For some of us, holidays are not all about lazing on the beach or by the pool! If you prefer to keep active when you’re away then there’s plenty on offer for you in The Golden Triangle. As well as the obvious choices of golf and tennis, there are also beautiful trails that are perfect for walking and cycling.
For wildlife and plant life enthusiasts, there is plenty to see and admire, in particular along the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve. Go from the coast into the hills and enjoy the timeless villages and rugged mountain views or head west and see the more historical side of the Algarve. Here are some of our favourite spots:
Quinta do Lago
The most obvious and easiest walking/cycling route in Quinta do Lago is from the lake right along the coast heading east. The trail goes right through the nature reserve where you can spot lots of the local wildlife and even the some of the locals themselves picking shellfish when the tide is out. You can continue straight here and walk towards the city of Faro or veer left in towards the land and walk along the border of Quinta do Lago resort and enjoy the views of the golf courses that stretch almost to the ocean. Cycling on the sand can be difficult but if you’re on foot head to beach and walk along the dunes for great views! This will bring you all the way to Faro Island which is definitely worth exploring. From the Quinta do Lago lake, you can also head west and walk along the trails which lead to Dunas Douradas. These go right through huge families of trees towards the beach. Some of these trails are open to motorised vehicles so do be careful. If you would prefer to stay near the lake, there are trails right around the lower half of it where you can spot some of the most exclusive villas in the resort. on the lake is the perfect place for a pit stop if you get peckish!
Vale do Lobo
From the Aldeamento in Vale do Lobo, you can enjoy a walk right along the cliff like façade of the land parallel with the coast line. This brings you right down to the beach where the Royal Golf Course meets the sand. Walk west towards Quarteira or East towards Dunas Douradas where you can .
There are lots of trails to explore in Vilamoura. It is definitely set up for the active lifestyle with a public bicycle system, cycle lanes along most of the major roads and a dedicated, outside exercise area running right through the centre of the main Avenida. You can come off the beaten track too if you fancy! Coming from the Millenium Golf Course towards the centre of Vilamoura you come to a junction where you join the main Avenida. If you turn right just before this junction there are lots of sandy trails that lead you in the direction of Falesia beach. At first you will walk through peaceful, residential areas but this will eventually lead you to a beautiful trail right through the rushes. When you hit the main road again keep right and you are heading straight for the beach. Keep an eye out for wildlife along this route as there is one section of a river in particular that allows for a stunning view with plenty of birds and other species to be seen. When you get to the beach itself, cross over the bridge (there are ramps if necessary) and enjoy the endless view of the beach to the west. This is one of the longest stretches of beach in Portugal. You can also come back and walk along the river which you will have crossed over just before the sand. This river leads out into the ocean and is teaming with fish which can be easily spotted along the way. , at the end of this trail, is the ideal place to stop and take a breather!
There are many companies in the Algarve which provide specialised walking and cycling tours. These tours are for varying levels so where you’re in the mood for an historic meandering or an active mountain exploration, there’s bound to be something to suit you. Check out and Megasport who specialise in bike holidays and bike hire.
For something a little bit different, why not explore the Algarve by Segway?