Current as of: April 25, 2024 - 04:19

Walking the Algarve’s South West

Walking the Algarve's South West Trip Notes

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

    2 out of 7 - Leisurely / Moderate

  • 11 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 11 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 18+
  • Trip Code: W10AV

Trip Overview

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.

At a Glance

  • 10 Nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Route notes and maps provided 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels 
  • Walking transfers

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

Is This Trip for You?

Classification: Self-Guided
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.

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. 

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. Your luggage is transferred and route notes and maps are provided. Please note: the walking and luggage transfers included in this tour are subject to a minimum of 2 people (in total) booked on the departure. A supplement (payable in advance) to cover these transfers and sole occupancy of a room will apply if only 1 person travelling on a departure date.

Adult min age: 18

Itinerary

Walking the Algarve’s South West

Land Only

  • Start City: Sagres
  • End City: Sagres

Flight Inclusive

  • Start City: London
  • End City: London

Land Only Itinerary

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)

Distance covered: 11mi (17km)

Activity hours: 5

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)

Distance covered: 11mi (18km)

Activity hours: 6

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)

Distance covered: 10mi (16km)

Activity hours: 5

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)

Distance covered: 11mi (18km)

Activity hours: 6

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 14th century 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)

Distance covered: 9mi (15km)

Activity hours: 5

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 11
Leave Sagres

The tour ends after breakfast in Sagres.

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.

Accommodation

Hotels

Walking the Algarve’s South West

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.

Single supplement from £ 502

Food & Drink

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.

Transport

We have included transfers on some of the days to either take you to the begining of your walk or back to your hotel after a day of walking.

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

Walking the Algarve’s South West

Joining Instructions

Flight inclusive prices include our standard flights/transfers

Flight times change according to day of the week and season so please check for your departure what the standard flights are. Customers booking flight inclusive packages have transfers included to Sagres at 12.30 or 17:30 and back to Faro at 10:45 or 15:45

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

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: Sagres
Location end: Sagres

Transfer Details

Standard transfers
For flight inclusive packages transfers included from Faro airport at 12:30 and 17:30 and back to Faro airport at 10:45 and 15:45. Transfers are available at a supplement for land only bookings.

What To Take

Essential Equipment

  • Walking shoes
  • Warm jacket or sweater
  • 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
  • Transparent, waterproof map holder

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

Visa

Portugal

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: www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/europe/portugal
• Canada: www.travel.gc.ca/destinations/portugal
• United Kingdom: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal/entry-requirements
• USA:  www.travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Portugal.html

Vaccinations and Health

Portugal

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 +01:00)

Electricity

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

Walking the Algarve’s South West

Money

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 or dinner is not included expect to spend €10-€15 for lunch and €15-€35 for dinner.

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.

Licensing

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.