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Visiting the Algarve in September

September is a delightful month in Portugal – there’s plenty of sunshine (as there is almost all year round) and if you love the outdoors, then the Algarve, between September and June, is the perfect place to enjoy cycling and walking.

With a vast network of routes and trails across the region, the scenery is varied: winding trails through hills and valleys inland; a steep and almost completely unspoiled western coast; and to the south and east, flatter routes alongside the seashore or in the tranquil settings of the Ria Formosa and River Guadiana.

Among the top choices to try are four major routes that interconnect with each other, allowing you to explore the entire region: Rota Vicentina, Via Algarviana, Grande Rota do Guadiana and Ecovia do Litoral.

Cyclists or walkers taking any of these routes will discover a challenge appropriate to their fitness level since there are stretches of varying degrees of difficulty.

To the west, along one of the most beautiful and well-preserved coastal areas in Europe, the Rota Vicentina totals over 340km from Santiago do Cacém in the Alentejo to Cape St Vincent in the Algarve.

The starting point on this route in the Algarve is Aljezur.

Connecting Cape St Vincent and Alcoutim in the easternmost part of the Algarve, the Via Algarviana stretches for some 300km. It cuts lengthways across the region, mostly going through the heart of the Algarve uplands. Suitable for walkers and mountain bikers, this route, perfumed with the scents of the countryside, lets you explore a virtually unknown Algarve, where farming is the norm.

Alcoutim is where the Grande Rota do Guadiana begins. This route stretches for around 65km and ends in Vila Real de Santo António.

The main attraction here is the River Guadiana, which offers beautiful panoramic views and along the way, you can discover the fauna, flora and historical heritage of this little corner of the Algarve.

Completing the network is the Ecovia do Litoral, which is part of the EuroVelo European Atlantic Coast Route. It connects Vila Real de Santo António to Sagres, taking you along 241km of the Algarve's southern coast. Along the way, you will pass through towns, cities and unspoiled areas, such as the Ria Formosa Nature Park.

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