Bridge & Walking at Tavira
EASTERN ALGARVE, PORTUGAL
Code: EABRWPrint page
Exercise your mind and body with this classic holiday combination. During the day you'll have a choice of two walks; either an easier or harder route, both carefully selected to enable you to see the best of the local area. We'll return to the hotel in time to freshen up before the Duplicate Bridge competition in the evening.
- Easier walks of between 4 and 6 miles
- Harder walks of between 6 and 8 miles
- Daily Bridge competition
- Comfortable Bridge rooms, quiet and as light as possible
- Small prizes offered, for fun
- Good quality en-suite accommodation in one of our European partner hotels
- Half Board – continental breakfast and evening meal
- Carefully selected friendly, knowledgeable and EBU qualified Bridge Director, and HF Holidays’ Walk Leaders to ensure you get the most from your holiday
- All Bridge fees, stationery and prizes
- ‘With flight’ holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers
- All transport for the walks
This friendly 4-star Hotel Vila Galé Tavira is situated on the banks of the Ria Formosa, close to the centre of the charming town of Tavira, which straddles the Rio Galão.
There is an easy walk to the centre of Tavira's shops and sidewalk cafés.
Once sampled the hotel's freshly squeezed orange juice will spoil you for all other fruit juices.
This accommodation is considered 'Best Value' as this hotel is considered value for money without compromising on comfort.
|The hotel has 268 en-suite bedrooms, which are simply decorated with a distinctive Arabian theme to reflect Tavira’s rich and fascinating history.
All rooms have either a balcony or terrace, with either views of the central area and the swimming pool (extra surcharge) or overlooking the attractive rooftops of Tavira or over the salt pans.
There is air conditioning which can be adjusted, flat screen TV, direct dial telephone, hairdryer, shaving point, complimentary toiletries, and a safe deposit box (extra charge).
There is 24 hour room service and a laundry service available (extra charge)
|Hotel Vila Gale has an attractive outdoor pool (unheated) in an area landscaped with attractive shrubs and potted palms. There are loungers and seating where you can have a snack or drink ordered from the nearby bar. In the large bar area there are more comfortable seats.
The hotel has a shop that stocks English newspapers, basic toiletries, some Tavira souvenirs and beach accessories. WiFi is free to our guests in all public areas and available in all bedrooms for a small charge.
The Health Club, open from 10am until 8pm, is free to our guests and includes a tepidarium with indoor pool (naturally lit), Turkish bath, Jacuzzi, gym and some treatment rooms (extra charge for any treatments booked).
Our holidays at Tavira are Half Board with continental breakfast and a 3-course evening meal.
There is an extensive selection for breakfast from a self-select buffet, including breads, pastries and cakes, cold meat and cheese, fruit, English cooked breakfast, teas and coffee.
Lunch (payable locally)
This can be bought locally from the variety of local shops/supermarkets or try visiting the daily covered market across the road from the hotel which offers a wide range of fresh and local produce from the region.
The three course buffet includes soup, tapas, salads, four or five hot main dishes including vegetarian options as well as a separate salad bar and side dishes served with a selection of vegetables. Every night there is a chef grilling meat. The hotel holds some themed evenings which extends to their menus. Vila Galé has its own wine estate and you can order these wines with your evening meal. They can also be purchased to take home.
In Europe, our walking holidays continue into the evening. Enjoy a glass of wine or local beer whilst listening to your leaders outlining the next day's walks. One evening there’s the option to visit a Fado Museum to see an explanatory film which introduces the 12-string Portuguese guitar, before experiencing the emotion of the
“Fado”. On the last evening, we have dinner at the sister Hotel Vila Galé Albacora. This hotel is converted from an old tuna fishing village and we can visit their museum to watch a very interesting video about its history.
During the day, enjoy a guided walk to explore the best of the local area, led by an experienced HF Holidays' walks leader. Each day choose between an easier walk of between 4 and 6 miles; or a harder walk of between 6 and 8 miles.
We return from our walks with time to freshen up. Each evening from 5pm we'll enjoy a Bridge competition, with a break for the evening meal.
You are of course free to opt out of any of the sessions but it would be helpful if you could let your leader know should you decide not to attend any of the evening competitions.
Small prizes will be awarded for competitions held during the holiday.
If you are on your own, there is no need to worry about whom you are going to partner, as partnerships will be arranged when necessary, and may be changed from day to day. Leaders are always happy to play when required and enjoy partnering all guests.
On 7-night holidays there is a free day, when you're free to relax and enjoy the facilities at the Hotel Vila Galé Tavira or to explore the local area independently.
Along the coast to Tavira
Easier Walk: A short coach ride takes us west to the resort village of Pedras de El-Rei (Stones of the King). Here we cross a wooden bridge over the lagoon to walk beside the small railway that runs to the vast expanse of Barril Beach. Pausing to look at the outdoor display of anchors – a remnant of the tuna fishing industry, we walk along the beach for 2km before taking a water taxi from Terra Estreita to the delightful fishing village of Santa Luzia. We walk along the coast and back to our hotel in Tavira, walking through the saltpans. 5.7 miles (9.km) with minimal ascent.
Harder Walk: A slightly longer coach ride brings us to the hamlet of Rato. We use the Eco Via – a long distance cycle way to make our way to the village of Pedras de El-Rei. From here we follow a similar route to the easier walk back to Tavira. 7.3miles (12km) with minimal ascent.
Mata National de Conceiçao
Easier Walk: Today we walk in the Mata Nacional de Conceição (Tavira National Forest) using well-defined tracks and lanes. From the drop off point we walk take undulating tracks which take us around the forest affording views north to tiny hamlets. Leaving the forest, we make our way through open arable land until we arrive at a small quinta (farmhouse) where we can enjoy welcomed refreshments before our return journey. 5.4miles (8.7km) with up to 300ft (90m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: From the drop off point we take a wide loop through tiny hamlets. We re-join the easier route to walk through flatter arable land to Quinta da Colina to join the easier group for refreshments. 8 miles (13km) with up to 600ft (180m) of ascent.
Palace and Estoi
We walk in the foothills at the Serra do Caldeirão before visiting the Rocaco Palácio of Estói. The French inspired palace and gardens was built at the end of the 19th Century for a local aristocrat of the Carvalhal family. Bought by Faro City Councilin 1987. It is now a Pousada - state owned hotel.
Easier Walk: We start into the hills using quiet roads and tracks getting views around us. Then descend following the valley of the Rio Seco back to the Pousadai for a refreshment break and the main square in Estói with its imposing church. 4miles (6.7km) with up to 160ft (50m) of ascent and a little more descent.
Harder Walk: We too head out of town sweeping further west ascending almost to the summit of Guilhim with extensive views to the mound of São Miguel in the east to Faro in the south, before contouring round the hill and completing the circuit back to Estói on a series of quiet tracks and roads. 7.5 miles (12km) with up to 1,100ft (330m) of ascent
Vila Real de Santo Antonio and the coast
Today we have the services of a local interest guide who will join us on the coach from the hotel. Initially, we visit the whitewashed village where time has stood still at Caceia Velha. It has clifftop views over the Ria Formasso and the modern resorts to the east. Both groups finish in city of Villa Real de Santo Antonio on the Guardiana River, which forms the border with Spain. Built in 1773 by the Marquês de Pombal, it was based on the urban criteria used for the re- construction of Lisbon following the 1755 earthquake and was built on the site of a small fishing village and largely completed within 5 months. We will see remnants of the sardine and tuna fishing industry, which was once its main economic activity, before embarking on a short tour of the city.
Easier Walk: Accompanied by the local interest guide we start our walk slightly Inland at Retur passing through a wooded area, which has a small lake with the potential to see various duck species. We are soon back on the beach in the area of Sertão where we will see typical fishing boats of the community as well as their fishing arts. Walking along the back of the beach on boardwalks, we enter the Mata Nacional das Dunas Litorais (sand dune woodland) before emerging on the edge of Vila Real de SantoAntónio where there will be time to look around before our return journey. 5 miles (8km) with minimal ascent.
Harder Walk: After our short tour of Cacela Velha, we’ll take the coach a short distance before walking via the hamlet of Alto to arrive at Altura where we walk along the beach for 2.5km. Heading inland we join the route of the easier group. Meeting the local interest guide at Monte Gordo, we continue to our destination at Vila Real de Santo António. 8.3miles (13.5km) with minimal ascent.
The Guadiana River
A longer coach journey today to reach the border with Spain.
Easier Walk: Today we travel north parallel to the Guadiana River, which marks the border with Spain. Starting in the small hamlet of Balurço Baixo we walk on well- defined tracks descending towards the Guadiana River. The walk is partly located in the Guadiana site of the Natura 2000 Network, a Special Protection Area (SPA), formed in response to the EU 1992 Habitat Directive. Well above the river we turn north and then west, returning via the hamlet of Torneiro before passing through an area of orchards and vines to our starting point. 5 miles (8km) with up to 500ft (150m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Starting at the same point as the easier walk we continue descending to the Guadiana River. Initially following a path alongside the river we turn west and ascend to Miradouro do Pontal with wonderful views down to the river. Ascending more steeply, our walk converges with the easier route as we make our way via Torneiro back to our starting point. 8 miles (13km) with up to 900ft (270m)
This evening – A special visit to a nearby former fishing village with museum and meal at the sister hotel.
Please note, every effort is made to adhere to this itinerary; however there may be circumstances beyond our control which could lead to a change in the programme.
What to bring
Bridge: All your Bridge stationery and equipment will be supplied. You may, however, like to bring a notebook and pen to make your own notes. EBU Members - don’t forget to bring your EBU membership number to earn Master Points on this holiday.
Walking: To enjoy your walking comfortably and safely, it is essential that your footwear, clothing and equipment are suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.
Bring a rucksack, a water bottle (at least 1 litre) and spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar, and first aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed). Many guests find walking poles useful, particularly for descents. You may find a thermos flask handy if you like to have a hot drink. Insect repellent, sun hat, sunglasses and protection cream and a camera are all optional extras you may choose to bring.
Tavira is a pretty unspoilt fishing village, with Moorish heritage and rich birdlife in the nearby salt pans. The beach in Tavira is a 'sandspit' beach, separated from the mainland by the sea, this allows for an exciting journey by ferry or water taxi to relax on the beach. The coast path has gorgeous views, which you can enjoy by foot or by bike, with the local cycle hire available.
Discover the city of Faro, the district capital of the Algarve and the Ria Formosa Nature Park, one of the 3 protected areas in the Algarve - recently elected one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal. There are many unique and interesting attractions in Faro, these include: Museu Municipal is housed in the Convento de Nossa Senhora da Assunção, built in the old Jewish quarter, is principally an archaeological museum and displays of religious art; Igereja da Ordem Terceira de São Francisco is described as a "total work of art", with its architecture, carvings, tiles and paintings creating a dazzling visual image; and Museu Regional do Algarve has a collection relating to the culture, agriculture and fishing history of the Algarve. Faro is accessable from Tavira by bus, and you can discover Faro on ‘the tourist train’ or on foot.
The Ria Formosa Nature Park
The Ria Formosa Nature Park is a site, where you can go on an ecotourism experience on board a “saveiro” a traditional boat with a nature guide to identify the local birdlife and nature. The wetlands are some of the most important in Portugal, and a habitat for aquatic birds. The park also has oyster and clam farms, which are economically significant to the Algarve. Organised tours run in the Ria Formosa Nature Park.
Did you know?
Tavira comes from the Arabic ‘Tabira’, which means ‘the hidden’.
We recognise that everyone’s travel arrangements are unique, so all our holidays to Europe can be booked ‘with flight’ or ‘without flight’, giving you more flexibility and choice.
‘With flight’ holidays – the hassle free option
Book your holiday ‘with flight’ and choose between Gatwick and Manchester flights to Faro airport. For flight times and prices please see the Dates & Prices tab.
If you choose this option we automatically include return transfers between the airport and the hotel. The coach transfer takes approx 45 minutes to the Hotel Vila Galé Tavira.
‘Without flight’ holidays – the flexible travel option
Alternatively, tailor your journey to suit you by booking your holiday ‘without flight’ allowing you the freedom to book your own flights from your local airport.
If you choose this option, transfers are not included in the price. However, below are some suggestions to help you reach your destination:
Transfers must be pre-booked. Please call 020 8732 1220 for more details
* Please note that HF Holidays is not responsible for your onward travel if you fail to meet the transfer coach
Titch is a professional Bridge teacher. She ran her own Bridge School in Devon for many years before selling it to move to Surrey. Bridge has been an important part of her life, opening doors when she moved to new countries in her youth, including Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, East Africa, Canada, India, etc. Titch works for the English Bridge Union, training Bridge teachers all over England. Her love of the game is infectious and she believes every player is an ambassador to Bridge. Learning and playing Bridge is equivalent to taking your brain to a mind gym and giving it a good work-out, thereby keeping it fit and active while also improving the memory. Titch’s classes are relaxed and full of good humour.
Titch is an excellent and very interesting and lively communicator and excellent organiser.
Dates & Prices
|28 Apr 2018||EABRW - Bridge & Walking Tavira - Without Flights||7||£769.00||Book Now|
|28 Apr 2018||
EABRW - Bridge & Walking Tavira
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
Prices are per person
- Double rooms for sole occupancy: £8 per night
- Seaview: £7 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person