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.

Begin in the cosmopolitan city of Lagos, where you can still see evidence of the city walls, which protected it from marauders. 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 enjoy a walk inland through small villages and rural Algarve. Your walk continues to Sagres from where a final thrilling walk takes you to the lighthouse at Cabo Sao Vicente.

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 Tivoli Lagos**** , Lagos


A lovely 4* hotel which has recently been completely refurbished and decorated sympathetically in authentic Portuguese style. Facilities include two restaurants, a swimming pool and free transfer to the Duna Beach Club.


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. 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 although they may not always have a pool.


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. Solo Walkers are also welcome on this tour but there is an additional supplement which is unfortunately quite high due to the fact that the shared transfer costs are quite high and not divided.


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

The routes are partly way-marked. You will also be provided with route maps on arrival to help you find your way. As the local maps in this area are not great, you will also be given a GPS unit and will receive instructions on how to use them. You can also access the route on our smartphone app to make navigation even easier.


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
  • Access to the Macs Smartphone App
  • 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.

Amazing!!! Planning my next trip.

5

The entire trip was well organized and full of great views. The trails were easy to navigate with the pre-loaded GPS. The hotels were great. My husband and I were received well. I wish the trip have been longer. The only negative I have, the trails near beaches were used as toilets. Some at the end of the trip were very disgusting with lot's of toilet paper scattered around. This was likely due to the lack of toilet facilities at the beaches and surrounding area.

Walking demon

New England, USA

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Algarve Coastal Trail

5

The organisation by Macs was exceptional, pickups, drop-offs, portage when like clockwork. On previous supported walks (not MACS) the walk guidance has been found to be poor leading to frequent wrong way cut backs but the MACS GPS guidance was completely fool proof. Definitely the way to go.

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Melbourne, Australia

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Seamless vacation

5

Everything went according to plan. We had beautiful relaxing hikes every morning and the rest of the day to explore the coastal villages or go to the beach.

Leah

Boulder, Colorado

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This Walk/Trip was absolutely fantastic !

5

Honestly we couldn't fault this trip , the laid on transport and pick ups were always on time and nothing was a problem. Felipe from PNT was a great introducer of the walk and we felt totally safe with all the walk back up provided- the walk itself was wonderful, scenery along the coast magical, hotels perfect and had baths which for me was a winner after a good days walking, Portuguese food is delicious - to sum it all up, thank you for organising this incredible trip which we'd recommend to all / a trip of a lifetime

Mutare

Zimbabwe

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Stunning coastal walk

5

Very well organised walking holiday. Lots of ups and downs so although the distances don't look that far the assessment of Moderate is an accurate one. Coastal walking in the main where you are on a pretty deserted path going by glorious unspoilt beaches with few / no people on them. We walked in mid May, the wildflowers were still stunning and very prolific. The GPS provided was easy to use and very useful, especially for the day of the inland walk, which we also really enjoyed. Most walks had a very nice lunch or coffee stop along the way.

Gamp

Leicestershire

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Lace 'em up!

5

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

Brother Harmonius

America

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A great walking holiday - well planned and easy to follow

5

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.

The Eating Expert

Dorset

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Great walk on the coast

4

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.

Dave and Char

Michigan USA

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Great walking, amazing scenery, accommodation variable

4

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.

Duchess

UK

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We keep coming back to Macs, this time Algarve

5

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?

Jane Hiker

Maarssen, Netherlands

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Algarve Coastal Trails

4.8 24

100.0

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