Macs Adventure, Walk of the Week, Walking

Walk of the Week: Algarve Coastal Trails

12 Jul , 2016  

This week we focus on Portugal, newly crowned champions of Euro 2016, football’s quadrennial European contest (that’s soccer to our friends across the pond), and home to the glorious Algarve region.

In a Nutshell

Distance: 73km of moderately graded walking over 5 walking days.

Grading: Moderate. Daily walks are quite short but it is hilly, and of course the Algarve draws sun-seekers due to its warm and sunny climate so it can get hot. Avoid mid-summer, but in spring and autumn this is the perfect destination for most walkers of reasonable fitness levels.

hiking in the algarve

#MacsMoment photo contest entry from the Algarve coastal trails.

Where is it?

At the south-west tip of Portugal, these trails explore the coasts and countryside between Lagos and Sagres, and visit Cabo Sao Vicente the most south westerly point which has an “end of the earth” feeling.

Since the 1960s, the Algarve has drawn tourism on a mass scale to big and sometimes brash resorts. The “off the beaten track” traveller should however not be put off, as beyond the resorts the region offers charm, seclusion, and wildlife in abundance for those willing to explore a little deeper.

Why Walk it?

Because the hidden corners of the Algarve are both incredibly welcoming and astoundingly beautiful. The colours are something to behold, with ochre-coloured cliffs dropping into turquoise seas, pine forests, white-washed villages, and of course those picture-perfect white-gold beaches.

Using GPS device in the Algarve

Checking the route before heading off on the trail.

The route is a mix of coastal and inland trails offering great variety, and each evening you will rest in larger towns (which still have plenty of charm) which have many options for culinary indulgence (you’ll deserve an extra course after a day on foot).

If you don’t already have a side-interest in maritime history or birdlife you will by the end of this walk! Fortresses line the route, harking back to the centuries old prominence of the shipping routes, and the area is famed for birdlife (just ask our resident expert Dan).

Spend the evenings watching the sun go down with a chilled glass of local vinho verde.

Planning your walking trip to the Algarve

Cabo Sao Vicente

Cabo Sao Vicente, the headland at Europe’s most south-westerly point.

The benefit of the popularity of the Algarve region is that there are plenty of regular flights from major airports, Faro being the closest.

Macs Adventure’s self guided package includes accommodation, baggage transfers, airport transfers, all the route notes and information you’ll need and a loan of a GPS device. Contact [email protected] if you’d like more information or read about this trip on our website.

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I have been a member of the Macs Adventure team since March 2013, and since joining my travel wish-list has developed ten-fold! Glasgow is my home, and a wonderful city to live in, however I love nothing more than enjoying the access to the Scottish countryside on my doorstep.