Headwater - Walk the Algarve's Wild West, Self-Guided

7 days
from
£979
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Trip code: 
W06AV
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
8

A warming winter walking discovery allowing you to see the best of the unspoilt Western Algarve region. The lush flora and diverse fauna of the Algarvian hinterland compliment the dramatic seascape scenery of the Atlantic coastline perfectly.

Far beyond the 'developed' Algarve in Portugal's most southerly Atlantic corner, lies the Sagres Peninsula, a startlingly pristine region of golden beaches, imposing cliffs, swaying flower meadows, dramatic coastlines and tree-lined paths. Locals here offer a warm welcome and hold on to the traditions of rural life. The easy-to-follow trails take in rich verdant valleys, pine forests and rugged coastlines, making exploring on foot amazingly rewarding. Birdlife also abounds here with endemic and migratory species passing through from Africa and Northern Europe. With winter very similar to spring in the UK, you can enjoy the warm temperatures of the Algarve from September right through to May.

Highlights

  • Walk beside the crashing Atlantic; follow the Rota Vicentina and Fishermen's Trail
  • Relax in an eclectic mix of hotels, from a rustic village conversion to a chic **** hotel
  • Delicious, typical Algarvian cuisine
  • Excellent for bird-spotting (over 190 species); carpets of wildflowers
  • Look out from Cabo de Sao Vicente lighthouse, Europe's most southwesterly point

Key information

  • 6 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation
  • 3 Days walking
  • All continental breakfasts and 3 evening meals
  • Services of your local Headwater Representative
  • Route directions and maps 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts and 3 evening meals
  • Services of your local Headwater Representative
  • Route directions and maps 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels 

What's not included

  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplements
Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

3

Days of Walking & Trekking
Terrain:

Mostly gently undulating with a couple of short but steepish descents/climbs on most days. Walks are mostly on a mix of coastal paths and tracks and woodland trails. Sections follow the Rota Vicentina and Fishermens Trail.

Day by day breakdown
Day 217.0km/11.0miles
Day 418.0km/12.0miles
Day 615.0km/10.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

Sagres
to
Sagres
  • Day 1

    Arrive at Sagres

    Arrive in the characterful coastal town of Sagres in time for your dinner. (Staying in Hotel Memmo Baleeira, Half Board)

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Sagres to Pedralva

    After a 30-minute transfer you'll follow the Fishermen's Trail, passing pines and gorse as you head to the cliff tops and the impressive Amado beach, an internationally renowned surf beach. Make your way down to the village of Carrapateira, with its bars and restaurants offering a great lunch stop. Do take time to visit the interesting Land and Sea Museum for an insight into the history of the village and its fishing economy. You'll then pick up the Rota Vicentina passing one of the Algarve's finest viewpoints, following a lovely trail through the Sinceira Valley and the course of the River Sinceira, as you make your way to charming Aldeia da Pedralva and your own village house for the next two nights. (Staying at Aldeia da Pedralva, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    At Pedralva

    You can be as active or as relaxed as you like: spend time unwinding in the pretty village or enjoy one of two optional walks. Follow a lovely cliff-top trail back along to Amado beach or take a smaller loop along the Marreiros plateau with great views of the Algarve's highest point. (Staying at Aldeia da Pedralva, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Pedralva to Vila Do Bispo

    There are two options for today, both setting off through a forest of pine and eucalyptus as you follow the Rota Vicentina, then a meandering trail through flower meadows leading you along a path and down to the pretty village of Vila do Bispo. The longer trail adds a wonderful horseshoe loop heading into the Costa Vicentina Natural Park, to Praia da Barriga (Barriga beach) with its impressive cliffs and crashing waves - the perfect picnic spot. (Staying at Hotel Mira Sagres, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    At Vila Do Bispo

    The cosmopolitan coastal town of Lagos is a short bus ride away; encircled by C14 walls, the stone work and architecture within is a delight. Ornate churches date from the C13, and tangled cobbled lanes lead to discoveries around every corner. Alternatively, you may wish to follow one of two walks, one taking in the cliffs and viewpoints above Vila do Bispo, the other a real gem of a walk through a landscape of rolling hills and gentle valleys through the village of Raposeira to Guadalupe chapel, thought to be one of the only Knights Templar buildings left in Portugal. (Staying at Hotel Mira Sagres, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Vila Do Bispo to Cabo De Sao Vicente/Sagres

    Surrounded by foaming Atlantic breakers, Cabo de Sao Vicente marks the most south-westerly point of Europe. The walk out to the edge of the continent should prove to be one of the highlights of your week! You are spoilt with amazing coastal scenery on this wild and unpopulated route that follows sandy paths and gorse-strewn meadows to the very edge of the Iberian Peninsula. At the Cape there is a lighthouse, museum and small bar, offering wonderful photo opportunities. It's a short transfer (5 mins) back to Sagres where you can relax with a cold drink on the waterfront, watching fishermen mending their nets. (Staying at Hotel Memmo Baleeira, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Leave Sagres

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

Portugal

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All continental breakfasts and 3 evening meals

Three dinners are included and the local cuisine is a sumptuous mix of fresh fish, local meats and fresh vegetables, accompanied by tangy cheeses and quality chouricos; all complemented by a superb choice of Portuguese wines.

The local speciality from the sea is the Barnacle Perceve, this is not taken from the bottom of boats but the bottom of submerged local cliffs, it is harvested by hand using a dangerous and traditional method, which involves one of the two collectors dangling by a rope from the top of the cliffs! They are a bit of a delicacy not too dissimilar to mussels. Away from the sea the dried hams, salamis and chouriço are as good as anything that Spain or Italy can produce. The strange sounding bread sausage Alheira is very good, invented by the Portuguese Jews during the Inquisition to avoid persecution, bread and non-pork products are used. Good quality meat is also on the menu, beef and pork are of a high quality and lamb in season is superb. Vegetables are plentiful and with big harvests of almonds and oranges, fruits are in good supply alongside another local vegetable, the sweet potato.

The Algarve’s other surprise is the quality of cheese; from mild to strong using cow, goat or sheep milk there is a great range of cheeses for all tastes, Queijo de Cabra do Algarve, is a particular favourite.

 

Weather

Coastal areas of Portugal can be known to be quite windy. However, the climate here is long, warm summers and mild winters, with most rain falling in the winter months, but possible in all other months. Seasons are marked, with pleasant temperatures in the spring, in the summer and in the autumn. Heat waves can push up temperatures between mid June and September.

Is this trip for you?

EXCELLENT CHOICE FOR
Food lovers, wine lovers, flora & fauna, bird spotting opportunities, art & history, swimming opportunities, couples, coastal routes

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/moderate)
Average daily distance on move on days: 16.8km (10.7miles). 
No. of days Walking: 5
Terrain: 
Mostly gently undulating with a couple of short but steepish descents/climbs on most days. Walks are mostly on a mix of coastal paths and tracks and woodland trails. Sections follow the Rota Vicentina and Fishermens Trail.

 Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can walk at your own pace.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. 

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Your route takes you to the fishermen's village of Carrapateira, along a mix of coastal and inland paths amid bird and orchid-rich forests to remote Pedralva. From this white village you follow the Rota Vicentina, a national trail interlinking with the Fishermen's Trail that starts in the Alentejo. It hugs beaches and cliffs all the way to Cabo de Sao Vicente, the farthest flung corner of Europe.

Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

All your hotels have pools, and range from designer chic above the bay in Sagres, to country village style in Pedralva, where every house in the village has been restored to provide rustic accommodation. In Vila do Bispo you stay in a traditional pensao (coaching inn), now beautifully modernised, that was once a stopping-off point for pilgrims on their way to the Cape.

Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on +91 80 4213 6106