Algarve Walking – Some Algarve Walk Routes

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I’ve never really been one for exercise. I’ve historically preferred things like wine, pastry and cigarettes. However, when I moved to Portugal one of the things I most looked forward to doing was finally managing to stick to a fitness regime—lots of walking, swimming and other healthy things—and it seems that, finally, I am getting towards integrating these things into my day to day life – and enjoying it too.

There are multitudes of scenic Algarve walks to choose from, taking in coastal paths, rustic villages and mountain views. For now I’ve been concentrating on the coast as I love the sea, but I plan to do a lot more Algarve walking this year, specifically of the mountain variety when my niece visits later in the year. She is undertaking the “3 peaks” challenge in the UK so needs to do a lot of mountain training and I look forward to walking the Algarve hills.

A lot of people on the forums ask about walking routes, so I thought I would detail a few that I have particularly enjoyed recently:

View back to Tavira on way to Ilha Walk
View back to Tavira on way to Ilha Walk

Conceicao to Tavira Walk: This is a short walk starting from the back of the O Pomar development on the hill down into Cabanas that follows the same route as the Ecovia Algarve cycle paths. The walk takes you over the Ria Formosa natural park when you can see lots of salt pans, storks and, if you are lucky, flamingos. At the Tavira end, the walk comes out on the road connecting the Tavira Gran Plaza shopping centre with the Vila Gale Albacora hotel. For a longer walk you can turn left here and find yourself on an Enid Bylton-esque seascape facing the Ilha de Tavira, complete with tumble-down fort. Otherwise, head right towards the shopping centre for refeshments, and onward into Tavira town centre.

Ilha de Tavira Walk: This Algarve walk requires you to arrange a cab (or willing partner) to pick you up at the other end. Take the quick ferry from the Quatro Aguas jetty to the Ilha de Tavira, head for the sea and turn right. Then walk straight for about 5km until you reach Barril Beach, complete with its huge display of anchors on the dunes. From Barril you can take the miniature train or walk another 15 mins to reach land again at Pedras D’el Rei. This walk is particularly good if you fancy some off season solitude. Between the star of the walk and Barril you sometimes don’t see a single soul. It’s like your own personal paradise island. Enjoy the walk, but please don’t tell too many people!

Forte de Rato Tavira
Forte de Rato Tavira

Manta Rota to Monte Gordo: This walk is great if you’re not sure how far you want to go, as there are plenty of stop off points, complete with food and drink available. From Manta Rota beach turn left (east.) The walk takes you past the beach resorts of Lota, Altura and Praia Verde before reaching Monte Gordo, the last beach before the Spanish border—a total of about 9km. Once at Monte Gordo there are plenty of restaurants, cafes and shops, as well as a train station to take you onward.

Walk from Praia de Luz to Lagos: Beginning with steep ramble up the cliff at Praia de Luz, this beautiful walk offers incredible cliff-top views stretching for miles around, as well as plenty of flowers and wildlife on the land side. Once you reach the outskirts of Lagos, you can always head inland and find a bus to take you into town if you’ve had enough of walking.

View of Luz on Walk to Lagos
View of Luz on Walk to Lagos

A whole load of other walks are available in this book:

Walking in the Algarve: 40 Coastal and Mountain Walks (Cicerone International Walking)

If you are interested in life in Portugal, PLEASE check out my book – purchases help to support my work on this blog:

Moving to Portugal: How a young couple started a new life in the sun – and how you could do the same

Walking hasn’t been all I have done in an attempt to stay healthy and keep off the pastel-de-nata weight recently. I’ve also been cycling, kayaking and even jumped on the Zumba bandwagon which seems to be sweeping the world. More on that soon—but don’t expect any photos of my attempts at Zumba dancing! Have a good week J

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5 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Thats some really good information as we are coming to Cabanas next Sunday.
    Can you advise where the Zumba is held as its part of my wifes weekly keep fit regime.

  2. Ah now you’re just trying to make me jealous! And let me guess… The sun was shining on these walks too?!!!
    We discovered the cliff walks around Armação de Pera which are lovely – very dramatic cliffs, and lots of picnic benches en route! Marinha is stunning little spot.
    The ‘freemaps’ you can pick up in touristy spots (red black and white design) often have good walks listed along with the “fish n chip shop” adverts!
    Can’t wait to come back and find more walks 😉

  3. I think I need a fitness regime back in Blighty. When I read the sentence, “The walk takes you over the Ria Formosa”, I saw it as, “The walk takes you over the Ria samosa”..


    Right, off to Gregg’s. Those sausage rolls won’t eat themselves..

  4. Try taking the train to Luz to Tavira..A couple of hundred yards on is arough road to Barril.Walk on and you will see a tiny wooden sign marked to Tavira which is about 12K.It is about 4k to Barril or 7 to Santa Luzia.Goes through orchards and a bouganvillia farm.

  5. Hi Eleanor – Strangely enough I recently found this route on my bike – a very pleasant walk!

    Best wishes,


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