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Explore Tavira (Self-Guided)

Take yourself on a journey to Portugal's Eastern Algarve exploring the salt pans, inland villages, Ria Formosa NP and coastal trails as you go.

  • The Algarve

  • 7 nights
  • Breakfast
  • June - December


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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".


Self-Guided Collection

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


Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy a variety of coast and countryside walks.
  • Stay in the centrally located Hotel Maria Nova Lounge, within walking distance of the main town and local restaurants.
  • Visit the spectacular Tavira Island beach with wide golden sands and calm sea waters.
  • Explore the Ria Formosa Natural Park.
  • Experience a relaxed part of the Algarve, away from the main tourist crowds
  • Pop into Spain by ferry for a tapas lunch

Tavira is one of the most picturesque towns of the Algarve and straddles the Rio Gilao 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.

This charming town is decorated with tropical palm trees and lies along the tranquil Gilao River, separating two sides of the town. You will find a maze of winding streets and shaded squares lined with whitewashed houses, 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 for the unique front door knockers on every building, influenced by Moorish design and were once believed to protect the house from evil spirits. At the centre lies the lovely Praça da Republica, bordered by trees, fountains and restaurants. A short boat ride across the turquoise sea takes you to tranquil Tavira Island, a beautiful oasis in which to sit back and watch the world go by. 

You will be walking in some of the most picturesque parts of the Algarve, including Tavira Island, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Paths will take you through pretty coastal villages such as Santa Luiza, Cabanas and Cacela Velha. Ancient trails lead you past farms, through an intricate patchwork of orange groves, olive and carob orchards. Sometimes trails will be beside rivers; other times amongst the pines and cork oaks. 

  • 7 nights´ accommodation including Tourist 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 no noted
  • 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


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



A transfer will take you from Faro Airport to the Maria Nova Lounge in beautiful Tavira.

Transfer Time = 1 hour

Day 2

Cacela Velha and Cabanas




  • Time

    3.5 hours

  • Distance

    8.7 miles

  • Ascent/Descent


A coastal path takes you to the scenic ancient village of Cacela Velha, located of the edge of the Ria Formosa, with its long sandy beaches, cobbled streets and small walled fortress. It’s a great place to explore.

Tracks lead you through quiet lanes to the fishing village of Cabanas, named after the scenic white and blue fishing huts dotting the coastline. Enjoy a well deserved break here, perhaps take a ferry or water-taxi across to the Ilha de Cabanas island beach. 

The salt pans, full of wildlife, will lead you back to Tavira. 

Day 3

  • Time

    3.5-4 hours

  • Distance

    9.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent


Spend a day enjoying an inland walk through one of the most beautiful and interesting valleys in the Algarve. The path takes you through vegetable plots growing olives, carob, almond and fig trees. Notice the tiny brick and tile works that we pass, whose hand-made crafts date back to before Roman times. Pass rows upon rows of orange and lemon orchards. The route takes you to Pego do Inferno, a concealed scenic lagoon and waterfall, a perfect picture opportunity. 

Day 4

Day off from walking




During your week in Tavira, 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 visit Vila Real, on the border with Spain for Tapas! 

Tavira's cobbled streets, cafes, shops museums, churches and castle are good to visit or you may also want to take a boat trip, perhaps to the barrier islands of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa. 

The hotel offers an indoor and outdoor swimming pool as well as a spa, so maybe just sit back and relax at the hotel!

Day 5

Altura to Vila Real de Santo Antonio Walk





  • Time

    3 hours

  • Distance

    6.8 miles

  • Ascent/Descent


The day starts in Altura, a beautiful beach town on the edge of the Ria Formosa Natural Park. After some free time, we’ll walk along the beach on raised boardwalks, past the miles upon miles of sand dunes and pine woodlands, past the beach town of 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. You’ll reach the charming town of Vila Real de Santo Antonio, in the estuary of the Rio Guadiana on the Portuguese border. 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.

You could take a ferry across the Rio Guadiana to Ayamonte in Andalucia in Spain, 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. Perhaps try some Tapas!

Day 6





  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    10 miles

  • Ascent/Descent


Its time to explore Fuzeta in the eastern Algarve. Fuzeta is a colourful fishing village with a beautiful marina and harbour area. Take time to explore its market, known for some of the best fish in the Algarve. The beaches here are stunning and worth a visit. You can take a ferry across to Fuzeta island, rich in wildlife with beautiful scenery.

Day 7

Santa Luzia & Tavira Island




  • Time

    4.5 hours

  • Distance

    10.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent


Today is a day of remarkable and varied landscape. Walk through Tavira's salt pans, which date back thousands of years to the picturesque fishing village of Santa Luzia on the edge of the Ria Formosa. With its glorious waterfront and fishing boats bobbing in the gentle water, Santa Luzia is known for its seafood, especially its Octopus, so perhaps enjoy lunch here! 

Cross over to beautiful Tavira Island and enjoy a gentle 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. 

Day 8

Final day



A transfer will take you to Faro Airport for your return flight home.

Travel Details

Flights from Faro Airport (FAO) 

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


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.

Maria Nova Lounge Hotel or Similar

A short stroll from Tavira's lively centre is the four star Maria Nova Lounge . The hotel offers wonderful panoramic views over the town and the surrounding hillsides. Perhaps take a relaxing swim in the outdoor swimming pool or have a drink at the pool bar. There is an indoor swimming pool in addition to a gym and wellness centre. The hotel includes a highly rated restaurant and an incredible rooftop bar with breath-taking panoramic views over Tavira town. Just a short walk from the hotel are a variety of shops, cafes, bakeries and restaurants. You will also find banks, ATMs and chemists close by.

Standard rooms are bright with modern furnishings. Facilities include:

  • Ensuites with shower (no bath)
  • Free WIFI
  • Safe
  • TV
  • Hairdryer
  • Tea/coffee making facilities
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning and heating
  • Balcony

Towels for use at the hotel's pool are available on site. If you wish to go to the beach, you should bring your own beach towel.

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.


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

The most convenient airport to fly to is Faro Airport. Transfers from Faro Airport to Tavira 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 no later than 8 weeks prior to the holiday so we can make 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.


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.


Breakfasts are included in the holiday price. A buffet breakfast is served with a variety of cold and hot dishes to choose from. 

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

Hotel Maria Nova Lounge 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 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 RWH17 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


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.


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 Ramble Worldwide Outdoor Trust is passionate about making the outdoors more accessible for more people from all communities. We grant funds to many organisations and have recently partnered with Mind Over Mountains, Adaptive Grand Slam and other groups to create an enduring impact on people’s lives and to support them to enjoy the outdoors. In addition, the Trust makes many small grants to local organisations such as Ramblers Groups, Walkers are Welcome, My kind of Books and recently provided a small grant, via his scouting group, to enable a young man whose family had fallen on hard times to complete his DofE Gold award.

Patron of the Trust is the renowned explorer, Mark Wood. Over 20 years Mark has undertaken expeditions to some of the most remote parts of our planet. Our shared values make for an exciting partnership, and we believe that by standing shoulder to shoulder we can encourage people from all communities to enjoy being active outdoors in whatever way suits them best.

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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  • Capital


  • Currency


  • Language


  • Time Difference

    UTC, UTC +01:00

  • Flight duration

    3hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January


    Avg. Rain: 109mm

  • February


    Avg. Rain: 93mm

  • March


    Avg. Rain: 75mm

  • April


    Avg. Rain: 66mm

  • May


    Avg. Rain: 52mm

  • June


    Avg. Rain: 26mm

  • July


    Avg. Rain: 12mm

  • August


    Avg. Rain: 16mm

  • September


    Avg. Rain: 44mm

  • October


    Avg. Rain: 91mm

  • November


    Avg. Rain: 111mm

  • December


    Avg. Rain: 120mm

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