Walking the Algarve
, exploring Portugal’s southernmost region and its superb network of coastal and inland trails, will take you through some pretty sensational scenery.
Think dramatic clifftop paths and sandy beaches between whitewashed fishing villages. Nature reserves such as the Ria Formosa, where flamingos are among many hundreds of bird species on display. And peaceful landscapes of cork trees, lavender fields and groves of olive and almond via the Rota Vicentina.
But spectacular as they undoubtedly are, the views are only a part of the story. Walking in the Algarve is also an exceptional way to learn about this region’s heritage and ways of life.
On small group tours, your guide will explain how artisan salt is produced in coastal wetlands, and cork from the forests. In the evenings you can sample delicious cuisine from the octopus restaurants of Tavira, or dishes such as the cataplana
a seafood stew, while enjoying the Algarvian take on mournful Portuguese fado
music. And in the markets along the Vicentina coast, you can chat with stallholders, taste their wares, and pick up treats for picnics the following day.
Above all, you can simply take your time. Accommodation is arranged in advance and waiting for you, whether you’re part of a small group tour or walking self-guided. But all routes are designed to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace so you can stop off whenever the mood takes you. You are on vacation, after all.