Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Algarve Coastal Trails
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Highlights

  • Hike along honey-colored cliffs above turquoise seas and secluded white beaches
  • Walk the lesser-known paths from the white-sand of Praia da Luz to the quaint coastal town of Salema
  • Historic cobbled streets of Lagos and Sagres, quintessential Algarve fishing villages
  • Sample ruby red Alentejo wines local to the southern Portugal
  • Dramatic cliff-top Lighthouse of Cabo de São Vicente, Europe’s “Land’s End”
  • Marvel at the ancient ruins of the Iberian Moorish Empire

Hike our classic Algarve itinerary along Portugal’s southern coast, where the arid, towering cliffs frame coves of white-sand beaches. Take in the vibrant cobbled streets of Sagres and Lagos and relax in white-washed fishing villages and their quiet beaches along the way. Partake in southern Portugal’s growing wine scene while tucking in to plates of fresh fish perfected over generations

Begin by walking from Lagos, a city with narrow winding streets and many reminders of its historical significance of the Portuguese Age of Discovery. Continue along stunning lengths of beaches and dramatic cliffs while descending into villages with a panoramic Atlantic backdrops. Turn inland for a day to enjoy a change of scenery through rolling green hills of orchard and vineyards through rural Algarve. The final days take you to the dramatic peninsulas of Sagres and Cabo Sao Vicente, where you can admire the vast expanse of Atlantic ocean in front of you.

DAY 1: Arrive Algarve

After flying into Faro an included transfer will take you to the village of Praia da Luz (1h). Originally a fisherman’s village but now a charming town protected by the Rocha Negra (black rock) cliff, you can visit 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.


It is also possible to fly into Lisbon and we can arrange a transfer from here at an additional cost if required.


Overnight: Hotel Luz Bay**** , Praia da 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 2: Transfer to Lagos, walk to Praia da Luz

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**** , Praia da 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 Faro 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! The terrain on walks can also be rocky and uneven in parts although not particularly steep so we recommend the use of walking poles to aid with balance.


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 Luz, 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.


A transfer from Faro Airport to Praia da Luz is included in your tour cost.


The tour is also accessible from Lisbon which is also served by many airlines in the UK.


To get from Lisbon Airport to the starting point of the tour, you need to take the subway into the city centre and catch a bus to Lagos (4 hours). A transfer is then included to pick you up from Lagos and take you to Praia da Luz.


We can also arrange a transfer from Lisbon Airport to Praia da Luz for you for an additional cost. This cost is quite high due to the length of the transfer.


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.


Again, the transfer from Sagres to Faro is included but if you wish to transfer back to Lisbon Airport instead we can add this on for you at an additional cost.

By Air:

Faro is the closest airport and is an approximate one hour drive to Praia da Luz, 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 Airport. To get from Lisbon Airport to the starting point of the tour, you need to take the subway into the city centre and catch a bus to Lagos (4 hours). A transfer is then included to pick you up from Lagos and take you to Praia da Luz.


From Sagres, the location of your last hotel a transfer is included back to Faro Airport. Again it is possible to be transferred back to Lisbon for an additional charge.


Airport transfers to and from Faro Airport are included in the cost of your tour. If you are flying into Lisbon we can also arrange a transfer from there for you for an additional cost. Please note this is quite a high cost due to the length of the transfer involved.

Included

  • 4 Nights in 4 star hotels.
  • 2 Nights in a 3 star hotel.
  • 6 Breakfasts.
  • Baggage transfers.
  • Transfers at the beginning and end of the tour from the hotels to Faro Airport
  • Two required transfers during the walking days.
  • Detailed maps, information pack, route notes, and loan of a GPS.
  • Access to the Macs Smartphone App.
  • Organizational assistance and backup from our area manager in Portugal and our headquarters.

Excluded

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

Extras

  • Additional nights before or after the tour
  • Single room supplement if single room required.
  • Solo traveler supplement
  • Transfers to/from Lisbon Airport if arriving there instead of Faro

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.

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 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.

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