Headwater - Walking the Algarve's South West

11 days
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£1,259
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Trip code: 
W10AV
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Walking
Min age:
8

Discover the South-West corner of the Algarve on our self-guided walk following coastal footpaths and inland trails.

Escape the busy tourist spots of the Algarve and discover the unspoilt Sagres Peninsula, a region of spectacular natural beauty with rugged cliffs, dramatic coastlines, sandy beaches and lush countryside. On our 10-night walking holiday, a mixture of forest, valley and coastal trails take you inland and along Portugal's west and south coast, affording breathtaking views and some truly memorable moments.

Highlights

  • Discover Europe's most southwesterly point at Cabo de Sao Vicente
  • Excellent for bird-spotting throughout the year
  • Beautiful beaches and picturesque harbours
  • Excellent hotels, all with pools
  • Maritime history in Lagos and Sagres

Key information

  • 10 Nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Every two days from 29 Nov '17 to 7 May '19
  • Route notes and maps provided 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels 
  • Walking transfers

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All continental breakfast and 5 evening meals
  • Route notes and maps 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels 
  • Walking transfers

What's not included

  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplements
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 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.

5

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 616.0km/10.0miles
Day 818.0km/12.0miles
Day 1015.0km/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 at your hotel in the coastal town of Sagres. (Staying at Memmo Baleeira)

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Sagres to Pedralva

    After a 30-minute transfer you'll start today's walk, following the Fishermen's Trail to the cliff tops and the glorious Amado beach. You'll make your way to Carrapateira - perhaps stop for a picnic lunch or sample one of the village's snack bars - before following the Rota Vicentina past one of the Algarve's best viewpoints, on your way to Pedralva. (Staying at Aldeia da Pedralva)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    At Pedralva

    The choice is yours today. You could relax and explore this charming village or purchase some picnic supplies and follow one of our suggested walks! A cliff-top route takes you back to the beautiful Amado beach; you'll enjoy breathtaking views out to sea, with the return leg offering valley and forest views as far as the Serra de Monchique. A shorter walk takes you along the Marreiros plateau where you'll enjoy far-reaching views over the rolling countryside below. (Staying at Aldeia da Pedralva)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Pedralva to Vila Do Bispo

    After an enchanting walk through pine and eucalyptus forest you can choose from two routes. One follows the Rota Vicentina and pretty meadows to Vila do Bispo, whilst the longer route makes a horseshoe loop into the Costa Vicentina Natural Park, to the Praia da Barriga (Barriga beach), set at the end of a long and lush valley and backed by dramatic cliffs. (Staying at Hotel Mira Sagres)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    At Vila Do Bispo

    Today you could wander the quaint streets of the village or choose to follow one of our suggested walks. Perhaps take in the cliffs and viewpoints above Vila do Bispo, or walk through a landscape of rolling hills and gentle valleys, through the village of Raposeira, to the Guadalupe Chapel which is thought to be one of the only Knights Templar buildings left in Portugal. (Staying at Hotel Mira Sagres)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Vila Do Bispo to Cabo De Sao Vicente/Sagres

    The undoubted highlight of today is making your way to the south-western tip of Europe - Cabo de Sao Vicente. Following country lanes and coastal trails, you'll enjoy some superb scenery en route and feel on top of the world when you arrive! Take a tour of the lighthouse, visit the museum, or relax with a drink in the bar before we transfer you (5 mins) back to Sagres. (Staying at Pousada de Sagres)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    At Sagres

    If you can tear yourself away from the hotel pool, why not take a walk to the Ponta da Atalaia and Ponta da Baleeira headland today? You'll experience wonderful views over Sagres' impressive fortress and the Mareta and Martinhal beaches. Alternatively, head straight to Martinhal Beach for a stroll on the sand and a drink at one of the bars! (Staying at Pousada de Sagres)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Sagres to Lagos

    It's stunning scenery and seascapes all the way today as you follow one of the Algarve's most beautiful coastal walking trails. A 20-30 minute transfer takes you to one of three possible starting points, depending on which length of walk you choose. Each route takes you through the picturesque fishing villages of Burgau and Praia da Luz with their whitewashed houses and picture-perfect beaches - perhaps stop for lunch at one of the bars or restaurants or enjoy a beachside picnic. (Staying at Costa d'Oiro)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 9

    At Lagos

    It's just a 20-minute walk from your hotel to the Old Town of Lagos. Here you'll find the C14 walls protecting a tangle of cobbled streets full of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants, along with ornate churches, some interesting museums and the pride and joy of Lagos - its bustling marina! (Staying at Costa d'Oiro)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 10

    Lagos/Figueira to Sagres

    Today's walk has some fabulous scenery! After a transfer (20 mins) to Figueira, you'll follow a route through rolling countryside to the cliff-top headland above Praia do Zavial, before continuing via the beaches of Ingrina and Barranco up to the Sagres plateau. Cross the tiny Praia dos Rebolinhos before a final stretch along Martinhal Beach back to your hotel - take your boots off and enjoy the sand between your toes! (Staying at Memmo Baleeira)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    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

Portugal

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Portugal

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All continental breakfast and 5 evening meals included.

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?

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.

Starting on the west coast you'll walk along the Rota Vicentina and Fishermen's Trail, discovering delightful whitewashed villages and golden beaches, before the course of the Sinceira River leads you inland to charming Pedralva. Following a fragrant forest route you'll reach the picturesque village of Vila do Bispo, from where you'll make your way to the mesmerising Cabo de Sao Vicente - Europe's most south-westerly point and an unforgettable part of your holiday. Be sure to take your camera - the views are incredible! You'll follow one of the Algarve's most beautiful walking trails to historic Lagos, before rounding off your holiday in style, walking the cliff-tops to some of the area's finest beaches. 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 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

You'll stay in a wonderful variety of hotels, all with pools, including a charming hotel in Sagres with wonderful views of the fortress and over the crashing Atlantic below; a rustic house in Pedralva (every house in the village has been restored to provide accommodation!); a well-restored pensao (coaching inn) in Vila do Bispo complete with spa; and a family-run hotel just 20 minutes' walk from the old town of Lagos. We've included five evening meals so you're free to sample some of the area's superb local restaurants.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 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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  • Reviewed October 2018
    Pam JELLEY

    Fabulous time...

    This holiday was made extra special for us by the professionalism and kindness of the Headwater reps - Tony & Ludmilla. The one day when we got soaked, they came to our rescue and collected us early with no no fuss whatsoever. Apart from that one day the weather was kind and the walks spectacular

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Views from the headlands looking at the crashing waves

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your waterproof trousers - I had mine ready to pack and left them in the bedroom!

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 020 8772 3936