For this walking week you will be based in the historical town of Lagos, once the home to Henry the Navigator in the 4* Albergaria Marina Rio and each day we will travel by minibus to visit different sceneries so that you get to see the best of the West Algarve. None of the walks is particularly difficult or long as the emphasis is on looking at the wonderful landscapes of the Algarve and discovering the spring flowers that add vibrant splashes of colour.
Day 1. Arrival in the Algarve and transfer to Lagos
Day 2. The Budens Wetlands. A short drive takes us to the start of our day, which begins with a walk along a limestone escarpment offering good views over the countryside before dropping down to the Budens wetlands. We continue on along the coast to the fishing village of Salema where we can enjoy a late afternoon drink by the sea, 10km.
Day 3. The Serra de Monchique. We have time for coffee before setting off down the valley. Here Canary oak and Lusitanian oak are very much in prominence together with cork oak and eucalyptus with orange, lemon and cherry trees in sheltered spots. The walk takes us down to the fertile valley floor where the local mountain folk practice small scale farming using traditional methods. Here life has changed very little over the centuries and this becomes a walk back in time, 9km. After the walk we will visit the old spa town of Caldas de Monchique famous for the healing powers of its thermal waters!
Day 4. Free.
Day 5. Esteveira Nature Reserve. Today we drive to the west coast and the Cape St. Vincent Natural Park where we stop for a short time in the old Moorish town of Aljezur for a coffee before another 15 minute drive brings us to the coast at Esteveira and the tiny nature reserve perched high on the cliff tops. The nature reserve protects an area of sand dunes which is home to many rare plants including Antirrhinum major the ancestor of the cultivated Snapdragon. There are spectacular cliff top views and many photo opportunities, 7.5km
Day 6. The Odelouca and Arade Rivers with a visit to the Moorish capital Silves. We drive to the hamlet of Vale de Lama to start our walk around the limestone knoll ‘Ilha do Rosario’ which is bounded on two sides by the Odelouca and Arade rivers and we follow an old watercourse (levada) above the rivers before completing out circuit along quiet country lanes. Beside the river we will see a wide variety of flowers including bee orchids and the pale pink naked man orchid. Along the country lanes carob, almond, olive and Japanese loquat guard our way and nestled in the damper areas the Peruvian Scilla and periwinkle may be spotted, 9km. After the walk we will visit the town of Silves with famous red brick castle, 8km
Day 7. The West Coast and Cape St Vincent. We drive again to the west coast but now a change of rock type gives us tall, dark brooding cliffs. We walk down through woodland with glimpses of the sea and our path bejeweled with bright blue lithospurnum and early purple orchids. When we arrive at the beach the view is breathtaking and we walk along with the sand with the Atlantic rollers offering a dramatic backdrop, 8km. After the walk we will visit Cape St Vincent known to the Romans as ‘the end of the world’!
Day 8. Transfer back to your departure point in the Algarve
- 7 nights accommodation in a twin / double room with en-suite facilities
- 7 breakfasts
- 6 dinners (excluding the free day)
- 5 picnic lunches for the walks
- transfer to and from airport or train station in the Algarve
- transport to and from each walk
- walking guide
- Travel insurance
- 1 lunch
- 1 dinner
Closest Airport – Faro in the Algarve or travel down from Lisbon by train
Dates: April 8 2018
Cost per person: 860 euro
Single room supplement: 160 euro