Walk the Algarve's Wild West, Self-Guided Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays
Destinations:
Portugal
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
W06AV
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

7 Days Flight Inclusive
7 Days Land only
Min age: 8

Trip Overview

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 October right through to May.

At a Glance

  • 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

Trip 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 4 star 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

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
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.

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local representative is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the week to go through the route notes and point out particular places of interest. 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
Child min age:
8

Child max age:

17

Itinerary

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 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
    Distance covered: 17 km / 11 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • 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
    Distance covered: 18 km / 12 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • Day 5

    At Vila Do Bispo

    The cosmopolitan coastal town of Lagos is a short bus ride away; encircled by 14th century walls, the stone work and architecture within is a delight. Ornate churches date from the 13th century, 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
    Distance covered: 15 km / 10 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • Day 7

    Leave Sagres

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

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.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £210.00

Food & Transport

Eating & 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.

 

Transportation

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

Weather Information

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

Joining Instructions

Flight inclusive prices include our standard flights/transfers

British Airways Gatwick to Faro 09:00/11:50 Oct & Apr-May, 13:15/16:05 Nov-Mar, (transfer to hotel, 75 mins, provided). Return: Air Faro to Gatwick 13:00/15:50 Oct & Apr-May, 17:00/19:50 Nov-Mar. Business/club/first class seats are available on request.

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.

Transfers Details

Standard transfers
For flight inclusive bookings transfers are included from Faro airport at 11:50 Oct & Apr-May, 16:05 Nov-Mar, and back to Faro airport at 09:30 Oct & Apr-May, 13:30 Nov-Mar. Transfers are available at a supplement for land only bookings.

Location start:
Sagres
Location end:
Sagres

What to Take

Essential Equipment

  • Walking shoes
  • Warm jacket or sweater from October to May
  • 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

Passport

Portugal

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Portugal

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Portugal

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Portugal's Timezone:
Europe/Lisbon WEST (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

Portugal's Electricity:

European 2-pin plug. 

Money

Portugal's Currency

The national currency of Portugal is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 1.2 to the UK£ and 0.9 to the US$.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

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 Tourism

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

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake 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.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances 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.

On all trips

In 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 you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 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.

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; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, 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.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

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 www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, 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. Book with confidence: 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 monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.