Walking Holidays in Tavira, the Venice of Algarve


Walk-in Tavira: the Venice of Algarve is a Self-guided Walking holiday based in Tavira, in the East Algarve. Specially designed to explore the Algarve’s countryside and the natural wonders of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, this walking tour is a treat for those who love nature’s coastal hikes full of wildlife, but also inland walks in overlooked parts of the Algarve, peaceful and rich in traditions.


The Algarve is so much more than the sun and sea. In the little-visited East Algarve, it looks like time has stood still, and you’ll feel how good it is to slow down and live the good life with this carefully crafted Self-Guided Walking Holiday.

Each day’s walk highlights the contrasting landscape and wildlife of the region. This tour was put together for the enjoyment of those who have a special interest in rambling and nature.

Anchor cemetery in Barril Beach Tavira

Anchor cemetery in Barril Beach Tavira, a symbolic memorial to the near extinction of bluefin tuna within the Algarve

Tavira, the base of our walking holiday, is a lovely and quaint old-Portuguese charm, with over 30 churches, cobbled streets, and bougainvillaea-lined balconies. Its castle in the historical old town, the churches, and the typical houses provide cultural interest and special charisma. The River Gilão, with a workaday fisherman’s riverfront, runs to the azure lagoons of the Ria Formosa Natural Park.

Arguably the Algarve’s most charming town, in Tavira the fishing boats crowd the river Gilão and layers of history can be seen, from Phoenician excavations through Islamic-decorated doorways to Renaissance and Baroque flourishes. From the ramparts of the ruined Castle, look down over waves of triangular “hipped” roofs, spikes of lacework-white chimney pots, and the graceful domes and towers of the town’s 33 churches.

From Tavira, we prepared a set of walks to show you the incredible beauty of the area, the coastal and inland nature as well as the people and their ways of living.

Colorful tipical houses in Tavira, a peaceful coastal town on the East Algarve.

Colourful typical houses in Tavira, a peaceful coastal town on the East Algarve.

The East Algarve countryside shows a tranquil landscape of whitewashed villages and groves of cork and olive trees. The Self-guided walks inland meander through charming green valleys, with birdsongs as a soundtrack. You’ll see few people and find peace. Lemon and orange orchards, almond trees, olive groves, and sleepy villages… Each walk is full of colour, plants, wildlife, and history and all are different with unique sights.

The Ria Formosa Natural Park covers 18,000 hectares. It’s a system of lagoons and islands and encloses a vast area of marshes, salt pans, creeks, and dune islands. The barrier islands are fronted by extensive sandy beaches and quaint typical fishing villages.

The Ria Formosa Natural Park is an essential area for migrating and nesting birds. The walks on this self-guided program will take you to the Park, where there’s a huge variety of wading birds and many other species. Flamingos abound and are a feast to the eyes.

In the East Algarve, the weather is good, people are friendly and welcoming, the nature is enticing, the food and wines are tasty and this program of walks is designed to give you the best of what this region has to offer, based on the charming town of Tavira. You’ll see a Portugal you’ve never imagined existed and that you’ll never forget!

Our self-guided walking holidays 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.