How to get there There are direct flights from Canada to Lisbon. From Lisbon, cyclists can use the help of the ferry system (bikes travel for free) to reach farther south. When to go In theory, southern Portugal, with its Mediterranean climate, can be a year-round cycling destination. The summer (June to August), however, can see heavy tourism and soaring temperatures. Some may find the winter months (December to February) a little too nippy and damp. Perhaps the best time to visit is in spring (April and May) when tourism is light, temperatures are generally comfortable and dazzling wildflowers abound. Fall (September and October) is another good option. Getting around We brought gravel/cyclocross bikes from home outfitted with an assortment of bags to carry our luggage. This setup allowed us the comfort of enjoying all modes of travel – pavement, gravel and dirt. There are also a few companies that run supported tours in the Algarve and Alentejo regions of Portugal. Where to stay Riders can choose to rest their legs everywhere from campgrounds to family-run hotels to more luxurious resort-style places. We chose to travel light without camping gear and used booking.com to secure roofed accommodation along route. Cost With one of the EU'S weakest economies, southern Portugal is among the most affordable destinations in Western Europe. Small local hotels rarely cost more than 50 euros and a calorie-laden pastry can be had for less than a single euro. Finding your way We relied heavily on ridewithgps.com to plot our rides, which were then uploaded to our Garmin devices. With the routes on our head units, we found our way through the bounty of small country roads effortlessly.