Fishing Boat In Santa Luzia, Which Fish For Octopus, Then Sold Fresh In The Small Fish Market.

Tavira, the Venice of Algarve

About This Walk

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.



• Spectacular hikes in the Ria Formosa Natural Park
• The charming historical town of Tavira
• Typical fisherman villages and ways of life
• Surprising walks in the little-visited countryside East Algarve
• The amazing Portuguese gastronomy and wines
• Includes all the information and services you need, from detailed route notes to a 24h hotline

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Tavira to East Algarve
(74 Km)
7 Nights

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, A Symbolic Memorial To The Near Extinction Of Bluefin Tuna Within The Algarve

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.

Colourful Typical 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.

Day 1 – Arrival in Tavira

Individual arrival to Faro Airport or Faro Train station.

Day 2 – Cacela Velha & Cabanas Walk

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 it’s possible to see an abundance of wildlife along with the traditional craft of salt extraction.

Walking time: 3h30; Distance: 14.1km; 8.7mi; Ascent/Descent: +65m/-66m; Min/Max Elev.: 2m/43m

Day 3 – Cerâmica Walk

beautiful walk going down a fertile valley, dotted with the occasional small family-operated traditional tile factories. Our walk passes through smallholdings where vegetable plots share space with olive, carob, almond, and fig trees.
This rich valley also has an abundance of orange and lemon orchards whose flowers perfume the air while the profusion of wildflowers delights the eyes. The walk takes us past the local beauty spot of Pêgo do Inferno and then brings us right back into Tavira and the hotel.

Walking time: 3h45; Distance: 15km; 9.3mi; Ascent/Descent:+146m/-282m; Min/Max Elev.: 6m/172m

Day 4 – Free Day

This is an ideal opportunity to relax and enjoy the attractions of Tavira and its surroundings. You can walk/tour independently, or visit local places of interest. From Tavira, there is a wide variety of sightseeing available (we can advise and/or recommend options according to your interests). In their free time, keen bird-watchers may wish to visit Castro Marim in the fens and marshes of the “Reserva Natural do Sapal”, famous for their flamingos, or enjoy other local sightseeing tours.

Day 5 – Altura to Vila Real de Santo António Walk

A very enjoyable walk along the coast to the frontier with Spain. Start in the resort village of Altura and meander along small paths through the pine woodlands and along pristine beaches to reach the estuary of the Rio Guadiana that separates Portugal from Spain.
The walk finishes in the charming town of Vila Real de Santo António with a fascinating history and architecture.
From here, it’s possible to take the ferry across the river to the town of Ayamonte in Spain. You may want to enjoy some tapas or calamari in the many cafés of this attractive town!

Walking time: 2h45; Distance: 11km/ 6.83mi; Ascent/Descent: 11m/-20m; Min/Max Elev.: 0m/13m

Day 6 – Fuzeta Walk

A fascinating walk to the west of Tavira. Start in the fishing village of Fuzeta with its bustling waterfront, crossing saltpans full of birdlife, small hamlets with colourful houses and gardens, grand villas, and tiny small holdings to finish in Tavira.
You can stop en route at little cafés fronting the tranquil waters of the Ria or even lunch some wonderful fish and shellfish freshly caught that day!

Walking time: 4h; Distance: 16km/10mi; Ascent/Descent: 35m/-22m; Min/Max Elev.: 1m/27m

Day 7 – Santa Luzia & Tavira Island Walk

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: 4h15; Distance: 17km/10.51mi; Ascent/Descent: 21m/-21m; Min/Max Elev.: 0m/21m

Day 8 – Individual departure or extra days

At a convenient time transfer to Faro Airport or Faro Train station.

Please contact our reservations team to enquire about prices. 


What’s Included:

7 nights in a twin room for two pax (4 stars hotel)
Single supplement available with a surcharge
Extra nights available on request

7 buffet breakfasts at the Hotel
Half-board available with surcharge (buffet dinner at the hotel without drinks)

Meet & Greet Airport Transfer from airport/train station/bus station to the hotel on the first day
Transfers from the hotel to airport/train station/bus station on last day
Transports to walking/activities sites, if applicable


Your information pack includes:
Accommodation vouchers
Taxi vouchers
Emergency contact numbers
General information about your holiday and destination
List of the hotel(s)
Directions for arriving at your first hotel, if applicable
Detailed maps and route notes in your own mobile with App Routes & Maps (or detailed travel documents 1x per room)
Travel Advice
Complimentary luggage transfer if there is more than one hotel
Assistance 24/7
Option of language



Any services not listed as included
Flights to and from Portugal
Meals, tips/gratuities, baggage, or personal insurance (except as outlined)
Admission fees to castles & attractions or events (except as outlined)
Personal expenses

Hotel Maria Nova 4* in Tavira

Located on a 5-minute walk from the historic city centre of Tavira, AP Maria Nova Lounge Hotel is suitable for adults and is designed for guests looking for tranquillity, comfort and modernity.

The Hotel, renovated in 2017, offers modern rooms with a private balcony and free Wi-Fi and offers panoramic views over Tavira.

Hotel Maria Nova

For those who like to stay active, AP Maria Nova Lounge Hotel has at your disposal a gym, overlooking the hotel’s gardens and with natural light, where you can keep your daily training plan.

Gym Scaled

AP Maria Nova Lounge Hotel has two swimming pools: one outdoor, located in the unit’s gardens and offering free parasols and sunbeds; and another indoor, located in the hotel’s SPA, the latter being heated during the winter.

Principal Scaled

The outdoor pool also has a Pool Bar in the same area that serves cocktails and light meals.

You can also enjoy a drink at the Pool Bar counter while cooling off at the pool.

Principal 1 Scaled

AP Maria Nova Lounge Hotel has a SPA where you can find a sauna, steam bath, hydromassage and an indoor pool (heated during winter) with free access.

For your well-being to be even more complete, it also offers rooms where you can enjoy various therapeutic and beauty treatments, at an additional cost and by appointment.


Additional extras or upgrades are available upon request at extra charge.

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