Western Algarve Discovery Tour

Lighthouse of Cabo Sao Vicente, Sagres, Portugal. Farol do Cabo Sao Vicente (built in october 1851) Cabo de Sao Vicente is t…
Duration: 7 nights
Interests: Discovery Tours
from £1,249pp £1,249pp with flights

The coastline and rugged interior of the Western Algarve remain one of the least spoilt parts of the region. On this Guided Discovery Tour, we’ll explore some of the area’s picturesque towns and settlements and learn about the rich history which has flavoured what you see today. There are castles and a Roman villa to explore, a visit to a vibrant market and wonderful views of the Algarve coast, riverside settlements and to nearby Spain. The area’s Arabic and Moorish past can be seen in the architecture of some of the buildings.

Holiday Highlights

  • Discover Loulé's Arabic-inspired covered market selling fresh produce and regional handicrafts
  • Visit the best-preserved castle in the Algarve at Silves
  • Explore the centre of Tavira located on the Gilao River, a haven for migratory birds
  • Soak up the spectacular views from the 10th century Moorish Castle at Aljezur

What’s included

  • Half-Board en-suite accommodation
  • The services of an experienced HF Holidays leader
  • Full day excursions with all essential transport
  • €60 for entrance fees
  • ‘With flight’ holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

Arrive at Hotel Belavista Da Luz, unpack and settle in.


Our first stop today is the port city of Portimão where we will enjoy a stroll through the old harbour and along the riverside gardens before heading to Alvor, a charming seaside town. Alvor was once a busy fishing port and has a maze of cobbled streets to explore weaving past buildings which herald from its Moorish past down to the paved riverfront next to the Alvor Estuary. Our next stop is Lagos, where the 16th-century city walls enclose the old town’s pretty streets, picturesque plaza and churches. Our last stop of the day is Cape St Vincent, Europe’s most south-westerly point. Here, one of Europe’s brightest lighthouses warn ships to steer clear of the jagged rocks below its windswept cliffs.


We start the day in Algarve’s capital, Faro, where we explore the winding cobbled streets of the old town and some of its historic buildings. From here we head inland to Loulé, a traditional Portuguese market town which has an attractive Arabic inspired covered market selling everything from fresh produce to regional handicrafts. We’ll explore the attractive old quarter with its warren of alleys and see the local artisan traditions of basket making and embroidery. Our final stop is the ruins of a grand Roman villa at Milreu; the villa was constructed on the site of a farmhouse in the 3rd century A.D. The villa has the remains of an impressive bath house, adorned by some amazingly intact mosaics featuring fish and other aquatic creatures.


Today we'll head east to explore the charming town of Tavira. The town lies next to the Gilao River and has a delightful mix of traditional whitewashed Portuguese buildings interspersed with some built in Moorish style – a reminder that Tavira was once an important Moorish trading town. Its labyrinth of cobbled streets lead to a ruined castle, the tiled houses of the fishermen’s quarter, many decorative churches and the Ponte Romana Bridge which spans the river. From here we’ll head towards the Spanish border, visiting the laid-back town of Vila Real de Santo Antonio with its impressive central plaza. The town lies on the Guadiana River; across the water lies Spain. Just downriver is the village of Castro Marim – our next stop. This strategically important village is dominated by a huge hilltop castle; a wander around its walls provides sweeping views of the nearby river, saltpans, coast and neighbouring Spain. Following our visit we will take a scenic drive inland along the route of the Guadiana River to the village of Alcoutim on the northern border of the Algarve. This picturesque village has changed little for hundreds of years with steep cobbled streets all leading to the river past a jumble of whitewashed cottages surrounding small, open squares. The village is overlooked by a 14th century castle and has a paved esplanade which is a great place to watch the boats sailing up and down the river. 


On our 7-night holidays we allow one free day where there is no organised excursion. This is an ideal opportunity for you to relax, enjoy the hotel facilities or explore the area independently. Some options may include:

Lagos: You may wish to return to Lagos and see more of the city. It is easily accessible by bus directly from outside the hotel. There is also the option to take a boat trip from Lagos to see the many interesting rock formations in the eroded cliffs at Ponta Piadade with large sea caves, rock arches and grottos.

Boat trips from Luz: Boat trips to Ponta Piadade also operate direct from Luz or you could opt to go in the opposite direction and take a fast boat to Sagres for views of the coast including Cape St Vincent.


Silves is a gorgeous town of orange rooftops and boasts one of the best-preserved castles in the Algarve. We begin our day here before travelling inland, through lush green countryside, to São Bartolomeu de Messines, birthplace of one of the Algarve’s most famous poets. From here we continue to the charming village of Alte, with spotless cottages displaying patios and balconies overflowing with flowers. Our final stop of the day is Paderne, a typical country village with some beautiful dusty pink and faded coral facades.


Today we’ll travel north to the wooded mountain area of Serra de Monchiue which separates the Algarve and the Alentaja. We'll visit the market town of Monchique, the centre being characterised by lots of narrow cobbled streets set on the hillside. There is a very relaxed atmosphere here which makes it a lovely place for pottering around and appreciating the fantastic views. In the afternoon we’ll visit Aljezur, established by Berbers in the 10th Century. The Islamic influence in the area can be seen in the medieval hilltop Aljezur Castle.


Depart after a leisurely breakfast.


Hotel Belavista da Luz - Western Algarve

The 4-star Hotel Belavista da Luz enjoys an elevated position overlooking the coastal resort of Luz. The hotel is built in a horseshoe shape wrapped around colourful gardens and the two outdoor swimming pools. Modern and stylish bedrooms have either a balcony or terrace and some have distant sea views. The restaurant produces a delicious mix of meals with some traditional Portuguese dishes as well as international favourites. A short walk down the hill takes you to shops, services and the extensive beach.  

Rooms

There are 39 spacious en-suite bedrooms offering:

  • Air conditioning
  • Television
  • Telephone
  • Bathtub with overhead shower
  • Hairdryer
  • Refrigerator
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Safe
  • Balcony or terrace

Facilities

As a guest, you can enjoy the use of:

  • Two outdoor swimming pools
  • Tennis and pool facilities
  • Free access to a small gym
  • Steam room and sauna

Your Evenings

The friendly atmosphere of our Guided Walking holidays continues into the evening.

Enjoy a glass of wine or beer whilst listening to your leaders outlining the next day's walks. On some evenings there may be some live music and the leaders will be checking for local events going on nearby. You may just like to relax in the hotel bar or on the terrace outside chatting with your fellow guests.

Hotel Belavista - scroll-00_25846049082_o.jpg

Getting to Hotel Belavista da Luz - Western Algarve

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

What to Bring

Suitable, comfortable footwear for rough, wet or uneven terrain

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is a university academic, specialising in geology and environmental sciences, and has written books on these topics. She is particularly interested in the origins of landscape, both natural and human-made. With her wealth of experience, she leads a wide range of HF Holidays’ Walking and Leisure Activities holidays in the UK, Europe and worldwide

Brilliant - made everything so interesting and her local knowledge was really appreciated. 

Leader to Be Announced

We’ll announce the leader for this holiday shortly. Be assured that all of our expert leaders share one goal; to create an exceptional experience for our guests. We look forward to welcoming you on this holiday.

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £20 per person.

These departure dates can be booked with flights or as land only holiday options. All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised flight prices are based on UK flights departing from London. Regional departures and/or connections to London, if available, can be requested. Cabin upgrades may also be available on request.

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2021
06 Nov - 13 Nov
7 Discovery Tour £1,249 Available Trip Notes Book Now
2022
12 Mar - 19 Mar
7 Discovery Tour £1,249 Available Trip Notes Book Now
19 Mar - 26 Mar
7 Discovery Tour £1,249 Available Trip Notes Book Now
Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2021
06 Nov - 13 Nov
7 Discovery Tour £1,059 Available Trip Notes Book Now
2022
12 Mar - 19 Mar
7 Discovery Tour £1,059 Available Trip Notes Book Now
19 Mar - 26 Mar
7 Discovery Tour £1,059 Available Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
7 nights
Interests:
Discovery Tours

7 nights from £1,249pp £1,249pp with flights

...or call 020 3974 8865

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