August 22nd 2016

Rural charm and a rugged, wild and beautiful coastline – that’s the Algarve coast of Portugal, a new Walk for 2017.

Hiking through protected nature reserves, along pristine beaches, wild coastlines and jagged cliffs, we also experience the real Portugal of whitewashed villages and fertile countryside. A world away from busy resorts and crowds, the sea breezes bring down the temperature. On trails that hug the shoreline or offer unsurpassed views from on high, we encounter deserted beaches, stork nests, and see fishermen perched on the clifftops. Faro, the Algarve’s capital, feels distinctly Portuguese. A wonderfully preserved medieval quarter and an historic old town have inviting lanes and alleys to wander and explore.

Portugal algarve

We take a boat to a tiny offshore sandbar island and hike its vast, empty beaches. Inland, cork trees dot the landscape, the bark stripped for the wine industry; leaving the tree to grow and thrive. Portuguese cork is the choice for many of the top French champagne makers. Monchique, a lovely spa town high in the mountains, is a complete contrast to the coastal Algarve. The typically white painted houses with bands of color around doors and windows sit around a network of cobbled streets.


Mountains and "the end of the world"

portugal algarve

It is the perfect place to set out on our day-long expedition to Foia. At 902 m, this is the highest point in the mountain range of the Algarve. Cape St Vincent, the most southwesterly point in Europe, or as early travelers called it the End of the World, offers spectacular views out over the Atlantic Ocean. Packed with seafaring history, Prince Henry the Navigator sent forth his caravels from here during Portugal’s Golden Age of Discoveries. Now largely protected as a National Park, the Cape provides scenic coastal trails through flowering rock rose and the South African ice plant above massive folded and eroded cliffs, lashed by the mighty Atlantic below.

Read more about this brand-new Walk for 2017 on our website.

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