On offer

Walking the Eastern Algarve Coastal Trails

Panorama of the island of La Graciosa, northern of lanzarote, seen from Mirador de Guinate. Canary Islands, Spain.
Duration: 7 nights
Type: European walking holidays
Walking Grade: 2 & 3
from £1,399pp £1,329pp

Spanning a vast space between Olhão to Vila Real de Santo António and the Spanish border, the crowd-free Eastern Algarve is characterised by rolling countryside, vineyards, lagoons, white-washed villages, and the salt pans of Ria Formosa Natural Park. Admire the 13th century Moorish castle as you stroll the cobbled streets of Tavira and learn about the history of Vila Real de Santo António – the Algarve fishing town on the banks of the Guadiana River, which marks Portugal's border with Spain.

What you’ll love

  • Marvelling at the Roman ruins and mosaics at Milreu
  • Spotting wildlife at Ria Formosa Nature Park
  • Spending time on the beautiful beaches of Tavira
  • Visiting the lavish Palace de Estoi
  • Exploring villages in the foothills of Serra do Caldeirão
  • Enjoying coastal walks with Atlantic Ocean views

What’s included

  • Full programme of guided walks led by local HF Holidays Leaders
  • HF Holidays Tour Manager
  • Comfortable accommodation
  • 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.

Welcome to Hotel in Tavira. Unpack and settle in.


Option 1 - Pedras D’el Rei To Tavira

Distance: 6.5 miles(10.5km)

Total ascent: 30m

Our first full day explores Ria Formosa Nature Park – one of the most important wetland areas in Southern Portugal. Stretching for over 60km along the the Algarve coast, this magnificent estuary is a magnet for hundreds of bird species migrating from Northern Europe to Africa plus a host of rare reptiles. This walk follows the park’s network of paths that snake between salt marshes, lagoons, and tidal flats to the golden sands of Ilha de Tavira – a stunning offshore island cherished for its wildlife-watching opportunities. After catching the ferry to Quatro Águas, we’ll admire the snow-coloured salt pans as we make our way back to Tavira.

Option 2 - Livamento to Tavira

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Total ascent: 50m

Option 2 follows the same route as option 1 but lengthens things by starting in the inland village of Livramento where we’ll pass by a local oyster farm and several ornate churches.


Option 1 - Casa Baixas Circular walk

Distance: 5.5 miles(9km)

Total ascent: 160m

This popular trail passes through the traditional villages that typify Tavira’s countryside. Along the way, we’ll enjoy far-reaching views over the Serra do Caldeirão – a gently undulating mountain range that forms the border between the Algarve and Alentejo regions. Keep your eyes peeled for sightings of the impressive Bonelli’s Eagle flying overhead. With a wingspan of up to 180cm, it’s one of the largest birds of prey on the Iberian Peninsula.

Option 2 - Casa Baixas to Cacopo Linear Walk

Distance: 8 miles(13km)

Total ascent: 250m

Today’s longer route enjoys all the same highlights as option 1 but continues to the town of Cachopo. Alongside honey, wool, and cheese, this mountain hamlet is famous for its handmade cork products and traditional schist houses. Dating from the 12th and 13th centuries, these quaint cottages are made from local slate and blend seamlessly into the sun-kissed landscape. Equally visit-worthy is the Santo Estevão Mother Church, a whitewashed chapel that has been a place of pilgrimage since the 1500s and was most recently restored in 2017.


Option 1 - Estoi to Cerro do Guilhim

Distance: 5 miles (7km)

Total ascent: 240m

Both walks on day four begin with the opportunity to peruse the Palace De Estoi. This French-inspired stately home was built in the mid-1800s and wows visitors with its pink Rococo façade, opulent interior, and Versailles-style gardens lined with palm and citrus trees. After exploring the palace, we’ll walk through the old town of Estoi before working our way through the foothills of the Serra do Caldeirão to Cerro do Guilhim viewpoint. We’ll also spend time Milreu, the ancient ruins of a once lavish Roman villa that’s lauded a sone of the most important archaeological sites in Portugal.

Option 2 - Estoi to São Brás de Alportel

Distance: 8 miles(13km)

Total ascent: 400m

This walk follows the same route as option 1 before lengthening the route to include a visit to the historic town of São Brás de Alportel. This region of Faro is believed to have been inhabited by humans since the Palaeolithic period and its Museum of Costume offers a fascinating insight into the traditions and culture of the Algarve. Marvel at the Episcopal Palace and Garden Verbena or relax with a coffee courtesy of the café-lined Largo Square in the heart of the old quarter.


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:

Tavira

Spend the day in and around the town of Tavira or relax on the beaches of Tavira Island – an 11km stretch of golden sand washed by the Atlantic Ocean. Separated from the mainland by a water channel, this paradise isle can be reached by ferry boat or water taxi. The ferry runs seasonally from Quatro Águas just under a mile from the centre of Tavira. Alternatively, you can use the tourist train which runs every hour. The circular trip lasts approximately 40 minutes taking you into the old town of Tavira and out along roads that border the salt marshes.


Option 1 - Altura to Vila Real de Santo António

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)

Total ascent: 30m

Our walks today explore the wonderful sandy beaches and charming fishing villages between Tavira and the Guadiana River – the watery border between Portugal and Spain. Option 1 begins in the coastal resort of Altura and continues through Monte Gordo to the town of Vila Real de Santo António perched on the banks of the Guadiana. On arrival, there’s free time to explore the upmarket marina area, take in the views from Faro del Vila Real de Santo António lighthouse, or stop for lunch in one of the many fine restaurants.

Option 2 - Cacela Vehla to Vila Real de Santo António

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Total ascent: 30m

Option 2 begins in the stunning coastal town of Cacela Vehla. Located within Ria Formosa Nature Park, this seaside beauty spot is most famous for its impressive sea-facing fortress which offers excellent views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. After leaving Cacela behind, this route visits the picturesque seaside village of Manta Rota before rejoining the same path as option 1.


Option 1 - Laranjeiras Circular Route

Distance: 5.1 miles (8.3km)

Total ascent: 222m

This walk takes us along the course of the Guadiana River from the charming waterfront resort of Laranjeiras to Guerreiros do Rio before circling back via the scentic hilltop town of Corte das Donas. Along the way, there’ll be the chance to visit the Roman ruins at Montinho das Laranjeiras and learn about life in the borderlands between Portugal and Spain in the River Museum.

Option 2 - Pontal View Point

Distance: 8.2 miles (13.2km)

Total ascent: 316m

The longer walk on our final day ticks off several incredible highlights. We’ll hike up to Miradouro do Pontal to gaze out across the Guadiana River into southern Spain, explore the ruins of a once mighty Moorish castle, and follow sections of an old smuggling route once used to transport illicit goods into Spain.


We hope to see you again soon.


Itinerary map for Tavira

Hotel Vila Galé Tavira - Eastern Algarve

The 4-star Vila Gale Tavira is a stylish hotel in a fantastic location. Bedrooms are decorated in a contemporary Arabian style to reflect the Moorish history of the area. There is a large outdoor pool, wellness centre with an indoor pool, sauna and a range of treatments available. The large dining room serves an extensive buffet with a range of international and traditional Portuguese dishes. A short walk through the narrow alleyways of the town will take you to the centre of Tavira's shops and sidewalk cafes.   

Rooms

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)

About your stay

Hotel Vila Galé 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. Wi-Fi is free throughout. 

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).

Food & drink

Our holidays at Tavira are half-board with continental breakfast and a 3-course evening meal.

Breakfast

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.

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”.

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

28 Nov - 05 Dec 2024

7 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Gatwick Airport

Single from

£1,828 £1,758

Double from

£1,479 £1,409 pp

from

£1,479 £1,409 pp

from

£1,828 £1,758

Save £70 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

05 Dec - 12 Dec 2024

7 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£1,828 £1,758

Double from

£1,479 £1,409 pp

from

£1,479 £1,409 pp

from

£1,828 £1,758

Save £70 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now
2025

06 Feb - 13 Feb 2025

7 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£1,848 £1,778

Double from

£1,499 £1,429 pp

from

£1,499 £1,429 pp

from

£1,848 £1,778

Save £70 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

20 Feb - 27 Feb 2025

7 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£1,848 £1,778

Double from

£1,499 £1,429 pp

from

£1,499 £1,429 pp

from

£1,848 £1,778

Save £70 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

06 Mar - 13 Mar 2025

7 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Gatwick Airport

Single from

£1,888 £1,788

Double from

£1,539 £1,439 pp

from

£1,539 £1,439 pp

from

£1,888 £1,788

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

20 Mar - 27 Mar 2025

7 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Gatwick Airport

Single from

£1,898 £1,798

Double from

£1,549 £1,449 pp

from

£1,549 £1,449 pp

from

£1,898 £1,798

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

28 Nov - 05 Dec 2024

7 nights

Itinerary

Single from

£1,748 £1,678

Double from

£1,399 £1,329 pp

from

£1,399 £1,329 pp

from

£1,748 £1,678

Save £70 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

05 Dec - 12 Dec 2024

7 nights

Itinerary

Single from

£1,748 £1,678

Double from

£1,399 £1,329 pp

from

£1,399 £1,329 pp

from

£1,748 £1,678

Save £70 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now
2025

06 Feb - 13 Feb 2025

7 nights

Itinerary

Single from

£1,758 £1,688

Double from

£1,409 £1,339 pp

from

£1,409 £1,339 pp

from

£1,758 £1,688

Save £70 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

20 Feb - 27 Feb 2025

7 nights

Itinerary

Single from

£1,758 £1,688

Double from

£1,409 £1,339 pp

from

£1,409 £1,339 pp

from

£1,758 £1,688

Save £70 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

06 Mar - 13 Mar 2025

7 nights

Itinerary

Single from

£1,808 £1,708

Double from

£1,459 £1,359 pp

from

£1,459 £1,359 pp

from

£1,808 £1,708

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

20 Mar - 27 Mar 2025

7 nights

Itinerary

Single from

£1,808 £1,708

Double from

£1,459 £1,359 pp

from

£1,459 £1,359 pp

from

£1,808 £1,708

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
  • Our airport taxi service operates at this resort - price available on request
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
European walking holidays
Walking Grade:
2 & 3

7 nights from £1,399pp £1,329pp

On offer

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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