Exploring the Algarve

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We present three ways for you to discover more about the beautiful Algarve region of Portugal, on foot, by bicycle, on horseback, in a traditional river boat or even in a canoe.

Discovering the Via Algarviana route
Country walks allow visitors to explore the natural riches of the unspoilt Algarve landscape. All over the region, extensive areas of coastline, hills and fertile plains invite tourists to discover the great outdoors. One of the best ways to see the Algarve hinterland is on foot, bicycle or horseback along the Via Algarviana, an extensive 240 km network of paths stretching across the Algarve between Alcoutim in the east to Cape St Vincent in the west. Stretching the entire length of the Algarve, the paths take visitors through the municipalities of Alcoutim, Castro Marim, Tavira, Loulé, Silves, Monchique, Lagos and Vila do Bispo where there is lots to explore. Each section is divided into 30 km stretches so visitors can break up the itinerary, otherwise the full route can be walked in fourteen days, cycled in five days and followed on horseback in nine days. Visitors travelling the route will be accompanied by knowledgeable guides and will stop off overnight at quaint hotels and pousadas along the way.

•  Via Algarviana itineraries
•  Footpaths

Ria FormosaBoat ride in Ria Formosa
Admire the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa elegance on a ride in a traditional fishing boat which is also the perfect way to enjoy the Algarve’s fine weather. Covering over 18,000 hectares, the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa is comprised of sand dunes, marshlands, lagoons and fresh water lakes. Its diverse group of inhabitants includes birds, fish, mammals and amphibians.

•  Boat trips
•  Ria Formosa

Guadiana RiverCanoeing through the Guadiana river to Alcoutim
The Guadiana River, a natural boundary between Portugal and Spain, is navigable from its mouth to Alcoutim. Starting from Vila Real de Santo António, you pass through Castro Marim surrounded by saltpans, schist rock and a castle that stands proudly above the Nature Reserve, home to over a hundred different species of birds.

•  Places for Canoeing


•  Read more about the Algarve

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  • Ruth-from-Norwich
    almost 6 years ago
    We have just come back from a 10-day trip to Tavira on the Algarve and endorse all the sentiments about what a wonderful holiday location it is.
    We hired a car, stayed in a windmill, did some walking and exploring, including a boat trip on the Ria Formosa and loved shopping in the markets including supermarkets..
    The family aged from 3 to 76 enjoyed every minute and would happily go back any time.
    The weather was warm, really hot for some days (very windy) with no rain.
    It is really relaxing and better in April than the summer when numbers of people and heat make it less pleasant (at least for some)
    There are cafes, bars and restaurants in abundance, the people are friendly and helpful and the economy desperately needs tourism.
    There is, fortunately, still a fishing industry and seafood fresh and delicious.
    Inland there are lovely walks with wildflowers and skylarks in abundance but sadly no shops or buses where we were.
    Olive and citrus groves with swathes of oleanders cover the gently undulating hillsides.
    Please go and find out. You won't be disappointed!