A Coast of Many Colours

The quiet side of the Algarve
 

Explore varied, unspoiled scenery as you journey from the Algarve’s honeyed, southern coast through its agricultural heartland to the wilder, western shores. This self-guided walking holiday, with luggage transported, includes a unique blend of traditional and modern accommodation.

A Coast of Many Colours. 7 nights
A Coast of Many Colours. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in the Algarve

This holiday takes you from the Algarve's honeyed, southern coast through its agricultural heartland and onwards to the wilder, western shores. A world away from the region's busy resorts, the unspoiled landscapes within the Costa Vicentina Natural Park are characterised by dramatic cliffs, pristine coves and quiet, rolling pastures. The colours are many and varied: long stretches of golden sand give way to grey-and-red jagged rocks before softening to a paler orange and rose as the coastal edge turns northwards.
Inland, the green hills are home to drifts of winter blossom, plantations of quince and oranges, and flower meadows carpeted with citrus-yellow Bermuda buttercups. As the most south-westerly corner of Europe (once considered the edge of the known world), the area feels delightfully remote: fishermen still work the cliffs with rod and line, or spear octopus from tidal pools; and the scenery is sprinkled with almond groves, bee hives, herds of cattle and grazing goats.
 
Gallery

 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights. It's up to you whether you follow our suggested routes for non-itinerant days or simply relax at your hotel.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

    March to June is the best time for flowers.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 15 16 17 18 20 23 25 25 25 22 18 16
    mm 100 77 57 45 30 16 2 2 16 58 90 102
  • Arrival in Salema
    Night 1: at Casa Praia Mar (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night's accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Circular walk from Salema: 14km, 5hrs; ascent/descent 395m
    Your first day's walk is a pleasant introduction to the area, as you head east along the dramatic coastline, with the option of stopping for a swim at the beach of Cabanas Velhas, one of several you pass along the way. After pausing perhaps to explore the ruined 17th-century coastal fort of Almádena, you reach the small town of Burgau. Here, you turn inland on a tranquil route through pretty farming country before rejoining the coast at the Boca do Rio (literally 'mouth of the river') and returning to your base.

    It's worth finding time to explore Salema itself, enjoying a stroll past the rows of traditional fishermen's cottages that make up this quiet fishing village edged by low limestone cliffs that glow red and gold in the early morning light.
    Circular walk from Salema: 14km
    Walk from Salema
  • Salema to Vila do Bispo: 19km, 7hrs; ascent 420m/descent 345m
    Leaving Salema, you pass a succession of glorious beaches and bays - Santa, Figueira, Furnas, Zaival and Ingrina - before reaching a superb viewpoint overlooking the dramatic Praia da Barranco. Behind the beach, a long valley (or barranco) stretches far inland. You enter it, walking along its eastern flank to join the long-distance footpath, the Via Algarviana, which you follow through rolling hills to reach the small town of Vila do Bispo, where you stay one night in the Hotel Mira Sagres.

    There is the option to begin the walk at Figueira (deduct 4km).
    Salema to Vila do Bispo: 19km
    Varied flora
  • Vila do Bispo to Pedralva: 13.5km, 4.5hrs; ascent 130m/descent 165m
    Your journey continues into the pastoral heartland of the Algarve, where farmsteads are scattered among fertile valleys cut by sparkling streams descending from higher pastures of cistus scrub and heathland. Your destination is Pedralva, a once-thriving farming community that was abandoned in the 1970s. You spend the night in a charming cottage within what is now the lovingly restored hamlet of Aldeia da Pedralva.
    Vila do Bispo to Pedralva: 13.5km
    Enjoy the contrast of coast and countryside
  • Pedralva to Carrapateira: 12km, 4hrs; ascent 215m/descent 255m
    Today, you follow the fertile valley, passing occasional small farms before ascending over wooded hills, festooned with acacia blossom during winter and wildflowers in spring. From the hills, you see the sea and soon hear the pounding of the waves as you slowly descend to the spectacular surfing beach of Praia do Amado. After a drink at one of the beach cafes, perhaps, you follow a section of the Rota Vicentina past a number of fine viewpoints and the small fisherman's quay at Praia do Amado. Crossing the dunes, you reach Carrapateira and Casa Fajara, where you spend your last three nights.
    Pedralva to Carrapateira: 12km
    Good local food is a key feature of Inntravel holidays
  • Choice of walks from Carrapateira: 12km to 15km

    Circular walk from Carrapateira via Bordeira: 15km, 5.5hrs; ascent/descent 280m
    This circuit heads north, exploring the lagoon and tranquil wetlands around Bordeira, where the crowning glory is an often-deserted stretch of golden sand, backed by dunes and framed by distant headlands. A slightly shorter version of the route (13km) avoids a steep climb.

    Circular walk via Carrapateira promontory: 12km, 4.5hrs; ascent/descent 165m
    Paths lead around the Carrapateira promontory, again offering scintillating views of this rugged, fragile and colourful coastline. In spring, the dunes are a botanist's delight, carpeted in colourful and often unusual flowers and plants; while the rugged shore is home to a hardy breed of fishermen, particularly in the early morning, who defy the crashing waves by perching on rocks with rod and line, waiting for sea bream.
    Bordeira beach
    Spring colours
    Circular walk from Carrapateira via Bordeira: 15km
    Circular walk via Carrapateira promontory: 12km
 

Accommodation

You stay in an eclectic mix of comfortable accommodation.
 

Extend your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 7 nights: 01 February 2024 - 15 June 2024 & 01 September 2024 - 30 November 2024

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 29 Feb 2024 £915 £345
    1 Mar - 1 Apr 2024 £1020 £345
    2 - 18 Apr 2024 not available not available
    19 Apr - 31 May 2024 £1130 £375
    1 - 8 Jun 2024 £1165 £390
    1 - 29 Sep 2024 £1235 £460
    30 Sep - 28 Oct 2024 not available not available
    29 Oct - 23 Nov 2024 £1015 £330
    3rd & 4th person discount -£30
    Single traveller supplement £30

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Casa Fajara, Carrapateira
    Luxury: 01 Feb - 15 Jun 2024 £15
    Luxury: 01 Sep - 30 Nov 2024 £15

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Casa Praia Mar, Salema (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Feb - 28 Feb 2024 £64 £110
    01 Mar - 31 Mar 2024 £77 £134
    01 Apr - 31 May 2024 £86 £145
    01 Jun - 15 Jun 2024 £92 £160
    01 Sep - 30 Sep 2024 £110 £183
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2024 £92 £160
    01 Nov - 30 Nov 2024 £70 £116
    Aldeia da Pedralva, Pedralva (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Feb - 28 Feb 2024 £90 £132
    01 Mar - 31 May 2024 £100 £148
    01 Jun - 15 Jun 2024 £120 £193
    01 Sep - 30 Sep 2024 £120 £193
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2024 £110 £165
    01 Nov - 30 Nov 2024 £95 £137
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Faro
    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail travel from London

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Lisbon.  To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Faro Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Belfast Intl. - Faro easyJet,  jet2,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Faro jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Bournemouth - Faro Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Faro easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Cardiff - Faro TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Faro jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Faro jet2,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Faro easyJet,  jet2,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow Prestwick - Faro Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Faro jet2,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Faro easyJet,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Faro British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Faro British Airways,  easyJet,  TUI 
    Gatwick - Faro (via Lisbon) TAP Air Portugal 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Faro British Airways,  TAP Air Portugal 
    Heathrow - Faro (via Lisbon) TAP Air Portugal 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Faro easyJet,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    London Southend - Faro easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Faro British Airways,  jet2,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Faro easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Faro easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Newquay - Faro Ryanair 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Lisbon.  To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Faro

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Faro to Lagos (1h45, pay locally), taxi Lagos station to hotel (0h30) £20 1730
    taxi Faro airport to hotel (1h15) £68 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Lagos station (1h), rail Lagos to Faro station (1h45, pay locally) £35 1300
    taxi hotel to Faro airport (1h30) £84 flexible
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 4 dinners
    3 picnics
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from A to B, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • Yes, prior to going on holiday you will be able to download GPX tracks so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you use them – our detailed, step-by-step route notes remain the principal means of guiding you from A to B – but we provide them as a secondary means of navigation for additional reassurance when walking.
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Portugal, Madeira and the Azores, but not a visa (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • The official language is Portuguese. The currency is the Euro. Portuguese time is the same as GMT/UTC. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on the same time as BST.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.

    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
  • You are the best judge of your child’s/children’s capabilities. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved. Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.
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