Spring Flowers and Natural Splendours of the Algarve Tour

7 nights starting from
£1895

  • Sagres Natural Park – the most south-westerly point of Europe

  • The freshwater wetlands of the Salgados Lagoon

  • The Algarve’s traditional farming system of almond, olive and carob trees

  • Rio Formosa Natural Reserve

  • Diverse fauna and flora

There is so much more to the Algarve than sun, sea and golf courses as our popular “Authentic Algarve” has proved.  Our Head of Sales & Marketing, Ellen Walker, has had an enduring love affair with the Algarve for several decades, returning time and again to places that have become second homes to her, as well as developing friendships that have lasted years. Her latest brainchild is this new tour, which takes you off even further off the beaten path to explore the regions wonderful array of Spring flowers and the natural splendours of this region in the Spring.  From the Ria Formosa nature reserve to almond orchards, mountain fauna, endemic coastal plants that have adapted to the climate and freshwater wetlands, the region has a huge variety of natural flora and fauna, as well as wildlife that make this new tour truly a journey of discovery.  As with all tours to this wonderful country, the welcome and cuisine enhance the enjoyment of each and every day.

Your guide – Luis Goncalves
Already a firm favourite with Travel Editions’ travellers, your guide to ensure that you get the utmost from your endeavours is local expert, Luis Goncalves.  He will be on hand throughout the tour to ensure your wellbeing and safety as well as to explain the flora, fauna, architecture and landscapes that you will encounter each day. Luís was born and raised in the Algarve, and has an emotional connection to the area, its people, its culture, its history and its landscapes. He loves walking, hiking, and birdwatching and exploring the  Algarve’s rich fauna and flora.  It gives him great pleasure to share his extensive knowledge of the natural world,  whilst retaining a keen focus on the history of the region too.

Available Departures

From

19 - March - 2025 £ 1895.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

London Gatwick

Departing: 19th March 2025 at 11:40

Returning: 26th March 2025 at 14:55

ITINERARY

Day 1: Fly to Faro and transfer to the hotel.
Fly from London Gatwick to Faro Airport where you will be met by your Travel Editions Tour Manager, Ellen Walker and local guide, Luis Goncalves, and transfer to the Vilamoura Hotel Vila Gale for a seven night stay. There will be a welcome drink and dinner with wine at the hotel in the evening.

Day 2: Quinta do Lago-Ria Formosa natural reserve and  Montado
After breakfast we will depart to Quinta do Lago , where we will start our walk along the renowned Ria Formosa Natural reserve to enjoy a profusion of wildflowers, hundreds of birds and expansive fresh water lakes offering a plethora of outstanding beauty. We continue to Faro, capital of the Algarve and a city with ancient origins, for a guided walking tour of the walled old city with some free time allowed for lunch. Then to Sao Brás and Montado de Sobro to visit a Cork Oak Forest, It is one of the richest ecosystems in the world where you will find out more about the long journey from the acorn to the cork in the wine bottle. Cork Oak is the only tree whose bark can regenerate after being stripped from its trunk. Back to Vilamoura with dinner at leisure, perhaps in the beautiful marina.

Day 3: Loulé  and Serra
Our first visit of the day is to Loule to visit the very interesting market and town with its Moorish architectural style  and castle walls of Arab origin. From here we head to the countryside, to visit the traditional family dry farming system of the Algarve based on olives, carobs and almond trees that support an incredible diversity of wild plants. Lunch in a Local restaurant is included. After lunch we will explore a very special feature of the Mediterranean habitat, the seasonal ponds, these seasonal wetland habitats are usually flooded during the rainy season but dry out during the warmer months. They flourish in spring with diverse flora, including wild orchids. This is followed by a visit to a heritage of the Roman Empire, a lime kiln ruin. Then back to Vilamoura for evening at leisure.

Day 4: Serra de Monchique, Foia  and Caldas
A day of rare beauty today as we head to the Serra de Monchique (Monchique Mountain), which stands high above the sea with a breathtaking view from the top at Foia. It is and an area that boasts impressive and abundant wildlife and a rich flora with several endemic plants such as the Centaurea Crocata.  The proximity of the Atlantic Ocean, the geological characteristics and its high altitude mean that it has a microclimate where plant species thrive. The diversity has given rise to specific habitats for species of fauna and flora, making a true "living laboratory". Here, plant species are born that are almost unique in the world, such as a subspecies of rhododendron known as adelfeira, a relic of the Laurissilva (laurel) forest that once existed there and which lilac blossom embellishes the green of the mountains in spring. Lunch (included) at local restaurant in Monchique, before returning to the hotel via the pretty village of Caldas.  Dinner at leisure.

Day 5- Day at leisure
After a few days of hectic exploration, today is completely free to relax and enjoy the hotel’s facilities or a leisurely wander around Vilamoura for a leisurely lunch.  Lunch and dinner not included

Day 6 – Ponta da Atalaia, Sagres Natural Park and Vila do Bispo
After breakfast we depart to Ponta da Atalaia to explore the vegetation of this Southwestern part of Europe, a territory that contains a significant amount of endemic plants that evolved to adapt to the harsh conditions of long periods of dryness, exposure to strong winds loaded with salt and intense sun. We continue to Sagres to visit the fortress, a symbol of the Portuguese exploratory spirit, the museum and historic chapel.  We pass by Cape St. Vincent, the most south-westerly point in Europe.  On the way we will enjoy a snack box lunch. This afternoon we will get an insight into  a traditional Mediterranean lifestyle of a goat herder, meeting a local Sheppard and tasting the cheese produced.  Finally, we will have the opportunity to visit the Padrão Menhir, an icon of local Prehistory and the most significant remnant of this remote megalithic territory. Its archaeological context and confirmed traces of an associated Neolithic settlement dating back around 6,500 years ago, places this megalithic monument amongst the oldest in Western Europe. Our final visit to this area enables us to enjoy the beautiful golden sand beach carved into the cliffs at Ingrina Beach and its local fauna.  Dinner at leisure.

Day 7- Salgados Lagoon, Nossa Senhora, Porches 
Our first visit of the day is to Salgados Lagoon, also known as ‘Pera Marsh,’ one of the most important freshwater wetlands in the Algarve. It is inhabited by a vast quantity and variety of birds that include numerous rare species. The lagoon is bordered by aquatic vegetation and separated from the sea by an extensive, unbroken dune cordon. Meadows and scattered orchards occupy the space between the lagoon and the small river’s mouth. You’ll find a very particular Mediterranean flora in the area. From here to the chapel at Nossa Senhora da Rocha, located in one of the most beautiful parts of the so called "Rocky Algarve", framed by the beaches Praia da Nossa Senhora da Rocha and Praia Nova. Before returning to the hotel we visit the Porches pottery and see the artisans at work creating these beautiful and unique souvenirs of the Algarve. Farewell dinner in a Local restaurant in Vilamoura.

Day 8: Departure transfer to Faro Airport for return flight to London

NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 20 passengers.

INCLUDED

  • Return flights from London Gatwick to Faro
  • Seven nights’ accommodation on bed and breakfast basis at the four star Vila Gale Hotel, Vilamoura, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Two dinners
  • Two lunches and one snack box lunch
  • All tours and entrance fees as detailed
  • Airport transfers and full coach touring itinerary
  • Tour manager, Ellen Walker, and local guide, Luis Goncalves, throughout


NOT INCLUDED

  • Double for sole use supplement
  • Pool view room upgrade supplement
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Entrance cost to Silves Caste and Cathedral 
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities

HOTEL

Vila Gale Ampalius Hotel, Vilamoura

This comfortable 4-star hotel is conveniently located in Vilamoura, a beautiful coastal town, near the marina. The Vila Galé Ampalius hotel offers all modern amenities including  air conditioning, electronic safety door lock, LCD TV, Wi-Fi, minibar, and 24-hour room service. There are two restaurants, two bars and a coffee house.

Hotel Website

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