is a nice wee villages and there is a Roman baths/spa type thing nearby.
There are some really good tracks off monchique. There is also loads of downhill east of Faro and slightly in land. Both need uplifts really.
There is a place in lagos (i think) that does uplift/bike hire, and a guy in Olhao, used to be called Freeride Portugal, that does the same (more downhill orientated though). The area north east of silves looked promising but not ridden there.
Thanks for info so far. Will be staying about half way between Lagos and Faro, but will have a car. I've had quick google... looks like loads of potential. I will be biking on my own so prefer guide or marked trails to make the most of the time (and to ride I need something decent to hire). Mrs Pukeko will be at the beach
Most bike hire places rent REALLY crap bikes. There are a few places just on the main road between Loule and Villamoura avoid, the bikes are shit and they are expensive.
The guy in Olhao is more DH, he is a good bloke and has some decent stinkys as hire bikes. Maybe email him and ask about other alternatives (although checking, his site seems down).
There is also this lot, no experience of them though:http://www.rideportugal.com/
I have just been in lagos. And sadly I have to say it sucked big time. We tried to get a guide and shuttle transport for all mountain and downhill, but nothing worked.
first we had a reservation with http://www.rideportugal.com. but they wanted 600 euros per person paid in advance over paypal, and when i hesitated he gave the space away to someone else without even checking with me.
Maybe it was just me unable to organise something but we really tried hard to find a guide.
Algarve is very nice though.
I hired a bike from a guy in Gale near Albufiera - it was a pile of crap. I could not find any marked off road trails- although some of the smaller roads required an MTB due to massive potholes and lack of road maintenance.
There was allegedly a bike hire place in Albufiera itself, but whenever I went it was closed and I could only see motor bikes inside the shop.
We were in a village about 10km from Albufiera in June, I hired a Spesh hardtail from 'NumberOneBikes'. They delivered and picked up from where we were staying, the bike was in good condition.
I joined a local group of riders a couple of times, fun when you don't speak the language and they don't speak much English
But also found somewhere on the web which sells military type maps which have most of the tracks on. Then it's just go and explore ..... Strava also gives some clues.
While there is some singletrack, it's mostly jeep tracks in that area. Or that's all I found !
"any advice appreciated"
have plenty of cool water on tap, as you'll be baking in July my old son!
It's a funny set up in the Algarve for riding. make sure you check the validity of the outfit you choose to ride with.
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