On this 7-night twin-centre walking trip you'll discover the entirety of Portugal's Algarve, from the rugged cliff-strewn western Atlantic coastline to its eastern border with Spain. Using the hire car provided for you to arrive at each day's different walks you'll embark on a journey through the undiscovered parts of the region where pretty whitewashed villages and lively towns intermingle with a mix of stunning scenery.
Starting the first half of your week in the coastal town of Sagres and finishing in the city of churches, Tavira, highlights include visits to some of the Algarve's most varied and interesting beaches (including Odeceixe, which is the one of the most photographed and most popular beaches in the Algarve), exploring the maritime history of Portugal and Europe in Lagos and Sagres, and walking along the banks of the Guadiana River.
You'll meander along diverse landscapes, from river paths and untouched coastlines to the Monchique mountain range. Admire the colours and scents of the Spanish and green lavender that grows in abundance, along with more than 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 the region's autumn and winter being similar to the UK's springtime, you can expect year-round warm temperatures.
You'll stay in two hotels of contrasting styles: in Sagres, sitting on the cliffs above the Atlantic Ocean, is the modern boutique ****Memmo Baleeria, and heading east in Tavira is the **** Pousada de Tavira, a former C16 convent, which has now been tastefully converted into a lovely hotel. The local cuisine is delicious - expect fresh fish, cured hams, tasty cheese and chourico (which are as good as those from Spain or Italy!).
Walks are on well marked paths, terrain is mostly in good condition and consists of hard packed earth, stoney tracks and small sections of tarmac. Walking boots are essential and walking poles are recommended for some days.
Collect your hire car at the airport and drive to Sagres, the beautiful coastal town where you will spend the first four nights. (Staying at Memmo Baleeira, Half Board)
From picturesque Bordeira, a valley trail takes you through eucalyptus and giant reeds to the cliff tops above the vast expanse of Bordeira Beach with its impressive sand dunes. The views are breathtaking! Descend to the beach, where you'll walk along the crashing surf to explore the dunes and meandering river estuary. Your return is along a sandy trail through the scented pine forest of Bordalete and the floodplain of the Bordeira River where bell-toting cattle graze lazily. (Staying at Memmo Baleeira, Breakfast only)
A short but spectacular walk to two of the Algarve's most varied beaches and their unique rock formations sculpted by the Atlantic. Stroll through peaceful valleys and pine forest to reach the flower-strewn coast. Descend to Carruagem Beach with its swirling rock ridges and rock pools. Then take the sandy cliff trail to Amoreira Beach, one of the finest sweeps of shoreline in the region. After your walk, head to Aljezur to wander the cobbled streets and visit the ruins of the Moorish hilltop castle for superb views. (Staying at Memmo Baleeira, Breakfast only)
Just over the border in the Alentejo is the attractive village of Odeceixe. You set off on the Rota Vicentina Pilgrims' Trail alongside the irrigation canal. Reaching the Atlantic, head along the wild and rugged coastline on the stunning Fishermen's Trail to the beautiful beach of Odeceixe - one of the most photographed in Portugal. Head back to Odeceixe alongside the river and through meadows to explore its narrow cobbled streets and tempting cafes. (Staying at Memmo Baleeira, Breakfast only)
Today you make your way to Tavira, your base for the next three nights. Choose to do a walk en route or visit one of the interesting villages or towns. Monchique or Lagos are both worth a visit, the small village of Saint Luzia near Tavira is famous for octopus restaurants or head to Tavira for lunch and explore the town in the afternoon. (Staying at Pousada de Tavira, Breakfast only)
You head east, maybe stopping at the town of Alcoutim with its C14 castle and small international ferry! Then to Laranjeiras, where the walk begins along the banks of the Guadiana River, passing pretty white villages and almond and olive groves. You'll climb 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. (Staying at Pousada de Tavira, Breakfast only)
A longer walk today, which is packed with interest and contrasting scenery and sights - first following the river through orchards and vineyards, then passing through cork oaks, cistus and pine plantations, to reach a wonderful view point over the Odeleite River. Heading down to the river there is a lovely picnic site to enjoy a break. Following on passing holm oaks and two windmills is evidence to the life in the area known as the Serra. (Staying at Pousada de Tavira, Breakfast only)
It is a 35-minute drive back to Faro airport. Note: This is an idea of your itinerary; we have more walks for you to follow in our notes. Our Algarve representatives will explain everything at your welcome briefing. You can easily add extra nights in either hotel or shorten the holiday if you like.
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.
NEARBY: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.
The Superior room is a larger room. All suites have separate living areas and come with dvd players and bathrobes.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
NEARBY:The Pousada de Tavira, Convento da Graca, is located in the Santo Agostinho Convent, founded by Dom Sebastiao in the C16. The hotel is centrally located in Tavira, and perfectly combines its historic past with modern touches.
Room upgrades: Superior Room or Suite.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
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.
NEARBY:A modern **** hotel which boasts a superb location overlooking the fishing harbour and marina, just a short stroll from Faro's historic centre encircled by it's ancient Moorish city walls. There are fantastic views of the Ria Formosa National Park from the hotel's panoramic rooftop restaurant and bar. Other facilities include a small rooftop swimming pool and a fitness centre with sauna.
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.
Owned by the same family since 1953, the **** 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.
Please call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange flights and connecting transfers to your hotel.
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 an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
I think the timings/distances on the walks are a bit misleading. I have noticed this on other Headwater holidays.
Well-designed and highly enjoyable introduction to the delights of an Algarve Spring, with plenty of opportunities to sample the excellent food of the region
We really enjoyed our holiday, contrasting hotels and walks in the 2 centres made it feel like longer than a week. It was a shame that the swimming pool and spa weren't open at the first hotel as we were looking forward to using those facilities.
A very enjoyable holiday
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday. Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.
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Please contact us for child prices.
Self-guided walking Managed locally by Headwater appointed rep.
Every Saturday from 5th Jan 2019 to 25th May 2019, for 7 nights.
All breakfasts and 1 evening meal
This holiday includes car hire so transfers are not ncluded.
Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for The Algarve from West to East. 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 an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.
Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 to discuss your requirements in more detail.
We've been creating high-quality relaxed activity holidays since 1985 and our wealth of experience means we're able to build the perfect tailor-made tour for you. Our 'Gold Trusted' rating on Feefo, the independent review site, underlines our exceptional levels of customer service, and our ATOL bonding and ABTA membership guarantees your holiday is safe with us.