Portugal : The Algarve

Walk the Algarve's Wild West

Trip code: W06AV 4.8 (84 reviews)

Self-guided walking

6 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 1+
Leisurely plus

16.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

SUMMARY

  • Walk beside the crashing Atlantic; follow the Rota Vicentina and Fishermen's Trail
  • Relax in an eclectic mix of hotels, from a rustic village conversion to a chic 4 star hotel
  • Delicious, typical Algarvian cuisine
  • Excellent for bird-spotting (over 190 species); carpets of wildflowers
  • Look out from Cabo de Sao Vicente lighthouse, Europe's most southwesterly point

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 6 nights accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts and 3 evening meals
  • Briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Headwater navigation app
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

TRIP DESCRIPTION

Far beyond the 'developed' Algarve in Portugal's most southerly Atlantic corner, lies the Sagres Peninsula, a startlingly pristine region of golden beaches, imposing cliffs, swaying flower meadows, dramatic coastlines and tree-lined paths. Locals here offer a warm welcome and hold on to the traditions of rural life. The easy-to-follow trails take in rich verdant valleys, pine forests and rugged coastlines, making exploring on foot amazingly rewarding. Birdlife also abounds here with endemic and migratory species passing through from Africa and Northern Europe. With winter very similar to spring in the UK, you can enjoy the warm temperatures of the Algarve from October right through to May.

Your route takes you to the fishermen's village of Carrapateira, along a mix of coastal and inland paths amid bird and orchid-rich forests to remote Pedralva. From this white village you follow the Rota Vicentina, a national trail interlinking with the Fishermen's Trail that starts in the Alentejo. It hugs beaches and cliffs all the way to Cabo de Sao Vicente, the farthest flung corner of Europe.

All your hotels have pools, and range from designer chic above the bay in Sagres, to country village style in Pedralva, where every house in the village has been restored to provide rustic accommodation. In Vila do Bispo you stay in a traditional pensao (coaching inn), now beautifully modernised, that was once a stopping-off point for pilgrims on their way to the Cape. Three dinners are included and the local cuisine is a sumptuous mix of fresh fish, local meats and fresh vegetables, accompanied by tangy cheeses and quality chouricos; all complemented by a superb choice of Portuguese wines.

Terrain

Walk are on a mix of unspoilt coastal paths, woodlands and easy to follow trails. We mostly follow the red‐and‐white markings of the Rota Vicentina / GR11, and the blue‐and‐green markings of the Fishermen’s Trail.

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive at Sagres

Arrive in the characterful coastal town of Sagres in time for your dinner.

You stay at Hotel Memmo Baleeira.

hotel details

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Hotel Memmo Baleeira, Sagres

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe
Tea/coffee


This designer hotel is perfectly situated overlooking the stunning bay on the edge of Sagres. The rooms are minimalistic in design and feature all amenities. The restaurant here prides itself on serving the best of the local seafood, whilst the hotel offers free use of the Turkish bath, sauna and indoor pool, the perfect tonic after a day exploring this stunning area.

Room upgrades: Double Frontal Sea View, 1 Bed Suite Land View, 1 Bed Suite Garden View or 1 Bed Suite Frontal Sea View.
All suites have separate living areas and come with dvd players and bathrobes.

Day 2: Sagres to Pedralva (16km/9.9mi)

After a 30-minute transfer you'll follow the Fishermen's Trail, passing pines and gorse as you head to the cliff tops and the impressive Amado beach, an internationally renowned surf beach. Make your way down to the village of Carrapateira, with its bars and restaurants offering a great lunch stop. Do take time to visit the interesting Land and Sea Museum for an insight into the history of the village and its fishing economy. You'll then pick up the Rota Vicentina passing one of the Algarve's finest viewpoints, following a lovely trail through the Sinceira Valley and the course of the River Sinceira, as you make your way to charming Aldeia da Pedralva and your own village house for the next two nights.

elevation

You stay at Aldeia da Pedralva.

hotel details

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Aldeia da Pedralva , Pedralva

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Mastercard
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi


This is a magical place, a real find. In 2006 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, after initially deciding to buy a couple of houses, 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.

Day 3: At Pedralva (15km/9.3mi or 9km/5.6mi)

You can be as active or as relaxed as you like: spend time unwinding in the pretty village or enjoy one of two optional walks. Follow a lovely cliff-top trail back along to Amado beach or take a smaller loop along the Marreiros plateau with great views of the Algarve's highest point.

elevation

Day 4: Pedralva to Vila do Bispo (12km/7.5mi or 18km/11.2mi)

There are two options for today, both setting off through a forest of pine and eucalyptus as you follow the Rota Vicentina, then a meandering trail through flower meadows leading you along a path and down to the pretty village of Vila do Bispo. The longer trail adds a wonderful horseshoe loop heading into the Costa Vicentina Natural Park, to Praia da Barriga (Barriga beach) with its impressive cliffs and crashing waves - the perfect picnic spot.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Mira Sagres.

hotel details

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Hotel Mira Sagres , Vila do Bispo

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


The Mira Sagres is an historical pension in the fishing village of Villa do Bispo and a regular haven for journeying pilgrims making their way to Cape St Vincent. The fascia of the pension has now been lovingly gentrified and in keeping with the local tradition, has now been stylishly whitewashed, it also boasts an impressive indoor pool. On a good day from the high terrace at the hotel you can see Sagres in the distance.

Day 5: At Vila do Bispo (10km/6.2mi or 12km/7.5mi)

The cosmopolitan coastal town of Lagos is a short bus ride away; encircled by 14th century walls, the stone work and architecture within is a delight. Ornate churches date from the 13th century, and tangled cobbled lanes lead to discoveries around every corner. Alternatively, you may wish to follow one of two walks, one taking in the cliffs and viewpoints above Vila do Bispo, the other a real gem of a walk through a landscape of rolling hills and gentle valleys through the village of Raposeira to Guadalupe chapel, thought to be one of the only Knights Templar buildings left in Portugal.

elevation

Day 6: Vila do Bispo to Cabo de Sao Vicente/Sagres (17km/10.6mi)

Surrounded by foaming Atlantic breakers, Cabo de Sao Vicente marks the most south-westerly point of Europe. The walk out to the edge of the continent should prove to be one of the highlights of your week! You are spoilt with amazing coastal scenery on this wild and unpopulated route that follows sandy paths and gorse-strewn meadows to the very edge of the Iberian Peninsula. At the Cape there is a lighthouse, museum and small bar, offering wonderful photo opportunities. It's a short transfer (5 mins) back to Sagres where you can relax with a cold drink on the waterfront, watching fishermen mending their nets.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Memmo Baleeira.

hotel details

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Hotel Memmo Baleeira, Sagres

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe
Tea/coffee


This designer hotel is perfectly situated overlooking the stunning bay on the edge of Sagres. The rooms are minimalistic in design and feature all amenities. The restaurant here prides itself on serving the best of the local seafood, whilst the hotel offers free use of the Turkish bath, sauna and indoor pool, the perfect tonic after a day exploring this stunning area.

Room upgrades: Double Frontal Sea View, 1 Bed Suite Land View, 1 Bed Suite Garden View or 1 Bed Suite Frontal Sea View.
All suites have separate living areas and come with dvd players and bathrobes.

Day 7: Leave Sagres

Extending your holiday

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra hotel nights we recommend: Pousada Palacio de Estoi, Faro; Pousada de Sagres Infante, Sagres; Hotel Lisboa Plaza, Lisbon.

hotel details

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Pousada Palacio de Estoi, Faro

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


The Pousada de Estoi 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 18th century 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 20-minute walk to the Roman excavated village of Milreu.

Whilst keeping an eye to the past, the rooms have a modern fresh feel, they are all 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.

Room upgrades: Suite.
Suites are slightly bigger and offer a south facing balcony.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

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Pousada de Sagres Infante, Sagres

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


The Pousada de Sagres, Infante, is a lovely hotel with 270 degree views of the Atlantic sea below. On the west side there are great views of Sagres Fortress and Cabo de Sao Vicente in the distance.

The hotel has a lovely outdoor pool with views of the fortress, there are also massage rooms and a large lounge. The rooms all have balcony or terrace and sea views.



Room upgrades: Superior Room, Superior Sea View or Special Suite.
Superior rooms are larger and have balcony with partial sea view and garden view; Superior sea views are larger and have balcony with frontal sea view; Special suites have living room, front sea view and balcony.

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Hotel Lisboa Plaza, Lisbon

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Market
Bank
Cash machine
Mastercard
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


Owned by the same family since 1953, the 4 star Hotel Lisboa Plaza is an imaginatively designed hotel, just off the famous Avenida da Liberdade. All rooms have en-suite marble floored bathrooms, air conditioning, satellite television, direct dial telephones, hairdryers and mini-bar. The public rooms are elegantly furnished and there is a pleasant bar and dining room.

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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from $441.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from $441.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels
TRAVEL DETAILS

Call now to speak to our specialist team at 0044 1606 720199 or email us at sales@headwater.com for enquiries or to book your trip.

REVIEWS

Route finding – the app worked perfectly.

Local agent Lea pleasant and efficient

We had sunny weather. No rain.

The scenery at the coast is stunning. We experienced fantastic wild flowers at every turn. Lots of interesting birdlife.

Trails not difficult

Accommodation excellent



Patricia Pearl, 9 Mar 2024

 

We find Headwater easy to deal with and flexible. The self guided packages fit the bill for us and the delivery of them has been faultless. We’re back with you in June.

John Taylor, 24 Feb 2024

 

Once again I really liked the choice of hotels. I like hotels that are quirky and friendly and this has been the case on this holiday. I really like the app for guidance while walking and think that GPS should be available for every walk. I like the freedom to be self-guided and the app provides the necessary reassurance to help me feel confident about striding out on my own. Going on a self-guided walk with an organised timetable means that I bump into other travellers doing the same route in the evenings. I like this as I don't feel on my own while also being entirely independent. I am becoming a bit addicted ... :)

Dorothy Crossan, 10 Feb 2024

 

Fourth holiday with Headwater over the years. Always very enjoyable and exciting destinations. Great routes and we visit places we would never have seen otherwise. Thank you.

Tracey Groves, 16 Sep 2023

 

We thoroughly enjoyed the whole holiday. The walking was very varied taking in stunning coastal scenery, verdant valleys and beautiful natural landscapes. The locals were friendly and the accommodation and food all brilliant. We especially loved staying in the ‘slow village’ of Pedralva. We would thoroughly recommend this excellent trip.

HAWKINS, 13 May 2023

 

A superb walk along a magnificent coastline & through countryside alive with wild flowers & butterflies in this lesser known part of Portugal. The accommodation chosen is delightfully varied - part luxury/part simple. Quality food in terms of breakfast & evening meals. Both the written walk notes & maps together with the GPS App are very accurate & helpful. The staff & service provided from start to finish and during the holiday was professional, knowledgeable & pleasant. This is our 6th walking holiday with Headwater. We will definitely book more.

Mrs Pittam, 22 Apr 2023

 

Very well organised and a beautiful area to explore. Local rep was excellent and highly recommend this holiday where you choose the mix of walking and relaxing.

Mr Cheney, 11 Apr 2023

 

Having never tried a holiday like this we were a little apprehensive, but we needn't have worried. Thanks to Headwater's meticulous planning we can highly recommend 'Walk The Algarve's Wild West' - it was a most memorable experience from start to finish. The delightful scenery meant the walks were all hugely enjoyable, with only a couple of slightly monotonous sections which were thankfully short. We went in late March when the flowers and birdlife were at their best, as was the weather. As the maps are not exactly OS standard, the app proved to be invaluable. We were amazed by the quality and variety of the three hotels, especially in Sagres and Pedralva. And while Vila do Bispo may not be the most exciting town, we had two exceptional evening meals in the local restaurants. All transfers ran like clockwork and Headwater's local agent, Lea, could not have been more helpful. We are already perusing the brochure for next year's adventure.

Mrs Hilton, 25 Mar 2023

 

This was a fantastic trip. Well organised. Navigation App very good but interestingly my younger companion (daughter in law) found the written instructions very helpful. Lovely part of Europe, food amazing, walking really enjoyable and good weather.

Mrs Hudson, 11 Oct 2022

 

From the first trip communication to the last, I have never experienced a travel group who is as thorough and professional as Headwater. First rate, all the way!

Mr Britnell, 21 Jun 2022

 

The walking was varied and not difficult, with abundant flowers and birdlife. The directions were very good, and we would recommend printing them before travel. it was helpful to know if and where refreshments would be available each day. The accommodation was very good, with the swimming pool at Pedralva a very welcome surprise.

Mrs Aldridge, 17 May 2022

 

Great trip. Well organised. Maps brilliant. A bit expensive but probably worth it

Mr Swain, 12 Apr 2022

 

Fairly easy walking on good tracks in beautiful and peaceful countryside and coastal areas. The routes were easy to navigate with an interesting mix of terrain. We really enjoyed the delicious local food and wine and a good hot shower at the end of the day and all the accommodation was very comfortable and the staff helpful and friendly. Not every hotel provided in-room tea and coffee so you might want to bring a travel kettle and English tea bags.

Ms HAMMOND, 2 Apr 2022

 

Some stunning scenery and memorable walks along the Algarve coast. We travelled in Spring so the weather was not too hot and the wild flowers were beautiful. The hotel Memmo Baleeira in Sagres is a fantastic place to stay and the Aldeia de Pedralva lived up to the billing as a wonderful, quiet haven. We didn't enjoy staying in VIla do Bispo so much as the hotel is rather basic and the town is quite dull with limited restaurants (but it was early season, so maybe it is more lively in summer). The walks on the first two days included stops at some fantastic beaches and the walk on the last day along the rocky Atlantic coast, finishing up at Cabo sao Vicente is the undoubted highlight. The walks in the middle two days were less interesting.

Mr EVANS, 31 Mar 2022

 

A really lovely part of the world to visit. The coastal walk and beaches were amazing. The last walk into Sagres, particularly offered fantastic geological views. Reaching Capo Sao Vincente gives a real sense of why it once was thought of as the edge of the world. Unless you're hell bent on walking for the sake of walking, I'd give the first walk out of Vila do Bispo a miss and catch the bus to Lagos for the day. An interesting place with history and plenty of cafes for a coffee and nata. The local people are friendly and easy to get along with.



Mr Evans, 31 Mar 2022

 

Perfect mix of accommodation and good deal of very practical advice. Superbly organised and highly recommended.

Mr Dlugokecki, 19 Dec 2021

 

We loved the area - very unspoilt and the wild flowers were a joy. Unfortunately coronavirus impacted on the overall enjoyment. It was reassuring to have your Representative Stephanie giving us a call during the week. We'll come back to this area once the current crisis is over.

Mr Higginson, 13 Mar 2020

 

Gorgeous walking in an unspoilt part of Portugal: dramatic coastline views, stunning beaches, abundant wildflowers and amazingly warm and sunny in late February, Often you wouldn't see another soul all day on the walk. Hotels were mostly of an excellent standard (Pedralva was a disappointment, mainly because it was blighted by extensive building work during our visit, but both other hotels were great) and food was outstanding throughout. Detailed and reliable trip notes. One of the best holidays we have had.

Ms Napier, 23 Feb 2020

 

We were lucky with the weather. No real complaints

Mr Sampson, 1 Feb 2020

 

Excellent walking and food in an unspoilt area. Felt very welcome everywhere and reps were extremely friendly and helpful.

Mrs GALLAGHER, 17 Nov 2019

 

Generally good. Some stretches of walks boring but necessary to get to destination. I loved Pedalva but didnt like sharing track with motor bikes around Pedalva. November not best month for flowers. and outdoor pools and sea too cold for swimming. Jude and Tim were really welcoming and helpful

Prof Williams, 11 Nov 2019

 

Once again we have had a wonderful holiday through Headwater

Mrs Tattersall, 9 Nov 2019

 

It was our first organised walking holiday and it was fantastic. We especially appreciated the excellent notes and enjoyed the coastal walks.

Robinson, 14 Oct 2019

 

We had a lovely 5 day walking holiday, no problems and would like to say a special thank you to Ludmilla and Tony and the staff at Pedralva.

Mrs Edmondson, 6 Apr 2019

 

A relaxing walking holiday in attractive and unspoiled coastal scenery. The detailed route maps and waymarking were superb. The Atlantic cliff views and wild flowers provided numerous photo opportunities.

Mr Grierson, 5 Mar 2019

 

The general topography of this holiday was less interesting and exciting than experienced on previous headwater walks, but we did thoroughly enjoy the holiday.

Mr Hamilton, 28 Oct 2018

 

We were very impressed with the service provided by Headwater from start to finish. Ludmilla, the local rep, was very helpful and gave us lots of advice about each days walking. We got the bus into Lagos on our rest day, which was also very enjoyable.

We have never been on an organised holiday like this before, but wouldn't hesitate to book with Headwater again.

Mrs Garrett, 23 Oct 2018

 

This was a most enjoyable walking holiday. The walking was stretching without being gruelling. The three hotels used were really good. And the Portugues were very accommodating and the food delicious. We made some new friends and felt well looked after from start to finish.

Mrs Chua, 16 Oct 2018

 

In a beautiful area of Portugal, with walking each day enough to be testing but not exhausting. The hotels were all good and we enjoyed the company of other walkers. A very enjoyable holiday.

Mrs Simpson, 16 Oct 2018

 

Really enjoyed the holiday but felt some of the walks didn't quite match the holiday description of "Algarve's Wild West".

Mr Morrison, 16 Oct 2018

 

We had a lovely time, there were 8 of us that booked together and we loved the walk! The scenery was gorgeous with the most beautiful wild flowers everywhere.





Ms Herkess, 15 May 2018

 

We had a good holiday somewhat marred by poor direction notes, that were unclear and didn’t contain enough distance references. Also the choice of accommodation and scheduled rest days wasn’t given much thought and could have been much better.

Mr Everett, 15 May 2018

 

A good walking experience in a scenic environment.

Mr Valentine, 11 May 2018

 

A complete break, involving some challenges but much relaxation. A new part of Europe to us, we were welcomed.

Mr Ingram, 24 Apr 2018

 

Fantastic walking in a peaceful part of Portugal, but then we were there in April not the peak summer season. Tony and Ludmilla provided the perfect start to the holiday and the reassurance that they could be contacted if we needed support. The suites in Hotel Memmo Baleeria were worth the extra because the standard room we had on the first night was rather small.

Mrs Geddes, 14 Apr 2018

 

We had 5 days of varied and interesting walking. The route notes were easy to follow. The walks at the overnight stops were well worth doing especially the fabulous walk from Pedralva back to the beach. It was easy walking, nothing too taxing. It was worth having my woolly hat though, for protection against the wind, which was quite strong at times. We think that the combination of a linear walk with a 2 night stop in one place is a great model.

Mr Blackwell, 23 Mar 2018

 

Easy walking. The coast was spectacular, the inland areas pleasant though much of the walking was along broad tracks that were not particularly interesting. We enjoyed staying at Pedralva - a very imaginative concept, and picturesque village. Ludmilla, the Headwater rep, was very helpful and knowledgeable. Thanks also for making the .gpx files available prior to leaving; navigation was easy enough, but they provided a useful check on occasions.

Mr Butler, 23 Feb 2018

 

A dramatic and varied coastal walk with superb bird watching opportunities. An excellent way to savour the culture, food and history of the region.

Mrs Barraclough, 13 Feb 2018

 

This was our first holiday with Headwater, and would have no hesitation in using again all staff were extremely helpful and efficient. It was lovely to be met at the airport and have all our hotel and luggage transfers organised. Selected hotels were excellent.

Mrs Greenway, 22 Oct 2017

 

A great experience of authentic Portugal with great views and easy walking

Mr Baird, 14 Oct 2017

 

Three days' varied walking and three totally contrasting hotels, each with its own particular attraction. Couldn't ask for a better introduction to the Algarve.

Mr Kilburn, 10 Oct 2017

 

Algarve Wild West walking exceeded expectation. Floral environment on all walks was dazzling. All walks easy to follow as marked and described in written guide. Two boots was just about correct.

Mr Russell, 5 May 2017

 

Superb views when walking as well as lots of spring flowers and wildlife to enjoy. Excellent hotels and informative reps to help with local knowledge.

Mr Kimber, 31 Mar 2017

 

A thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing holiday. We booked for the beginning of April hoping for good walking weather and lots of spring flowers - it turned out to be an excellent choice.

Mr Swingler, 29 Mar 2017

 

An ideal time to visit this area and enjoy the spring flowers and butterflies which are abundant on all the walks. The weather was perfect for this type of holiday and the hotels very good. The GPX tracks supplied were very useful.

Mr Bumfrey, 29 Mar 2017

 

We could relax because everything ran like clockwork. We were very lucky with our walking companions, we enjoyed thier company and navigated and ate together every day.

Mrs Griffiths, 13 Mar 2017

 

Lovely walks with lots of variety. We particularly enjoyed the coastline. Our rep, Ludmilla, was very welcoming, personable and helpful.

Mrs Lancaster, 27 Feb 2017

 

Good but if we followed the walks exactly , they were not long enough for us given that the terrain was not at all demanding. However we did manage to add on extras each day which made the walking better.

Mr Norris, 23 Feb 2017

 

Portugal in February - quiet but not deserted, good walking and perfect temperature and conditions.

Mr Richards, 23 Feb 2017

 

Easy walking over gentle countryside with spectacular coast

Mr Toms, 16 Oct 2016

 

Lovely views, lovely walks (accurate maps and grading), lovely hotels and a lovely rep (Ludmilla). It was a great holiday with the two nights in Pedralva and the walk to the lighthouse on the last day as the absolute highlights.

Ms Van Bentum, 8 Oct 2016

 

We had our first holiday with Headwater this October in Portugal. We had never been on an organised walking holiday before, but any concerns we might have had , e.g. getting lost,were soon abated. The route maps were excellent and easy to follow. The timing of each walk was accurate, so we were able to pace ourselves accordingly. We often walked the whole day without meeting a soul except at the beach, where we could watch surfers in crashing waves. The range of accommodation was excellent. We enjoyed our stay in Pedralva and were lucky to have a a cottage with a large patio.The hotels were in great locations and all very comfortable. Ludmilla and Tony were very helpful and knowledgeable about the area. We had not been to Portugal on holiday before. We will be back!

Mrs Cerny, 4 Oct 2016

 

The coastline in South West Portugal is stunning and the national park unspoiled .Most days we only saw other walkers and surfers The walks were well planned and came with easy to follow instructions.The way-mark signs were also good. Ludmilla and Tony, the Headwater representatives were excellent.and we felt as though they were there just for us ,even though we knew that they had other guests to look after. .The food and accommodation was ,on the whole ,of a high standard. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend this holiday to other walkers. They wont be disappointed. It far exceeded our expectations!

Mr Kent, 14 Sep 2016

 

The local guides were extremely helpful and well informed. Their walking routes and descriptions were excellent and full of interest. The whole area was very scenic and with a good variety of wildlife.

Dr Johnson, 9 Sep 2016

 

A great way to see different areas of a country and meet new people.

Mr Cottam, 5 May 2016

 

The standard of the holiday was as good as expected - what really made this holiday so enjoyable was Tony and Ludmilla - their warm welcome, personal touch, and their knowledge of the area was second to none.

Mr Story, 19 Apr 2016

 

The walks were excellent and very accurately described and graded. Excellent options presented for the rest days. Ludmilla, our rep, was really helpful and had very good personal knowledge of the area and all the walks. Views were spectacular, especially on the coastal sections of the walks, and the wildflowers and bird-life were both wonderful. The slow-food restaurant at Vila do Bispo (A Eira do Mel) provided the outstanding meal of our trip. Hotel meals were generally pretty good, though the breakfast at Vila do Bispo was rather limited both in variety and quality. The weather was pleasantly cool for walking but, if you want to swim in the sea, you should probably go late April or May!

Ms Elliott, 15 Apr 2016

 

A delightful few days' walking in lovely, remote, unspoilt countryside. I enjoyed the birdlife and spring flowers particularly. The Portuguese we encountered were personable and friendly and spoke excellent English. My friend and I loved the food and wine - our reward after a day of walking! We got a lot out of what was, objectively, quite a short holiday.

Ms King-Smith, 7 Apr 2016

 

Great.......good walking , excellent notes and maps , good weather and good support. Requests for extra historical information promptly supplied by Ludmilla. Wonderful flowers, butterflies and birds, ! Food was excellent both in hotels and in the towns and Ludmilla advised us about local perceves speciality...and how to eat them. A good variety of places to eat.

Only suggestion is handrail or handrope in Pedralva cottage ( long flight of thirteen stone steps down to loo.....)

Wonder if L and T might keep a reference book of Flowers and Birds of Portugal in the van they could lend out... or we could consult?



Pro Beevers, 24 Mar 2016

 

Hiring a car gave more flexibility and allowed us both to walk following some of the route, especially the Fisherman's Trail and so to see the coastline, as well as having more time to explore other parts of the region. Ludmilla was outstanding in giving helpful, discrete and unintrusive advice

Mr Faulkner, 18 Mar 2016

 

Friendly, well-organised and exactly as described.

Ms Hood, 18 Mar 2016

 

Our third holiday with Headwater came up to usual high standards. Our representative Ludmilla was excellent and efficient. Although we had no problems we were confident that, had there been, she would have dealt with them promptly. We particularly enjoyed the delightful village at Pedralva - something out of the ordinary.

Mr Beal, 17 Mar 2016

 

Excellent first holiday with Headwater. Nothing was too much trouble. They even arranged for me to see England win the Grand Slam on TV in Pedralva!

Walks were beautiful and the guides were easy to follow.

Mr Kershaw, 17 Mar 2016

 

A holiday in which you get away from the crowds and experience the country intimately, complemented by good food & accomodation

Dr Harris, 19 Feb 2016

 

Probably the best walking holiday we have had in Europe. A decent walk each day but you could do other things if you wanted. 3 of the five walks were really beautiful and the other two were good. Accommodation was fine and the reps were helpful. The notes were clear and easy to follow.

Mr Pomfrett, 30 Jan 2016

 

Can't really comment on standard of accommodation normally offered by Headwater as we upgraded wherever possible. At Costa D'Oiro (where we paid for superior room) we were put in room 3016 (I think) which, we later realised, has to have been the worst of all the superior rooms in that building (ground floor, in the back left-hand corner of the building) - the bathroom facilities were modern but the room itself was very dark and cramped (had a 3rd bed in it so nowhere inside to sit or even to put our cases). The patio was dark & dingy and only got the sun for about an hour or so around breakfast time (which wasn't much use to us as the room was not 'ready' for us to go into until after 1pm). The superior rooms on the other side of the building (i.e. facing the small road) were much brighter and bigger but we were not given the option of changing. We wouldn't have minded a room at the back of the building had it been on the 1st floor level as this would have been much lighter but we very much got the impression that we were put in that room to make it easier for cleaning - i.e. all the rooms to be cleaned were together on the ground floor. The restaurant was closed in the evening so comment re food relates to breakfast only, which was good. I would not stay in this hotel again.





Ms Swiecicka, 25 Jan 2016

 

Thoroughly enjoyed our holiday, Tony and Ludmilla were very helpful, the route notes accurate and the walks were lovely especially the walk from Vila do Bispo to Sagres-the coastal views were fantastic! All the hotels were very welcoming, but we especially liked Pedralva it is a real gem and the food was great too! There was plenty of choice of restaurants on the days when we had bed and breakfast at the hotels and we found all to be very good value for money.

Mrs Chaplin, 9 Nov 2015

 

Memmo Baleeira was lovely to stay at and it would have been good to have stayed there longer. Mira Sagres was alright and Pedralva was very basic (food in evening was adequate but you had to be careful what you chose). Walking along coast and in wooded valleys was lovely but could be tedious inland (flat and featureless scrubland at times). Ludmilla was great and very helpful - we like her a lot!

Mis Heath, 7 Nov 2015

 

Our walking holiday in Portugal was a delight. Everything worked so well and the area is outstandingly beautiful particularly in April with so many spring flowers in bloom. I would highly recommend this region/ holiday.

Ms Glass, 18 Apr 2015

 

Ideal for walking in more natural and unspoilt areas with good standard of accommodation. Warm and mainly dry weather made the walking very enjoyable although be prepared for windy spells. The importance of tourism to the area came across in the warm welcome we received from most of the Portuguese. Our introduction to the area by the Headwater rep. Tony Lewis was invaluable and his walking notes made navigation easy. Both Tony and Ludmilla made the holiday appear seamless in its organisation and they were very friendly and supportive.

Mr Stephens, 2 Apr 2015

 

This is the third holiday we have had with Headwater and was the best yet. Tony could not have been more helpful and is clearly a man who loves his work. The walks were all superb with a huge variety of scenery. The notes were very clear and made it is easy to find our way. The accommodation was all to a high standard. Pedralva is a real gem and we were sorry to leave such an away from it all location. Choice of food for dinner at Memmo Baleeira was a bit limited unless you like pizza but they made up for this with the most superb breakfast choice. We also had the restaurant virtually to ourselves on the first night but on our return on Good Friday it was packed out with families. Quite a contrast.





Mr Menzies, 29 Mar 2015

 

We felt that the reps Tony and Ludmilla were excellent and helpful at all times. They are great ambassadors for Headwater.

We were disappointed with the evening meal offered at the Hotel Memmo Baleeira. The service was slow, the food cold and over seasoned for our tastes. We found an excellent alternative restaurant in the town and went there on our last night. We would have preferred to have had an 'eat out' option in Sagres rather than having the evening meal included.

Mis Pearson, 13 Mar 2015

 

Good news !

Mr Sledge, 22 Feb 2015

 

Walking the Algarve's Wild West is a lovely break in the dull winter months of Northern Europe. Wild flowers, blue skies, dramatic coastal walks, great food and wine make this an ideal, well-planned short holiday.

Dr Foley, 21 Feb 2015

 

Although weather in Portugal is unpredictable in January, it is warmer than UK and has more daylight hours. However the wild atlantic was wonderful to see in strong winds. The trails were wonderfully peaceful, and the coastal scenery stunning, fishermans trail was probably the most spectacular coastal walk we have ever seen. The 6 day walk was very well put together, with a variety of countryside terraines, ridge walks, cliffs and beaches. Pedralva was a fascinating place to stay, and as there were so few people there we were entertained and educated in local cuisine by their very amusing 'French' waiter. As an add on we had a 2/3 day stay in Lisbon, lovely city, and it is a must to sample the patische do nata, available in most cafes.

Mr Jones, 16 Jan 2015

 

Beautiful walks and great hotels - particularly liked Pedralva.

Ms Weber, 6 Apr 2014

 

Ludmilla and Tony were both efficient and enthusiastic. April is an ideal time to go to Portugal - longer days and not too hot for walking. It's worth pre-arranging a day to cater to your special interests - we chose birdwatching and wild orchid hunting. We also pre-booked our train from Lisbon to Tunes and got a good discount for seniors.

Ms Murton, 2 Apr 2014

 

We understand that Portuguese Railways will not accept corporate bookings so you need to make it absolutely clear at the outset that travellers need to arrange their own rail travel from Lisbon to Tunes and give them clear guidance on how to do that. Their web site is not too easy to follow. You should also make it clear that it is possible to fly to Faro and take the local train from there.

If your guests are arriving in Vila do Bispo on a Saturday, they need to know that the shops noted in your guide book are closed from 1300 and all day on Sunday. However, all is not lost because there is a Lidl supermarket that is 'open all hours' providing freshly baked bread and pastries and a range of other picnic items.

Finally, the lighthouse at Cape St Vincent is not open on Mondays.

Mr Brady, 1 Apr 2014

 

A good holiday, fun accommodation in village houses and one very good hotel at each end, though sadly the weather was really poor for walking on this occasion. The tour reps were absolutely excellent, knowledgeable,helpful and thoughtful.

We would certainly want to go again, though perhaps a one boot+ was too much for me.

Mrs Payne, 27 Mar 2014

 

I would thoroughly recommend the holiday but perhaps making own travel arrangements.The connection times between Lisbon airport and rain station were over generous. I can only think tis is a failsafe because the trains are not very frequent.One couple had made own arrangements of flight to Faro The train journey to Tunes was much shorter., and connections much more satisfactory

Mrs King, 9 Mar 2014

 

Excellent, especially as we experienced very stormy weather on one day but Tony and Ludmilla kept in touch with us and advised us not to walk; instead they collected us in the van and took us to one of the major sites we would otherwise not have seen. They were outstanding reps, and ambassadors for Headwater.

Dr Griffiths, 12 Jan 2014

 

Tony and Ludmilla were the best reps we have ever had in our extensive experience of Headwater holidays. They went to a great deal of trouble to make the walks more interesting and had produced laminated maps with the walks highlighted. These were far more useful than those originally supplied. Their initial briefing (and the associated written material) and walking notes were really well researched with lots of useful information on the likelihood of shops etc being open. Very useful in mid- January!

The hotels were really excellent .Very good breakfasts in all except one. The free hotel in Lisbon [Plaza Lisboa] at the end of the holiday even supplied us with a complimentary bottle of Portugese fizzy wine on Bob's birthday.

Mr Riddaway, 12 Jan 2014

 

Particularly good waymarking made this an undemanding experience.

Luggage transport was by the same team each time which was helpful

Mr Setchim, 23 Dec 2013

 

This was our 8th Holiday with you and as ever we really enjoyed our break. We especially enjoyed our stay in Pedralva (took our 2 free nights there). Beautiful area, great walking. All staff at hotels were friendly and helpful. Your reps - Tony and Ludmilla were welcoming and really helpful. Tony's route notes were the best we have come across. Lovely food, quality wines. Good mix of accommodation. Only downside were the number of barking dogs - thankfully mostly on leashes but a bit scary at times (farm dogs and dogs on the properties kind of out of the way) Probably not a lot more that you can do about that though!

Mrs Kelly, 17 Nov 2013

 


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