Five Algarve towns – Lagos, Portimão, Loulé, São Brás de Alportel and Faro – are taking part in this year’s European Mobility Week, which is being held until Sunday (September 22) in over 2,800 cities and towns around Europe.
The goal of the initiative is to encourage populations to reduce their environmental footprint by choosing public transportation or more eco-friendly alternatives such as “walking or cycling” over cars.
Thus, a series of events is taking place in the participating towns this week, from fairs and public talks to walks and bicycle rides.
In Lagos, bike rental companies will be offering special discounts during the week while on Sunday, September 22, the European Car-Free Day, bike rentals will be free for local residents at Lagos Bike Tours and Rent a Bike – Passeios do Sudoeste.
Also planned is a series of walks starting daily at Praça Gil Eanes at 3.30pm until Friday, as well as a ‘sunset walk’ on Sunday at Ponta da Piedade starting at 5pm.
Lagos’ bus network ‘A Onda’ will also be free to use all week, while the local tourist train will be free on Sunday.
The full programme for all the events taking place in Lagos can be found online (https://issuu.com/cmlagos/docs/programa_sem_2019).
Further east in Portimão, there will also be many events to celebrate European Mobility Week, including bike rides, walks and even a boat trip on board a solar-powered boat.
Riding on the municipality’s ‘Vai e Vem’ buses will also be free on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
But it will be in Alvor, on Sunday, where most of the entertainment will be taking place, with traffic cut off in the village between 10am and 8pm. There will be the usual Sunday morning market along the riverside as well as a handicraft fair on Rua 25 de Abril and children’s entertainment at the São João garden with bouncy castles and clowns.
Bicycles and scooters will also be available to use for free. More information can be found online (https://www.vivaportimao.pt/images/2019/9.SETEMBRO/WEB2_Folheto_-_224E-19_CMP_Semana_Europeia_da_Mobilidade.pdf).
Teaching schoolchildren about the importance of “sustainable mobility” will be one of the highlights of the programme in Loulé, which will be hosting a demonstration of eco-friendly transportation, efficient energy and healthy lifestyles at the Praça da República car park on Friday, September 20.
The town will also be closing its streets to traffic on Sunday between 9am and 5pm.
Faro, the Algarve’s capital, will be launching 20 new bicycle parking areas during the European Mobility Week, while on Thursday it will host a ‘warm-up event’ for the Portugal Mobi Summit, to be held in October in Carcavelos.
The town will also be celebrating a “day without cars” on Sunday.
Meantime, São Brás de Alportel will be hosting a variety of fun events and sports activities on Tuesday, September 24 along Rua Dr. Alberto de Sousa, near the local skate park. Traffic will be cut off while events take place.