We have previously done the wonderful Danube tour and a guided boat bike tour in the Netherlands. We rode e-assisted bikes with the exception of 2 riders in our group.
The Algarve bike tour was very different, and should be rated a 2 or 3 because this trail system is not as well developed. We found it challenging even with e-assist bikes. The tour has paved, gravel and dirt roads and even a boardwalk with gates. The segments of the trail were sometimes hard to locate on the gps and sometimes the maps did not agree with the gps. On the first day we followed the blue line on the map and rode over rough gravel roads until we encountered Angus, our coordinator, who informed us that that this was not the main route. But it wasn’t marked as an alternative route on the map.
We loved the food that we found along the way. A lunch at a seaside restaurant between Tavira and Olhao was the highlight of the tour. We enjoyed the old Portugal that remains, but much of the area west of Faro has been developed for tourism, so there are large resort areas for golf and boaters. We loved the very sweet Hotel Belavista da Luz in Praia da Luz.
We would recommend this self guided tour for younger more adventurous folks who can navigate and who don’t mind riding in rough loose gravel roads and highways with some rather harrowing highway crossings. The highways in the western part of the coast were not as busy, and we found drivers were generally respectful in the roundabouts. As our mileage increased we grew stronger over the 6 day ride, and we were proud to have made it to the 6 day when a broken chain stopped our progress.