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Tavira and the Real Algarve (11800G)

Tavira
Guided Tour Tavira And The Real Algarve (11800G) - Tavira and the Real Algarve
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Description
GUIDED TOUR
The coast, villages and countryside of the Eastern Algarve

Tavira is an ancient Moorish town that has retained its unique character and heritage. The town extends along the banks of the Gilão River and is a delightful mix of traditional Portuguese architecture with deep-rooted Moorish influences.

Layers of history can be seen, from Phoenician excavations through Islamic-decorated doorways to Renaissance and Baroque flourishes. However, it is the colours that hit you: blinding-white walls, brilliant azulejo tiles, fiery-red pantiles.

Tavira is arguably the Algarve’s prettiest town and exudes an authentic Portuguese charm. Big hotels are few, churches are many, fishing boats crowd the river and everyone has time to dawdle.

Beautiful empty beaches with sands that seem to go on forever. Fields of orange trees, heavy with the scent of blossom. Then the hills of fig and almond trees and houses with dazzling whitewashed walls and distinctive chimneys decorated to resemble fine tracery of lace. And, last of all, the great open spaces. This is just a hint of the charms of Tavira and its municipality, an invitation to come and find out more.

Our walks take us to Tavira Island in the Natural Park, taking in one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and to pretty coastal villages such as Santa Luzia, Cabanas and Cacela Velha. Inland we wind our way between hills and valleys to the low peak of Zimbral, with wide rewarding views.

Ancient trails take us past farms, through an intricate patchwork of orange groves, olive and carob orchards. Sometimes we walk beside rivers; other times amongst the pines and cork oaks. Through most of our season, we are presented with an endless and ever-changing procession of beautiful flowers.

We'll also enjoy dinners at local restaurants giving the opportunity to sample the wonderful Portuguese cuisine and wines.
Itinerary
WEEK’S PROGRAM
Each day breakfast will be taken in the Hotel before leaving for the day’s program. We will usually leave the Hotel between 9.00 am and 9.30am.
On our return to the Hotel each day we will have time to relax and change before dinner which is usually taken at 7.30pm. Each evening the guide will give a preview of the next day’s program.
Day’s program subject to alteration due to weather and local conditions.

DAY 1
Arrival
Transfer by road from Faro airport to Tavira. Short introductory walk around Tavira. Free time until evening meeting and dinner.

DAY 2
Zimbral
Wonderful walk through open rolling hillsides. Spectacular views allow a tremendous appreciation of the region.
We walk through fascinating villages and descend to finish in a low fertile valley full of orange orchards and small holdings.

DAY 3
Santa Luzia and Tavira Island
A remarkably varied walk on the Ria Formosa Natural Park. Our walk takes us through Tavira’s salt pans which date back thousands of years.
We take a relaxing break in the fishing village of Santa Luzia with its glorious waterfront.
And we walk along Tavira Island’s beach regarded by many as one of the finest in the world with its vast stretches of golden sand and sparkling blue waters.
The walk will feature a fascinating boat ride between Tavira & Tavira Island.

DAY 4
Santa Catarina, Cerâmicas
A gorgeous walk, much of it on a waymarked route, titled “routes and crossroads to the fountain”.
This intricate mix of paths and tracks passes through wild open hillsides, intimate smallholdings and quintessential Algarve hamlets.

DAY 5
Manta Rota to Cabanas
Classic coastal walk following the inner shoreline and visiting the iconic village of Cacela Velha before arriving in Cabanas for a well-earned rest in one of the many cafés lining this spectacular waterfront.
From here we will boat back to Tavira along the calm inner waterways.

DAY 6
Free Day
This is an ideal opportunity to relax and enjoy the attractions of Tavira and 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). On 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 7

São Brás de Alportel
We travel inland to the ancient town of S Brás de Alportel, the centre of cork production in the Algarve.
Our walk enables us to explore the rolling wooded hillsides and verdant valleys of the area.
We will have time to enjoy the charming narrow streets of the old town and, of course, indulge in the cafés where the local carob and almond cakes are the stars of the show.

DAY 8
Santa Catarina, Mesquita, Bengado
An inland walk through one of the most beautiful and interesting valleys in the Algarve. Santa Catarina is one of the centres for the production of carob, almond, fig, olive oil and medronho and the surrounding countryside we walk through reflects this.
We will also pass tiny brick and tile works whose hand-made craft dates back to before Roman times.

DAY 9
Tavira to Fuzeta
A lovely walk following the Algarve’s Ecovia. We pass by old estates with orange, figs and almond orchards and through the salt pans of Fuzeta where we are able to appreciate the rich birdlife of the area.

DAY 10
Altura to Vila Real de Santo António
After a glorious section along Altura’s beach, we move into the cooling pine woodlands that shelter this coastline.
The walk finishes in the town of Vila Real de Santo Antonio lying by the side of the River Guadiana and looking across to its sister town of Ayamonte in Spain.

DAY 11
Olhão to Fuzeta
Olhão is one of the few working towns left in the Algarve and home to perhaps the finest market, not just in the Algarve, but perhaps the country.
We will enjoy the waterfront and market of Olhão before meandering along the coastline towards the fishing town of Fuzeta.

DAY 12
Departure
After breakfast transfer to the airport.
The Hotels
  • Hotel Maria Nova Lounge Adults Only **** (or similar)
Located a 5-minute walk from Tavira’s bustling town centre, Maria Nova Lounge Hotel – Adults Only enjoys a quiet hillside location. Its modern rooms feature a private balcony. Facilities include indoor and outdoor pools.

The rooms are decorated with tiled floors, wooden furniture, and large windows. All rooms have panoramic views, a minibar, satellite TV, and an en suite bathroom.

The Bar Panorâmico offers an extensive list of cocktails and stunning views over Tavira.
What's Included
Accommodation:
  • 11 nights in a twin room (four stars hotel)
  • Single supplement applied in single rooms
Guide:
  • All guided tours
Meals:
  • 11 Dinners taken in local restaurants with drinks included. We are always able to cater for vegetarian or other special diets (Lunches can be bought from local shops)
  • 11 buffet breakfasts at the Hotel.
Transport:
  • Transfers from Faro airport at 12 a.m on the first day
  • Transfers from the Hotel to Faro airport at 12 a.m on last day
  • All land travel (as outlined)
  • Dedicated driver and guide
Not Included
  • 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
  • Supplements
  • Guide services inside monuments
More Info
The land only option allows you to book your own transport to and from the holiday. You will normally meet the group at the arrival airport at 12 a.m as long as you arrive there no later than the group. Similarly, on the way home, you can return to the airport with the group as long as your departure time is no earlier than that of the group.

This guided tour already includes a transfer departing from Faro airport at 12 a.m on arrival and returning to Faro airport at 12 a.m on the last day.

If none of this option suits you, please add to your booking a transfer that does. You can also rent a car.

To this tour, we only accept transfers departing from Faro Airport or Faro.

Departure dates:
  • ON REQUEST