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Walk the Algarve’s Wild West

from $1,749.00

A warming winter walking discovery allowing you to see the best of the unspoiled Western Algarve region. The lush flora and diverse fauna of the Algarvian hinterland compliment the dramatic seascape scenery of the Atlantic coastline perfectly. The hotels are a brilliant mix of rustic charm and stylish grandeur, complete with swimming pools and serving the best of local Portuguese cuisine.

  • Reviews 62 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Easy plus
    4/8
All about the Walk the Algarve’s Wild West.

Far beyond the ‘developed’ Algarve in Portugal’s most southerly Atlantic corner, lies the Sagres Peninsula, a startlingly pristine region of golden beaches, imposing cliffs, swaying flower meadows, dramatic coastlines and tree-lined paths. Locals here offer a warm welcome and hold on to the traditions of rural life. The easy-to-follow trails take in rich verdant valleys, pine forests and rugged coastlines, making exploring on foot amazingly rewarding. Birdlife also abounds here with endemic and migratory species passing through from Africa and Northern Europe. With winter very similar to spring in the UK, you can enjoy the warm temperatures of the Algarve from September right through to May.
Your route takes you to the fishermen’s village of Carrapateira, along a mix of coastal and inland paths amid bird and orchid-rich forests to remote Pedralva. From this white village you follow the Rota Vicentina, a national trail interlinking with the Fishermen’s Trail that starts in the Alentejo. It hugs beaches and cliffs all the way to Cabo de Sao Vicente, the farthest flung corner of Europe.
All your hotels have pools, and range from designer chic above the bay in Sagres, to country village style in Pedralva, where every house in the village has been restored to provide rustic accommodation. In Vila do Bispo you stay in a traditional pensao (coaching inn), now beautifully modernised, that was once a stopping-off point for pilgrims on their way to the Cape. Three dinners are included and the local cuisine is a sumptuous mix of fresh fish, local meats and fresh vegetables, accompanied by tangy cheeses and quality chouricos; all complemented by a superb choice of Portuguese wines.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 6 nights accommodation, hotel-to-hotel, in a mix of *** and **** hotels
  • All continental breakfasts and 3 evening meals
  • Services of your local Headwater Representative
  • Route directions and maps
  • Full GPS files available for all walks
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels (inquire for prices and details)
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Walk beside the crashing Atlantic; follow the Rota Vicentina and Fishermen’s Trail
  • Relax in an eclectic mix of hotels, from a rustic village conversion to a chic **** hotel
  • Delicious, typical Algarvian cuisine
  • Excellent for bird-spotting (over 190 species); carpets of wildflowers
  • Look out from Cabo de Sao Vicente lighthouse, Europe’s most southwesterly point
  1. Day 1 Day 1 Arrive at Sagres

    Arrive in the characterful coastal town of Sagres in time for your dinner. (Staying in Hotel Memmo Baleeira, Half Board)

  2. Day 2 Day 2 Sagres to Pedralva 15km/9.5mi/4hr or 17km/11mi/5hr

    After a 30-minute transfer you’ll follow the Fishermen’s Trail, passing pines and gorse as you head to the cliff tops and the impressive Amado beach, an internationally renowned surf beach. Make your way down to the village of Carrapateira, with its bars and restaurants offering a great lunch stop. Do take time to visit the interesting Land and Sea Museum for an insight into the history of the village and its fishing economy. You’ll then pick up the Rota Vicentina passing one of the Algarve’s finest viewpoints, following a lovely trail through the Sinceira Valley and the course of the River Sinceira, as you make your way to charming Aldeia da Pedralva and your own village house for the next two nights. (Staying at Aldeia da Pedralva, Half Board)

  3. Day 3 Day 3 At Pedralva

    You can be as active or as relaxed as you like: spend time unwinding in the pretty village or enjoy one of two optional walks. Follow a lovely cliff-top trail back along to Amado beach or take a smaller loop along the Marreiros plateau with great views of the Algarve’s highest point. (Staying at Aldeia da Pedralva, Half Board)

  4. Day 4 Day 4 Pedralva to Vila do Bispo 13km/8mi/3.5hr or 18km/11.5mi/5hr

    There are two options for today, both setting off through a forest of pine and eucalyptus as you follow the Rota Vicentina, then a meandering trail through flower meadows leading you along a path and down to the pretty village of Vila do Bispo. The longer trail adds a wonderful horseshoe loop heading into the Costa Vicentina Natural Park, to Praia da Barriga (Barriga beach) with its impressive cliffs and crashing waves – the perfect picnic spot. (Staying at Hotel Mira Sagres, Breakfast only)

  5. Day 5 Day 5 At Vila do Bispo

    The cosmopolitan coastal town of Lagos is a short bus ride away; encircled by C14 walls, the stone work and architecture within is a delight. Ornate churches date from the C13, and tangled cobbled lanes lead to discoveries around every corner. Alternatively, you may wish to follow one of two walks, one taking in the cliffs and viewpoints above Vila do Bispo, the other a real gem of a walk through a landscape of rolling hills and gentle valleys through the village of Raposeira to Guadalupe chapel, thought to be one of the only Knights Templar buildings left in Portugal. (Staying at Hotel Mira Sagres, Breakfast only)

  6. Day 6 Day 6 Vila do Bispo to Cabo de Sao Vicente/Sagres 15km/9.5mi/4.5hr

    Surrounded by foaming Atlantic breakers, Cabo de Sao Vicente marks the most south-westerly point of Europe. The walk out to the edge of the continent should prove to be one of the highlights of your week! You are spoilt with amazing coastal scenery on this wild and unpopulated route that follows sandy paths and gorse-strewn meadows to the very edge of the Iberian Peninsula. At the Cape there is a lighthouse, museum and small bar, offering wonderful photo opportunities. It’s a short transfer (5 mins) back to Sagres where you can relax with a cold drink on the waterfront, watching fishermen mending their nets. (Staying at Hotel Memmo Baleeira, Breakfast only)

  7. Day 7 Day 7 Leave Sagres
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Where you stay
Hotel Memmo Baleeira
This designer hotel is perfectly situated overlooking the stunning bay on the edge of Sagres. The rooms are minimalistic in design and feature all amenities. The restaurant here prides itself on serving the best of the local seafood, whilst the hotel offers free use of the Turkish bath, sauna and indoor pool, the perfect tonic after a day exploring this stunning area.
Aldeia da Pedralva
This is a magical place, a real find. Just 10 years ago the village of Pedralva was a ruin with houses just left to rot by owners who no longer wanted to live in the countryside. However, Antonio Ferreira, your host at the Aldeia da Pedralva, initially decided to buy a couple of houses, but eventually renovated 24 which have been beautifully restored to create 24 rooms. The village itself is surrounded by verdant nature parks and offers great walking and cycling possibilities. Food here is rustic Portuguese, simple in terms of ingredients but mouth watering in terms of quality, flavour and freshness.
Hotel Mira Sagres
The Mira Sagres is an historical pension in the fishing village of Villa do Bispo and a regular haven for journeying pilgrims making their way to Cape St Vincent. The fascia of the pension has now been lovingly gentrified and in keeping with the local tradition, has now been stylishly whitewashed, it also boasts an impressive indoor pool. On a good day from the high terrace at the hotel you can see Sagres in the distance.
Hotel Memmo Baleeira
This designer hotel is perfectly situated overlooking the stunning bay on the edge of Sagres. The rooms are minimalistic in design and feature all amenities. The restaurant here prides itself on serving the best of the local seafood, whilst the hotel offers free use of the Turkish bath, sauna and indoor pool, the perfect tonic after a day exploring this stunning area.
Eating and Drinking

All continental breakfasts and 3 evening meals

Three dinners are included and the local cuisine is a sumptuous mix of fresh fish, local meats and fresh vegetables, accompanied by tangy cheeses and quality chouricos; all complemented by a superb choice of Portuguese wines.

The local speciality from the sea is the Barnacle Perceve, this is not taken from the bottom of boats but the bottom of submerged local cliffs, it is harvested by hand using a dangerous and traditional method, which involves one of the two collectors dangling by a rope from the top of the cliffs! They are a bit of a delicacy not too dissimilar to mussels. Away from the sea the dried hams, salamis and chouriço are as good as anything that Spain or Italy can produce. The strange sounding bread sausage Alheira is very good, invented by the Portuguese Jews during the Inquisition to avoid persecution, bread and non-pork products are used. Good quality meat is also on the menu, beef and pork are of a high quality and lamb in season is superb. Vegetables are plentiful and with big harvests of almonds and oranges, fruits are in good supply alongside another local vegetable, the sweet potato.

The Algarve’s other surprise is the quality of cheese; from mild to strong using cow, goat or sheep milk there is a great range of cheeses for all tastes, Queijo de Cabra do Algarve, is a particular favorite.

EXCELLENT CHOICE FOR
Food lovers, wine lovers, flora & fauna, bird spotting opportunities, art & history, swimming opportunities, couples, coastal routes

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/moderate)
Average daily distance on move on days: 16.8km (10.7miles).
No. of days Walking: 5
Terrain: Mostly gently undulating with a couple of short but steepish descents/climbs on most days. Walks are mostly on a mix of coastal paths and tracks and woodland trails. Sections follow the Rota Vicentina and Fishermens Trail.

Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can walk at your own pace.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Your route takes you to the fishermen’s village of Carrapateira, along a mix of coastal and inland paths amid bird and orchid-rich forests to remote Pedralva. From this white village you follow the Rota Vicentina, a national trail interlinking with the Fishermen’s Trail that starts in the Alentejo. It hugs beaches and cliffs all the way to Cabo de Sao Vicente, the farthest flung corner of Europe.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 23/10/2019
5/5

Robinson

It was our first organised walking holiday and it was fantastic. We especially appreciated the excellent notes and enjoyed the coastal walks.

Reviewed On 17/02/2016
4/5

Ms Swiecicka

Can't really comment on standard of accommodation normally offered by Headwater as we upgraded wherever possible. At Costa D'Oiro (where we paid for superior room) we were put in room 3016 (I think) which, we later realised, has to have been the worst of all the superior rooms in that building (ground floor, in the back left-hand corner of the building) - the bathroom facilities were modern but the room itself was very dark and cramped (had a 3rd bed in it so nowhere inside to sit or even to put our cases). The patio was dark & dingy and only got the sun for about an hour or so around breakfast time (which wasn't much use to us as the room was not 'ready' for us to go into until after 1pm). The superior rooms on the other side of the building (i.e. facing the small road) were much brighter and bigger but we were not given the option of changing. We wouldn't have minded a room at the back of the building had it been on the 1st floor level as this would have been much lighter but we very much got the impression that we were put in that room to make it easier for cleaning - i.e. all the rooms to be cleaned were together on the ground floor. The restaurant was closed in the evening so comment re food relates to breakfast only, which was good. I would not stay in this hotel again.



Headwater response:
Dear Ms Swiecicka, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday feedback, we were pleased to see you had an enjoyable holiday overall, however were sorry to read of your dissatisfaction with your room at Hotel Costa d Oiro. We have discussed your comments with the Hotelier; he was also disappointed to receive your feedback and is sorry this issue was not resolved during your stay. This hotel is not one we normally use for our walking holiday, however we do use it on our cycling holiday and the overall feedback received is good. However, we do appreciate we cannot afford to let our standards slip, so will continue to monitor all feedback received and will work closely with our hotelier to ensure they are delivering the standard of accommodation our customers have come to expect. In closing, we would like to thank you for your constructive feedback and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future. Yours sincerely, Headwater customer service team

Reviewed On 17/04/2019
4/5

Mrs Edmondson

We had a lovely 5 day walking holiday, no problems and would like to say a special thank you to Ludmilla and Tony and the staff at Pedralva.

Reviewed On 15/03/2019
5/5

Mr Grierson

A relaxing walking holiday in attractive and unspoiled coastal scenery. The detailed route maps and waymarking were superb. The Atlantic cliff views and wild flowers provided numerous photo opportunities.

Reviewed On 14/11/2018
5/5

Mrs Garrett

We were very impressed with the service provided by Headwater from start to finish. Ludmilla, the local rep, was very helpful and gave us lots of advice about each days walking. We got the bus into Lagos on our rest day, which was also very enjoyable.

We have never been on an organised holiday like this before, but wouldn't hesitate to book with Headwater again.

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November 21, 2019
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