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ALGARVE ODYSSEY

from £1855
The coast, villages and countryside of the Eastern Algarve and then explore the treasures of this most westerly corner of Europe.
  • Product Code 26180
  • Holiday Type Multi Centre Holidays
  • Grade Grade 4
  • Holiday Duration 14 Nights

All about Algarve Odyssey

Two weeks exploring the Algarve, combining our Tavira and Hidden Delights of the Algarve holidays.

Guided Walking Holidays - Algarve Odyssey

The scent of orange groves and pine trees accompanies you as you ramble along ancient paths fringed with abundant wild flowers, to a viewpoint where you can rest and drink in the scenery and the silence. Experience this journey with Ramblers Walking Holidays. 

Tavira straddles the Rio Gilão as it meets the Atlantic Ocean and flows into the shallows of the offshore Ria Formosa Natural Park. With its ruined castle and active fishing harbour, Tavira is a labyrinth of cobbled streets, shady plazas and the most attractive of the Algarve’s coastal towns.

Our walks take us to Tavira Island in the Natural Park, taking in one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and to pretty coastal villages such as Santa Luiza, Cabanas and Cacela Velha. Inland we wind our way between hills and valleys to the low peak of Zimbral, with some rewarding views. Ancient trails take us past farms, through an intricate patchwork of orange groves, olive and carob orchards. Sometimes we walk beside rivers; other times amongst the pines and cork oaks. Through most of our season we are presented with an endless and ever-changing procession of beautiful flowers.

Tavira itself is, to say the least, a very charming town. The ancient Ponta Romana spans the Rio Sequa, separating the two sides of the town. Narrow streets lead between whitewashed buildings, many with traditional balconies. At the centre lies the lovely Praça da Republica, bordered by trees, fountains and restaurants. We'll enjoy dinners at local restaurants in Tavira giving the opportunity to sample the wonderful Portuguese cuisine.

During our second week, the western Algarve offers a glorious mix of coastal, mountain and inland landscapes. The varied geology gives a rich diversity of scenery from granite mountains to dramatic limestone escarpments and sea cliffs.

We stay in two contrasting centres on Portugal’s south coast. From the historic centre of Portimão we enjoy a levada walk beside the Rio Arade, which passes through orange and lemon groves, and exploring Silves. Another day will be spent in the hills of the Serra de Monchique, offering outstanding views. Carob and olives are cultivated on farms and small holdings, along with oranges and other citrus fruit, pomegranates, almonds and an abundance of other produce. We visit local villages where working life continues as it has for centuries.

As we head to our second centre of Burgau, we’ll enjoy a fantastic coastal walk between Portimão and Alvor en route. Burgau is a quiet village with a selection of restaurants and bars to while away the evenings. From here we will continue our search for the hidden gems of the Western Algarve. A coastal walk will take us from Luz to Lagos, encountering some typical Algarvian villages as we go, and head to the edge of Europe, walking in the Parque Natural de Costa Vicentina, once the last sight of land for explorers setting forth on their historic voyages.


This holiday is a combination of our two one weeks holidays, Tavira and Hidden delights of the Western Algarve

Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy a variety of coast and countryside walks.
  • Spend time on the spectacular Tavira Island beach.
  • Explore the Ria Formosa Natural Park.
  • Explore the unique white-washed fishing village of Tavira.
  • Admire spectacular sea cliffs and maritime scenery.
  • Walk in the inland Serra de Monchique mountain range.
  • Visit the Costa Vicentina Natural Park and Cape St Vincent.
  • Admire the abundance of springtime flowers and autumn fruits.
  • Explore the cobbled streets of historic Silves, topped by its Arab castle.
  • Dine at restaurants with local Portuguese dishes and wines.
  • Enjoy the flexibility of opt out points on many of the walks.
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Return flights from Gatwick to Faro (British Airways or Easyjet)
      Airport transfers
      En suite accommodation with breakfasts taken in the hotels
      Dinners taken in local restaurants
      All local transport costs.
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised program, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

This departure: Grade 4/L

  1. Day 1

    Arrive Faro airport on Portugal's Algarve coast and take a private transfer to Tavira (approximately one hour). After check in at our hotel, if time permits, we'll have an orientation walk in the town before dinner at a local restaurant.

  2. Day 2

    Zimbral - Fonte Salgada - N125 Our wonderful walk today takes us through open rolling hillsides with spectacular views, allowing a tremendous appreciation for the region. We pass through fascinating villages and descend to finish in a low fertile valley of orange groves and small holdings. Distance: 14.6km (9 miles); Ascent: +200m, Descent: -400m

  3. Day 3

    Santa Luzia and Tavira Island Our remarkably varied walk takes us through Tavira's salt pans, which date back thousands of years to the picturesque fishing village of Santa Luzia, with its glorious waterfront. After time for coffee, we cross over to Tavira Island and walk along the island's beach which is regarded by many as one of the finest in the world. Vast stretches of golden sand and sparkling blue waters await you before we catch the ferry back to Tavira Distance: 15.3km (9.5 miles), Ascent/Descent: minimal

  4. Day 4

    Sao Bras do Alportel We travel inland to the ancient town of S. Bras do Alportel, the centre of the Algarve's cork production. Our walk allows us to explore the rolling wooded hillsides and verdant valleys of the area, with time to also explore the charming narrow streets of the old town. Here you'll find local carob and almond cakes, which are the stars of the show! Distance: 14.5km (9 miles), Ascent/Descent: +/- 300m

  5. Day 5

    Santa Catarina, Mesquita and Bengado A gorgeous walk, much of it on a waymarked route, titled Routes and Crossroads to the Fountain. This intricate mix of paths and tracks pass through wild open hillsides, intimate small holdings and quintessential Algarve hamlets. Distance: 13.6km (8.5 miles), Ascent: 350m, Descent: 300m

  6. Day 6

    Manta Rota to Tavira with opt out in Cabanas A classic coastal walk following the inner shore and visiting the iconic village of Cacela Velha, with its picturesque sea views, before arriving in Cabanas. Here we'll take a well earned rest at one of the many cafes lining the spectacular waterfront and you can then chose to explore Cabanas further or continue with the walk to Tavira. Distance: 14.6km (9 miles), Ascent/Descent: minimal

  7. Day 7

    Santa Catarina, Ceramicas and Pego do Inferno An inland walk through one of the most beautiful and interesting valleys in the Algarve. Santa Catarina is one of the centres for the production of carob, almond, fig, olive oil and medronho and the surrounding countryside reflects this. We will also pass by tiny brick and tile works, whose hand-made craft dates back to before Roman times. Distance: 12.3km (7.5 miles), Ascent: 200m, Descent: 300m

  8. Day 8

    Leaving Tavira today, we travel to our next centre of Portimao. Located very close to a beautifully sandy beach, the hotel is close to Portimao's marina and in easy walking distance of cafes, bars and restaurants. Dinner is at our hotel this evening.

  9. Day 9

    Our walk today begins along a levada beside the Rio Arade and continues through the orange and lemon groves which are a feature of the landscape here. The Silves canal or levada runs from the Barragem do Arade to supply the rich orange groves of the river valley. We finish in Silves itself where we have time to explore this historic town. Approximately 12km (7miles); 3-4 hours; 0m Ascent/Descent

  10. Day 10

    Today we head into the hills of the Serra de Monchique. Our walk offers panoramic views of some of the most beautiful parts of the Algarve. The mountainous area of the Serra stands in complete contrast to the rest of the Algarve. This is a green wooded area, decked in cork, chestnut, pine and eucalyptus trees. The day includes time to visit the town of Monchique. Here you will discover traditional skills and handicrafts still being practiced. The famous Medronho, distilled from the Strawberry tree, distinctive hand knitted sweaters and the unusual wooden chairs all suggest the character and uniqueness of this area. Approximately 12km (7miles); 3-4 hours; Ascent 150m; Descent 200m.

  11. Day 11

    We are off to Burgau today, our third centre. En route we have a fantastic coastal walk taking in the superb sandy beaches and dramatic headlands between Alvor and Portimão, including the much photographed beach at Praia da Rocha, one of the best in the Algarve. At the end of the walk we will transfer to our hotel near the small village of Burgau. Our hotel is spread around the well kept grounds with a swimming pool and tranquil corners. Approximately 13.5km (8miles); 3-4 hours; Minimal Ascent / Descent.

  12. Day 12

    We continue our coastal theme with a spectacular walk starting from the small village and resort of Luz. On this walk we follow a coastal path to Lagos, visiting on the way Ponta da Piedade where the famous sea caves are to be found and visited by many small boats carrying visitors from nearby Lagos. The walk finishes in Lagos and we will have time to sightsee in this attractive town that was an important Roman settlement called 'Lacobriga'. A variety of ancient Roman ruins remain, including the old slave market. The town centre, which is enclosed within 5th century walls offers a modern and well equipped marina that dominates the sea front and the town is now firmly positioned as a centre for tourists from all over the world. Approximately 12.5km (7.5miles); 3-4 hours; Ascent 100m; Descent 100m.

  13. Day 13

    We head back inland for a walk that takes in the villages of Barão de São João and Barão de São Miguel. These charming, rural and peaceful villages are characterized by the typical white houses with a coloured band around the windows and doors. This and the traditional Algarve chimneys demonstrate the many years of Moorish occupancy of the area. Approximately 14km (8.5miles); 4-4 ½ hours; Ascent 150m; Descent 150m.

  14. Day 14

    Our final day on the western Algarve fittingly culminates at Sagres, the most westerly point on the Algarve. This area of intensely dramatic cliffs, opening onto a vast horizon of sea and sky, was the last sight of Europe for the explorers setting forth on their fearsome voyages beyond the horizon. We can also visit Ponta de Sagres, a giant finger of rock pointing to the ocean. It was here that Prince Henry the Navigator established his fortress and began the “age of discoveries” sending ships to explore the world. Approximately 13km (8miles); 4-4 ½ hours; Minimal Ascent / Descent.

  15. Day 15

    We say goodbye to the Algarve today as we head to Faro airport for our flight back to the UK. The walks noted above are generally offered during your two weeks in Portugal. There will also be a free day each week for you to explore on our own. While in Tavira, you can reach Faro and Vila Real de Santo Antonio easily by train, Tavira's cobbled streets, cafes, shops museums, churches and castle are good to visit or you may also want to take a boat trip. The hotel offers an indoor and outdoor swimming pool as well as a spa. While at Silves and Burgau, you may want to explore the delightful little towns at your own leisure, or perhaps spend time at the beach or relaxing by the swimming pool.

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Gatwick to Faro (British Airways or Easyjet)
  • Airport transfers c. 1 hour
  • We can offer regional flight options and often there will be up to two transfer vehicles (which may include coaches, minibuses or taxis) from the airport to the hotel and vice versa which will minimise any waiting time at the overseas airport
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights this may be Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Most low-cost carriers also have extra legroom seats.

Trip Map

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Hotel Globo

From 2019, we will stay the Hotel Globo, located in the historical centre of Portimao, close to all the local facilities and sights. Rooms are all en suite with air conditioning and there is a lovely panoramic view from the breakfast room. You will also find a bar and gym/sauna on site.

 

 

 

 


Hotel Santa Catarina

The Hotel Santa Catarina, a 3 star hotel close to Praia da Rocha beach in Portimão, offers a bar and restaurant, and is only a 10 minute walk from Portimão marina. All rooms are en suite with TV, minibar, safety deposit box, A/C and free wifi. With the beach being so close at hand, it is perfect for an after walk dip in the sea!

 

 


Maria Nova Lounge

Located a 5-minute walk from Tavira’s bustling town centre, Maria Nova Hotel enjoys a quiet hillside location. Its modern rooms feature a private balcony. Facilities include indoor and outdoor pools. Tavira Castle is just 1,000 yards from Maria Nova Lounge Hotel, and the Tavira train station is 0.9 miles away. Ria Formosa Natural Park is 9.9 miles from the hotel. Maria Nova Lounge Hotel’s rooms are decorated with tiled floors, wooden furniture, and large windows. All rooms have a minibar, satellite TV, and an en suite bathroom. The rooms have either panoramic city or mountain views.


Quinta do mar da Luz

Located only 1km from Burgau beach the Quinta do mar da Luz offers a stunning cliff top location and wonderful views of the sea. Set in verdant lush gardens it offers a tranquil retreat after a day’s walking, where you can cool off in the outdoor pool (unheated) or relax with a drink at the bar. The bedrooms all include TVs, air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities, safes and complimentary Wi-Fi. We take breakfast in the restaurant which is a great continental as well as English buffet breakfast.


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