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.
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.
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.
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.