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Walking the Algarve’s South West

from $2,349.00

Discover the South-West corner of the Algarve on our self-guided walk following coastal footpaths and inland trails.

  • Reviews 20 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Easy plus
    4/8
All about the Walking the Algarve’s South West.

Escape the busy tourist spots of the Algarve and discover the unspoilt Sagres Peninsula, a region of spectacular natural beauty with rugged cliffs, dramatic coastlines, sandy beaches and lush countryside. On our 10-night walking holiday, a mixture of forest, valley and coastal trails take you inland and along Portugal’s west and south coast, affording breathtaking views and some truly memorable moments.
Starting on the west coast you’ll walk along the Rota Vicentina and Fishermen’s Trail, discovering delightful whitewashed villages and golden beaches, before the course of the Sinceira River leads you inland to charming Pedralva. Following a fragrant forest route you’ll reach the picturesque village of Vila do Bispo, from where you’ll make your way to the mesmerising Cabo de Sao Vicente – Europe’s most south-westerly point and an unforgettable part of your holiday. Be sure to take your camera – the views are incredible! You’ll follow one of the Algarve’s most beautiful walking trails to historic Lagos, before rounding off your holiday in style, walking the cliff-tops to some of the area’s finest beaches.
You’ll stay in a wonderful variety of hotels, all with pools, including a charming hotel in Sagres with wonderful views of the fortress and over the crashing Atlantic below; a rustic house in Pedralva (every house in the village has been restored to provide accommodation!); a well-restored pensao (coaching inn) in Vila do Bispo complete with spa; and a family-run hotel just 20 minutes’ walk from the old town of Lagos. We’ve included five evening meals so you’re free to sample some of the area’s superb local restaurants.

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.
  • 10 nights, hotel-to-hotel, accommodation in a mix of *** and **** hotels
  • All continental breakfast and 5 evening meals
  • Route notes and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers
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 Supplement (available on request – inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Discover Europe’s most southwesterly point at Cabo de Sao Vicente
  • Excellent for bird-spotting throughout the year
  • Beautiful beaches and picturesque harbours
  • Excellent hotels, all with pools
  • Maritime history in Lagos and Sagres
  1. Day 1 Day 1 - Arrive at Sagres

    Arrive at your hotel in the coastal town of Sagres. (Staying at 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 start today’s walk, following the Fishermen’s Trail to the cliff tops and the glorious Amado beach. You’ll make your way to Carrapateira – perhaps stop for a picnic lunch or sample one of the village’s snack bars – before following the Rota Vicentina past one of the Algarve’s best viewpoints, on your way to Pedralva. (Staying at Aldeia da Pedralva, Half board)

  3. Day 3 Day 3 At Pedralva

    The choice is yours today. You could relax and explore this charming village or purchase some picnic supplies and follow one of our suggested walks! A cliff-top route takes you back to the beautiful Amado beach; you’ll enjoy breathtaking views out to sea, with the return leg offering valley and forest views as far as the Serra de Monchique. A shorter walk takes you along the Marreiros plateau where you’ll enjoy far-reaching views over the rolling countryside below. (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/5.5hr

    After an enchanting walk through pine and eucalyptus forest you can choose from two routes. One follows the Rota Vicentina and pretty meadows to Vila do Bispo, whilst the longer route makes a horseshoe loop into the Costa Vicentina Natural Park, to the Praia da Barriga (Barriga beach), set at the end of a long and lush valley and backed by dramatic cliffs. (Staying at Hotel Mira Sagres, Breakfast only)

  5. Day 5 Day 5 At Vila do Bispo

    Today you could wander the quaint streets of the village or choose to follow one of our suggested walks. Perhaps take in the cliffs and viewpoints above Vila do Bispo, or walk through a landscape of rolling hills and gentle valleys, through the village of Raposeira, to the Guadalupe Chapel which is 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 16km/10mi/4.5hr

    The undoubted highlight of today is making your way to the south-western tip of Europe – Cabo de Sao Vicente. Following country lanes and coastal trails, you’ll enjoy some superb scenery en route and feel on top of the world when you arrive! Take a tour of the lighthouse, visit the museum, or relax with a drink in the bar before we transfer you (5 mins) back to Sagres. (Staying at Pousada de Sagres, Breakfast only)

  7. Day 7 Day 7 At Sagres

    If you can tear yourself away from the hotel pool, why not take a walk to the Ponta da Atalaia and Ponta da Baleeira headland today? You’ll experience wonderful views over Sagres’ impressive fortress and the Mareta and Martinhal beaches. Alternatively, head straight to Martinhal Beach for a stroll on the sand and a drink at one of the bars! (Staying at Pousada de Sagres, Breakfast only)

  8. Day 8 Day 8 Sagres to Lagos 12km/7.5mi/3.5hr or 16km/10mi/4.5hr

    It’s stunning scenery and seascapes all the way today as you follow one of the Algarve’s most beautiful coastal walking trails. A 20-30 minute transfer takes you to one of two possible starting points, depending on which length of walk you choose. The route takes you through the picturesque fishing villages of Burgau and Praia da Luz with their whitewashed houses and picture-perfect beaches – perhaps stop for lunch at one of the bars or restaurants or enjoy a beachside picnic. (Staying at Costa d’Oiro, Half Board)

  9. Day 9 Day 9 At Lagos

    It’s just a 20-minute walk from your hotel to the Old Town of Lagos. Here you’ll find the C14 walls protecting a tangle of cobbled streets full of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants, along with ornate churches, some interesting museums and the pride and joy of Lagos – its bustling marina! (Staying at Costa d’Oiro, Half Board)

  10. Day 10 Day 10 Lagos / Figueira to Sagres 15km/9.5mi/4.5hr

    Today’s walk has some fabulous scenery! After a transfer (20 mins) to Figueira, you’ll follow a route through rolling countryside to the cliff-top headland above Praia do Zavial, before continuing via the beaches of Ingrina and Barranco up to the Sagres plateau. Cross the tiny Praia dos Rebolinhos before a final stretch along Martinhal Beach back to your hotel – take your boots off and enjoy the sand between your toes! (Staying at Memmo Baleeira, Breakfast only)

  11. Day 11 Day 11 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.
Pousada de Sagres Infante
The Pousada de Sagres, Infante, is a lovely hotel with 270 degree views of the Atlantic sea below. On the west side there are great views of Sagres Fortress and Cabo de Sao Vicente in the distance. The hotel has a lovely outdoor pool with views of the fortress, there are also massage rooms and a large lounge. The rooms all have balcony or terrace and sea views.
Costa D’Oiro
Tucked away just a kilometre from Lagos old town this lovely hotel offers a relaxing tranquil stay. The rooms are different depending on which villa you stay in mixing a multitude of Portuguese and colonial designs. Food here is a real Portuguese affair including a complete breakfast section of Portuguese specialities. It is easy to walk to Lagos old town, the Dona Ana beach, one of Portugal’s best and the famous light house at Ponta da Piedade.
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 breakfast and 5 evening meals included.

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.

Classification: Self-Guided
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.

Starting on the west coast you’ll walk along the Rota Vicentina and Fishermen’s Trail, discovering delightful whitewashed villages and golden beaches, before the course of the Sinceira River leads you inland to charming Pedralva. Following a fragrant forest route you’ll reach the picturesque village of Vila do Bispo, from where you’ll make your way to the mesmerising Cabo de Sao Vicente – Europe’s most south-westerly point and an unforgettable part of your holiday. Be sure to take your camera – the views are incredible! You’ll follow one of the Algarve’s most beautiful walking trails to historic Lagos, before rounding off your holiday in style, walking the cliff-tops to some of the area’s finest beaches.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 10/06/2019
4/5

Mr Thompson-Ashby

Quality of walking not quite as good as previous years, but we still had an enjoyable holiday. Grading of the walking was closer to a 2 rather than a 1.

Headwater response:
Thank you for your feedback; it is always a great help to understand how we can improve and whilst it is not always possible to be precise about how easy or difficult an activity will be, our activity ratings have been carefully designed to give you a practical guide as to what you can expect. When assigning an activity level to a holiday we consider factors such as gradient, length of walk or ride, and also the terrain or road conditions.

Reviewed On 16/05/2019
5/5

Ms Mcevoy

A fantastic area in which to walk. Tony and Ludmilla have gone to great lengths to make this a good trip and are both extremely welcoming and helpful. I would say that they are some of the best reps we have come across in many years of travelling. For us the distances were just right. All the arrangements worked like clockwork.

The breakfast in the hotel Mira Sagres was not the greatest with no hot choice and the croissants were rather stale. However, the staff were welcoming and the hotel provided the best shower of the hoiday. The food in Pedralva and in Lagos was really good and the breakfast in Lagos was superb. The staff in Pedralva were great fun. At the Pousada hotel, the staff gave me a gorgeous piece of cake to celebrate my birthday, which was excellent and really helped to make the day special. We didn't find the staff at the Memmo Baleeira very friendly and the service at the evening meal on the first evening was poor.

Reviewed On 03/05/2019
5/5

Mr Goscomb

Another fantastic holiday with Headwater



We completed the ‘Walking the Argarve’s South West’ holiday in late April/early May. The weather was mostly perfect for walking and we had a wonderful holiday, well supported by Tony and Ludmilla the local Headwater reps. Tony’s walking notes were clear and easy to follow with helpful suggested options and the hotels were well located and well chosen. Such a beautiful landscape with so many picturesque sights and views. We also saw a fantastic selection of wild flowers, including orchids, and the area proved excellent for bird spotting too.



Our two hotels in Sagres were really lovely, but the outstanding place to stay for us was the Aldeia de Pedralva where we had a super one bedroom little character house to ourselves for two days in this beautiful tiny village. Breakfast and dinners at the hotels were mostly excellent, the sole exception being the most meagre of breakfasts in the hotel at Vila Do Bispo. The breakfasts at the Costa d’Oiro were truly exceptional with an amazing selection. We also had some yummy fish and seafood dishes as various restaurants during our stay in this wonderful south west corner of Portugal. Overall another fantastic holiday with Headwater.



Martin and Sandy, Sidmouth, Devon

Reviewed On 18/03/2019
5/5

Mr Smith

We had a very good holiday being well looked after from the moment we arrived. Ludmilla and Tony are a credit to Headwater and looked after us really well. Walk notes were well written and easy to follow. Time distance of each walk were accurate. We passed on a couple of updates to Tony who dealt with them immediately. All pick ups and tranfers were on time.

We would definitely recommend this holiday to anyone wanting to viist the Algarve.

Reviewed On 03/12/2018
5/5

Ms Hewson

Very well organised. Local guides very helpful.

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