On offer

Walking the Western Algarve Coastal Trails

Lighthouse of Cabo Sao Vicente, Sagres, Portugal
Duration: 7 nights
Type: European walking holidays
Walking Grade: 2 & 3
from £1,499pp £1,399pp

Stretching from Silves to the Atlantic seaboard, the Western Algarve is perfect for walkers keen to navigate dramatic cliffs, secluded coves, and unspoilt beaches. Highlights include exploring the pine, oak, and eucalyptus forests around the Serra de Monchique, taking in Atlantic Ocean views on the Seven Hanging Valleys trail, and spending time in historic towns and villages where Phoenician, Carthaginian, Roman, and Moorish conquerors have all left their mark.

What you’ll love

  • Discovering this wild and western coast on foot
  • Exploring charming fishing villages
  • Visiting Cape St Vincent, Europe’s most south-westerly point
  • Heading for the hills of the Serra de Monchique
  • Walking the famous Seven Hanging Valleys Trail
  • Staying in the charming coastal town of Lagos

What’s included

  • Full programme of guided walks led by local HF Holidays Leaders
  • HF Holidays Tour Manager
  • Half-board (breakfast and evening meal)
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees (as per itinerary)
  • Air-conditioned transport
  • Return flights from the UK including hold baggage and airport transfers

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

Arrive at your hotel in Lagos. Unpack and settle in. 


The Alvor estuary has helped life thrive on the western Algarve for centuries. Not only do the village’s fishermen net clams and oysters here, but countless species of bird gather to do the same. Evidence of this tidal lagoon’s importance throughout the ages can be found at Abicada – the remarkable ruins of a Roman villa that archaeologists believe once belonged to a wealthy seafood merchant.

Option 1 - Mexilhoeira Grande

Distance: 4.75miles (7.64km)

Ascent: 131ft (40m)

Our easier walk begins in the village of Mexilhoeira Grande. We’ll set off on a circular route that starts from the train station and follows a track by the railway line. Passing by the salt pans and trickling waters of the Odiáxere stream on the right, we’ll walk through toad marshland – a prime spot for catching sight of Alvor’s birds of prey. 

Option 2 - Mexilhoeira Grande to Alvor

Distance: 8.23 miles (13.26km) 

Ascent: 308ft (94m) 

The harder walk will start in Figueira and journey south along the estuary. We’ll pass the Roman ruins at Abicada and head east to follow a path rich in wildlife. There’ll be time to explore the coast and find the Fishermen's Cave before arriving in Alvor where we’ll walk along waterfront paths to discover the unique habitats that have formed where the lagoon meets the sea. 


The soaring sea cliffs of Sagres provide views over some of the Algarve’s most dramatic scenery. Europe’s most south-westerly point is Cape St Vincent, a wild, windswept headland of jagged cliffs that rise to 70 metres above the crashing waves. Perched atop the churning waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Fort Sagres tells the tale of Portugal’s maritime history while Cape St Vincent Lighthouse helps ships avoid disaster by throwing out a beam visible from 60 miles – it’s with one of Europe’s brightest lighthouses.

Option 1 - The history of the Empire: Sagres to Beliche Fortress

Distance: 6.44miles (10.38km) 

Ascent: 493ft (181m) 

This walk begins when we cross the beautiful city of Sagres to visit the Fort Sagres. Built to protect the town from coastal invasion, this 15 century fort sits on a blustery outcrop that has had religious significance since Neolithic times. Ships often sheltered here waiting for calmer seas before rounding Cape St Vincent to avoid being smashed against the coastal rocks. We’ll then walk west along the coast, following clifftop paths used by local fishermen for centuries. After exploring beaches, coves, and small bays, we end our walk at the Beliche Fortress. 

Option 2 - The history of the Empire: Sagres to Telheiro Beach

Distance: 10.04 miles (16.17km) 

Ascent: 807ft (246m) 

Our harder option follows the same route as option 1 but continues beyond Beliche Fortress to Cape St Vincent. From here, we will head north along the coastal path until we arrive at Telheiro's Beach. Along the way, we will have the opportunity to look over the Seagulls Rock. 


A panoramic landscape of sea and mountains scattered with small, whitewashed villages, the Monchique Mountains are almost made for trekking. This igneous rock massif of low mountains is famous for its diverse indigenous wildlife and features two of the Algarve’s tallest peaks - Foia and Picota at 997 and 773 metres respectively.  

Option 1 - Monchique Mountain Range: Alferce Castle Ruins

Distance: 5.68 miles (9.15km) 

Ascent: 1614ft (492m) 

After an hour’s drive, we’ll arrive to Alferce and begin our walk. Heading north, we’ll get great views over the Demo Valley and the Monchique range, as well as small glimpses of the sea and the distant Odelouca and Arade dams. After a long, zigzagging descent, the path arrives at the junction of Barranco do Demo. Crossing the stream, we’ll begin a steady ascent that leads to the archaeological site of Cerro do Castelode Alferce - an Islamic fortification which was probably erected in the 9th century AD. 

Option 2 - The Algarvian Way: Monchique to Alferce Castle Ruins

Distance: 9.75miles (15.70km) 

Ascent: 2191ft (668m) 

Today’s harder option will begin with an hour’s drive to Monchique. Heading downhill through a magnificent cork oak forest, we’ll cross a large section of the Monchique Mountains using centuries-old dirt paths. Passing many a charming village we’ll eventually arrive in Alferce, and follow the same route as option one until we reach the archaeological site of Cerro do Castelo de Alferce. 


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. Options include: 

Lagos: 

This historic town is easily accessible by bus. Take a stroll through the warren of cobbled streets in its old town to see ancient Roman and Moorish walls or head to the waterfront to explore the pretty harbour. Lagos was once the capital of the Algarve and has a rich seafaring past. One of the area’s heroes is Henry the Navigator whose expeditions to explore Africa in the 15th century departed from Lagos harbour. The building that housed Europe’s first slave market – the Mercado dos Escravos – is still standing and is now home to a museum that details the cruel realities of the slave trade.  

Boat trips from Lagos: 

Whether you want to see the dramatic sea caves at Benagil, relax on a coastal cruise or search for local wildlife on a dolphin-watching trip, there are a variety of ways to discover the Algarve coast by boat from Lagos.


Wedged between the Atlantic and the Monchique Mountains, the Vicentine Coast has stunning landscapes, and lots of flora and fauna but very few people. Vicentina Natural Park is the longest stretch of protected coastline in Portugal and is sprinkled with pristine beaches framed by glorious schist and limestone cliffs.

Option 1 - Coastline Pathways: Amoreira Beach to Arrifana

Distance: 5.54miles (9.08km) 

Ascent: 682ft (208m) 

Our short option begins at Amoreira Beach. Walking south of the Aljezur stream, we’ll follow the Fishermen's Trail – a coastal path used by locals to access the beaches and fishing grounds. Sculpted by wind, sea, and sun, the natural landscape is a sight to behold here. Towards the end of our walk, we’ll pass the ruins of Arrifana Fortress, before reaching the picturesque seaside village of Arrifana.  

Option 2 - Historic Pathways: Alzejur to Arrifana

Distance: 10.44miles 

Ascent: 1142ft (348m) 

Today’s longer walk will start in Alzejur and make a steady ascent to the castle for a panoramic view over the estuary of the Alzejur River. We’ll enjoy some time in the town of Alzejur before heading west along the stream and arriving at the coast, following the path to reach Arrifana's beach.


Named for the seven watercourses that have shaped the coastal cliffs into spectacular formations, the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail is one of the Algarve’s most magnificent hikes.

Option 1 - Six Hanging Valleys: Centeanes to Marinha Grande Beach

Distance: 7.34miles (11.88km) 

Ascent: 1066ft (325m) 

This option takes us to Centeanes where we’ll start our trail through these undulating valleys. The path is not technically difficult, however, there are a few places where the terrain is slippery. The coastal trail passes the Alfanzina Lighthouse and rises above Carvalho Beach. Along the way, there are many gorgeous lookout points where we’ll see limestone stacks and natural arches around the beaches like Benagil and Corredoura. We follow the same route back until we arrive at Centeanes Beach. 

Option 2 - Seven Hanging Valleys: Carvoeiro Cliff to Marinha Grande Beach

Distance: 8.96miles (14.42km) 

Ascent: 1201ft (366m) 

Today’s longer option will start a few kilometres before Centeanes by the Carvoeiro Cliffs and provides the opportunity to visit the Algar Seco rocks and the seventh valley of Vale Covo. Then, we’ll head east until we reach Centeanes Beach where we’ll follow the same path as the first group. 


Return to the airport for your flight home. We hope to see you again soon. 


Vila Gale, Lagos

The Vila Galé Lagos hotel is located right over the sands of the Algarve’s beautiful Meia Praia beach, with sweeping views of the sea. Inside, you’ll find stylish décor by renowned Portuguese designers, and 118 comfortable rooms complete with all mod-cons. The hotel’s enormous pool makes it popular with keen swimmers, while tennis courts, a multi-sports field, and a putting green add to the activity facilities. When it’s time to relax, hit the Satsanga spa for a range of treatments, stroll in the gardens, visit the library for a quiet read or savour some of the typical regional cuisine.

Essential information

It's best to be prepared for all weather conditions. To make it easier, here is a list of items you should consider packing.   

Essentials  

  • Walking boots 
  • Waterproof jacket 
  • Waterproof trousers 
  • Insulated jacket/top 
  • Walking clothing  
  • Walking socks (plus spares)  
  • Sunhat 
  • Gloves/mitts and warm hat
  • Water bottle (minimum 2 litre capacity)  
  • Headtorch 
  • High-factor sunscreen (minimum SPF 30)  
  • Sunglasses with a dark lens 
  • Rucksack (15-30 litres)  
  • Mobile phone 
  • Personal first aid kit (containing your medication, blister plasters, etc.) 
  • Passport 
  • Visa (if applicable) 
  • Copy of your travel insurance policy 
  • UK Global Health Insurance Card (formerly known as EHIC

Recommended

  • Collapsible walking poles 
  • Swimwear and travel towel
  • Snacks
  • Dry bags
  • Rubbish bags
  • Insect repellent

Optional extras

  • Camera 
  • Sit mat
  • Flask for hot drinks 
  • Durable lunch box
  • Gaiters 
  • GPS device 

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised prices listed below show the lowest economy flight price option for that departure. On holidays where we offer local UK airports, details will appear in the “Important Information” section below and available alternative flight options will be offered when you book. Seating upgrades may be available on request and at an additional charge, please call 020 3974 8865 for a quote.

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

21 Nov - 28 Nov 2024

7 nights

Itinerary 2024
Flight from London Gatwick Airport

Single from

£1,968 £1,868

Double from

£1,599 £1,499 pp

from

£1,599 £1,499 pp

from

£1,968 £1,868

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

12 Dec - 19 Dec 2024

7 nights

Itinerary 2024
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£1,918 £1,818

Double from

£1,549 £1,449 pp

from

£1,549 £1,449 pp

from

£1,918 £1,818

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now
2025

27 Feb - 06 Mar 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2024
Flight from London Gatwick Airport

Single from

£1,998 £1,898

Double from

£1,629 £1,529 pp

from

£1,629 £1,529 pp

from

£1,998 £1,898

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

13 Mar - 20 Mar 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2024
Flight from London Gatwick Airport

Single from

£2,028 £1,928

Double from

£1,659 £1,559 pp

from

£1,659 £1,559 pp

from

£2,028 £1,928

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

30 Mar - 06 Apr 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2024
Flight from London Gatwick Airport

Single from

£2,168 £2,068

Double from

£1,799 £1,699 pp

from

£1,799 £1,699 pp

from

£2,168 £2,068

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now
Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

21 Nov - 28 Nov 2024

7 nights

Itinerary 2024

Single from

£1,898 £1,798

Double from

£1,529 £1,429 pp

from

£1,529 £1,429 pp

from

£1,898 £1,798

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

12 Dec - 19 Dec 2024

7 nights

Itinerary 2024

Single from

£1,868 £1,768

Double from

£1,499 £1,399 pp

from

£1,499 £1,399 pp

from

£1,868 £1,768

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now
2025

27 Feb - 06 Mar 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2024

Single from

£1,898 £1,798

Double from

£1,529 £1,429 pp

from

£1,529 £1,429 pp

from

£1,898 £1,798

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

13 Mar - 20 Mar 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2024

Single from

£1,958 £1,858

Double from

£1,589 £1,489 pp

from

£1,589 £1,489 pp

from

£1,958 £1,858

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

30 Mar - 06 Apr 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2024

Single from

£1,958 £1,858

Double from

£1,589 £1,489 pp

from

£1,589 £1,489 pp

from

£1,958 £1,858

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

Important information

  • With flights holidays: Price includes return flights to Faro Airport, hold baggage and airport transfers
  • Regional flights: Please click BOOK NOW to view alternative UK airport options
  • Our airport taxi service operates at this resort - price available on request
  • Independent travellers can join our transfer from Faro Airport - please contact us for prices
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
European walking holidays
Walking Grade:
2 & 3

7 nights from £1,499pp £1,399pp

On offer

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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