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Tavira, The Venice of Algarve (1200S)

No. Days8 From443,75 €
Book now arrival No. rooms Rooms Room 1
Description

Walking in Tavira: The Venice Of Algarve, is a Self-guided Walking Tour based in Tavira, in the East Algarve.

Specially designed to explore the Algarve's countryside and the natural wonders of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, this walking tour is a treat for those who love nature coastal hikes full of wildlife, but also inland walks in overlooked parts of the Algarve, peaceful and rich in traditions.

The Algarve is so much more than sun and sea. In the little-visited East Algarve, it looks like time has stood still, and you’ll feel how good it is to slow down and live the good life with this carefully crafted Self-Guided Walking Tour.

Each day’s walk highlights the contrasting landscape and wildlife of the region. This tour was put together for the enjoyment of those who have a special interest in rambling and nature.

Tavira, the base of our walking tour, is a lovely and quaint old-Portuguese charm, with over 30 churches, cobbled streets, and bougainvillea lined balconies. Its castle in the historical old town, the churches and the typical houses provide cultural interest and a special charisma. The River Gilão, with a workaday fisherman’s riverfront, runs to the azure lagoons of the Ria Formosa Natural Park.

Arguably the Algarve’s most charming town, in Tavira the fishing boats crowd the river Gilão and layers of history can be seen, from Phoenician excavations through Islamic-decorated doorways to Renaissance and Baroque flourishes. From the ramparts of the ruined Castle, look down over waves of triangular “hipped” roofs, spikes of lacework-white chimney pots, and the graceful domes and towers of the town’s 33 churches.

From Tavira we prepared a set of walks to show you the incredible beauty of the area, the coastal and inland nature as well as the people and their ways of living.

The East Algarve countryside shows a tranquil landscape of whitewashed villages and groves of cork and olive trees. The Self-guided walks inland meander through charmed green valleys, with birdsongs as a soundtrack. You’ll see few people and find peace. Lemon and orange orchards, almond trees, olive groves and sleepy villages... Each walk is full of colour, plants, wildlife and history and all are different with unique sights.

The Ria Formosa Natural Park covers 18,000 hectares. It’s a system of lagoons and islands and encloses a vast area of marshes, salt pans, creeks and dune islands. The barrier islands are fronted by extensive sandy beaches, and quaint typical fishing villages.

The Ria Formosa Natural Park is an essential area for migrating and nesting birds. The walks on this self-guided program will take you to the Park, where there’s a huge variety of wading birds and many other species. Flamingos abound and are a feast to the eyes.

In the East Algarve the weather is good, people are friendly and welcoming, nature is enticing, the food and wines are tasty and this program of walks is designed to give you the best of what this region has to offer, based in the charming town of Tavira. You’ll see a Portugal you’ve never imagined existed and that you’ll never forget!

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.

Highlights
  • Spectacular hikes in the Ria Formosa Natural Park, marshes and along the coast

  • Charming historical town of Tavira

  • Typical fisherman villages and ways of life

  • Surprising walks in the little-visited countryside East Algarve, with a tranquil landscape of whitewashed villages and groves of cork and olive trees

  • A fantastic itinerary of walks, developed and perfected by local resident Portuguese tour leaders, very knowledgeable of the region.

  • The hospitality and warmth from the local population.

  • Portugal is known for its gastronomy and wines, and in the East Algarve, you’ll be delighted with the fresh fish and seafood.

  • Our self-guided walking tours are thoroughly designed and include all the information and services you need, from detailed route notes to a 24h hotline.

Itinerary
DAY 1
Individual arrival to Faro Airport / Faro Train station / Faro Bus Station.
Transfer to your Maria Nova Lounge Hotel. Transfer time +/-45 minutes.

DAY 2
An easy walk, close to the coast, starting in the beautiful old village of Cacela Velha, following tracks and quiet lanes to the picturesque old fishing village of Cabanas.
Here fishermen still continue their craft, mixing harmoniously with the visitors crossing to the island and the golden beaches. Here too we can rest, enjoy good food and drink whilst enjoying the sunshine by the colourful waterfront. We continue back to Tavira, through the saltpans where we may see an abundance of wild life along with the traditional craft of salt extraction.

DAY 3
A beautiful walk going down a fertile valley, dotted with the occasional small family operated traditional tile factories. We pass through small holdings where vegetable plots share space with olive, carob, almond and fig trees. This rich valley also has an abundance of orange and lemon orchards whose flowers perfume the air while the profusion of wild flowers delights the eyes. The walk takes us past the local beauty spot of Pêgo do Inferno and then brings us right back into Tavira and the hotel.

DAY 4
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 - check here some activities to prebook. 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 5
A very enjoyable walk along the coast to the frontier with Spain. We start in the resort village of Altura and meander along small paths through the pine woodlands and along pristine beaches until we reach the estuary of the Rio Guadiana that separates Portugal from Spain.
The walk finishes in the charming town of Vila Real de Santo António with a fascinating history and architecture.
The adventurous may wish to take the ferry across the river to the town of Ayamonte in Spain to enjoy some tapas in the many cafés of this attractive town.

DAY 6
A fascinating walk to the west of Tavira. We start in Tavira and end in the fishing village of Fuzeta with its bustling waterfront, crossing saltpans full of bird life, small hamlets with colourful houses and gardens, grand villas and tiny small holdings. We can stop en route at little cafés fronting the tranquil waters of the Ria or even lunch on wonderful fish and shell fish fresh in that day.

DAY 7
A real treat as we walk along one of the finest beaches in the world and visit the small fishing village of Santa Luzia with its abundance of fishing boats bobbing in the gentle waters of the channel.
The cafés and restaurants here vary from simple to gourmet level and can offer all the local specialities.
This circular walk from and returning to Tavira crosses to Tavira Island via local ferry/water taxi and returns to the mainland on a floating pontoon bridge.
Not just a day’s walking but a real day’s holiday as well!

DAY 8
Individual departure or extra days
At convenient time transfer to Faro Airport / Faro Train station / Faro Bus station.


The Hotel

Located at the highest point of Tavira, this new unit is set in a historical environment area with a strong cultural heritage only a few minutes walk from the city centre.
After a complete renovation, this unit offers its customers a modern and contemporary design with fabulous views of the city and the estuary.

Let yourself be seduced by the unique magic of Tavira and the Ria Formosa Natural Park.
What's Included
Accommodation:
  • 7 nights in a twin room (4 stars hotel)
  • Single supplement applied in single rooms
  • Extra nights can be added 
Meals:
  • 7 buffet breakfasts at the Hotel.
Transport:
  • Transfers from Faro airport / Faro train station / Faro bus station to the Hotel on the first day
  • Transfers from the Hotel to Faro airport / Faro train station / Faro bus station on last day
Your information pack includes:
  • Accommodation vouchers
  • Taxi vouchers
  • Emergency contact numbers
  • General information on your holiday
  • List of hotels
  • Directions for arriving at your first hotel
  • Walking/cycling maps
  • Foreign Office Travel Advice
  • Assistance 24/7
Optional:
  • Trip documents can be provided in English or German.
  • Extra nights can be added
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.
Other
The land only option allows you to book your own transport to and from the holiday. This package already includes a transfer departing from Faro airport, Faro train station and Faro bus station.

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

If you wish to stay more nights, just add that option to your booking - Maria Nova Lounge.
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