Walking in Western Algarve & Costa Vicentina Tour

7 nights starting from
£1965

  • A series of spectacular guided walks

  • Boat trip to the Benagil grottoes

  • Seven Hanging Valleys Trail

  • The rugged coastline of the Costa Vicentina

  • The Islamic village of Ponta do Castelo

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 region in its Spring splendour on foot (and occasionally by boat).  Our itinerary takes in the huge variety of landscapes that the region has to offer that are largely overlooked by the modern tourist.  From the man-made splendour of historic towns, hilltop castles and Islamic villages to precipitous cliffs, vast sand dunes, sprawling beaches and spectacular grottoes, this region offers a variety of sights on foot that few people get to see.  There is even an Oriental garden and traces of Prehistoric Man.  This is certainly not a tour for those who want to laze by the pool or lower their handicap!  As an added bonus, excellent local cuisine will reward you for your efforts!

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.

Please note: as its name suggests, this tour is NOT suitable for those with any walking difficulties and requires a good level of fitness to undertake walks of up to 10km each day.

Available Departures

From

09 - April - 2025 Limited Availability Travel Info On Request

Provisional Timings

London Gatwick

Departing: 09th April 2025 at 08:00

Returning: 16th April 2025 at 17:55

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 Vicentina  Hotel in Aljezur for a four night stay.   There will be a welcome drink and dinner with wine at the hotel in the evening.

Day 2: Aljezur , walk from Arrifana to Montes Clericos  (10 km 4- 5 hours-easy)
We  start our day with a short visit of the pretty town of  Aljezur in the heart of the Natural Park of the Costa Vicentina and the ideal place to explore this largely unknown, but beautiful, region.  A walking tour will show us the 12th century castle and the House Museum (entrance not included).  We will then transfer by coach to start today’s hike from  Arrifana  to Montes Clérigos.  This trail passes by the mythical Ponta da Atalaia. Through places where time seems to stand still. As we make our way along the narrow path along the coast with breathtaking views over the cliffs, your guide will also point out the endemic (and rare) dune vegetation.  Nature on this coast has always provided abundant resources for man, with evidence of traces of Prehistoric human life. Its abundance has led to a variety of occupants over centuries, including Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and Arabs, all of whom have left their mark   The route passes through the Ribat of Arrifana, an Islamic fortress-convent, occupied by warrior monks in the 12thcentury and dedicated to both prayer and guarding over the coast. It is the only known Ribat in Portugal, founded by Ibn Qasî, a political leader and spiritual guide of Islam’s mystical practice, Sufism.  Another (delicious) inhabitant of the coast is the goose barnacle, a local delicacy that must be tried. A snack box will be provided today so as not to interrupt our exploration of this unspoilt coastline.  Late afternoon transfer back to our hotel with dinner included.

Day 3: Carrapateira – Praia da Bordeira – Praia do Amado (10,2 km /4-5 hours- easy)
Today’s section of the Fishermen’s Trail offers some of the most stunning scenery of the entire tour.  Prepare to be amazed by the incredible rock formations and beaches of Bordeira and Amado as well as  the cape of Carrapateira Pontal, best discovered on foot.   Bordeira is famous for its vast sands and dunes, which stretch  as far as the eye can see.  As we head inland we will also discover vegetation adapted to the dry conditions and communities adapted to the seasonal flooding.  Our route will also take us to the Islamic village of Ponta do Castelo, dating from the 12th to 13th centuries.  During the archaeological excavations of this town, remains of ceramics, hooks, harpoons, weights of fishing net and vestiges of marine fauna, including a whale bone were found. Again, a snack box will be provided today as we hike off the beaten track so that we can see as much if this area as possible.  Late afternoon transfer by coach  back to Aljezur  with dinner at leisure. 

Day 4: Carvalhal – Odeceixe  (10,0 km/4-5 hours- easy)
This morning we transfer by coach to enjoy  the trail from Carvalhal to Odeceixe.  On this trail you will be passing the beautiful beaches of Machados and Amália on the way to the fishing village of Azenha do Mar, with its natural fishing harbour.  Arguably, one of most outstanding views in the entire territory is on the agenda today: Odeceixe beach seen from the majestic Ponta em Branco. Along this stretch of coast,  the cliffs have been formed by sedimentary rocks that were laid down horizontally over aeons, with sand tubes dotting the cliff-face.  There is abundant wildlife in the dunes, too including Egyptian mongoose and a vast population of rabbits, their preferred prey.   Our route will also pass the mouth of the river Odeceixe,with a beach on either bank and a constantly shifting landscape crafted by the tides.  Again, a snack box will be provided today so as not to interrupt our exploration.  Late in the afternoon transfer back to Aljezur with dinner at leisure. 

Day 5: Aljezur to Salgados – Albufeira with stop in Lagos
We check out of our hotel this morning  as we depart the rugged Costa Vicentina  and head towards the more gentle coastline of the Algarve .   En-route we will make a stop at the historic town of Lagos with time to visit the museum and cathedral  and a leisurely lunch (not included).  After lunch we continue to the Regency Salgados Hotel & Spa,   located in Salgados- Albufeira for dinner and overnight.

Day 6: Salgados- Albufeira day at leisure
After a series of busy days, today is a full day at leisure to relax . Dinner in the hotel.

Day 7: Algarve by Land & by Sea (7 hanging valleys - 6 km walk )
Our last and spectacular walk today is the renowned  7 hanging valleys trail.  It has been selected as the best hiking trail in Europe by European Best Destinations, who described as “breathtaking & unforgettable”. This scenic route runs from Praia da Marinha in the east to Praia de Vale Centeanes in the west, offering a string of notable stops at the Alfanzina lighthouse, and at the Benagil and Carvalho beaches.  At the end of the walk, you will have some free time in Ferragudo for a leisurely stroll and lunch, before heading to Portimão for our next adventure to visit the beautiful grottoes of the Algarve by boat.  Beautiful cliffs, amazing grottoes and picturesque, small sandy beaches make this boat trip a magical experience.  We depart from Portimão and cruise east to Carvoeiro, passing by beautiful secluded beaches to the grottoes at Algar Sêco and Benagil, with beautiful and spectacular  natural rock formations created by the sea and wind erosion.  Return to the hotel late afternoon for farewell dinner at al ocal restaurant in Albufeira

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 15 passengers.

INCLUDED

  • Return flights from London Gatwick to Faro
  • Four nights’ bed and breakfast at the four star Vicentina Hotel, Aljezur based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Three nights’ bed and breakfast at the four star Regency Hotel and Spa, Salgados-Albufeira based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Five dinners
  • Three snack box lunches
  • All tours and entrance fees as detailed
  • Airport transfers and full coach touring itinerary
  • Tour manager and guide 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

HOTELS

Vicentina Hotel, Aljezur – 4 nights

Modern , whitewashed four-star hotel, located within the national park and surrounded by the green hills of Aljezur, the hotel is ideally located to explore this stunning region.  Facilities here include swimming pool, bar, restaurant and comfortable bedrooms with all modern amenities.

Hotel Website

Regency Salgados Hotel & Spa, Salgados- Albufeira - 3 nights

Located in the prestigious Salgados area of Albufeira, the four star Regency Hotel and Spa offers a high level of facilities, cuisine and service.  Facilities include swimming pool, spacious gardens, restaurant, bar, food truck, spa and gym, as well as very comfortable bedrooms with all modern amenities.

Hotel Website

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