Explore truly wild countryside with beautiful natural scenery in the Garrotxa Natural Park.
The gems of the Eastern Algarve and Southern Spain
Tour codes: 52500
Our range of Adagio leisurely walking holidays and sightseeing tours are designed at a slower pace than the average Ramblers Walking Holidays, perfect for those who would like to slow things down but keep active.
The Eastern Algarve enjoys a quieter, more relaxed pace of life. Close to the Spanish border and surrounded by plantations of orange and lemon trees, the Eastern Algarve is home to beautiful long sandy beaches and picturesque traditional Portuguese towns dotting the waterfront.
Scent infused pine forests and gentle rolling hills surround the picturesque beach town of Monte Gordo, our centre for the week, located close to the river Guadiana on the Portuguese-Spanish border. Monte Gordo is close to Tavira but has a much slower pace of life than its lively neighbours. Walk along the glorious sandy beaches to the seafront promenade filled with local restaurants, bars and shops. Take a dip in the turquoise sea, the water here is calm and the warmest in Portugal as Monte Gordo’s beaches are sheltered from the cooler Atlantic winds.
Our hotel has wonderful spa facilities and is just a stone’s throw away from the beach and a short walk away from the main streets of Monte Gordo, perfect for exploring the Algarve and Andalucia.
During the week we’ll explore quaint seaside towns such as Altura and Olhao. We spend a day visiting beautiful Tavira and its heavenly island where we enjoy a delicious lunch. A boat takes us across the border to Ayamonte in Spain for a traditional tapas lunch. A boat whisks us through the labyrinth of islands of the tranquil Parque Natural da Ria Formosa. We'll immerse ourselves in the Portuguese culture and use local buses and trains to explore the hidden gems of the Eastern Algarve.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
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Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, 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.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
We fly to Faro and transfer by private coach to Monte Gordo. If there is time, your leader will take you on an orientation walk of the town before dinner.
Transfer Time = 1 hour
Our itinerary is expected to follow the daily schedule outlined below but please bear in mind that the order of the days may be amended, or walks substituted, due to weather conditions, attraction opening times, public transport timetables or changes beyond our control.
Our discovery of the Eastern Algarve begins with the coastal villages of Manta Rota and Altura. A private transfer will take us from Monte Gordo to Manta Rota, a beautiful beach town on the edge of the Ria Formosa Natural Park. We'll walk along the coast to Altura, known for its cafes and restaurants dotted along its white sandy beach. After some free time, we’ll walk along the beach on raised boardwalks, past the miles upon miles of sand dunes to Monte Gordo. Notice how the dune vegetation changes, from an abundance of European beach grass and sea holly to the pine forest near the edge of the border.
We’ll explore Monte Gordo and enjoy some free time before dinner. Perhaps enjoy the hotel's spa facilities or find a local bar for a well deserved cold drink.
A ferry will take us to the Spanish border across the Rio Guadiana to Ayamonte in Andalucia, a modern town with a picturesque marina and an old quarter with narrow windy streets. There is a remarkable 15th century church with an exquisite mudejar ceiling. There is time to explore Ayamonte and enjoy a delicious Tapas lunch.
An afternoon walk will take us back Monte Gordo but if you wish you can stay in Vila Real de Santo Antonio for some more exploration before making your own way back to the hotel.
Please ensure you bring your passport this day for the crossing into Spain.
Our morning trail takes us through the pine forest to Vila Real de Santo Antonio, a charming town in the estuary of the Rio Guadiana on the Portuguese border. We spend some time here exploring the town and its fascinating history and architecture. Vila Real de Santo Antonio is very different to its neighbouring towns and villages as its architecture replicates the city centre of Lisbon, all be it on a smaller scale. The town is much quieter than its more famous Algarvian neighbours and boasts a relaxed pace of life with quiet beaches, restaurants and cafes.
We drive to Castro Marim Nature Reserve, close to the Spanish border and rich in birdlife including flamingos and storks. The salt pans are also home to shellfish and a vast amount of fish species. We'll explore the area on foot before transferring back to the hotel.
Our remarkably varied walk takes us from the picturesque fishing village of Santa Luiza, past its glorious waterfront through Tavira's thousands of year old salt pans to charming Tavira, located on the Rio Gilão as it meets the Atlantic Ocean and flows into the shallows of the offshore Ria Formosa Natural Park. The ancient Ponta Romana spans the Rio Gilao, separating the two sides of the town. Narrow streets lead between whitewashed buildings, decorated with colourful Arab style tiles, flower filled balconies and painted strips of blue and yellow decorating door and window frames. Keep an eye out at the individual door knockers on every building, influenced by Moorish design and were once believed to protect the house from evil spirits.
A short boat ride across the turquoise sea takes us to the tranquil Tavira Island, a beautiful oasis in which to sit back and watch the world go. We walk along the island's beach which is regarded by some as one of the finest in the world. Vast stretches of golden sand and sparkling blue waters await you before enjoying a delicious restaurant lunch with a view!
We catch the boat back to Tavira before transferring to Monte Gordo.
We take a scenic drive to Alcoutim along a beautiful road running parallel to the edge of the tranquil Rio Guadiana, passing through orchards of almond, fig and olive trees. Alcoutim is a traditional Algarvian whitewashed town set amongst rolling green hills on the border between Portugal and Spain. We walk around this charming frontier village, which lies facing its Spanish equivalent across the river. Explore Alcoutim at your own leisure, perhaps explore the Castle of Alcoutim, built in the 16th century. Enjoy some lunch with views of San Lucar del Guadiana, the Spanish town across the river. A riverside path takes us along side the river to Guerreiros do Rio, a very small picturesque town set on the Guadiana riverbank.
The train takes us to Olhao, a picturesque coastal town with Moroccan architecture, well known for inspiring artists, writers and photographers. This whitewashed town includes a beautiful harbour area with a waterfront which is home to the local fish market selling local produce such as fruit, honey and fish. Its restaurants and cafes are mostly owned by local fisherman, serving their freshly caught fish.
Olhao is located along a labyrinth of lagoons and waterways, stretching into the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa, a 60km protected lagoon stretching along the coastline and home to rare species of birds and shellfish.
We’ll explore Olhao independently before taking a boat to the barrier islands of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa. We’ll pass beautiful turquoise water, marshlands, sandy beaches. We stop at an island for a short 2 mile walk before returning to Olhao and taking a train back to Monte Gordo.
We say our goodbyes to the Eastern Algarve and transfer to Faro airport for our return flight back to the UK.
Departure dates for your selected tour
18th Mar 2023 - 25th Mar 2023 (7 Nights)
28th Apr 2023 - 5th May 2023 (7 Nights)
9th Jun 2023 - 16th Jun 2023 (7 Nights)
29th Sep 2023 - 6th Oct 2023 (7 Nights)
3rd Nov 2023 - 10th Nov 2023 (7 Nights)
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
Scent infused pine forests and gentle rolling hills surround the picturesque beach town of Monte Gordo, located close to the river Guadiana on the Portuguese-Spanish border. Monte Gordo is close to Tavira but has a much slower pace of life than its lively neighbours. Walk along the glorious sandy beaches to the seafront promenade filled with local restaurants, bars and shops. Take a dip in the turquoise sea, the water here is calm and the warmest in Portugal as Monte Gordo’s beaches are sheltered from the cooler Atlantic winds.
We stay in the four-star Prime Energize hotel, located just 400m from Monte Gordo beach. The Prime Engerize is a modern hotel based around healthy living. Daily health activities are provided for guests such as yoga and pilates classes, and walking trips. The fitness room is open for use 24 hours a day. Take a dip in the refreshing rooftop pool overlooking the beautiful Algarve coast or perhaps sit back and relax with a drink in its picturesque gardens surrounded by olive trees and the delightful scent of lavender. Treat yourself to a spa treatment or massage (additional cost) where soft and silky hand made products are used. Relax in the jacuzzi and sauna or try the temperature contrast bath!
We stay in standard twin bedded rooms. Single rooms are usually twin bedded for sole use. The natural colours and decor are inspired by the colours of the surrounding Algarve cliffs and rolling sand dunes, making for a peaceful night’s sleep. Room facilities include
All Adagio holidays are expertly designed to allow you to immerse yourself in the destination. Leisurely exploration of the must-see, as well as lesser known, highlights together with relaxed enjoyment of local food and wines is what we have in mind.
There may be days of sightseeing on foot around a spectacular city or unchallenging strolls on easy terrain in open countryside interspersed with winery visits, guided tours, boat trips, cafe stops and traditional restaurants.
We use a mix of privately hired vehicles, taxis, and public transport which gives us some flexibility in our itinerary. We have a wonderful programme of walking, sightseeing and visits planned to let you fully experience the area along with opportunities to relax at our wonderful hotel and enjoy your surroundings.
Local transport costs, entrance fees and tips to local providers are included in your holiday price. You may wish to budget for any meals and drinks not included in the holiday arrangements, non-included entrance fees and any optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
The currency in Portugal is the euro. You may wish to take some euro cash with you until you reach an ATM. Credit cards may not be accepted in smaller towns and rural areas.
We include tips in the holiday cost and your Adagio Leader will take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. If you feel that someone has gone out of their way to make your holiday enjoyable or help you in anyway, please feel free to give a personal tip to the person should you wish. If you are having an independent lunch or other service not included in the holiday arrangements, tipping is at your own discretion.
Leaders Evening Briefing
Your Adagio Leader will discuss the programme for the following day with the group at each evening briefing. This will be your opportunity to find out more details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. Also, if you have any questions or concerns on clothing or lunch arrangements, this can be discussed then. If you wish to opt out of the organised group programme, this is fine, just let your Leader know.
We believe that the best things come in small packages, and our Adagio holidays prove just that. We limit our groups to a maximum of 18 persons, plus the Adagio Leader, so that everyone has the opportunity to mix, share their love of travel and return home with new friendships. Small groups also have less detrimental local impact, allows us to use public transport on some days, eat at small local restaurants and, we believe, offers a better experience.
An Adagio Leader will accompany you throughout the holiday. They are all experienced travellers with a love for exploring and will help capture the true essence of the destination with their stories, knowledge and insights. They are well-organised, pay great attention to detail and enjoy being with people. They are there to help make your holiday as enjoyable and stress free as possible.
Luggage Allowance & Tickets
When booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday with us, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
Please ensure that the personal details we have on file for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements.
Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to accurately manage your holiday booking are correct at the time of booking (including health and dietry requirements). You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.adagio.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 386700. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
Getting to your Holiday
We fly from London to Faro airport on Portugal's Algarve coast. Transfers from Faro Airport to our hotel in Monte Gordo will be by road and will take approximately one hour.
During the week we will travel by private coach and by boat.
If you intend joining and leaving the party in Portugal, we assume, unless you have advised us otherwise, that you will meet and leave the party at hotel. If this is not your intention, please let us know in writing at least 5 weeks before departure.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements
If you wish to organise your own flights from either a non-UK or UK regional airport, or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. If you choose to do this, before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at the hotel. Although airport/train station transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport/train station, depending on your flight/train arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight/train must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight/train to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight/train number, arrival time and departure point so that your Adagio Leader is able to meet up with you.
Local Guidance & Travel Restrictions
Use our handy tool here to check Portugal's current local guidance and entry requirements.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport page (with your photo on). Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country. Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Brexit Passport Advice
If you are planning to travel to an EU country (except Ireland), or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City, you must meet the Schengen area rules.
Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:
The guidance for Schengen border guards may not be updated until the spring of 2022. Until then, for some Schengen countries your passport may need to be less than 10 years old during your whole visit, and the 3 months at the end of your visit may need to be within 10 years of your passport’s issue date.
Check both the issue date and the expiry date in your passport. If you renewed your passport early, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. This could affect the requirement for your passport to be less than 10 years old.
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
Breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday price. We will enjoy a buffet breakfast at the hotel. Breakfast may include local seasonal fruit, homemade smoothies and juices, and yoghurt with cereal. Breads, pastries, cakes and cooked food are also provided.
We dine in the hotel’s restaurant with its large panoramic windows, giving you the feel of eating alfresco. Wine and soft drinks are included at dinner. Portuguese dishes are usually created using locally sourced fresh ingredients, and usually consist of soup, meat or fish, vegetables and potatoes. Vegetarian options are available if we are advised in advance so please contact our Sales & Reservations department. Portugal is famous for its fresh fish and usually it is caught, cooked and eaten the same day
Two lunches are included in the holiday price. A tapas lunch will be included during our visit in Ayamonte in Spain, and a lunch will be included at Tavira Island. Remaining lunches are not included in the holiday price and can be taken as picnics or in local cafes.
Comfortable, broken in, walking boots or shoes with a good sole are recommended for this holiday. Walking shoes or other comfortable footwear will be suitable for sightseeing days.
General Kit List
We recommend you bring the following items with you:
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Travel Document Checklist
To ensure your holiday gets off to a good start, please make sure that you bring the following documents and information with you:
Electricity in Portugal
Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Ideal Maps & Guidebooks
Maps of the areas we visit (1:200 000 scale) are available locally and at specialist map shops in the UK.
‘The Rough Guide to Portugal’ - Mark Ellingham, John Fisher, Graham Kenyon, Mathew Hancock and Jules Brown.
‘Portugal - A Travellers Guide’ - Susan Loundes (Thornton Cox)
‘Blue Guide: Portugal’ - Ian Robertson
Portugal Official Tourism Website: www.visitportugal.com
Portugal National Tourist office: www.portugaloffice.org.uk
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.
Health Advice for Portugal
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Portugal.
You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.
You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus.
Dengue fever exists in Portugal; please take normal precautions against mosquito bites.
Further Health Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
For more information please visit ehic.org.uk.
It is a condition of booking with Adagio that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the trip, including all optional activities.
Your travel insurance policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation. Please ensure your policy covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are walking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover are not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
Looking for travel insurance cover?
If you have not already arranged cover, please visit SunWorld who offer travel insurance.
SunWorld policies include cover for COVID-19, subject to applicable terms and conditions.
We're committed to operating responsible tours in all our destinations as best we can. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way.
Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel Ltd’s (inc Adagio) profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public.
In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Visas and Passports
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