About This Walk
Holidays in Lagos: Walking Towards the Sunset in the West Algarve
Towards the Sunset: Walking in the West Algarve, is a Self-Guided walking tour designed to offer an interesting mix of coastal and inland nature walks, allowing you to discover the less-known wonders of the West Algarve. Our base is the cosmopolitan city of Lagos, a short distance away from all these different walking experiences.
• Spectacular hikes in the cliffs, hidden caves, and grottoes following scenic Ocean trails.
• Tranquil and surprising walks in the lush green hills.
• A fantastic itinerary of walks developed and perfected by local resident Portuguese tour leaders.
• The amazing Portuguese gastronomy and wines.
• Includes all the information and services you need, from detailed route notes to a 24h hotline.
The West Algarve has spectacular cliffs, caves, grottoes, and maritime scenery. Its varied geology produced a rich range of landscapes, from volcanic hills to dramatic limestone escarpments, great for walking and sightseeing.
This diversity is complemented by the local flora and fauna that flourishes in its mild sunny winters and long hot summers. All this, combined, makes walking here fascinating.
There are so many interesting layers in the West Algarve. Inland, up in the lush green hills, you will see a way of life that has disappeared from much of European countries, where days revolve around the seasons. Fragrant orchards of citrus, cultures of olives, carobs, and almonds that are basic ingredients of the gastronomy and of the sweet delicacies, and sold at lively local markets. In the small cobbled streets of picturesque villages, you’ll find whitewashed houses, cafes, and a tranquil way of life.
The sea and the water channels are another part of the nature of the West Algarve. Along the coast, fishermen go out to the sea for sardines and octopus, and in the Alvor estuary at low tide, you can see people walking to find seafood.
This walking tour is based in Lagos, a cosmopolitan 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 galleons full of gold and precious stones from the Americas or spices from India put into port.
The wall bordering the marginal (waterfront) of Lagos 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 West Algarve your walking trails lead you, you will find welcoming, friendly people, excellent local wines, and delicious food, from the freshest of fish to regional dishes packed with flavour.
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 in Faro and transfer to Lagos
Once you get to Faro (airport or train station) you will be met by our driver holding a sign with your name.
Transfer to your Hotel in Lagos. Transfer time +/-60 minutes
Day 2 – Praia da Luz Walk
A wonderful walk along the cliff tops with stunning views all around. At the top of the hill of Atalaia, almost 100m above the sea, look down to Praia da Luz. Blessed with sunlight almost all year round, this collection of white houses reflect the light in an exquisite way, making this, one of the best views in the west!
All through the walk, we’re presented with spectacular rocks, coves, and caves that have been relentlessly carved and shaped by the pounding waves. In Ponta da Piedade, visible from the top of the steps, the blue clear waters houseboat docks, where small boats wait to take visitors to experience these fabulous rock formations.
Walking time: 2h45; Distance: 11km/6.9mi; Ascent/Descent: +261m/-263m; Min/Max Elev.: -1m/95m
Day 3 – Barão Villages Walk
This is an inland walk taking in the traditional villages of Barão de São João and Barão de São Miguel. These charming villages are nestled in rural and peaceful countryside with a mix of fields and forests giving nature lovers a real treat.
Classified as the National Forest of Barão de S. João, these hills are located in the heart of the Western Algarve. Here it’s observable the transition of the agricultural world, still alive with small farms and shepherds, to the forest.
Walking time: 2h15; Distance: 8.4km/5.2mi; Ascent/Descent: +195m/-159m; Min/Max Elev.: 24m/180m
Day 4 – Free day
This is an ideal opportunity to relax and enjoy the attractions of the Algarve. You can walk/tour independently, or visit local places of interest. From Lagos, there is a wide variety of sightseeing available (we can advise and/or recommend options according to your interests). Keen bird-watchers may wish to visit Sagres to the West, or the Ria Formosa, in the East Algarve.
Day 5 – Vale da Lama Walk
Each spring and autumn the estuary of the Alvor River becomes a staging post for thousands of migrating birds. The estuarine ecosystem is also rich in many other ways and supports numerous animals, plants, and insects. Its profound importance to wildlife, both resident and migrant, has been recognized by its designation as a Natura 2000 site, giving it special environmental and conservation protection.
This ecosystem’s diversity is also a source of income to the local communities that rely on the saltpans, the oyster, and fish farms. Quiet inland paths and lanes will bring you back into Lagos.
Walking time: 3h30; Distance: 13.5km/8.3mi; Ascent/Descent: +93m/-92m; Min/Max Elev.: -2m/62m
Day 6 – Rocha Delicada Walk
The scenery is gentle, serene, and cosy in the Alvor estuary. This protected natural haven contains a wide array of habitats. The walk uses quiet paths and lanes to take you through a variety of landscapes from salt marshes, farmland, pastures, and orchards. It’s great for birdlife observation, so pack your binoculars!
Contemplate the ever-changing shades of blue and green along the secluded inner lagoon, as well as the beautiful Rocha Delicada (‘Delicate’ or ‘Elegant Rock’), an ochre promontory formed during the Miocene period.
Embedded in its calcareous rock face, it is possible to detect some marine fossils from this remote period, mainly composed of oyster, scallop, and clam specimens.
The walk finishes near the attractive village of Mexilhoeira Grande with cafés and restaurants for a welcome cooling drink.
Walking time: 2h; Distance: 8km/4.97mi; Ascent/Descent: +/-21m; Min/Max Elev.: -3m/24m
Day 7 – Bensafrim Walk
Away from the bustling avenues crowded with people, cafes, and restaurants, you find the small village of Bensafrim. Colour is present everywhere, whether it’s in the green hills around, in the colourful bands around the doors and windows of the houses, or in the blue skies ever-present in the Algarve.
Fresh watercourses run along these valleys, bordered by cork and carob trees. The quietness allows wildlife to thrive and flourish inconspicuously. This is a magnificent walk, through hills with fabulous views, peaceful farmland, green forests & beautiful streams.
Walking time: 3h15; Distance: 12.8km/7.9mi; Ascent/Descent: +164m/-165m; Min/Max Elev.: 21m/111m
Day 8 – Individual departure or extra days
At convenient time departure to Airport or Train station.
|Price per person||Twin Room||Single Room|
Single Supplement: €150
Season 1 = 02/01/23 to 31/03/23 & 01/11/23 to 23/12/23
Season 2 = 01/04/23 to 15/05/23 & 08/10/23 to 31/10/23
Season 3 = 16/05/23 to 25/06/23 & 15/09/23 to 07/10/23
Season 4 = 26/06/23 to 14/09/23
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:
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)
Complimentary luggage transfer if there is more than one hotel
Option of language
Trip documents can be provided in English or German.
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)
Hotel Água Hotels Vila Branca 3* in Lagos
Água Hotels Vila Branca offers the ideal conditions for family holiday, combining the tranquillity and serenity of a house with the Hotel service commodities! Located near the heart of the city of Lagos, less than 1 km from the walled city or Porto de Mos beach, the resort consists of large studios and one and two bedroom apartments. The Resort also offers a bar, 4 outdoor swimming pools (two of them for children), surrounded by small gardens and a pool bar. To complete your experience, we invite you to dine with us at the Restaurante da Vila and delight yourself with our dishes inspired in Italian gastronomy.
Additional extras or upgrades are available upon request at extra charge.