Guided Walking at Tavira, Portugal



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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Value
  • Wildlife


  • 2
  • 3
More information

Difficulty indicator

Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £849.00 - 7 nights


Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

Tavira Guest Booklet 2018

Uncover the charm of the laidback Eastern Algarve based in the historic town of Tavira. This area of Portugal offers beautiful coastline, pretty fishing villages, saltpans teeming with birdlife and an unspoilt interior – not to mention year round sunshine, which makes this beautiful area perfect for gentle guided walks in spring and autumn.  Spain is only 40km away.

We have Guided Walking holidays for Christmas and New Year. Walk into 2017 by booking your New Year holiday in Tavira. 

Holiday highlights

  • Explore the charming and historic town of Tavira
  • Discover the graveyard of anchors at Paia do Barril, a tribute to the former fishing fleet of the area
  • Ride the water taxi to Sant Luzia, and discover its dedication to fishing and family run restaurants
  • Experience the Tuna Village museum
  • Enjoy easier walking between tiny villages and along salt pans

Price includes

  • A full programme of guided walks with 2 options every walking day
  • All transport to and from walks
  • The services of experienced HF Holidays' leaders
  • "With flight" holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers
  • 7 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms Half Board – continental breakfast and evening meal

Other Walking Holidays

You might also like to consider our new destination in Portugal - Guided Walking & Sightseeing at Ericeira

In pictures...


Hotel Vila Gale Tavira in Tavira, Portugal

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.

Your room

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 Tavira bedroom


Hotel Vila Gale Tavira swimming-pool-(indoor) 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.
Evening meal
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.
Hotel Vila Gale Tavira dining-room

Your evenings

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.


  • Our experienced leaders offer the choice of two different walks each day
  • Choose the option which best suits your interests and fitness
  • We provide flexible holidays. Choose easier walking one day and harder the next or just explore independently or relax around the resort
  • Our leaders are friendly and welcoming making your holiday fun and sociable
  • Please note:  The Festive itinerary for this destination will be the same but in a different order according to local transport and holiday variances.

Relax and enjoy the laidback charm of the Eastern Algarve coast and unspoilt interior on our carefully selected Guided Walks. Each day you’ll have a choice of two different walks.

HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy

Easier Walks: 5 to 7 miles (8-11km) generally through gently undulating scenery. Up to 700ft (210m) of ascent in a day.


HF Holidays walks level 3 medium

Harder Walks: 8 to 10 miles (13- 16km) with some short but steep ascents. Up to 1,200ft (360m) of ascent in a day.


Day 1: Arrival Day

Transfer to the Hotel Vila Galè Tavira and settle into your room. There’ll be time to explore the facilities of the hotel and surrounding area and meet your fellow guests.

Day 2: 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 and then 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 promenade before turning inland along the Eco Via – a long distance cycle track that runs the length of the Algarve – and back to our hotel in Tavira, walking through the saltpans. 6 miles (9.5km) with minimal ascent.

Harder Walk: Having dropped off the easier group we continue west for a further 10 minutes to the village of Livramento, where we walk directly to the saltpans and lagoons of the Ria Formosa. Walking along the coast on tracks and lanes we pass through the tiny resort of Pineiro before turning inland to join the Eco Via and making our way to the village of Pedras de El-Rei. From here we follow a similar route to the easier walk back to Tavira. 10 miles (16km) with minimal ascent.

Day 3: Mata Nacional de Conceição (Tavira National Forest)

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 through cultivated land before reaching the 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. 6 miles (9.5km) with up to 300ft (90m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: From the drop off point we walk through cultivated land continuing north to 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.

Day 4: Palace and ruins

The day starts with a visit to the ruins of a once luxurious Roman villa at Milreu. One of the most important remains of the Roman presence in the Algarve, and now classified as a national monument. We walk in the foothills at the Serra do Caldeirão before visiting at the other end of the historical scale 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 Council in 1987. It is now a Pousada - state owned hotel.

Easier Walk: Leaving the Museum, we take quiet roads and good tracks and head north through a series of hamlets before turning again for the return to the main square in Estói with its imposing church and selection of cafés. 7 miles (11km) with up to 700ft (210m) of ascent.

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. 9 miles (14.5km) with up to 1,100ft (330m) of ascent.

Day 5: Free day

Each week there is a free day when no guided walks are offered. This is an ideal opportunity to relax around the hotel, walk independently or visit local places of interest. On your free day you may want to take an excursion to historic Faro, enjoy a leisurely day in Tavira or relax around the hotel pool.

Day 6: 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 the 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 at the seafront at Altura where we walk along the beach for 2.5km. Heading inland slightly we pass 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 Santo António where there will be time to look around before our return journey. 6 miles (9.5km) with minimal ascent.

Harder Walk: After our short tour of Cacela Velha, we’ll take the coach a short distance before walking along quiet lanes and part of the Eco Via long distance cycle route. We walk beside cultivated farmland via the hamlet of Alto to arrive at Altura and 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. 10 miles (16km) with minimal ascent.

Day 7: The Guadiana River

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 the starting point. 8 miles (13km) with up to 900ft (270m) of ascent.

Day 8: Departure Day

Please note that the itinerary outlined is provisional and could be subject to change. A finalised itinerary will be available at the resort and every evening your leaders will talk to you about the following day’s walks.


Make the most of your European holiday by visiting two resorts. Why not visit Luz on the wild Atlantic Coast?

Pool view

Tavira & Luz - 14nts

Combine a week at Tavira with a week at Luz on the Atlantic Coast. The national parks in this area are filled with colourful wild flowers and are renowned for their bird life, including Storks. Visit the historical town of Lagos and discover Silves' cobbled streets that rise from an ancient market area to an imposing hill fort.

With flight & transfers from: £1,649

Without flights & transfers from: £1,449


To book any of our Two-Centre holidays call our Reservations Team on 0345 470 7558

Local area


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.


Travel by plane


‘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.

British Airways plane




Driving to us

‘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:

  • We can book you a seat on the HF Holidays’ transfer coach from Faro airport. This is timed to meet the HF Holidays’ flights* (provisional flight times can be found on the dates and prices tab or you can call us on 020 8732 1220 for more information). Cost per single journey is £15.
  • Why not let us book you a private taxi transfer at a cost of £70.00 per single taxi journey?

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

 Coach heading to Glen Coe


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Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
22 Dec 2018 EALCL - Guided Walking Tavira
(Travel included - Departs from: London Gatwick)

Flight - Outbound


  • Depart: 22 Dec 2018, 7:05 a.m.
  • Arrive: 22 Dec 2018, 10 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Gatwick
  • Arrive at: Faro

Flight - Return


  • Depart: 29 Dec 2018, 11:25 a.m.
  • Arrive: 29 Dec 2018, 2:15 p.m.
  • Depart from: Faro
  • Arrive at: London Gatwick
7 £1,149.00 Book Now
22 Dec 2018 EALCL - Guided Walking Tavira
(Travel included - Departs from: Manchester International)

Flight - Outbound

Jet 2

  • Depart: 22 Dec 2018, 9:30 a.m.
  • Arrive: 22 Dec 2018, 12:30 p.m.
  • Depart from: Manchester International
  • Arrive at: Faro

Flight - Return

Jet 2

  • Depart: 29 Dec 2018, 1:30 p.m.
  • Arrive: 29 Dec 2018, 4:30 p.m.
  • Depart from: Faro
  • Arrive at: Manchester International
7 £1,239.00 Book Now
22 Dec 2018 EALCL - Guided Walking Tavira - Without Flights 7 £849.00 Book Now
29 Dec 2018 EALCL - Guided Walking Tavira
(Travel included - Departs from: Manchester International)

Flight - Outbound

Jet 2

  • Depart: 29 Dec 2018, 9:30 a.m.
  • Arrive: 29 Dec 2018, 12:30 p.m.
  • Depart from: Manchester International
  • Arrive at: Faro

Flight - Return

Jet 2

  • Depart: 5 Jan 2019, 1:30 p.m.
  • Arrive: 5 Jan 2019, 4:30 p.m.
  • Depart from: Faro
  • Arrive at: Manchester International
7 £1,289.00 Book Now
29 Dec 2018 EALCL - Guided Walking Tavira
(Travel included - Departs from: London Gatwick)

Flight - Outbound


  • Depart: 29 Dec 2018, 7:05 a.m.
  • Arrive: 29 Dec 2018, 10 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Gatwick
  • Arrive at: Faro

Flight - Return


  • Depart: 5 Jan 2019, 11:25 a.m.
  • Arrive: 5 Jan 2019, 2:15 p.m.
  • Depart from: Faro
  • Arrive at: London Gatwick
7 £1,199.00 Book Now
29 Dec 2018 EALCL - Guided Walking Tavira - Without Flights 7 £899.00 Book Now

Prices are per person


  • Double room for sole occupancy: £8 per night
  • Pool view on request : £10 per night
  • All transport to walks is included in the price of the holiday
  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

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