A Walk Through the Algarve

From $2409 per person

****# Based on 24 customer reviews
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  • Cabo de Sao Vicente: Europe's south west tip and the starting point for the great explorers
  • Tavira: straddling the Rio Sequa, the last city before Spain and known as the city of churches
  • Superb mix of river paths, beautiful coastlines and mountain vistas
  • Maritime history in Lagos (home of Henry the Navigator) and Sagres Fort
  • Traditional local cuisine: fresh fish, tasty chouricos and superb cheese

What's included?

  • 10 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Selected Sundays from 12 Mar '17 to 12 Nov '17
  • All buffet breakfasts, 7 evening meals and 8 lunches
  • Managed by Headwater appointed agent
  • Sustainability rating: 92%
  • Air conditioned vehicle
  • Medronho tasting included

Excellent for...

A Walk Through the Algarve

This 10-day guided walk takes you on a journey through the natural beauty of the undiscovered Algarve exploring the full range of landscapes that this vibrant and varied region has to offer. Starting in the city of churches, Tavira, we'll head to the easternmost point of Portugal following the mighty Guadiana River, the natural border to Spain, before heading to the Barrocal (mid mountains). Explore the maritime history of Portugal and Europe in Lagos and Sagres, before we head out to the coast to be met by huge crashing waves and jaw-dropping views. The final 3 days of the trip are in the Serra de Monchique, the mountain range which offers fantastic views over the whole region.

With Tiago, our local guide, we'll walk along diverse landscapes from river paths and untouched coastlines to the Monchique mountain range. Spanish and green lavender grow in abundance with 25+ types of orchids, mystic thyme and flowering yellow broom. Overhead you can see Bonelli's eagles, sparrow hawks, black kites, azure magpies and golden orioles whilst flamingos make their home in the salt marshes. As autumn arrives, the Algarve is one of the best places in Europe to see the annual migration, and with autumn and winter akin to springtime in the UK, you can be sure of warm Algarvian temperatures from autumn right through to May.

We'll enjoy 3 very different hand-picked hotels, all with pools. The **** Pousada in Tavira is a wonderfully restored C16 convent. In Pedralva, the owner, Antonio Ferreira, bought the entire village and refurbished each house to create Aldeia da Pedralva; each hotel 'room' is in fact an entire house for you to enjoy privately. Your last 3 nights are spent at the **** Villa Termal in Caldas de Monchique, where small individual hotel buildings and an atmospheric tapas bar create an almost Victorian village feel, with its town square as the focal point. The food in the region is simple yet delicious with daily fresh fish, cured hams, superb cheese and chourico that are as good as those from Spain or Italy. All of this is washed down by the fresh and fruity regional wines.

Typical day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Tavira

Arrive in Tavira, your base for the next 4 nights. Enjoy dinner (included) at the hotel this evening.

Day 2 - A walk along the Guadiana 9km/6mi/3hr

We go east, stopping at the town of Alcoutim with its C14 castle and small international ferry! We then head to Laranjeiras where we follow the Guadiana River, passing pretty white villages, almond and olive groves, climbing between holm oaks and stone pines to a wonderful picnic spot. It's then on through the Laranjeiras ravine full of tamarisks, lavender and carob trees, spotting golden orioles as we go.

Day 3 - The 7 Springs of the Barrocal 9km/6mi/3hrs

Today it's up to the Barrocal to follow the 7 Springs route, a walk blending rivers, streams and springs, one of which, the Benemola, is one of the Algarve's most important water sources with 4 million litres of water discharging every hour. The flora is impressive with mystic thyme, yellow broom and Montpellier cistus. We stop in the village of Querenca with its pretty church and inviting bars and cafes.

Day 4 - Salt Marshes, Anchors and Tavira 4km/2mi/1.5hr

Today we head to Pedras d'el Rei for a morning walk along the salt marshes of the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve and Praia do Barril with its interesting 'anchor graveyard' and bizarre museum of the tuna fish industry! We return to Tavira for a free afternoon to explore the town, its monuments and many churches.

Day 5 - Westward Bound Lagos and Sagres

Our first stop is the old walled town of Lagos, with its warren of narrow streets which we can enjoy exploring before lunch (included). Then it's on to Sagres for a short walk around its C15 fortress, built by henry the Navigator, before we head to the south west tip of Europe, Cabo de Sao Vicente, and its lighthouse. We end the day at the unique Aldeia da Pedralva, your base for the next 3 nights.

Day 6 - To the Beach and Back 14km/9mi/4hr

Today we head out of the village to cross verdant green meadows and pass old farmhouses. The coast slowly appears and we're met by truly stunning views of the Atlantic. We'll then walk along Amado Beach, internationally renowned for its surf. From the beach we drop down to the valley floor to follow a lovely trail along the Sinceira River, passing through a green and lush landscape as we make our way back to the hotel.

Day 7 - The Fishermen's Trail to Odeceixe 10km/6.5mi/4hr or 13km/8mi/5hr

Today's walk takes us out of the Algarve and into neighbouring Alentejo. We follow the Rota Vicentina trail alongside flower-filled meadows leading us to the Fishermen's Trail - this rugged coastline is quite simply mind-blowing - finishing at Odeceixe Beach, one of the most photographed in Portugal.

Day 8 - Monchique and Medronho 8km/5mi/2hr

We head to the mountain village of Monchique and enjoy a walk to the Monte de Lameira farm, for a view of life in a bygone era, stopping for a traditional lunch of local hams and tasty cheeses. Then it's on to the Medronho distillery where we're shown how the local firewater is made - a tasting is of course included! We'll then head to our 4 Star spa hotel in Caldas de Monchique, our base for the next three nights.

Day 9 - The Walk of Views 11km/7mi/4hr

From the hotel, a tree-lined track leads us through a series of dwellings before we're rewarded with 360° views of lowlands to the south and mountains to the north - on a clear day you can see as far as the Atlantic. As we reach Monchique, there's time to stop for a drink before returning to the hotel for chourico, bread-making and the best bit - tasting!

Day 10 - The Route of the Mills 10km/6.5mi/4hrs

Our last walk takes us along the cobbled streets of Monchique to the C17 convent. We stop for lunch at a lovingly restored water mill and picnic under the shade of the trees whilst listening to the rushing stream which once powered the mill. To end our day we drive up to Foia peak, the highest point in the Algarve, for memorable views of the region and a look back at our journey.

Day 11 - Leave Monchique


For a longer tour, why not consider combining this with our Walk the Algarve's Wild West or Cycling in 'The Real Algarve'

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

Pousada de Tavira, Convento da Graça, Tavira   (4 Star)

The pool at the Posada

The Pousada de Tavira, Convento da Graça, is located in the Santo Agostinho Convent, founded by Dom Sebastião in the 16th Century. This hotel centrally located in Tavira, perfectly combines its historic past with modern touches.

The guests at the Pousada de Tavira can enjoy the outdoor pool on the sun loungers under the parasols or read a book in the drawing room. It has a lovely restaurant and pleasant bar, the inner courtyard is a lovely place to sit and relax.

All rooms have a minibar, satellite tv, and balconies or terraces. Wifi is available in public spaces and some rooms.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Diners Club card accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Aldeia da Pedralva , Pedralva   (3 acorns)

Aldeia da Pedralva , Pedralva

This is a magical place, a real find. Just 10 years ago the village of Pedralva was a ruin with houses just left to rot by owners who no longer wanted to live in the countryside. However, Antonio Ferreira, your host at the Aldeia da Pedralva, initially decided to buy a couple of houses, but eventually renovated 24 which have been beautifully restored to create 24 rooms. The village itself is surrounded by verdant nature parks and offers great walking and cycling possibilities. Food here is rustic Portuguese, simple in terms of ingredients but mouth watering in terms of quality, flavour and freshness.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Villa Termal, Caldas de Monchique   (4 Star)

Villa Termal

The Vila Thermal is situated in Caldas de Monchique on the site of the only thermal waters in the south of Portugal. The five separate buildings give the place a village feel and along with its 18th Century architecture, it gives the appearance of a grand old spa town.

The hotel has a medical spa centre, indoor and outdoor pools, a cosy tapas bar and lovely main square to take in the rays of sunshine.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Diners Club card accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine



Extra nights and stop over hotels

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.

Pousada Palacio de Estoi, Faro   (4 star)

Pool at the Pousada de Faro

The Pousada de Faro, is situated in the small village of Estoi, just a 25 minute bus journey or 15 minute taxi ride from Faro. Set in the hills overlooking Faro and the coast, this wonderful hotel was born from the ruins of the Palacio de Estoi. A C18 Rococo palace once owned by the viscount of Estoi, it has been painstakingly restored to its former glory and provides a relaxing haven complete with beautiful pool just above bustling Faro and just a twenty minute walk to the Roman excavated village of Milreu.

Whilst keeping an eye to the past, the rooms have a modern fresh feel all of a good size, with views down to the coast. The hotel boasts a large SPA complete with sauna and Turkish bath. There is a nice restaurant offering set menus and a la carte.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Diners Club card accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Travel options

Transfers included from Faro Airport at 11:30, (18:35 Mar 12 2017 departure) and back to Faro Airport 09:30, (14:00 Mar 12 2017 departure).

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email info@breakaway-adventures.com to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Mr Sedgwick on 08/06/2016

*****
A good variety of walks with a good local guide through enchanting country side with magnificent wild flowers ( May is a good month for this holiday

Reviewed by Mrs O'Brian on 05/06/2016

*****
Overall the holiday was thoroughly enjoyable. The walks were varied and a good length and covered some beautiful scenery. I think the 1+ rating was quite accurate - the walks were usually around 4 hours with some up and downhill sections but nothing particularly difficult. The accommodation was good as were most of the meals. Our guide, Tiago, was brilliant! He was knowledgeable, organised, flexible and just a really nice guy to hang out with. My only advice for future travellers would be to make sure to take insect repellent or a zapper for Tavira. The mozzies were like helicopters there.

Reviewed by Mrs Pattinson on 20/05/2016

*****
Tiago and Hugo were excellent guides using very well planned routes. They were very friendly and flexible in their approach. Everyone in the walking group was very friendly and sociable. Tiago was a fount of knowledge of birds and plants and was keen to pass on this knowledge.

Reviewed by Mrs Corris on 03/05/2016

***#.
The walking was varied and enjoyable although the weather could have been better.

Reviewed by Mrs King on 26/04/2016

*****
An excellent holiday with exceptionally helpful guides.a good variety of accommodation

Reviewed by Mis Whittaker on 24/04/2016

***#.
I have been on many Headwater holidays, mostly guided when traveling on my own or with one friend but some self guided when with a group of friends. When travelling on my own Headwater provide accurate information about what to expect and provide a safe environment for me. I know enough about how they operate to anticipate accurately what the holiday will be like. Of course the other members of the group are a main factor but I have always found that they work well together. This is often helped by the guide understanding group dynamics.

Reviewed by Mr Holmes on 23/04/2016

*****
An excellent holiday with an interesting and varied range of walks and activities. Well structured to give a decent impression of the Algarve region as a whole. The website and brochure provide a pretty accurate description of the holiday. The local guides were informative, helpful, friendly and very considerate of capabilities of different group members. My first experience of such a holiday, would happily do something similar again!

Reviewed by Mrs Smale on 14/04/2016

*****
Enjoyable relaxed holiday with an excellent guide, Tiago, who introduced us to the lovely and varied countryside which was enhanced by the magnificent show of wild flowers. The walking was considerably harder than on other 1boot holidays, and deserved to be labelled as 1+ boot.

Reviewed by Mrs Lamb on 28/03/2016

*****
This was our first guided walk, after many years of self guided holidays. We enjoyed the relaxation which came from not having to worry about anything at any time.Our guide Tiago was expert at assessing the capabilities and personalities of the group. We were able to go at our own pace, taking as much time as anyone needed to appreciate the wild flowers, birds and scenery. His passion for his country was inspirational and educational.

Reviewed by Dr Loken on 24/03/2016

*****
As usual with Headwater Holidays, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on this holiday. The locations were varied and interesting, the local guides did an excellent job, and the walking was very enjoyable.

Reviewed by Mr Harris on 14/03/2016

*****
A good strenuous holiday for an elderly single traveller. The guides and the other travellers were good organisers and excellent companions. No complaints.

Reviewed by Mr Sinanoglou on 12/03/2016

***#.
Though the rating (one boot+) is accurate, I would have preferred longer walks on most days. The use of three locations in three very different settings is an attractive feature as is the superb seafood. The village of Pedralva is an unusual and well-chosen base from which to explore Portugal's west coast. The use of a Portuguese partner organization (A to Z Adventures) and local guides works extremely well. This is an ideal holiday for those who enjoy half-day walks in a variety of landscapes covering a region that stretches from the river border with Spain in the east to the Atlantic beaches and sea cliffs in the west. The guides are well-informed and very attentive.

Reviewed by Mis Haill on 17/11/2015

*****
Truly memorable holiday with excellent guides leading us. We saw a huge amount of the Algarve and the walks were varied and interesting, though perhaps a little bit harder than I was prepared for. My first visit to Portugal and I hope not my last.

Reviewed by Mr Jones on 24/10/2015

***#.
Good holiday and very good walking, well organised and good fun.

Reviewed by Mrs Stevens on 24/10/2015

***#.
This had the potential to be an outstanding holiday with excellent guides but they were let down by two of the hotels. It would have been helpful to have details of the spa treatments in advance and to book in advance as the Spa was often fully booked. It was also pretty shabby although the treatments good. More information about the area and history of the are would be a good idea too.

Reviewed by Mis Jameson on 24/10/2015

***#.
This was a new holiday and the Guides were excellent. The walks were varied and interesting. A mix of capabilities were catered for by using two vehicles but only because our group size allowed it. The hotels were varied as were the areas. I knew of the Poussada at Tavira and have stayed in the area before, We were particularly pleased to be able to return to a favorite restaurant in Santa Luzia. Although the weather wasn't at it's finest for our holiday we completed all the walks. The complex at Petralva was very interesting and had the best showers and hot water. However, the room was damp, others requested to be moved, this should be sorted out because the overall resort,concept and area was lovely. Our last morning's breakfast appeared to have them short handed but was fine. The bartender was knowledgeable and made our stay very enjoyable. The Hotel at Monchique was made up of a number of buildings some older than others. Our room although old was spacious but the hot water and decor was struggling a bit. Food for the first two evenings was a set menu and not very good nor was the service. This was the first time I have had difficulty with language in the Algarve. The bartender was particularly out of his depth. The last night the food was offered at A La Carte and was much improved as was the young lady taking orders and serving ( the kitchen too was much improved). The visit to the local distillery was fantastic and although the food in the hotel could have been better we thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. We did not receive walking notes or a detailed walk itinerary ( I assume because it was guided) but this left us never really sure of plans and routes for the next day. We were given the holiday briefing but ten days in one go was too much to take in. This was our fifth Headwater Holiday and perhaps quality did not quite match up to others but I think with some assistance from the hotels it could easily achieve the expected level. There were nine of us on the tour and think we all enjoyed the experience.

Reviewed by Mrs McTurk on 27/04/2015

*****
Fantastic way to see the real Algarve. Well organised walks with experienced local guide and comfortable hotels and good food at the end of the day!

Reviewed by Mr Ward on 27/04/2015

*****
Excellent mix of walks, scenery and wildflowers made this holiday wonderful. Certainly 10 days is needed to cover such a wide range. The food was generally excellent in the hotels, and in Tavira the restaurants O Castello (arrive early or book) and the Tavira Lounge (by the river) are well worth a visit and just a stroll from the hotel. We found the village hotel of Pedralva unique and very friendly and a super contrast to the first hotel. Monchique hotel is less special, but the restaurant was again excellent. A particular commendation to our guide Tiago for all his cheerful assistance and smooth driving: thanks for the birthday cakes.

Reviewed by Mr Prior on 13/04/2015

*****
Good variety of walks, with our excellent guide (Tiago), enabling various enjoyable views/experiences of the Algarve. Tavira especially attractive (although we had the best weather there), with plenty of excellent restaurants and scenic/architectural attractions and sights. We particularly liked the coastal/cliff walking at this time of year (early April) with such a varied range of beautiful flowers. All-in-all a great mix of sights and experiences in the Algarve.

Reviewed by Mis Chappell on 12/04/2015

*****
From the moment we arrived our guide Tiago made us feel at home and made our holiday an enjoyable experience. Thoroughly enjoyed the varied walks and the wildflowers were spectacular, especially on the Fisherman's Trail. By the end of the holiday, we felt we had seen many aspects of the Algarve, from the Spanish border all the way to the west coast, and from the seaside at Tavira to the mountainous village of Monchique.

Reviewed by Mr Pattison on 19/03/2015

*****
Another great Headwater holiday. Varied walking, good and interesting hotels, good guides. Some thought it merited 2 boot status, but it was fine for us.

Reviewed by Dr Jones on 14/03/2015

*****
Well organised, great places that we would not find on our own, excellent rep who gave us a 5 star experience . We felt completely relaxed and enjoyed every minute of our holiday .

Reviewed by Mrs Corns on 23/11/2014

*****
Good variety of walks, some site seeing. Our guide was knowledgeable and was keen to show us as much of his country as poosible.

Reviewed by Mr Schafer on 21/11/2014

*****
The Walking the Algarve trip offers participants a wonderful variety of of walks, accommodations and food. With walks that include the beautifully rugged coast and the mountain region of Monchique, one has an opportunity to experience much of what the Algarve has to offer. Our guide Tiago was excellent. The hikes were interesting and varied with the coastal portions being our favorite. The regional cuisine served at the hotels was very good with our favorites being the picnic at the Distillery and the dinners at Pedralva. All in all a wonderful Holiday!

Departure dates & prices

October 2016 departuresTour only 
Oct 16$2446
Oct 30$2480
November 2016 departuresTour only 
Nov 13$2426
March 2017 departuresTour only 
Mar 12$2398
Mar 26$2448
April 2017 departuresTour only 
Apr 9$2448
October 2017 departuresTour only 
Oct 15$2336
Oct 29$2370
November 2017 departuresTour only 
Nov 12$2322
February 2018 departuresTour only 
Feb 25$2446
March 2018 departuresTour only 
Mar 11$2446
Mar 25$2479
April 2018 departuresTour only 
Apr 8$2479

Holiday details

Minimum group sizes

A minimum of 4 people (in total) are required for each departure. Dates marked ° are guaranteed departures and have no minimum group size. All dates are subject to availability - please contact us to check.

Holiday type

Guided walking, hotel-to-hotel. Managed by Headwater appointed agent.

Departures

Selected Sundays from 12 Mar '17 to 12 Nov '17, for 11 days (10 nights).

Meals

All buffet breakfasts, 7 evening meals and 8 lunches.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Transfers included from Faro Airport at 11:30, (18:35 Mar 12 2017 departure) and back to Faro Airport 09:30, (14:00 Mar 12 2017 departure).

Enquire about this holiday

Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.

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We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.

 

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