Algarve Hiking Tour in Portugal (Self-guided)

TOUR OVERVIEW

8-DAY ITINERARY

GETTING THERE

WHAT’S INCLUDED

 BOOK NOW 

 PHOTOS

ALGARVE HIKING TOUR OVERVIEW

Our Algarve hiking tour is a great choice for you if you want to be active for several hours a day and still have time to ramble through villages, lie in the beach, cool off with a dip in the Atlantic, or observe birds. You’ll embrace a slower pace of life in the Algarve province of Souther Portugal and come into nature as you hike along some of the most stunning parts of the coast. Replenish yourself with the healthy and tasty Mediterranean Diet that is classified as UNESCO Immaterial World Heritage. 

The Algarve province is home to 250 km of sheltered sandy beaches, perfect for cooling off and relaxing after your hike. after a swim. 

Another highlight is Ria Formosa Natural Park, a distinctive coastal lagoon with sand dunes that was voted one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Portugal. It’s designated as a Special Protection Area by the European Union and is an important area for birds, including the Greater Flamingo so you can combine some bird watching with your hiking. 

Near Ria, is Faro, the capital city of the Algarve Province. It dates back to Pre-Roman times. You’ll love strolling along the citadel inside the old town walls or enjoying delicious Mediterranean cuisine at one of the many restaurants or stocking up on handcrafts and Mediterranean products to take home. 

HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR ALGARVE HIKING TOUR

✔ Hike along golden beaches by the sea, countryside, and in an estuary, all in one trip on some of the most beautiful walking trails in the Algarve.

✔ Discover Ria Formosa Natural Park, a perfect spot for nature lovers, especially birders

✔ Observe flamingos and keep an eye out for dolphins

✔ Explore some of the most beautiful towns and villages of the Algarve

✔ Stay in lovely accommodations by the sea

✔ Enjoy a UNESCO-classified Mediterranean Diet of the Algarve and fresh daily catches from the Atlantic


8-DAY ALGARVE HIKING TOUR ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrival in Tavira

Tavira is your first base on your Algarve hiking tourWe’ll pick you up from Faro Airport and transfer you to Tavira for the start of your Algarve hiking tour.

Tavira (population 26,100) used to be one of the most important trade gateways to North Africa. Today, it’s considered one of the most beautiful cities in the region. Once you’ve settled into your accommodation, take a stroll through the historic center where you’ll find 37 churches and the remains of the Islamic Walls. You’ll also want to head to the castle walls for an incredible view of the city. Also not to be missed is a climb to Tavira Tower, the city’s old water tank for the best view of the city, River Gilão, the salt pans and a view to the sea. 

  • Accommodation: Hotel in Tavira

Day 2: Hike from the village of Cacela Velha to Tavira

Cabanas Beach Algarve PortugalAfter breakfast, we’ll pick you up and transfer you to the whitewashed village of Cacela Velha which is the perfect balance between nature, history and tranquillity. This fishing village was an old fortress built by the sea, located at the top of a hill with a great view of the eastern Algarve. Today, it has a couple of cafes and restaurants, a beautiful church and the remains of the fort, surrounded by olive trees, which offer spectacular views.

Once you’ve explored this beautiful village, your easy coastal walk/hike follows quiet paths to the picturesque old fishing village of Cabanas – the perfect spot for lunch. It runs side by side with a long sandbank protecting the wetlands from the sea. You’ll make your way back to Tavira, through the saltpans keeping an eye out for wildlife while seeing the traditional craft of salt extraction.

  • Accommodation: Hotel in Tavira
  • Hiking Details 15.3 km, 93 m ascent. 

Day 3: Hike from the village of Altura to Vila Real de Santo António

hike among lush vegetation with gorgeous ocean views in AlgarveToday we’ll transfer you to the village of Altura where you’ll find mainly summer houses and long sandy beaches.  Your hiking/walking trails follow some of these beaches giving you great views of the sea and the perfect opportunity to cool off with a dip in the Atlantic. As you continue, the path takes you to the Reserva Natural da Mata. It’s a natural reserve that shelters wildlife thanks to its dunes and pine trees providing shade for not only hikers and walkers but also chameleons. It’s of great significance since it’s one of the last natural habitats of this lizard in Portugal.

As you leave the reserve, you’ll pass by the mouth of the Guadiana River, the southeast tip of Portugal. It’s an ideal place for recreational fishing. Or simply enjoy the fantastic views of the Gulf of Cádiz and our neighbour Spain as you make your way to the border town Vila Real de Santo António, rich in architecture and history. The best way to explore the city’s historical centre is with the “Pombaline Walk”. When you’ve finished exploring, take the train back to Tavira (27 minutes, ~€1-3, not included in the price). Explore Tavira at your leisure. 

  • Accommodation: Hotel in Tavira
  • Hiking Details: 17.6 km, 105 m ascent

Day 4: Hike from the village of Fuseta to Tavira

Ria Formosa Natural Park is a paradise for bird watching in the AlgarveYou’ll walk 15 minutes to the train station then catch a train to the village of Fuseta, (13 minutes, €1-2, not included in the price) where y

You’ll immediately notice the long standing fishing traditions. Fuseta Island Beach, located on one side of the village divides the Atlantic Ocean and the Ria Formosa Natural Park. It’s accessible only accessible by boa and its golden golden sand, clear waters and lack of waves make it a small paradise worth visiting. Fuseta is one of the gateways for exploring the Ria Formosa Natural Park, an estuary that retains a remarkable balance between nature and human activities such as sea fishing, working salt flats and oyster farming.

Ria Formosa Natural Park is also an important stop for migrating birds from Northern Europe and Africa and a sanctuary for various other birds, especially the colourful flamingos. Not only that but Ria Formosa is also known for having one of the largest communities of seahorses in the world. And it’s also the birthplace of the Portuguese Water Dog, an Algarve breed that is threatened with extinction.

Along the trail, you’ll hike/walk along the salt pand and the artisan sea salt producers who still use the same traditional method that’s been used for centuries. You can become acquainted with the  delicate task of harvesting the salt “flowers” Fleur de Sel  that have become the passion of chefs and gourmets worldwide.

  • Accommodation: Hotel in Tavira
  • Hiking Details: 19.7 km, 153 m ascent.

Day 5: Hike from the village of Pontal to Carvoeiro

Tyou'll walk across the longest pedestrian bridge in Europe on day 5 of your Algarve touroday, you’ll check out of your hotel and we’ll transfer you to Pontal. The trail starts in one of the few coastal forests in Algarve and follows the land border between the lagoon system of Ria Formosa. Today is a wonderful opportunity for bird watching. You’ll  reach Ludo, located to the north of a complex of salt pans where you’ll have the opportunity to observe flamingos. The marshes of the São Lourenço River, is a good place to observe Herons and Cormorants roosting in the trees. After crossing the lagoon area and its salt marshes, you’ll reach a bird observatory. It’s one of the best sites for watching birds, especially Purple Swamp-Hens and Red-crested Pochards.

Along the path separating Ludo from the lagoon, the view opens to the Ancão Peninsula and its dunes. The dunes progressively give away to a small fishing settlement and summer houses. During the summer you might also see freshwater turtles native to Portugal: the Mediterranean pond turtle and the European pond turtle. From the pedestrian wooden bridge, the longest in Europe of its kind, there’s a magnificent view of the Ria Formosa. 

Your hike finishes in Quarteira where you’ll take a transfer to your  hotel near Carvoeiro. This picturesque town (population 2721 )located along a magnificent 15 km coastline of golden beaches and remarkable natural scenery. Head to the boardwalk at the top of the cliffs that surrounds the village for a unique view over some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. These beaches are different from other areas because of their enclosed cliffs, making them smaller, but scenic. These authentic natural masterpieces with rock balconies and caves have been sculpted by the wind and the seawater for thousands of years.

  • Accommodation: Hotel near Carvoeiro
  • Hiking Details: 15 km to Quarteira, 117 m ascent (shorter walk available to Vale do Garrão).

Day 6: Walking the Trails of the Headlands – Ferragudo to Carvoeiro

you'll get stunning ocean views while hiking in the Algarve on the Trail of HeadlandsYou’ll take a transfer to Ferragudo to start hiking/walking the “Trail of the Headlands” (Caminho dos Promontórios). Today is all about savouring the views, as you walk along cliff tops. You’ll find small cove beaches, distinctive arches, caves, galleries, sinkholes and sea stacks. 
On the way, you’ll come across a 16th-century watchtower called Torre da Lapa, from where sentinels would guard the region against pirate attacks and others. Bird lovers keep an eye out for crows, warblers and marine birds.

At Torrados Beach, there’s a sea stack, known as the Leixão da Gaivota. It is a Special Protection Area that acts as a nesting site for Cattle Egrets and Little Egrets and a resting place for other sea birds.

  • Accommodation: Hotel near Carvoeiro
  • Hiking Details: 10.6 km, 140 m ascent

Day 7: Hiking from Carvoeiro to the Trail of the Seven Hanging Valleys

Hiking Trail " Trilho dos Sete Vales Suspensos" voted as best trail in Europe in 2019On your last day of hiking, you’ll walk the round trip Trilho dos Sete Vales Suspensos, voted as the best trail in Europe by the European Best Destinations, in 2019. The heavenly beaches along the path will tempt you to go for a swim and distract you rom the beautiful landscape around you.

The “seven hanging valleys”, for which the trail is named were in the distant past part of a mouth of a river and testify to the impact of erosion on the coastline. The shoreline was sliced by seven seasonal streams which, over time became known as the “hanging valleys”.

Be on the lookout for the  impressive “algares” – vertical pits formed through the dissolution of limestone, connecting to the surface to the cavernous galleries below.

At most beaches, you’ll find small boats offering tours through the imposing sea caves, including the famous Benagil Cave. It’s not included in your trip but we highly recommend it. 

  • Accommodation: Hotel near Carvoeiro
  • Hiking Details: 15.1 km, 2459 m ascent. 

Day 8: Departure

Carvoeiro is the second base for your Algarve tourYou’ve now completed your Algarve hiking tour. We hope that you’ve loved immersing yourself in nature, observing birds, relaxing on the stunning beaches,  and discoving local culture and cuisine on your own schedule

After breakfast, we’ll transfer you back to Faro Airport. 


GETTING TO ALGARVE PORTUGAL

The closest airport is Faro Airport. We offer a free airport transfer at the start and end of your tour.

TOUR INFO & WHAT’S INCLUDED

ACCOMMODATION

In Tavira, you’ll stay in a beautiful 3-star traditionally designed apartment that’s centrally located but still in a tranquil setting on an olive farm. The gardens offer the perfect place to relax and there’s a small outdoor swimming pool to cool down on a hot day.  

In Carvoeiro, you’ll stay in a 4-star hotel townhouse with gorgeous views of the sea surrounded by a shady garden. There’s also an outdoor pool and tennis courts for you to enjoy. 

 Note: The above are samples of accommodations we frequently use. Your exact accommodation depends on availability but will be something similar. 

PAYMENT INFORMATION

€1095 per person based on double occupancy.
Contact us for solo travellers.
Travelling with 4+ people? we’re happy to offer you a reduced rate. 

25% is due when you book. Your remaining balance is due 30 days in advance. If you cancel 31 days in advance you’ll be charged €75 per person. Refunds aren’t available if you cancel 30 days or less in advance.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

✔ Accommodation, 7 nights in a double standard room, with 6 breakfasts included

✔ Transfer to and from Faro Airport at the start and end of your tour 

✔ Transfers: (Day 2) Tavira to Cacela Velha; (Day 3) Tavira to Altura; (Day 5) Tavira to Pontal; (day 5) Quarteira to Carvoeiro

✔ Login access to the app where the route is published in digital support, including a map, points of interest and route details. Note, you must download it beforehand to your smartphone, using it online/offline to guide yourself during your tour.

 

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • Meals (besides breakfasts)
  • Train tickets
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel and trip cancellation insurance that includes pandemic and repatriation insurance. World Nomads insurance covers both of these which is why we recommend it.
  • Anything else not mentioned

BOOK YOUR ALGARVE SELF-GUIDED HIKING TOUR NOW

Thank you for your interest in booking this tour. You’ve made a good choice. Our Algarve Self-Guided Tour is absolutely stunning and you can reward yourselves after hiking by relaxing at one of the stunning beaches.

Please contact us to book this tour. Let us know what date you’d like to start, how many people and we’ll start the booking process.

Book Your Algarve Hiking Tour With Us & You’ll Get… 

✅ Great value for money

✅ Freedom to hike on your own schedule with the people you choose

✅ To avoid the hassles of booking accommodations that have to be booked by phone or email (there’s no central booking system to check availability)

✅ Alternative routes(when available) to make your hike easier when your legs have had enough

✅ Our insider knowledge to reserve the best accommodations based on what’s important to you (i.e. location, comfort, etc)

✅ Tours that are designed by hikers for hikers. We combine our knowledge and experience with our local partners to provide you with an amazing hiking tour.

+ YOU’LL GET THE FOLLOWING BONUSES WHEN YOU BOOK:

✔ BONUS 1:Trekking Tips Online Course (value $97)

so that you get the most from your amazing trek

BONUS 2: Hiking & Trekking Gear Online Course (value $47)

so that you bring everything you need and nothing you don’t

✔ BONUS 3: Soft Copy of our Hiking Logbook (value $9)

so that you can remember your incredible hiking trip in Algarve.

 

TOTAL VALUE: $153 FREE as a thank you for your booking and to have an incredible vacation.

PHOTOS OF THE ALGARVE SELF-GUIDED HIKING TOUR