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Holidays

Self-Guided Walking on the Algarve

Portugal
Available Departures: May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

8 days from

US$1,155

without flights
Walk & Trek
Self-Guided
LEISURELY LEISURELY

Discover the best coastal walking trails along Portugal’s Algarve, on this one week self-guided walking holiday

Trip Code: SGPA
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Self-Guided Walking on the Algarve

Highlights
  • Explore Lagos and discover its prestigious role in Portugal’s Age of Discovery
  • Hike the Great Coastal Path to Ponta de Peidade and deserted clifftop paths
  • Watch birdlife of Ria Formosa National Park dance in the sun as flamingos make a graceful call
  • Witness colourful fishing boats bring in the catch of the day ready for you to enjoy in the local restaurants each evening

At a Glance
  • Self-Guided
  • 6 days walking and sightseeing
  • Thursday Friday and Saturday departures
  • Join In Lagos / End in Tavira

Accommodation & Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 7 nights Hotel with swimming pool
Overview

From the wild west to the tranquil east, experience deserted coastal paths along Portugal’s enthralling Algarve coast. Witness surfers catching waves off the coast from laid-back Sagres, stand in awe at nature’s artwork at Ponta Peidade, where rock formations stand proud out of the Atlantic to the soundtrack of crashing waves, and take a dip in the inviting deep blue waters from secluded beaches. This is a holiday to fuel your senses, from the smell of the salty sea air, the sight of the rock formations changing colour in the sun, or tasting the freshly caught seafood in the local restaurants.



Your walks will take you over deserted clifftop paths, through Parque Natural da Ria Formosa teeming with birdlife, and along golden beaches to pretty, traditional villages of Figuera, Fuzeta and to bustling resorts of Albufeira and Tavira. This trip has been designed to experience all this fantastic region has to offer, and staying in 4* hotels with swimming pools each evening means you can unwind at the end of each day in comfort, whether that be with a good book by the pool or with a glass Vinho Verde in the bar. After all, it is your holiday!

Is this holiday for you?

This superb self-guided holiday is all about enjoying the popular Algarve through new eyes, on foot, and at your own pace. Staying in a fantastic range of 4* hotels with pools makes the perfect place to relax after a day hiking and allows you to enjoy the many restaurants and facilities of popular tourist resorts. Your walks will take you on well-established coastal paths, rocky trails and elevate …

This superb self-guided holiday is all about enjoying the popular Algarve through new eyes, on foot, and at your own pace. Staying in a fantastic range of 4* hotels with pools makes the perfect place to relax after a day hiking and allows you to enjoy the many restaurants and facilities of popular tourist resorts. Your walks will take you on well-established coastal paths, rocky trails and elevated cliff paths, walking 4-5 hours a day with no more than approx. 500m of ascent in a day. If you love to experience a destination anew then you will love this year round get away.

Why KE?

Walk on the wild coast by day and relax in handpicked 4* hotels each night. Plus each hotel has a swimming pool so you can cool off on those summer days.

Staying in Lagos for your first 3 nights and Tavira for the final 2 nights of your holiday allows you to enjoy these historic coastal towns further, or easily swap a day walking for a lounge by the pool. It is your holiday to spend as you wish!

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Itinerary

Arrive in Lagos, a town with so much to offer we recommend adding additional nights before your hiking begins. A strategic port during Portugal's extraordinary Age of Discovery this old town is steeped in history. Take time to discover the spectacular Igreja de Santo Antonio Church boasting one of the most stunning Baroque interiors in Portugal, draped in artistically carved and gold-plated woodwork and oil paintings honouring the life of St Anthony from whom the church is named.

Alternatively, take a stroll along the strong defensive walls that have protected the town since the 16th century and pay visit to the Governors Castle which stands proudly by the harbour. In the evening, you will be spoilt for choice for places to dine, but with such close proximity to the coast, fish is sure to be featured on every menu!

Accommodation

Hotel with swimming pool

Your first walk of the week begins from laid back Sagres, a popular town amongst surfers seeking the thrill of the Atlantic waves. After breakfast, a short transfer will take you to the start of your walk where you can witness these thrill seekers in action before you set off on your way. The peaceful trails along this stretch of coast are a world away from the bustling tourist resorts. Black, red and yellow rock formations, sparse plateaus, long drawn-out sandy beaches and breath-taking headlands offer the perfect backdrop for today's hike to the small village of Fiqueira. Here you can enjoy well earned refreshments.

During the spring the cliffs come alive with the brightly coloured shrubs and the sea birds flock to the rocky ledges, certainly a hike to carry your binoculars.

Accommodation

Hotel with swimming pool

Meals

B

Ascent

400 M

Descent

400 M

Time

5 hours

Distance

14 KM

Your day begins with a short transfer to the small, but perfectly formed, coastal village of Burgau. A traditional village with fishing at its heart; you may even spot the fishing boats setting sail for the days catch. You will have time for a morning coffee in one of the cafes on the square before setting off on your hike.

Leaving Burgau behind you will soon be accompanied by the sound of the waves crashing below the cliffs as you meander along the clifftops to the popular resort of Praia da Luz. Here you can enjoy a welcomed refreshment and perhaps a bite to eat in one of the beachfront cafes, or take a dip in the inviting waters before continuing your journey along this magnificent coast. Feeling refreshed your route continues along the Great Coastal Trail to Ponta da Piedade where you will be greeted by the impressive golden arches and great rock formations emerging proudly from the ocean. Beneath these impressive formations, you will hear the gurgling of the water in the grottos and caves, testament to the power of the deep blue waters that formed this natural artwork.

Accommodation

Hotel with swimming pool

Meals

B

Ascent

400 M

Descent

400 M

Time

5 hours

Distance

16 KM

Your route today will take you from possibly the prettiest village on the Algarve, Ferragudo. Sitting at the mouth of the Arade River this traditional fishing village homes all the qualities you would hope; whitewashed houses, colourful fishing boats and fragrant flowers. You will have time to explore the cobbled streets before setting off along the coast to your next goal, Carvoeiro, from where you join the stunning Seven Hanging Valleys trail. This magnificent trail gains its name from the seven secluded bays it encompasses as you make your way along though the fragrant juniper and shrubbery that bursts into colour in the spring.

In the evening enjoy dinner in one of Albufiera's many restaurants and enjoy a spot of people watching in what is a bustling resort.

Accommodation

Hotel with swimming pool

Meals

B

Ascent

500 M

Descent

500 M

Time

5-6 hours

Distance

15 KM

Today's walk will introduce you to the wonder of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa and all its spectacular wildlife. A short transfer will take you to the start of your walk from where you will be passing through sand dunes and lagoons on winding paths and wooden walk ways, and it won't take long before you have your first encounter with the wildlife. Today is a day for nature lovers and we recommend taking time to marvel at the numerous species of birds that call this nature reserve home; Greater Flamingos, Spoonbills, and black-winged Stilts to name a few. If you're lucky you may even spot a Bee-eater too.

In the evening, take a stroll through Faro's picturesque cidade velha (old town) protected by its mighty medieval walls, or to the marina and enjoy a glass of wine as the sun sets. As you meander through the town you will note the patchwork of architectural style, reflective of the town's history.

Accommodation

Hotel with swimming pool

Meals

B

Ascent

50 M

Descent

50 M

Time

4 hours

Distance

11 KM

Your morning begins with a scenic train journey to the traditional town of Fuzeta. A town with an authentic Algarve feel, where you won't be stretched to see the local fisherman mending their crab baskets and the colourful boats chugging in and out of the quay fetching fresh hauls to the nearby market. Take time to enjoy a coffee and soak us the charming atmosphere before setting off on your way.

When you're ready your route will take you past glistening salt basins, colourful houses and fruitful orchards as you make your way to the slow flowing river of Ria Formosa. From here you skirt the edge of the lagoon to Ilha de Tavira to discover the fascinating Cemiterio das Ancoras (Anchor Graveyard), a memorial to the lost tuna fishing industry which once thrived in the area. The anchors were originally used to fix the nets in place rather than mooring the boats. Continuing along the fine sandy beach, you will soon arrive at the north of the island from where you take a ferry into the historic town of Tavira, your home for the evening.

Accommodation

Hotel with swimming pool

Meals

B

Ascent

150 M

Descent

150 M

Time

5 hours

Distance

19 KM

Feeling refreshed, today's walk will take you on an idyllic route along the Eastern Algarve coast all the way to the Spanish border. Hiking over gentle dunes, through fragrant pine forests and along deserted beaches, today is a walk for taking off your walking boots and dipping your toes in the ocean. You will soon reach the Rio Guadiana estuary that marks the border between Portugal and neighbouring Spain and your final destination, Vila Real de Santo Antonio. This strategic town was built from scratch following the infamous earthquake of 1755 and was built under royal decree with protection in mind. Take time to explore the Praca Marques de Pombal (central square), where the only church in the town, Igreja Matriz, stands centre stage, before taking the train back to Tavira. Spend your final evening on the Algarve soaking up the towns enchanting architecture and raise a toast to a great week.

Accommodation

Hotel with swimming pool

Meals

B

Ascent

100 M

Descent

100 M

Time

4 hours

Distance

15 KM

Enjoy a relaxing breakfast and further explore Vila Real de Santo Antonio before making your onward journey.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Airport Airport
Point Point
Trek
Transfer
Train

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • All accommodation as described
  • Luggage transfers
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Self-guided information pack containing your map and route notes
  • Welcome briefing
  • Transfers to/from your walks as per itinerary

  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to Lagos
  • Travel from Tavira
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Tourist Taxes may apply and are usually under 5 Euros per person per night
  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Personal equipment
  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional

Each self-guided holiday comes with comprehensive route notes and a map or pocket guidebook of the area you are exploring. The route notes contain information about the places you will visit, about the local transport you might need, along with the detailed route notes for your daily walks or cycle rides. We even include some tips for the best places to stop for lunch.

You can expect to receive your Self-Guided Pack containing your route notes, a map or guidebook and all your relevant documents no later than 3 weeks before your holiday start date. We will send your documents using signed for courier so that you can track your package and know that they are safely on their way to you. For bookings of more than 4 people we will send an additional Self-Guided Pack. If you do not need this additional pack please inform our sales team. Your pack will be sent to the lead booker so please remind them to pack it before you set off.

Should your self-guided trip be part of a longer adventure requiring you to leave home more than three weeks before your holiday start date, please do inform our sales team so that we can make alternative delivery arrangements.

Our Self-Guided Holidays are perfect for your next family holiday and are suitable for children of all ages.

Our partner hotels and accommodations are able to provide cots for young children, and some offer family rooms. We can also arrange hire of children’s bikes and tag along bikes for our self-guided cycling trips and with trips such as Lake Constance and the Danube offering routes on designated cycle paths you can rest assured in keeping your family safe.

As a parent we trust that you know your own child’s capabilities, please read the itinerary details to ensure the distances covered each day are suitable for your family. If this is a first time walking holiday for your family, a centre based trip is a fantastic option as it allows you to easily opt out of a days walking if a day of building sand castles, swimming in the pool or visiting museums is calling.

Please discuss this further with our sales team who will be happy to assist in picking the best trip for your family.

The trip starts at your hotel in Lagos. All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a land only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. The nearest airport for this trip is Faro Airport with many departures from regional UK airports.

If you are flying to Faro Airport you can travel via public transport to Lagos, the journey takes approximately 2 hours. From the airport, take the shuttle bus to Faro Train Station from where you can take the train to Lagos.

Alternatively, it is possible to arrange a private transfer, please ask our sales team for more information.

Your trip ends in Tavira from where you can take the bus or train to Faro Airport, the journey takes approximately 1-2 hours and requires one change along the way.

Alternatively, you can take a taxi from Tavira to Faro Airport for approximately 40 euros, the journey takes approximately 30 minutes.

This trip is on a bed and breakfast basis to allow you the most flexibility during your holiday.

Water is drinkable from the taps on this holiday. Please fill your personal bottles for your day in the morning. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

The Portuguese are passionate about food. It is a reason for celebration, time with family and socialising with friends, and as is typical on the Med, evening meals are enjoyed late into the evenings with a glass of wine. Portugal’s national obsession is Bacalhau, a dried salted cod which will feature heavily on menus alongside other delicious seafood. After all Portugal has almost 1800km of coastline. But it is not all just seafood as Portuguese cuisine is all about simple, fresh cooking with many meaty stews such as Cozido a Portuguesa which includes beef, pork and chicken served with fresh vegetables and usually accompanied by one of the countries fantastic wines.

And it’s not just savoury dishes and wine the Portuguese are passionate about. The pastel da nata is not just a dessert but a constitution, served in almost every café. This delicious custard filled pastry topped with cinnamon is flaky, creamy and utterly delicious. Originally known as a Pasteis de Belem this delicious pastry is the creation of the Masteiro des Jernimos monks in Lisbon where they have been sold since 1837.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

We have hand selected a great selection of 4* hotels for you on this trip, all selected for their great locations and hospitality. All of the hotels offer comfortable bedrooms, and great communal areas including a restaurant and bar area. The hotels all offer a great buffet breakfast to fuel you on you hikes and some also have a pool area for you to cool off after a day on the trails.

It is possible to arrange additional nights accommodation in Lagos before your trip and Tavira at the end of your trip if you wish to extend your stay and enjoy the beaches this region is so popular for. Please refer to the dates and prices tab for further details or speak to one of our sales team.

Your main luggage will be transferred between each of your hotels while you are out on your hike. We ask that you please ensure your luggage is under 20KG and that your luggage is ready for collection each morning. You will also need a daypack to carry your daily essentials with you.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

Severe Allergies

Please inform our KE Sales and support team of any severe allergies you may have before travel. We will always do our best to help but we are unable to guarantee an allergy free environment on our KE trips. We advise that you always carry your own treatment for the allergy with you such as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' if required.  We also recommend that you discuss this with your accommodation on arrival so that they can better assist you.

The currency for part or all of this holiday is the Euro.

The advantage of a self-guided walking holiday is that you decide the pace however, getting some additional exercise before coming on an active holiday makes a lot of sense. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable your walks will be. You should be comfortable with walking 5 to 6 hours for consecutive days on sandy or rugged paths. The routes are along the coast, so a head for heights is recommended.

The Algarve enjoys a sunny microclimate with over 300 days of sunshine a year. Summers are dry and hot, but the south-western tip of the continent enjoys a mild climate all year round thanks to the influence of the ocean.


Spring (April to June) and Autumn (September and early October) are delightful, but a little rain is possible with day time temperatures between 16-22 degree Celsius, with matching sea temperatures. Temperatures tend to be a little warmer in the Autumn than in the Spring though spring is an excellent time of year to enjoy spring flowers.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

  • Hiking boots with good grip soles

  • Functional base layer

  • T-shirts

  • Hat

  • Windproof jacket

  • Fleece / extra layer

  • Long/short hiking trousers

  • Hiking socks

  • Waterproof Jacket

  • Waterproof Trousers

  • Rucksack (approx. 20 l)

  • Small first aid kit for your rucksack

  • Sunscreen

  • Water bottle or hydration pack

  • Camera (batteries/memory card)

  • Mobile Phone (ensure your data package covers your destination)

  • Power bank

  • Waterproof phone cover

  • Sun glasses

  • Personal wash kit

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping to avoid the use of plastic bags

  • Tupperware for picnics

  • Walking poles

  • Headtorch & spare batteries

  • Your self-guided route notes

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

DATES & PRICES

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

More Information

More Information

More Information

Land Only Information

Please note our 'from price' listed is based on 4 persons on twin or double occupancy, however we can quote for any number of travellers including solo travellers, contact our sales team for a quote.

This trip is available for departures on Thursdays and Saturdays throughout the dates listed.

All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. You may even wish to make this holiday part of a bigger adventure or pair it with one of our other holidays. We can arrange additional nights accommodation before or after your self-guided trip, ask our sales team to find out more about this.

Our sales team will be happy to provide you a quote for scheduled flights or alternatively you may wish to book your own flights with a low cost carrier from your nearest regional airport.

Please DO NOT book your flights before you have received your booking confirmation and your deposit has been taken.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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