Set in the heart of Portugal's Algarve region, this unique walking tour through the more remote inland parts of the Algarve enables you to experience the authentic, rural way of life and rich culture of this region with its long held craft skills and delicious traditional dishes, cooked for you by locals. As you travel deep into this unspoilt area you will wind your way through towering cork oak forests and strawberry trees and past rural villages, where kitchen gardens abound. Discover the spectacular scenery of twisting streams, narrow ravines and a landscape embellished with dense Cistus rockrose. Take in the breath-taking views and the slow pace of life whilst loving the sun on your back.
Meeting with the village artisans you will learn how to make rope in the traditional way, why basket making is such a skill and how they produce the local speciality of firewater. Staying with the locals in their homes and guest houses and eating their traditional dishes, you will be immersed in this authentic, unhurried way of life. What a way to unwind!
from £990 per person
Based on two people sharing a room
Dinner and packed lunches everyday. Craft workshops with local artisans and a local guide to help with translation. Entry to museum, blacksmith and distillery. See what’s included as standard
Start & Finish
Starts daily from 1st March to 31st May and from mid-September to 30th November and is circular from Faro
Rural and local guesthouses
This tour is priced without a guide and you are free to explore on your own. If you would like a guide for part or all of your trip, we are happy to provide a knowledgeable, local guide
Gentle walking (4) More info...
6 days of walking 4-12 miles (7-20km)
Hills and slopes every day
1. Day one
Arrive at Faro airport where your host will welcome you and transfer you to Alcoutim, a village close to the Spanish border. He will brief you on the tour and route and fill you in with locals tips and tales you should know. After settling into your guesthouse, enjoy a traditional dinner in the nearby restaurant and eaves drop on the locals chit chat and laughter!
2. Day two
Alcoutim to Balurcos
Your walk today, as every day, includes a packed lunch prepared by your household and is signposted. You are heading for the village of Corte Tabelião and enroute you flank the Guadiana river and its stunning landscape dotted with orchards filled with almond, fig and olive trees. Your track takes you through Afonso Vicente, a small village with houses made of schist and traditional kitchen-gardens. At the end of the walk we will meet in Corte Tabelião and transfer you the short distance to Balurcos village where you will stay in a rural guesthouse and enjoy a meal which has been prepared by the owner using local food.
9 miles (15km)
3. Day three
Balurcos to Furnazinhas
Starting out after breakfast,you walk through an area dotted with cottages and their small holdings; it oozes with rural charm. There are wonderful views of the Serra Algarvia, with its ravines and water courses and there's time to take out your binoculars and study the wildlife. Soon the Foupana river comes into view - one of the best protected areas within the Algarve and the picturesque landscape starts to change from younger trees and forests to colourful, dense Cistus, a pretty flowering rockrose. Spot the windmills on the horizon at Corte Velha before eventually descending down a stone ramp to Rua do Fontanário where you will enter Furnazinhas and spend the next two nights. Dinner will be served here in your guesthouse.
9 miles (15km)
4. Day four
Circular walk from Furnazinhas
Today is a little different with a short relaxed morning circular walk in the area surrounding the idyllic village of Furnazinhas. In the afternoon you will meet the local artisans and see first hand their traditional skills. You will be shown how to make rope in the traditional manner and using a local plant. Then spend time with the village basket maker and learn the intricate weaving process that is involved. Finally, meet the local honey producer and discover exactly how this delicious treat is prepared. We have arranged a local guide to help with translation and we are sure you will find the afternoon a truly memorable experience. What a perfect way to learn about the Algarve's unique culture. In the evening you will enjoy a delicious dinner in the guesthouse.
4 miles (7km)
5. Day five
Furnazinhas to Vaqueiros
Heading across green open fields and pastures as well as extensive areas of Cistus, you will also find more kitchen-gardens, key to the local way of life and their cooking. Reaching the area's highest points you catch glimpses of Monte Novo with its many abandoned houses. Keep your eyes peeled for the variety of different bird species which are prevalent throughout the area, including the Common Buzzard and the European Bee-eater. Today's route finishes in Vaqueiros, the most populated village in the surrounding "freguesia" or parish. The area contains many archaeological traces of Roman times and evidence of rural communities dating back to the Arab period. Your accommodation is in a guest house where dinner will be cooked here for you by the locals.
12 miles (20km)
6. Day six
Vaqueiros to Cachopo
Today's walk is rich with fauna and dotted with Stone Pine plantations. You will pass many working farms with wells operated by water-wheel and traditional houses with stone walls or hedges and ditches. Weave your way through a dense cork oak forest, past strawberry tress and along paths bursting with nature; the surrounding landscape is just breathtaking. Reaching Cachopo you realise this is a strong knit community and you will receive a very warm welcome. Sitting in the heart of the village is the Santo Estêvão church - a well-known attraction for pilgrims. We hope you will enjoy learning about their linen making tradition by taking in the linen museum here and meeting the blacksmith at work in his workshop.
9 miles (15km)
7. Day seven
Cachopo to Parises
This route boasts some stunning views of the surrounding landscape as you leave the village of Cachopo behind. The area suffered a devastating fire in 2012 but is beginning to recover and the vegetation is rejuvenating. There are perfect stops beyond for photo opportunities as the area is staggeringly beautiful, filled with green valleys and twisting streams and is home to the Beech Marten and badgers. After passing through the dreamy villages of Alcaria Alta and Castelão you reach Parises, where your route intersects with “The Cork Route”, a lengthy track which runs through the extensive cork growing area. The distillery in Parises will welcome you and explain how they produce firewater from the locally grown strawberry trees. Taste at your peril! This is the end of your journey through the real Algarve, a riot of wonderful and unspoilt scenery, a sunny climate, an unhurried way of life, traditional food and artisans that inspire.
9 miles (15km)
8. Day eight
Depart the Algarve
We will transfer you back to reality at Faro airport where you will depart.