The Portuguese section of the EuroVelo 1 starts in Vila Real de Santo António, on the Avenida da República, to be more precise. From there, 288 kilometres lie within the bounds of the Algarve.
The route between Vila Real de Santo António and Sagres is also part of the Ecovia do Litoral, a cycle route that covers a distance of 214 kilometres and takes you through 12 municipalities along the Algarve’s southern coastline. The proximity to the coast and the stunning views over the region’s countless beaches, as well as the huge variety of historical monuments along the way, are just some of the attractions of this route created for cycling enthusiasts.
The Ecovia do Litoral mostly takes you along cycle routes, dirt tracks and paved roads with little motor vehicle traffic, as well as some sections of the busy EN125 road. The type of surface varies along the way, with some sectors being smooth and easy to ride on, while others require greater care and attention. Approaching the “Barlavento” (as the western Algarve is known), the terrain becomes rougher and the hills steeper, requiring cyclists to put in a bit more effort.
The section of the Atlantic Coast Route that coincides with the Ecovia do Litoral ends at Cabo de São Vicente (Cape St Vincent) in Sagres. The EuroVelo 1 then heads northwards through Aljezur until it crosses over from the Algarve into the Alentejo region at Odeceixe.