Portugal | Algarve | Adult Only
Immerse yourself in the coastal culture of southern Portugal – with the perfect blend of structured tour and flexible ‘me time’
8 days / 7 nights
Activity LevelActivity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
Lose yourself in the activities, history, food and wine, and hospitality of the southernmost region of continental Portugal. Hike, bike, boat, and paddle your way through picturesque towns, undulating coastlines, dramatic sea caves, and up to the highest point in the region. Relax at a cliffside resort’s rooftop bar or on a secluded beach. Relish well-earned summit picnic lunches, traditional Portuguese foods, honey tastings, traditional piri piri dishes, and samplings of the traditional fruit brandy medronho. Enjoy the flexibility and spontaneity of multiple free nights on your own and the chance to choose adventures such as a Jeep safari, horseback ride, or coastal walk.
With guided coastal walks, oceanside lunches, local delicacies from village markets, boat tours of key birdwatching areas, kayaks to sea caves with marine biologists, swims at secluded beaches, tastings of local honeys and fruit brandies, dolphin adventures, and so much more, this 8-day itinerary will have you immersed in the very best that Portugal’s Algarve region has to offer. You’ll hike, bike, boat, and paddle your way through quaint towns, undulating coastlines, dramatic sea caves, and up to the highest point in the region. You’ll be able to enjoy the flexibility and spontaneity of multiple free nights on your own – and a chance to choose your own adventures such as a Jeep safari, horseback ride, or coastal walk.
- Spot spoonbills, flamingos and other wading birds in the Tavira salt plans
- Explore Tavira Castle and the tombs of seven knights killed by the Moors
- Engage with Portuguese water dogs and learn the history of this delightful breed
- Taste local delicacies at a town market that dates from the early 1900’s
- Enjoy endless, practically deserted sands bathed by a gentle clear sea on Farol Island
- Explore Ria Formosa Natural Park, a key area for migrating and local birds (often more than 20,000 birds during winter)
- Explore the beautiful cliffs of the Sagres coast via Jeep safari, horseback, or coastal walk.
- Learn about dolphin behaviors during an encounter in Lagos harbor.
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
The wildlife: A sea kayaking excursion with a marine biologist is sure to enhance your knowledge of the sealife in the region.
The food: Be sure to try the piri piri chicken or the clams and cockles cooked in garlic and olive oil.
The summit: You'll enjoy an unforgettable picnic lunch atop the peak of Foia, the highest point in the Monchique Range.
Faro, Portugal FAO
Faro, Portugal FAO
Vila Gale Albacora
Transfer from the airport to your hotel. Welcome dinner with your guide.
About Vila Gale Albacora
A restored former tuna fishing camp, where the “people of the sea” historically lived from March to September, the hotel is both accommodation and museum. Set within the Ria Formosa Natural Park, the old fishermen houses, workshops and warehouses we converted into 162 rooms with beautiful views of the Ria Formosa. The chapel was preserved and is now adapted for hosting events and the old school is now a kids’ club. What was once the bakery is now a free small museum. There is a pool, playground, game room, spa, laundry service, gardens, and Wi-Fi.
Vila Gale Albacora / Prai do Barril / Tavira
Guided walk from hotel to Praia do Barril, with a support vehicle tailing the group with drinks, snacks and ready assistance. Lunch at Beach Restaurant, a museum depicting the life of the tuna fishermen. Bicycle exploration of Tavira and surroundings. Dinner in Tavira center with guide.
Olhão / Farol Island / Culatra Island / Ria Formosa Natural Park
Transfer to the village of Olhão to visit the local market and taste some of the local delicacies. Ferry to Farol Island for lunch, then explore the island on foot, making our way to the island of Culatra. Private boat tour to the islands of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, a prime birdwatching location and home of the biggest seahorse population in Europe. Dinner on your own in Tavira.
Tavira / Praia Grande / Carvoeiro
Transfer from Tavira to Praia Grande’s Ferragudo beach. Kayak with a marine biologist into the most beautiful sea caves in the region, discovering sea species along the way. Swim, tan, and lunch away on a secluded beach before being towed by motorboat back to your start point. Walk from the beach back to your hotel following the Seven Hanging Valleys trail in Carvoeiro, exploring the beautiful coastline as you go. Dinner at a typical chicken piri piri restaurant.
About Tivoli Carvoeiro Algarve Resort
For 25 years, the landmark Tivoli Carvoeiro Algarve Resort has been perched overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on the Vale Covo cliffside. The fully-refurbished, family-friendly 5-star hotel in Carvoeiro offers 248 refurbished bedrooms, suites with balconies and new Family Rooms for larger groups. Facilities include celebrity-chef standard restaurants (three total), Tivoli Spa, fitness area, pool, three bars (including one on the rooftop), complimentary Wi-Fi, and kids’ activities.
Monchique Mountain / Picota / Foia / Carvoeiro
Transfer to Monchique Mountain. Hike from Picota to Foia, the highest point in Algarve. Picnic lunch at the summit. Downhill cycle tour, stopping for tastings of honey and medronho (a traditional fruit brandy made in the mountains). Dinner on your own in Carvoeiro.
Lagos Harbor / Praia do Barranco / Sagres Coast
Transfer to Lagos harbor for your dolphin adventure. Lunch on your own in downtown Lagos. Transfer to Praia do Barranco beach for your caving adventure.
About Memmo Baleeira
Characterized by a relaxed, contemporary design, this 4-star hotel offers 144 rooms and family-friendly suites with views of the sea and the Baleeira harbor. Facilities include a restaurant, bar, lounge, swimming pool with ocean views, an area for spa treatments and massages, sauna, gym, heated indoor pool, playroom, kids’ activities (even a kid’s surf class), bike rental, jeep trips, water sports like surfing, windsurfing and diving, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Situated in Costa Vicentina Natural Park, the hotel is surrounded by stunning deserted beaches and the beauty of wilderness.
Following another delicious breakfast, bid farewell to Algarve. Transfers back to Faro Airport for your onward flights.
*Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures.
Arrival & Departure
Please plan on arriving early on the day of your trip departure (or, to be safe, at least one day prior to your trip departure). Day one of your itinerary starts with a pick-up at Faro Airport (AKA Algarve Airport) depending on your arrival time. Your trip ends with a drop-off at either the Faro Airport or your Faro hotel.
Hiking: Up to 14km over moderate terrain and with support vehicle tailing, with drinks, refreshments, snacks and assistance if needed.
Biking: Up to 10km over moderate terrain and with support vehicle tailing, with drinks, refreshments, snacks and assistance if needed.
Horseback riding (optional): No prior experience needed.
Options at Vila Gale Albacora:
Free small museum, pool, playground, game room, spa, and gardens.
Options at Tivoli Carvoeiro Algarve Resort:
Celebrity-chef standard restaurants (three total), Tivoli Spa, fitness area, pool, three bars (including one on the rooftop), and kids’ activities.
Options at Memmo Baleeira:
Restaurant, bar, lounge, swimming pool with ocean views, an area for spa treatments and massages, sauna, gym, heated indoor pool, playroom, kids’ activities (even a kid’s surf class), bike rental, jeep trips, and water sports like surfing, windsurfing and diving.
Austin Adventures guides are experienced facilitators and regional experts. They will take the time to explain the details of each activity, answer any questions, and demonstrate the use of all equipment. Each activity has been carefully planned to include options for all levels. Most importantly, your guides will help you select the distance that’s right for you.
Spot spoonbills, flamingos and other wading birds in the Tavira salt plans. Explore Tavira Castle and the tombs of seven knights killed by the Moors. Absorb the seafaring history and traditions of generations of tuna fishermen. Engage with Portuguese water dogs and learn the history of this delightful breed. Taste local delicacies at a town market that dates from the early 1900’s. Enjoy endless, practically deserted sands bathed by a gentle clear sea on Farol Island. Explore the flora and fauna of Ria Formosa Natural Park, a key protected area for migrating and local birds (often more than 20,000 birds during the wintering period) and one of the largest seahorse populations in the world. Join a marine biologist to kayak into fabulous local sea caves, spotting oceanic wildlife along the way. Taste local honeys and the traditional fruit brandy made in the mountains called medronho. Sample local, peppery piri piri chicken dishes. Explore the beautiful cliffs of the Sagres coast via Jeep safari, horseback, or coastal walk. Learn about dolphin behaviors during an encounter in Lagos harbor.
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions are included as indicated by itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in the Trip Price
- Double occupancy rooms with private baths.
- All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions.
- Fully trained, first-aid certified professional guides and knowledgeable local partners.
- Any necessary equipment – all safe and well maintained.
- Vehicle support and land transportation during the trip.
- Austin Adventures T-shirt, water bottle, luggage tags and luggage service.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
- Incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, local partner and expert gratuities and national park entrance and permit fees.
Not Included in the Trip Price
- Gratuities to Austin Adventures / Alltravel guides.
- Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- All types of personal insurance.
- Personal expenses.
- Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
- Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Want to know how to fully experience the depth of beauty and culture in a place? Ask Carol Austin. A Montana native who treasures the land and people in her own backyard—be it Yellowstone, the Beartooths, or the family around her dinner table—Carol knows how to embrace any destination she explores, a feat at 40+ countries and counting. And with more than 20 years in the travel industry, she’s really good at helping guests plan—and fully enjoy—their adventure vacation, too. She co-founded Austin Adventures with her husband, Dan Austin.