From the western finish of the Ecovia do Litoral bike route alongside the Algarve coast, one attainable solution to return to Faro is by following the west coast for a few days after which curving inland to Odemira earlier than looping again in direction of the south coast. Odemira is a nice city that sprawls up the facet of a river valley. The library is to be really helpful; not solely does it have a dramatic place on the facet of a cliff, but it surely gives free web entry and a primary flooring cafe with overseas newspapers to learn whereas partaking of fantastic espresso and desserts at costs that, I can solely assume, are subsidised by the native ratepayers.
Upon getting dragged your self away from the library, pay a go to to the useful vacationer data workplace to top off on maps. Then comply with the N263 eastwards up fairly a steep hill. If you have not purchased a picnic lunch already, there is a grocery store half a mile off the primary street on the prime of the hill the place you’ll be able to have a sandwich made to order. Then coast all the way down to the village of Bemposta, searching for the N123 turning off to the proper while you get there. This street is a bit of hilly, however it’s a actual deal with. It meanders by way of woods of cork oaks and strawberry timber, previous historic terracing and lonely farms. There may be little visitors however the street floor is nice and there are superb views. You could find yourself pushing your bike up the steeper stretches, however will probably be value it. Be sure you carry some water and a snack as a result of you may be fortunate to seek out anyplace to eat or drink between Bemposta and Santa Clara a Velha.
The N123 ultimately brings you all the way down to tiny Luzianes Gare, on the railway line operating south from Setubal to the Algarve coastal strip. After that, it is not far to Santa Clara a Velha. It is a small city with a few locations to remain and a bar (by the petrol station) the place you may get a easy snack. There’s additionally a restaurant close to the church which serves hearty native dishes — simply what you want after a day biking within the hills — and a store promoting native craft merchandise, from leatherwork and wooden carvings to candles and embroidery. It’s staffed by volunteers and you may be sure that something you spend there is not going to go right into a intermediary’s pocket. In case your funds will stretch to it, there’s a Pousada about 3 miles away up on the reservoir (Portugal’s largest) — comply with indicators to the Barragem (dam). Even if you happen to do not stay there, it is value using up for the views and there’s a Roman bridge to take a look at on the best way.
Eventually, you’ll have to return to the purpose on the south coast the place you began your Ecovia do Litoral journey. Santa Clara, though in the midst of nowhere, is inside straightforward attain of Faro by prepare, because of the station of Santa Clara-Saboia only a few minutes’ trip away. There are three trains a day to Faro by way of Tunes, and it takes lower than 2 hours. One factor to concentrate on on the station (which is unmanned) is that there is no such thing as a footbridge or underpass, only a stage crossing, and no indication which platform is the one for the southerly route to Tunes. That’s as a result of the road is single observe on this space, with a break up into two only for the station. Trains from every route cross right here and it seems that the platform every takes will depend on which reaches the station first. Which means that you will want to select a platform randomly, however maintain an eagle eye out for the method of the prepare from the north and be ready to run throughout the extent crossing if crucial.
As soon as again in Faro, attempt to go away a couple of hours to discover town earlier than you must get to the airport to your flight dwelling.