Current as of: December 5, 2023 - 05:26

The Algarve from West to East

The Algarve from West to East Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Self-Guided Holidays
  • Destination: Portugal
  • Programmes: Walking & Trekking
  • Activity Level:

    2 out of 7 - Leisurely / Moderate

  • 8 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 8 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 18+
  • Trip Code: W07AV

Trip Overview

On this 7-night twin-centre self-guided walking trip you’ll discover the entirety of Portugal’s Algarve, from the rugged cliff-strewn western Atlantic coastline to its eastern border with Spain.

Starting the first half of your week in the coastal town of Sagres and finishing in the city of churches, Tavira, highlights include visits to some of the Algarve’s most varied and interesting beaches (including Odeceixe, which is the one of the most photographed and most popular beaches in the Algarve), exploring the maritime history of Portugal and Europe in Lagos and Sagres, and walking along the banks of the Guadiana River.

At a Glance

  • 7 Nights, twin centre
  • Route notes and maps provided 
  • A good chioice of walks on each day
  • Car Hire essential (included when booking a flight-inclusive package)


  • Explore the cliff-strewn western coastline and its eastern border with Spain
  • Follow coastal paths, Alpine-esque mountains and the Guadiana River
  • Many stunning unspoilt beaches to visit
  • Lagos and Sagres' rich maritime history
  • Car hire is essential so you can fully explore the entirety of the Algarve on a variety of walks

Is This Trip for You?

Drive to each day’s different walks and you’ll embark on a journey through the undiscovered parts of the region where pretty whitewashed villages and lively towns intermingle with a mix of stunning scenery. 

You’ll meander along diverse landscapes, from river paths and untouched coastlines to the Monchique mountain range. Admire the colours and scents of the Spanish and green lavender that grows in abundance, along with more than 25 types of orchids, mystic thyme and flowering yellow broom. Overhead you can see Bonelli’s eagles, sparrow hawks, black kites, azure magpies and golden orioles whilst flamingos make their home in the salt marshes. As autumn arrives, the Algarve is one of the best places in Europe to see the annual migration, and with the region’s autumn and winter being similar to the UK’s springtime, you can expect year-round warm temperatures.

Car hire is essential for this trip and is included when booking a flight-inclusive package.


As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader.

Adult min age: 18


The Algarve from West to East

Land Only

  • Start City: Faro
  • End City: Faro

Flight Inclusive

  • Start City: London
  • End City: London

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive in Faro

Drive to Sagres, the beautiful coastal town where you will spend the first four nights. (Staying at Memmo Baleeira)

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2
Bordeira and the Beach

From picturesque Bordeira, a valley trail takes you through eucalyptus and giant reeds to the cliff tops above the vast expanse of Bordeira Beach with its impressive sand dunes. The views are breathtaking! Descend to the beach, where you’ll walk along the crashing surf to explore the dunes and meandering river estuary. Your return is along a sandy trail through the scented pine forest of Bordalete and the floodplain of the Bordeira River where bell-toting cattle graze lazily. (Staying at Memmo Baleeira)

Distance covered: 10mi (16km)

Activity hours: 5

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3
Aljezur and the Amoreira Cliff-Top Loop

A short but spectacular walk to two of the Algarve’s most varied beaches and their unique rock formations sculpted by the Atlantic. Stroll through peaceful valleys and pine forest to reach the flower-strewn coast. Descend to Carruagem Beach with its swirling rock ridges and rock pools. Then take the sandy cliff trail to Amoreira Beach, one of the finest sweeps of shoreline in the region. After your walk, head to Aljezur to wander the cobbled streets and visit the ruins of the Moorish hilltop castle for superb views. (Staying at Memmo Baleeira)

Distance covered: 4mi (7km)

Activity hours: 2

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4
Odeceixe and the Fishermen's Coastal Trail

Just over the border in the Alentejo is the attractive village of Odeceixe. You set off on the Rota Vicentina Pilgrims’ Trail alongside the irrigation canal. Reaching the Atlantic, head along the wild and rugged coastline on the stunning Fishermen’s Trail to the beautiful beach of Odeceixe – one of the most photographed in Portugal. Head back to Odeceixe alongside the river and through meadows to explore its narrow cobbled streets and tempting cafes. (Staying at Memmo Baleeira)

Distance covered: 8mi (13km)

Activity hours: 4

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5
Heading East

Today you make your way to Tavira, your base for the next three nights. Choose to do a walk en route or visit one of the interesting villages or towns. Monchique or Lagos are both worth a visit, the small village of Saint Luzia near Tavira is famous for octopus restaurants or head to Tavira for lunch and explore the town in the afternoon. (Staying at Pousada de Tavira)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6
A Walk Along the Guadiana

You head east, maybe stopping at the town of Alcoutim with its 14th century castle and small international ferry! Then to Laranjeiras, where the walk begins along the banks of the Guadiana River, passing pretty white villages and almond and olive groves. You’ll climb between holm oaks and stone pines to a wonderful picnic spot. It’s then on through the Laranjeiras ravine full of tamarisks, lavender and carob trees, spotting golden orioles as we go. (Staying at Pousada de Tavira)

Distance covered: 6mi (9km)

Activity hours: 3

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7
Don Quixote Trail

A longer walk today, which is packed with interest and contrasting scenery and sights – first following the river through orchards and vineyards, then passing through cork oaks, cistus and pine plantations, to reach a wonderful view point over the Odeleite River. Heading down to the river there is a lovely picnic site to enjoy a break. Following on passing holm oaks and two windmills is evidence to the life in the area known as the Serra. (Staying at Pousada de Tavira)

Distance covered: 11mi (17km)

Activity hours: 6

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8
Leave Tavira

It is a 35-minute drive back to Faro airport. Note: This is an idea of your itinerary; we have more walks for you to follow in our notes. Our Algarve representatives will explain everything at your welcome briefing. You can easily add extra nights in either hotel or shorten the holiday if you like.

Meals included: Breakfast

Ascents, descents and distances

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders, in many cases with satellite-based mapping software. Please note, different GPS measuring devices can give differing results, particularly on winding paths or in mountainous terrain. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter. Timings stated will vary depending on the pace of your group.



The Algarve from West to East

You’ll stay in two hotels of contrasting styles: in Sagres, sitting on the cliffs above the Atlantic Ocean, is the modern boutique 4-Star Memmo Baleeria, and heading east in Tavira is the 4-Star Pousada de Tavira, a former C16 convent, which has now been tastefully converted into a lovely hotel. 

Single supplement from £ 499

Food & Drink

All breakfasts and 1 evening meal.

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 & Seasonality

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.

Weather Charts

The Algarve from West to East

Joining Instructions

Air inclusive prices include our standard flights and car hire.

British Airways Gatwick to Faro 08:10/11:05 and car hire (Europcar Group B air-conditioned car). Drive to hotel in Sagres, 1 hour 30 mins.

Return: Drive from hotel in Tavira, 30 mins. British Airways Faro to Gatwick 12:00/14:50.

Business/club/first class seats are available on request.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start: Faro
Location end: Faro

Transfer Details

Group B air-conditioned hire car is included for travel to and from the hotel when booking flight inclusive packages.

What To Take

Essential Equipment

  • Walking shoes
  • Warm jacket or sweater in May and October
  • Sunhat, suncream
  • Daypack to carry your belongings on walks
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterbottle: while mineral water is available at the hotel and shops

Optional Equipment

  • Umbrella
  • Swimwear for pools
  • Walking poles

Reading List

  • Lonely Planet – Portugal
  • The Rough Guide to Portugal
  • A Concise History of Portugal ,David Birmingham
  • The area is a mecca for birdwatchers so the following books could be useful for checking the different species:
  • Birdwatchers Guide to Portugal and Madeira
  • Finding Birds in Southern Portugal

Practical Information



Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Portugal. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

• Australia:
• Canada:
• United Kingdom:
• USA:

Vaccinations and Health


There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus and rabies. Please confirm with your doctor or travel clinic.

Local Time

Portugal's time zone: Europe/Lisbon (UTC +00:00)


Portugal's electricity: Plug types C (two round pins, European standard) and F (two round pins) – 230V, 50Hz


Portugal's currency: Euros (EUR)

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available, but we recommend taking some Euros cash with you in case you can’t get to a bank at the start of the trip. Cards are widely accepted. 

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need spending money for meals not included in the itinerary and all drinks. We suggest €25 per day to cover a few drinks if not then €10 per day. On the days where lunch is not included expect to spend €10-€15.

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… 

Important Information

Your safe participation 

When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred. 

How to Book

  1. Check availability: Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
  2. Secure your place: You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.
  3. Complete your booking and payment

When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.


Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.