The Ultimate Coastal Algarve Walk: From East to West Crossing Stunning Landscapes is a Self-Guided Walking Tour in some of the Algarve’s most spectacular coastal scenarios. You’ll see that there are still places with more flamingos than tourists, and where centuries-old traditions are part of daily life. Tavira, Portimão, and Lagos are the centres of our fantastic walking and sightseeing tour.
In the tranquil coastal East Algarve, secluded beaches can stretch for many kilometres with no one in sight and the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve teems with birds and sea life; tourist activity is secondary to the wildlife and the work of fishermen and shellfish farmers.
Passadicos, walk-in Alvor, a fantastic coastal walk taking in the superb sandy beaches and dramatic headlands between Alvor and Portimão
The first base of the tour is Tavira, in the East Algarve. The town mixes charming cobbled streets lined by flowered balconies, with the fishing activity at the riverfront. Its castle, the numerous whitewashed churches, and the elegant manor houses provide cultural interest, while the eight-mile beach, across the salt marshes of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, creates a relaxing and rich scenario, dotted with colourful traditional fishing boats.
The West Algarve coast surrenders itself to the power of the Atlantic Ocean. More populated than the other end, here the landscape is formed by cliff-top paths, volcanic hills, and dramatic limestone escarpments. This diversity is complemented by the local flora and fauna that flourishes in its mild sunny winters and long hot summers.
Whitewashed walls west Algarve village. The scenic village of Ferragudo, an excellent example of a typical fishing village, with an array of colourful fishing boats and whitewashed houses lined in cool blue.
Portimão, on the banks of the River Arade, is the first base in the West Algarve. Traditionally a centre for sardine fishing and processing, today the city’s old and once bustling fishing docks have been remarkably transformed into a scenic promenade, leading to the quaint and tree-lined plazas of the old town. Pleasant pedestrian shopping streets border the area with a series of historic buildings and a tantalizing selection of cafés, bars, and restaurants.
You then head to Lagos, a city that, from early on, was a gateway to the Mediterranean. It was from its wide bay encircled by the fine sands of Meia Praia that Gil Eanes set off, the first to round Cape Bojador; it was here that privateers like Sir Francis Drake hid, and where galleons full of gold and precious stones from the Americas, or spices from India, put into port.
The stretch of the wall bordering the marginal (waterfront) is beautiful and in the old town, you can find shops, restaurants, tons of history, and culture. Last but not least, Lagos comes alive at night with street artists and bars for every taste with live music.
Lagos waterfront attractive town that was an important Roman settlement
Whichever part of the Coastal Algarve your walking trails lead you, you will find welcoming, friendly people, excellent local wines, and delicious food, from the fresh-caught of the day to regional dishes packed with flavour.
To see the Coastal Algarve at its best, enjoy our cherry-picked walks, for they combine all the ingredients for a perfect walking holiday.
Our self-guided walking tours are thoroughly designed and include all the information you need, from detailed maps and route notes to a 24h hotline. The accommodation, airport transfers, and transports are included in the walking program.
Day 1 – Arrival at Tavira
Individual arrival to Faro Airport or Faro train station.
Day 2 – Cacela Velha and Cabanas Walk
Transport to the beginning of the walk & walk back.
An easy walk, close to the coast, starting in the beautiful old village of Cacela Velha, following tracks and quiet lanes to the picturesque old fishing village of Cabanas.
Here fishermen still continue their craft, mixing harmoniously with the visitors crossing to the island and the golden beaches. Here too you can rest, enjoy good food and drink whilst enjoying the sunshine by the colourful waterfront. Continue back to Tavira, through the saltpans where you may see an abundance of wildlife along with the traditional craft of salt extraction.
Walking time: 4h / Distance: 14km; 8.76 miles / Ascent/Descent: 65m/-66m
Azure lagoons of the Ria Formosa Natural Park. Covers an area of around 16,000-hectares and consists of coastal lagoons, vast areas of tidal flats, salt marshes, saltpans.
Day 3 – Santa Luzia & Tavira Island
Circular walk; service ferry out to the island of Tavira; walk back to the hotel.
A real treat as you walk along with one of the finest beaches in the world and visit the small fishing village of Santa Luzia with its abundance of fishing boats bobbing in the gentle waters of the channel.
The cafés and restaurants here vary from simple to gourmet level and can offer all the local specialities. Not just a day’s walking but a real day’s holiday as well!
Walking time: approx. 3.5 hrs. / Dist.: 17km/10.51mi / Ascent/Descent: 21m/-21m
Day 4 – Ferragudo Walk /Hotel change
Transport to the start of the walk & walk back. The driver will drop you at the beginning of the walk and drive to Portimão to deposit the bags in the Hotel.
From Ferragudo´s Light House follow a stunning coastline westwards to Portimão. Visit, en route, the charming and very traditional village of Ferragudo before continuing into Portimão itself to finish at the hotel.
Walking time: approx. 2.5 hrs. / Dist.: 9.5km/5.8mi / Ascent/Descent: 32m/-40m
Ferragudo Fortress. The charming and very traditional village of Ferragudo
Day 5 – Alvor – Rocha Walk
Transport to the start of the walk & walk back.
Today we offer a fantastic coastal walk taking in the superb sandy beaches and dramatic headlands between Alvor and Portimão, including the much-photographed beach at Praia da Rocha, one of the best in the Algarve.
The rock strata are particularly varied and very colourful, from white limestone to red sandstone. These different rocks support a wide variety of flora and, in spring, there are impressive displays of wildflowers.
Walking time: approx. 2.5 hrs. / Dist.: 9.4km/5.8mi / Ascent/Descent: 87m/-87m
Day 6 – Vale de Lama / Hotel change
Transport to the start of the walk & walks back to Hotel.
The driver will drop you at the beginning of the walk and drive to Lagos to deposit the bags in the Hotel.
The walk will bring you through gentle countryside to the salt pans on the Alvor Estuary with its abundant birdlife. From there you’ll parallel the extensive Lagos beach where, at any time, you can drop down to the sea for a rest and a swim. To crown the day you’ll be arriving in Lagos with its beautiful waterfront and old historic centre.
Walking time: approx. 2.5 hrs. / Dist.: 10.15km/6.3mi / Ascent/Descent: 17m/-32m
Day 7 – Praia da Luz to Lagos
Transport to the beginning of the walk starts & walk back
A wonderful walk along the cliff tops with stunning views all around. The highlights of the area are the spectacular rocks, coves, and caves that have been relentlessly carved and shaped by the pounding waves. You can look down on the famous grottos. Looking inland you can see the remnants of old farmhouses and land divisions that marked the territory here when it was once the only source of income. Porto de Mós and Ponta da Piedade cafés provide welcome refreshments.
Walking time: approx. 2.5 hrs. / Dist.: 11km/6.9mi / Ascent/Descent: 306m/-293m
Walk on the clifftops. The rock strata are particularly varied and very colourful, from white limestone to red sandstone.
Day 8 – Individual departure or extra days
At a convenient time, departure to Faro Airport or Faro Train station.
Maria Nova Hotel, Tavira
Hotel Aqualuz Lagos
Maria Nova Lounge Hotel (4****) or similar
Located a 5-minute walk from Tavira’s bustling town centre, Maria Nova Lounge Hotel – Adults Only enjoys a quiet hillside location. Its modern rooms feature a private balcony with panoramic views. Facilities include indoor and outdoor pools. All rooms have a minibar, satellite TV, and an en suite bathroom.
The Bar Panorâmico offers an extensive list of cocktails and stunning views over Tavira.
Hotel Globo (3***) or similar
This modern design hotel on the Algarve Coast offers panoramic views of the city of Portimão and the River Arade. It features a stylish rooftop restaurant and a gym.
The bright rooms at Hotel Globo are decorated with modern furniture. They include a flat-screen TV with cable channels and a work desk. Some rooms have a spacious seating area with sofas and armchairs.
Aqualuz Suite Hotel Apartments (4****) or similar
With its privileged location, 1km away from the closest beach, the Aqualuz Suite Hotel Apartments**** is a modern hotel, embellish with light-coloured furniture and open door areas. The hotel features spa facilities, a courtyard with four swimming pools, and a rooftop terrace. The Club Restaurant serves authentic Algarve cuisine and has an outdoor terrace overlooking the pool.
All rooms offer satellite TV, an en suite bathroom with a hairdryer, and air-conditioning.
You must be adequately insured to join our Guided walking holidays and Self-Guided walking holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday.
BeCool Travel has partnered with WorldNomads.com to keep you travelling safely. WorldNomads.com Travel Insurance is designed for independent and adventurous travellers, with coverage for overseas medical expenses, cancellation, baggage, and other expenses.
Please consult our Travel Insurance page, where you’ll be able to get more detailed info about insurance requirements and an immediate quote for your trip.