Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Algarve Coastal Trails
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Highlights

  • Amble through the cobbled streets of Lagos, Sagres and Salema
  • Enjoying a glass of Alentejo red as the sun sinks into the Atlantic
  • Strolling along honey-coloured cliffs above the turquoise sea and white beaches
  • Pausing to take in the prolific birdlife
  • Smelling the Atlantic air as you stand invigorated at Cape San Vicente lighthouse
  • Tucking into a heaped plate of Ameijoas na Cataplana at a harbour-side cafe

Follow the cliffs, beaches and turquoise ocean of Portugal’s Algarve Coast from Lagos to Cabo Sao Vincente. Secluded sandy beaches, whitewashed fishing villages, excellent hotels and fresh caught seafood combine to delight you at every turn of the trail.

Your walk explores the beauty of the Algarve coast, where you can marvel at the weathered ochre-coloured cliffs, stroll barefoot along white sand beaches, bird watch over blue lagoons, enjoy a fresh caught seafood feast overlooking picturesque harbours and wander the cobbled streets of Lagos, Sagres, and Salema. Abandoned fortresses along the way remind you of a time when this coast was ravaged by pirates. For one day your route takes you inland through rural villages and forests, where you can experience the true colours of Portugal. Each night you will stay in high quality hotels that overlook the Atlantic and offer the warmest of welcomes.

Your walk begins in the cosmopolitan city of Lagos, where you can still see evidence of the city walls, which protected it from marauders. From Lagos the trail heads west to the high cliffs of Ponta da Piedade and then to the small town of Luz. The whitewashed houses and cobbled streets of Salema is a delight and from here you enjoy a walk inland through small villages and rural Algarve. Your walk continues to Sagres and your hotel at Baleeira Bay, from where a final thrilling walk takes you to the lighthouse at Cape Sao Vicente, the most south western point of continental Europe.

DAY 1: Arrive Lagos

After flying into Faro or Lisbon you will be transferred to the cosmopolitan city of Lagos. Arrive early if you can as there is plenty to explore here, from the old city walls to the town’s waterfront which is lined with elegant palm trees. As you walk through the narrow cobbled streets you can admire the terracotta pots of flowering bougainvillea and if you look up you may be able to spot beautiful appliqué tiles and intricately cast wrought iron balconies.


This evening sip a local vinho verde while sampling some fresh seafood in a local restaurant and anticipate your first day of walking tomorrow.


Overnight: Hotel Marina Rio**** , Lagos


A beautiful family run hotel overlooking the marina in the centre of Lagos. Enjoy relaxing in the small rooftop swimming pool before starting your walk.


DAY 2: Lagos to Luz Beach

After a breakfast buffet of fresh fruit, yoghurt, cereals and much more, begin your walking today by wandering through the old and narrow streets which head down towards the sea. Follow the coast line to Ponta da Piedade, where you can admire the varied hues of the amazing sea cliffs and see how the wind and sea have carved out the many varying shapes. The colours of the cliffs are a sharp contrast to the turquoise sea.


Continue along the trail spotting seabirds and flora and fauna along the way. Arrive in the small town of Luz, originally a fisherman’s village but now a charming town protected by the Rocha Negra (black rock) cliff, a product of lava flow 150 million years ago. Here there is also a 16th century fortress, which now houses a restaurant with terrific views over the Atlantic. Perhaps you would like to eat dinner here tonight on one of the terraces and watch the sun go down.


Walk: 13km, Ascent 450m


Overnight: Luz Bay Hotel**** , Luz


This hotel is located right on the beach and also has 3 swimming pools, a Jacuzzi, tennis courts, a restaurant and rooms that are spacious and have balconies.


DAY 3: Luz Bay to Salema Village

As you walk along the coast today you will come across many small fishing villages and crumbling fortresses. Stop along the way and absorb the sights and sounds. See the incredible variety of seabirds' en route, stop in a local café and sample some fresh fish while overlooking the paradise beaches.


Salema has a wide range of restaurants, so this evening you can wander through the streets of this small village and pick where you would like to eat. Each restaurant will feature freshly caught fish of the day, such as sardines, mackerel, or sea bream.


Walk: 13km, Ascent 450m


Overnight: Casa Praiamar***, Salema


Casa Praia Mar is located in the traditional fishing village of Salema, Algarve, 50 metres from an Atlantic beach. It offers an outdoor swimming pool surrounded by a lawn with sun loungers.


DAY 4: Barão de São João to Salema

Begin your day with a short transfer from Salema to Barão de São João, a small inland village, characterised by its coloured window bars and distinctive Algarve chimneys which have unusual geometrical shapes and lacework patterns. From here walk along trails through Stone Pine forests and through other white-washed inland villages en route back to the coast.


Another option is to have a day of rest in Salema, explore the nearby coves and beaches, and enjoy a relaxing lunch in a local café.


Walk: 16.5km, Ascent 300m


Overnight: Casa Praiamar*** , Salema


DAY 5: Salema to Sagres

Your walk today takes you along the unspoilt coastline with secret beaches and lagoons. It is indeed a landscape of rare beauty. The trail passes the beaches of Ingrina and Zavial where it is possible to stop at a beach bar and admire the views, and perhaps have a swim and a lunch of fresh seafood.


On arrival in Sagres, the most south western town on the Algarve, you really feel like you are walking to the ends of the earth and where the land, very distinctly, meets the sea. Try to give yourself time to wander around Sagres this afternoon or evening with its picturesque harbour and pretty plaza.


Finish a perfect day of walking in the relaxing and contemporary atmosphere of your 4* hotel. Admire the views from the restaurant terrace or from the hotels extensive gardens.


Walk: 16.5km, Ascent 700m


Overnight:Memmo Baleeira Hotel**** , Sagres


Overlooking Baleeira Bay and its 5 islands this hotel is in an exquisite location and you will experience a high standard of service here as well as warm, stylish and elegant rooms.


DAY 6: Sagres to Cabo San Vicente

Starting from Sagres walk along the high cliffs towards the lighthouse at Cabo San Vicente which is the final destination for today’s walk. En route there will be opportunities to discover hidden beaches between the cliffs, admire constant views over the Atlantic and imagine this area centuries before, when every port had a fortress and from where many ships set sail seeking new continents.


At the end of the trail give yourself time to explore the lighthouse which was built over the remains of a 16th century Franciscan convent in 1846. This lighthouse guards one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and is one of the most powerfully lit lighthouses in Europe. A transfer back to Sagres is included.


Walk: 14km, Ascent 200m


Overnight: Memmo Baleeira Hotel**** , Sagres


DAY: 7

The tour finishes after breakfast and you will be transferred to either Faro or Lisbon Airport for your journey home.

Accommodation

Your 6 night, 7 day Algarve Coastal Trails self guided walk in Portugal includes 4 nights in 4* hotels and 2 nights in a 3* hotel. All of the hotels have been specifically chosen to ensure that the accommodations on this tour are classified as superior. A warm welcome plus relaxing and comfortable rooms and public spaces are assured. Also take advantage of the warm weather and the fact that every hotel has a pool and is located near a beach.


Alternate accommodation

During the high season, you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. Any alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.


Meals

6 Breakfasts are included. You can either eat dinner in local restaurants or at the hotels, all of which have a restaurant. We recommend trying the traditional and locally-sourced food, especially the fresh seafood which is simply delicious. For lunches you can find local cheeses, meats and breads in local shops or markets, or the hotels may make you a packed lunch on request.

Availability

This trip is available to start on any day from March to June and from September to November.


Time of Year

As the summer months can be extremely hot, making walking quite uncomfortable the departure dates are limited to spring and autumn months. The spring and autumn are great as the weather is a little cooler and you may see the bird migrations.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.


Grade & Terrain

This walking tour is graded moderate. The daily walks are relatively short, however the terrain is hilly and summer temperatures can be high. Daily walks are of 3 to 6 hrs. You should be a regular walker and have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this holiday. An element of caution should be exercised when walking along the cliff tops as the trail can at times take you close to the edge. You should therefore also have a good head for heights!


Navigation

You will be provided with detailed route maps to help you find your way. As the local maps in this area are not great, you will also be given GPS’s and will receive instructions on how to use them.


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation when you change hotels. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants),sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Getting to the Algarve

Faro is the closest airport and is an approximate one hour drive to Lagos, the location of your first  hotel on the tour. Faro is serviced by at least one carrier from almost every regional airport in the UK. Direct flights from outside of London tend to be with the low cost carriers or charter flights. Flight time from London is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.


The tour is also accessible from Lisbon which is also served by many airlines in the UK. From here to the starting point of the tour in Lagos it is a 3 hour drive.


From Sagres, the location of your last hotel on the tour the journey to Faro Airport takes approximately 1 and a half hours and to Lisbon 3 and a half hours.


All transfers to and from the airport to the first and last hotels are included in the price.

By Air:

Faro is the closest airport and is an approximate one hour drive to Lagos, the location of your first  hotel on the tour. Faro is serviced by at least one carrier from almost every regional airport in the UK. Direct flights from outside of London tend to be with the low cost carriers or charter flights. Flight time from London is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes. For more information on Faro Airport please go to the following website www.faroairport.eu


The tour is also accessible from Lisbon which is also served by many airlines in the UK. From here to the starting point of the tour in Lagos it is a 3 hour drive.



From Sagres, the location of your last hotel on the tour the journey to Faro Airport takes approximately 1 and a half hours and to Lisbon 3 and a half hours.



All transfers to and from the airport to the first and last hotels are included in the price.


Included

  • 4 Nights in 4* hotels
  • 2 Nights in a 3* hotel
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • Baggage transfers
  • Transfers at the beginning and end of the tour from the hotels to Faro or Lisbon Airports
  • Two required transfers during the walking days
  • Detailed maps, information pack, route notes, and loan of a GPS
  • Organisational assistance and backup from our area manager in Portugal and our office.

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to and from Faro/Lisbon
  • 6 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Mountain rescue / emergency assistance

Extras

  • Additional nights before or after the holiday
  • Single room supplement if single room required.
  • Solo traveller supplement

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Don't hesitate to contact one of our Portugal specialists if you have any further queries.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this area is extremely popular. You will find up to date availability on ourwebsite and we will always try and accommodate your plans so just ask.

How fit do I need to be?

This tour is suitable for most people that are in good physical condition. It is rated moderate because there are some elevation gains and losses. You will have to be careful when walking along the high cliffs but they are very wide so you don’t have to go close to the edge. Some of the trails maybe a bit rocky at times so you will have to be used to negotiating this type of terrain. As this is a self-guided walk you will be responsible for navigation, decision making and safety during your trip.

When is the best time of year?

As the summer months can be extremely hot, making walking quite uncomfortable the departure dates are limited to spring and autumn months. The spring and autumn are great as the weather is a little cooler and you may see the bird migrations.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc. There is a more comprehensive list in your information pack.

Which is the best airport?

Faro is the closest airport and is an approximate one hour drive to Lagos, the location of your first  hotel on the tour. Faro is serviced by at least one carrier from almost every regional airport in the UK. Direct flights from outside of London tend to be with the low cost carriers or charter flights. Flight time from London is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.  For more information on Faro Airport please go to the following website www.faroairport.eu

How do the baggage transfers work?

All baggage transfers are included. We request that you have only one piece of luggage per person and it should weigh only 20kg.

How do the airport transfers work?

You will be collected and dropped off at Faro or Lisbon Airport at the beginning and end of the trip. One of the days involves a transfer to the start of the day’s walking and another day a transfer at the end of the day back to the hotel. The details of these will be included in your route notes.

What equipment do I need?

Our pre-departure information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take. This includes good waterproof gear, walking shoes/boots, and lots of other useful bits and bobs.

What happens if I can't walk a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureAlgarve Coastal Trails
 
4.7

(based on 19 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well organised (19)
  • Fun (15)
  • Great accommodations (13)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (7)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Holiday (13)
  • Trying something new (12)
  • Thrill seeking (5)
  • Relaxation (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • World traveller (10), Avid adventurer (5), Occasional traveller (5)

Reviewed by 19 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Lace 'em up!

By Brother Harmonius

from America

About Me World Traveller

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun
  • Well Organised

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Holiday
    • Trying Something New

    Comments about macs adventure Algarve Coastal Trails:

    Excellent tour. Well organized. Friendly folks everywhere. One tough long day and the rest was easy.

     
    5.0

    A great walking holiday - well planned and easy to follow

    By The Eating Expert

    from Dorset

    About Me Occasional Traveller

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fabulous Coastal Views
    • Great Accommodations
    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Active
      • Holiday
      • Relaxation
      • Trying Something New
      • Walking

      Comments about macs adventure Algarve Coastal Trails:

      We really enjoyed our first organised walking holiday. It was well organised, the company were flexible and friendly. The local drivers were friendly and knowledgeable. The accommodation in all but one hotel was above expectations. The walks were superb with the most amazing views of beaches that you wouldn't get to see otherwise. With the fabulous weather we were lucky to get the most amazing sunrises and sunsets.
      All in all I would call the trip a great success. If you've never done this before well worth a try and if you are a seasoned walker this is definitely one to try.

       
      4.0

      Great walk on the coast

      By Dave and Char

      from Michigan USA

      About Me World Traveller

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Great Vistas
      • Well Organised

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Holiday
        • Trying Something New

        Comments about macs adventure Algarve Coastal Trails:

        Although the distances are fairly short, this is not an easy walk. There are many steep climbs, but not too long. The scenery is outstanding. This walk gets you away from the tourist areas into quiet and secluded beaches.

         
        4.0

        Great walking, amazing scenery, accommodation variable

        By Duchess

        from UK

        About Me World Traveller

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fun
        • Well Organised

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Holiday
          • Trying Something New

          Comments about macs adventure Algarve Coastal Trails:

          A lovely walking trip in an amazing setting. A good combination of exercise, sunbathing and relaxation (visited in May). Most days we finished walking after lunch and spent the rest of the day around the pool or on the beach. Well organised and the GPS was essential. The first two hotels were under par but excellent thereafter. Our luggage arrived late in the day twice so I would recommend taking swimming gear in your day bag. Overall I would recommend.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          We keep coming back to Macs, this time Algarve

          By Jane Hiker

          from Maarssen, Netherlands

          About Me Avid Adventurer, Avid hiker, World Traveller

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Beautiful trails
          • Fun
          • Great Accommodations
          • Well Organised
          • Wonderful restaurant tips

          Cons

          • Algarve coastal trail not for those with vertigo

          Best Uses

          • Holiday
          • Relaxation
          • Trying Something New

          Comments about macs adventure Algarve Coastal Trails:

          If you love hiking, getting away from the normal tourist destinations and seeing nature behind the tourist traps, this coastal trail is the thing for you. We were thrilled to find a totally different Algarve, with wild plants, sea views and silence. We were fine, but for those who are afraid of heights this could be a problem. Macs: maybe add this fact to the descrition of the walk?

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Stunning coastline

          By JW

          from Isle of Wight

          About Me World Traveller

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Fun
          • Great Accommodations
          • Well Organised

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Thrill Seeking
            • Trying Something New

            Comments about macs adventure Algarve Coastal Trails:

            We have used Macs many times and they never fail to deliver. This holiday was booked and confirmed within a four hour period and we flew off the next day. Organisation was excellent and thier representative in Portugal was also first class, professional and attentive.
            Every day is an adventure. You don't know what's round each corner or where you will be the following night. The coastline is stunning, particularly on the Salema to Sagres leg. This was not an easy walk - sometimes it was quite heavy going but then that is how it was described. We did encounter a problem on one walk but this was addressed swiftly by both Macs and their local agent. Accommodation was surprisingly very good and recommendations for evening meals were both interesting and good. We went in October and the climate was fab. On this occasion we used a hand held GPS for guidance, which we found simple and easy to use. I would recommend that an orientation map be included in the guide book so you were aware of how many ups and downs you would encounter throughout your day. However I understand this small problem is being addressed by the local agent. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this walk, along with all the walks we have done with Macs.

             
            4.0

            Great time in Algarve

            By EG

            from Norway

            About Me World Traveller

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Fun
            • Possibility to go to beaches every day
            • Well Organised

            Cons

            • Very airy and steep at times

            Best Uses

            • Thrill Seeking
            • Trying Something New

            Comments about macs adventure Algarve Coastal Trails:

            Great walk. Probably not too great if you are afraid of heights..Late september is a good time to do itHotel in Sagres was the highlight of accomodation. The possibility of going to fantastic beaches during, and at the end of each walking day was perfect.

             
            5.0

            Awesome Algarve Hiking Trip

            By Abby

            from Oregon

            About Me Avid Adventurer, Occasional Traveller

            Pros

            • Fun
            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
            • Well Organised

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Holiday
              • Thrill Seeking
              • Trying Something New

              Comments about macs adventure Algarve Coastal Trails:

              Well organized, informative and lots of support. Staff was willing to listen to my questions and problem solve. The accommodations and luggage support worked out very well. The local partners, Portugal Nature Trails, were wonderful.

               
              4.0

              algarve in late April

              By al

              from england

              Pros

              • Fun
              • Great Accommodations
              • Well Organised

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Holiday
                • Relaxation

                Comments about macs adventure Algarve Coastal Trails:

                This is a leisurely wander in good scenery; however it is not a formal footpath as such and you are often wandering along the equivalent of sheeptracks.The good GPS meant that no danger of missing route; it tells you if you are only 5 metres off-track

                 
                5.0

                Beautiful hike along the Portugal's Algarve Coast

                By Swiss Hike Enthusiasts

                from Basel, Switzerland

                About Me Hike Enthusiasts

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Beautiful Landscape
                • Fun
                • Nice Accommodations
                • Pleasant Hikes
                • Well Organised

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Holiday

                  Comments about macs adventure Algarve Coastal Trails:

                  Very pleasant hikes along Portugal's Algarve Coast with a lot of very nice spots. You find large and small beaches, impressing cliffs and small nice villages along the walk. A perfect hike to enjoy the beautiful landscape of this coast while hiking. The daily hikes allow to relax in the afternoon and enjoy the little villages the accommodations are located.

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