Name of company
Algarve By Segway
Type of activity
Guided Segway tours of the Ria Formosa, Quarteira-Vilamoura, Faro Island, Faro, Monchique, Portimão and Sagres.
Your guide is company owner Nelson Leal, who will draft in additional guides/help depending on the size of the group.
In case you don’t know what they are, Segways are two-wheeled electric vehicles that use the equilibrium of the driver to dictate travel movement. By leaning forward, backward, to the left or to the right, the driver ‘orders’ the Segway to move in the intended direction.
Because it is barely wider than a person, the Segway is particularly suitable for travelling on footpaths, bicycle paths or roads without disturbing other people.
Faster than walking, and far less strenuous that cycling, they’re perfect for covering a lot of ground (in towns and cities or off-road) in a relatively short period of time.
Where do you participate?
Nelson, in his distinctive-painted van, will meet you at a designated spot, depending on the tour you choose.
The tours of the Ria Formosa and Faro Island will primarily focus on the flora, fauna and natural beauty of the region: the city tours will take in the main cultural and historic highlights.
One Segway per person is provided. They are not suitable for carrying passengers, and children under the age of about 10 are discouraged from participating, as there is a basic level of control and road sense required.
You will be given a helmet to wear, and it’s advisable to wear a stout pair of shoes such as trainers. Other than that, you can participate wearing your normal clothes.
Before you set off, Nelson will give you instruction in how to move (and stop) the Segway, and how to get on and off, followed by some basic safety rules. There will also be time to practice to get the hang of it. It becomes easier as you progress, and after a while, he will release/modify the built-in speed control function depending on how confident you feel.
You move in convoy, with Nelson at the head, and he is always watching out for any potential hazards, obstructions, uneven surfaces, etc. as well as giving you the benefit of his local knowledge.
Why do you like it?
It’s a great way of seeing the Algarve from a different viewpoint, or of discovering places you didn’t really know existed. You cover a surprisingly large area in a relatively short time, and once you have stopped looking at your feet, and movement becomes almost second nature, you can start to concentrate on enjoying the surroundings.
When to go?
The Algarve rule of thumb applies - it’s always hotter/busier in the main summer season if this is not what you like.
The nature tours in particular change their perspective depending on the seasons, when you will see different wildlife, flowers, landscapes, etc.
Sunset tours are also popular.
It’s almost impossible/inadvisable to take photos on the move, so unless you want to keep stopping/starting, let Nelson have your camera/phone to take some of you - he can handle a Segway one-handed, you can’t!
You can also book Segways for special occasions such as birthday parties or weddings, for teambuilding and corporate events, or for advertising/marketing purposes.
Limit on numbers
You can book singly and mix with others, or book with partners/friends/family. Groups of between 4-10 are the ideal size - it means Nelson can keep a watchful eye on everybody and make sure everybody benefits from his personal touch and insightful observations.
Book in advance by telephone or email, and meet up as above.
Alternatively, if you want to try it out or see others doing it, Algarve By Segway can be found giving demonstrations every evening from 5.30pm until midnight from June-September at Jardim Manuel Bívar in Faro, close to Café Coreto.
Cost per person
Faro (1 hour) - €35
Ria Formosa (90 minutes) - €40
Quarteira-Vilamoura (90 minutes) - €40
Faro Island (1 hour) - €40
Portimão (90 minutes) - €45
Sagres (1 hour) - €65
Monchique (2 hours) - €65
Year-round, depending on the weather.