Are you looking for some extra bike training? Conquer the Algarve´s highest peak, uphill !
Outdoor-Tours.com has 10 years of experience in the Algarve in organizing fun and safe Downhill Cycling Trips and Downhill Off-road Bike Trips. These tours start from the top of Fóia, with 902 meters the highest peak in South- Portugal ánd from south-west europe.
Through the years, many times we have cycled ourselves uphill to Fóia.
In conversations with clients, some of them responded enthousiastically and wanted to join us the next time. Only a few clients have really joined through years, and the reactions were so positive that we´ve decided now to offer it here as the Fóia Uphill Challenge.
It keeps us fit, and it is a great challenge for all fit holiday makers in the Algarve.
So, we´ll start from our office near the coast (see map) on sea level (+6 mtrs) and we´ll cycle in the most straight line possible, up to the top of the “Fóia” (902 meters), see map.
In August & July we´ll start early at around 08h00 to avoid the heat.
The rest of year we´ll start a bit later (around 09h00) so reach the summit on the warmest part of the day.
Downhill. There are 2 options:
- in a group that follows one of our Downhill Cycilng Nature Trips or the Downhill off-road Trip (perhaps the rest of your family/friends might join this tour!)
- alone on tarmac straight back to our office
Your uphill-guide will normally cycle downhill with a group that has booked a Downhill Trip for that day. In case there is no group, the guide will cycle with you downhill.
The total distance is 28 km with 1000 altitude meters. Normally we see that we complete this challenge in about 3 hours between start and finish, excluding prep-time.
The route starts with relatively flat and quiet tarmac roads through rural valleys. Here you´ll do your warming-up.
After 7 km the terrain changes into a wide gravel road and now you´ll be surrounded by cork trees. Soon this track starts ascending slowly and winds it´s way up through a eucalytus forest.
Now you have reached the small mountain village of Casais where we´ll take a short break for a coffee. Here we´ve done already 20 km and have reached an altitude of 385 meters.
The second part of the challenge is the steepest part. Here you´ll be riding on steep tarmac roads and some very steep residential cobbled roads with an inclination of 10 - 12 %.
The last part of this uphill trip is on the main two lane road, that leads you to the top of Fóia, which is above tree level. Here, on 902 meters, together with a NATO base, all mobile and TV companies have put their antennas. You´ll also find a restaurant for a well deserved coffee/breakfast/snack (closed on Saturdays).
The views to both the west and the south coast are rewarding !
Uphill in a group - various levels of fitness
The pace is steady, and there will be only a few short stops on crossings and junctions. Half-way in the little mountain village of Casais, we´ll take a short break.
We´ll never initiate to make a race of it. The ride is rather social than competetive.
If you feel at any certain point that you´ve mis-estimated this challenge, you can turn around at any moment, or call for our support car that is stand-by in our office.
The fitness level required for this Fóia Uphill Challenge is nº 4, technical level required is D. See levels explained here.
Is the Fóia Uphill Challenge my tour?
By subscribing to the Fóia Uphill Challenge we assume that you recently have been cycling longer distances (60+ km) with at least 500 - 1000 altitude meters per day.
You must be fit and be able to ride a bike for at least 3 hours non-stop, and mainly climbing.
In case you´ll bring your own bike, please make sure that all of your equipment is in good working order and has had recent maintenance.
Challenge A (half-day) - € 37 pp. (€12 off in case you would bring your own bike)
Guided uphill + self-guided downhill
Challenge B (full day) - € 67 pp. (€12 off in case you would bring your own bike)
Guided uphill + guided downhill in a group
Challenge A + B includes: MTB guide, water bottle, helmet, cycling gloves, coffee + cake, insurance.
With Challenge B is also included the guided downhill trip, lunch and a service car.
Interested? We have just started this activity, so we´ll be looking to organize these uphill tours in the most efficient way. We would be very happy if you could drop us an email and tell us in which week you would be in the Algarve.
Probably we´ll be running the Fóia Uphill Challenge on a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday.