Guided Walking at Tavira, Portugal
The Tranquil Eastern Algarve
Code: EALCLPrint page
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.
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.
- Explore the charming and historic town of Tavira
- Discover pretty fishing villages and beautiful coastline teeming with wildlife
- Year-round sunshine makes the Algarve ideal for a spring or autumn break
- Enjoy easier walking between tiny villages and along salt pans
- Head off the beaten track to the incredibly beautiful and unspoilt Mata Nacional de Conçeicão
- Visit Estoi, with its 19th century palace, and Milreu’s Roman ruins
- 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
Hotel Vila Galé Tavira
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. The hotel has 268 en-suite bedrooms which, like the rest of the hote,l reflect a moorish theme. Some rooms face the central area overlooking the swimming pool whilst others enjoy lovely views across the roofs of Tavira or towards the salt flats. The hotel has entertainment each evening and a programme is displayed at reception. Once sampled the hotel's freshly squeezed orange juice will spoil you for all other fruit juices.
Our holidays in Tavira are Half Board with continental breakfast and a 3-course evening meal.
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).
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.
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.
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 friendly atmosphere of our Guided Walking holidays continues into the evening.
Enjoy a glass of wine or local beer before hearing about the next day's walks. On most evenings you will be able to take advantage of the hotel's entertainment programme or you may choose to relax on the terrace or in the bar, with a drink and chat with your fellow guests. You may want to walk into Tavira for an ice-cream with other guests.
- 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
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.
Easier Walks: 5 to 7 miles (8-11km) generally through gently undulating scenery. Up to 700ft (210m) of ascent in a day.
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 back 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 small roads 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
At the other end of the historical scale are the Milreu ruins, amongst the most important remains of the Roman presence in the Algarve, and now classified as a national monument. After visiting these ruins we walk in the foothills of the Serra do Caldeirão. The Rococo Palácio of Estói with its French- inspired 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: Starting from the town, this walk passes the Milreu ruins and, using good tracks and quiet roads, heads 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. For other options see the Local Area tab.
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. Both groups will travel to the city of Vila Real de Santo António on the Guadiana 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 bird hide overlooking a small lake, until we reach the popular tourist resort of Monte Gordo. 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. This is where the local interest guide leaves us to await the harder group. 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 welldefined 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 Ericeira on the Lisbon Coast?
Tavira & Ericeira - 14nts
Combine a week at Tavira with a week at Ericeira on the Lisbon Coast. Travel with us to Portugal's wild and beautiful west coast to uncover great coastal walks and the surprisingly green hills of the Serra de Sintra. Sightseeing visits to Lisbon, and the magnificent palaces at Sintra, make this a holiday full of contrasts.
With flight & transfers: £1,749
Without flights & transfers: £1,549
To book any of our Two-Centre holidays call our Reservations Team on 0345 470 7558
An introduction to the area
Tavira is an historial town, protected because of its unique architecture. Working salt pans are a distictive feature of the landscape, still worked today and just a step away from our hotel. Tavira once had a thriving tuna fishing industry and there is still evidence of older red brick buildings, some converted into attractive flats, formerly small warehousing. The chimneys of these buildings have shaped metal covers installed so that storks can nest there and if you are lucky you can seen some inhabited. The houses are painted white and the exteriors covered in patterned, mostly blue, ceramic tiling. The majority of roads are cobbled and from the hotel it is easy to walk along the river, passing some fishing boats into the centre of town. In the centre there are charming little green areas with brightly coloured flowers and purple flowered Jacaranda trees.
There is a small tourist train that operates in Tavira and does a very good "whistle stop" tour around the main sites of the town squeezing itself down the narrow cobbled streets and right up to the top of the hill where you can alight and admire a lovely view. This train runs every hour and is well worth the very reasonable fare especially as it stops right outside our hotel. See reception for further details.
There are two pedestrian bridges where you can sit and watch the local fisherman standing in the river searching for mussels.
Shops & facilities:
There are several banks in Tavira and an ATM just opposite the hotel entrance. Towards the main square you will find a post office and don’t miss out on visiting the colourful local market held every day except Sunday (7am until 3pm) located across the road at the rear of the hotel. This market sells honey, fish, meat and a range of flowers and vegetables. Walking around the exterior of this market there are many small cafes where you can sit and drink coffee and soft drinks and sample a local pastry. Walk along rows of traditional Portuguese “town” houses you will find lots of shops to browse in and then sit in a pretty garden or square or seek refreshment in a nearby café.
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
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Dates & Prices
|21 Dec 2017||
EALCL - Guided Walking Tavira
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
|21 Dec 2017||EALCL - Guided Walking Tavira - Without Flights||7||£799.00||Book Now|
|28 Dec 2017||
EALCL - Guided Walking Tavira
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
|28 Dec 2017||EALCL - Guided Walking Tavira - Without Flights||7||£799.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Double room for sole occupancy: £7 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