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Discover the Western Algarve (Self-Guided)

Portugal's western Algarve offers a glorious mix of coastal, mountain and inland landscapes. Trails take you through sleepy villages, past waterways and natural wildlife.

  • The Algarve

  • 7 nights
  • Breakfast
  • Coast & Islands

  • March - December

Moderate

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Walking grade

Grade 4

Usually, your walk will take up the whole day at a moderate pace. Terrain will often be hilly and paths generally good. Note that on holidays in mountainous areas, expect some rougher paths. An average walk length is 6 miles but expect this to vary from as little as 3 miles on a sightseeing day and up to 10 miles on a full day dependant on the amount of ascent and decent required.  

Usual daily walks - Distance: 6 miles; Ascent/Descent 500m; Terrain: sometimes hilly and undulating on good paths and tracks; Walking Time: Day walks. 

The above statistics are generalisations of a day’s key walk, it does not include distance covered during general sightseeing or daily activity. Detailed information of the daily walking requirements are specified in the specific holidays ‘Daily Itinerary".

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Self-Guided Collection

Expertly planned, flexible walking itineraries, led by you, with accommodation, route plans, and luggage transfers all taken care of by us.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Stay in a centrally located hotel, within walking distance of the main town and local restaurants in Lagos.
  • Explore the dramatic red coastline, impressive caves and unique rock formations of the western Algarve.
  • Walk amongst wildlife and birdlife in the Alvor Estuary.
  • Discover pretty Portuguese villages not changed for decades

The western Algarve offers a glorious mix of coastal, mountain and inland landscapes. The varied geology produces a rich diversity of scenery from granite mountains to dramatic limestone escarpments and impressive red sea cliffs. Trails take you through sleepy villages, past waterways and wildlife. 

Lagos is a historical and characterful city, an important Roman settlement called 'Lacobriga'. A variety of Roman ruins remain, including the old slave market. The town centre, which is enclosed within 5th century walls offers a modern and beautiful marina that dominates the sea front, decorated with authentic restaurants, cobbled streets and dramatic natural scenery. 

It is time for you to explore the western Algarve at your own pace.

  • 7 nights’ accommodation including city tax
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Local transport to the start of walks
  • Detailed digital maps and route descriptions in English
  • 24-hour telephone assistance
  • Access to route information on an app.
  • Flights
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips etc
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program
  • Printed detailed route information (available at an additional charge of £55, and is available at your first hotel)

Holiday Information

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

View Holiday Information Sheet

Tour Codes

67000

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

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.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Lagos

Accommodation

A transfer will take you from Faro Airport to Lagos.

Day 2

Praia da Luz to Lagos

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

  • Time

    3 hours

  • Distance

    6.9 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    261/263m

Follow a dramatic clifftop path with glorious panoramic views of the Algarve. Look out for the grottos and coves carved into the red cliffs. Notice the number of small boats exploring the spectacular rocks, coves and caves. Be sure to look down at the top of the hill of Atalaia at almost 100m above sea level, you can see an extraordinary view of the Algarve and the whitewashed houses of Praia da Luz. Your trail takes you to Praia da Luz before continuing to Lagos.

Day 3

Barao

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

  • Time

    2.5 hours

  • Distance

    5.2 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    195/159m

Head inland for a walk that takes in the pretty Portuguese villages of Barão de São João and Barão de São Miguel. These charming, rural and peaceful villages are characterised by the typical whitewashed houses with coloured bands painted around the windows and doors. This and the traditional Algarve chimneys demonstrate the many years of Moorish occupancy of the area. A very beautiful and picturesque walk!

Day 4

Day off from walking

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

During your week, there will be a day where you can take a break from walking and have time to explore the Algarve. 

Maybe take the train into Faro or Silves, or perhaps go further afield to the Eastern Algarve to visit beautiful Tavira, or perhaps Vila Real, on the border with Spain for Tapas! 

Day 5

Vale de Lama

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

  • Time

    3.5 hours

  • Distance

    8.3 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    93/92m

Get your cameras ready for an abundance of birdlife during your trail through the salt pans on the Alvor Estuary, the spot for thousands of migrating birds during spring and autumn. The ecosystem here supports the life of many animals, plants and insects, and has been provided special environmental and conservation protection. The salt pans also support the local communities that rely on the oyster and fish farms. The quiet inland path take you towards the scenic town of Lagos.

Day 6

Rocha Delicada

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

  • Time

    2 hours

  • Distance

    5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    21/24m

Your trail today will take you back through the Alvor Estuary, along gentle paths past farmland, salt marshes, orchards and pastures. Pack your binoculars and cameras again, keep an eye out for birdlife! Your route takes you past the beautiful Rocha Delicada, a lagoon system of the Ria de Alvor. Look closely at the rock faces, it is possible to spot some marine fossils! The trail takes you to the pretty village of Mexilhoeira Grande, a perfect spot for a well deserved drink.

Day 7

Bensafrim

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

  • Time

    3.5 hours

  • Distance

    7.9 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    164/165m

The colourful village of Bensafrim is on the edge of Lagos. A trail takes you past valleys and waterways, and meanders through farmland, steams and forests of cork and carob trees.

Day 8

Final day

Meals

Breakfast

Transfer to Faro airport for your return flight home.

Travel Details

The most convenient airport to fly to is Faro Airport. Transfers from Faro Airport to Lagos will be by road and will take approximately one hour. Airport transfers are included in your holiday arrangements. Please ensure you send us your flight details no later than 8 weeks prior to your start date so we are able to make transfer arrangements.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is an example of the type of accommodation you will be allocated on this holiday. Your final accommodation list will be confirmed on your travel documents, these will usually be with you around two weeks prior to departure.

Hotel Agua Vila Branca or similar

The three star Vila Branca in Lagos is a modern hotel, just a short walk away from the main centre. There is a bar area and a highly rated Restaurante de Vila. The garden area includes four outdoor swimming pools and a pool bar. During the summer months, a free shuttle to the centre of Lagos or the beach may be possible. 

Standard rooms are modern and include:

  • Ensuite bathroom
  • Air conditioning
  • TV
  • Safe
  • WIFI

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

Usually, your walk will take up the whole day at a moderate pace. Terrain will often be hilly and paths generally good. Note that on holidays in mountainous areas, expect some rougher paths. An average walk length is 6 miles but expect this to vary from as little as 3 miles on a sightseeing day and up to 10 miles on a full day dependant on the amount of ascent and decent required.  

Usual daily walks - Distance: 6 miles; Ascent/Descent 500m; Terrain: sometimes hilly and undulating on good paths and tracks; Walking Time: Day walks. 

The above statistics are generalisations of a day’s key walk, it does not include distance covered during general sightseeing or daily activity. Detailed information of the daily walking requirements are specified in the specific holidays ‘Daily Itinerary".

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

As you plan your holiday budget, it's essential to account for expenses such as drinks, meals not covered in the holiday price, entrance fees not included, optional local excursions, and any souvenirs or additional services like laundry. For a rough estimate, budgeting around £10-£20 per person per day for lunches and drinks is a helpful guideline.

If your holiday does not include dinners (see itinerary) we recommend budgeting an additional £25-30 per day.

Currency in Portugal

The currency in Portugal is the euro. We recommend you take some euro cash with you until you reach an ATM as credit cards may not be accepted in some towns and rural areas so please ensure you always have cash with you.

Tipping

Tips are not included in the holiday price. Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high.  We strongly recommend when receiving good service you make a tip to the local supplier.

Your Travel Details

Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements

The most convenient airport to fly to is Faro Airport. Transfers from Faro Airport to Lagos will be by road and will take approximately one hour. Airport transfers are included in your holiday arrangements. Please ensure you send us your flight information at least 8 weeks prior to your holiday so that we can make your transfer arrangements.

Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents

Should you have decided to book any overseas flight arrangements through us, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be clearly outlined in your 'Final Travel Documents'. These will be sent to you approximately 10 days before your departure, ensuring you have all the necessary information for a smooth and well-prepared journey.

Personal Details Check

To ensure the accurate administration of your holiday arrangements, kindly verify that the personal details we have for you are current and correct. Confirm that you've given us all the necessary information for securing your travel and accommodation. Please review your passport details, date of birth, and any other pertinent information crucial for the management of your holiday.

Additionally, please make us aware of any dietary allergies or intolerances you may have. Your well-being is important to us, and this information will help us make appropriate arrangements for your meals during the trip.

You can access and update the provided information or add missing details through the "Manage My Booking" feature on our website at www.rambleworldwide.co.uk. Alternatively, reach out to our Sales and Reservations team at +44 (0)1707 331133. Upon receiving your booking confirmation, promptly check the details. Your cooperation ensures a seamless and enjoyable holiday experience.

Documentation

Once you have booked your holiday, you will receive a booking confirmation along with your holiday information sheet.

Once you have paid your balance and at least 4 weeks before your holiday you will receive details of how to log into your Legendary Adventure App. You can download the app on any Apple and Android smart phone, through the app store. Once downloaded,  you will have access to all the route information and details on how to use the app. 

For clients who do not have a smart phone, a paper copy of the maps can be arranged to be at your hotel on arrival. 

Passports and Visas

European 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:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)
  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

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.

Meals

Breakfasts are included in the holiday price.

Lunches and dinners are not included in the cost of your holiday.

Your hotel is within walking distance to the main town centre and several local restaurants. Traditional 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!

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Footwear is a walker’s personal choice; however, we suggest lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good, moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support and may be essential for some walks.

Luggage Transfers

On a self guided holiday, the days you walk from one property to another, your main luggage will be transferred for you as part of your holiday arrangements. This leaves you free to just carry what you need for the day. Please refer to your individual itinerary for which days your luggage will be transferred. Before you leave your accommodation in the morning, please speak with your host for where the luggage should be left and by what time. 

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Compass
  • Map case
  • Whistle
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Water bottle - at least 2 litre capacity (more may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat
  • Mobile
  • Power Bank for charging mobile if needed.
  • Phone charging lead

This list is not exhaustive, and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

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/

Water To Go

Opting for filtered water from a reusable bottle with its built-in water filter, like the Water-to-go bottle available at www.watertogo.eu, is a sustainable alternative to single-use sealed water bottles. Simply refill it from any water source and contribute to saving the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

Exciting news: Water-to-go has introduced two new bottles to their collection. The Active bottle is designed to fit bike water bottle holders, and the Sugarcane bottle is an even more planet-friendly option. Crafted from fibrous cane, a by-product of liquid extraction, it undergoes a process to create plant-based plastic. Explore the details on the Water-to-Go website for this innovative new range.

As a token of appreciation for your commitment to the environment, we've secured an exclusive 15% discount with Water-to-Go for you. Visit www.watertogo.eu and use the code RWW15 during your order.                        

Note: If you're booked on a long-haul holiday departing after November 1, 2023, you'll receive a complimentary Water to Go bottle, sent to your home address 2 or 3 weeks before your holiday. Thank you for being a part of our sustainable journey!

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements in destination can change, and it's crucial for you to take responsibility in staying informed. Ensure that you consult a professionally qualified source and comply with any health requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before your departure. Your GP can provide advice on vaccinations. Stay proactive about your health preparations to ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience.

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 Travel 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.

Travel Insurance

It’s a condition of booking that you obtain adequate travel insurance, from a reputable provider, to undertake the holiday, including UK trips chiefly due to the cancellation element of cover.

The policy must cover the period from the date of booking to the last day of your trip and should include, as a minimum, cover for: medical expenses (including the consequences of a Covid positive test result), mountain rescue including helicopter rescue, death, repatriation, cancellation and curtailment and shall not have exclusion clauses limiting cover for the activities you will partake in on your trip, including altitudes reached in the holiday arrangement. It is your responsibility to check that your policy is adequate for the nature and destination of the holiday booked.

Once you have obtained your travel insurance, please provide us with the name of your travel insurer, the policy number and the insurer’s 24 hour emergency assistance number.

In the event that you fail to obtain suitable Travel Insurance we shall not be liable for any costs incurred or claims made against us due to your failure to comply with this term.

If travelling outside the UK you must carry proof of insurance with you and produce it if reasonably requested to do so by RWH Travel staff, tour leaders or suppliers. No refunds will be made should you be excluded from the walking programme through being uninsured or you being unable to demonstrate that you are insured.

Our house broker MPI should be considered for whom we are an affiliate and contact information is on our website and will be referred to in your booking confirmation.

If you are travelling to an EU country or Switzerland please also ensure that you have either an existing valid EU EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) or a valid UK GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card). You can apply for a UK GHIC free of charge on the NHS website at https://services.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/cra/start.

EHIC & GHIC Cards

Starting January 1st, 2021, you, as a UK traveller, can continue using your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) throughout its valid five-year period, granting you access to medical assistance during your holiday until its expiry date. Be aware, though, that this coverage will no longer extend to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland. In case you don't have a valid EHIC, you can apply for a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replace the EHIC as it gets phased out.

It's essential to emphasize that the EHIC/GHIC, while valuable, should not be regarded as a substitute for comprehensive medical or travel insurance. For your peace of mind and comprehensive coverage, considering additional insurance is highly recommended.

For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk/ehic

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office is your go-to for the latest info on security, local laws, and the nitty-gritty of passports and visas at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Make sure to take a quick peek at the current advice for your upcoming destination—it'll only take a few minutes.

When you're out and about, stay aware of your surroundings. Take smart precautions with your credit cards and passport, and maybe tone down the flashy accessories. Less is more, especially when it comes to carrying cash—just enough for the day will do. Consider using a money belt for that extra layer of security. Stay alert, stay safe, and make the most of your travels!

Cultural Awareness

The Ramble Worldwide Outdoor Trust

Unlike many other tour operators, we take pride in our unique approach. Ramble Worldwide channels its surplus profits back into various outdoor, walking-related, or environmental conservation projects in the UK through our own trust. When you choose us, you contribute to this impactful initiative.

The primary focus of our Trust's financial support is directed towards Britain's premier walking charity, The Ramblers. They play a crucial role in advocating the benefits and significance of walking to the British public. Additionally, our Trust invites applications for small grants from local organizations in the UK that require support for walking-oriented activities. This encompasses initiatives such as establishing footpaths and bridleways, funding for the reconstruction of bridges and refurbishing huts, and bursary funding for organisations that support individuals to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors..

For more comprehensive details, please visit the 'About' section on our website and click on the Charitable Trust link. Your choice to travel with us goes beyond a memorable vacation; it contributes to meaningful projects that have a positive impact on our community and environment.

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. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

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Useful Information

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Portugal

  • Capital

    Lisbon

  • Currency

    Euro

  • Language

    Portuguese

  • Time Difference

    UTC, UTC +01:00

  • Flight duration

    3hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    11°C

    Avg. Rain: 109mm

  • February

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 93mm

  • March

    13°C

    Avg. Rain: 75mm

  • April

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 66mm

  • May

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 52mm

  • June

    19°C

    Avg. Rain: 26mm

  • July

    21°C

    Avg. Rain: 12mm

  • August

    22°C

    Avg. Rain: 16mm

  • September

    20°C

    Avg. Rain: 44mm

  • October

    17°C

    Avg. Rain: 91mm

  • November

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 111mm

  • December

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 120mm

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