The scent of orange groves and pine trees accompanies you as you ramble along ancient paths fringed with abundant wild flowers, to a viewpoint where you can rest and drink in the scenery and the silence. Experience this journey with Ramblers Walking Holidays.
Tavira straddles the Rio Gilão as it meets the Atlantic Ocean and flows into the shallows of the offshore Ria Formosa Natural Park. With its ruined castle and active fishing harbour, Tavira is a labyrinth of cobbled streets, shady plazas and the most attractive of the Algarve’s coastal towns.
Our walks take us to Tavira Island in the Natural Park, taking in, what is considered to be, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and to pretty coastal villages such as Santa Luiza, Cabanas and Cacela Velha. Inland we wind our way between hills and valleys to the low peak of Zimbral, with some 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.
Tavira itself is, to say the least, a very charming town. The ancient Ponta Romana spans the Rio Sequa, separating the two sides of the town. Narrow streets lead between whitewashed buildings, many with traditional balconies. At the centre lies the lovely Praca da Republica, bordered by trees, fountains and restaurants. We’ll enjoy dinners at local restaurants giving the opportunity to sample the wonderful Portuguese cuisine from homemade specialities to fresh fish.
You might like to take a look at our Algarve Odyssey holiday combining a week in Tavira with our Hidden Delights of the Western Algarve holiday.
We fly from the UK to Faro, on Portugal's Algarve. On arrival we transfer to hotel in Tavira, which takes approx. 45 minutes. Depending on flight arrival times, we may have an orientation walk of the town before dinner at a local restaurant.
Zimbral - Fonte Salgada - N125 Our wonderful walk today takes us through open rolling hillsides with spectacular views, allowing a tremendous appreciation for the region. We pass through fascinating villages and descend to finish in a low fertile valley of orange groves and small holdings. Distance: 14.6km (9 miles); Ascent: +200m, Descent: -400m
Santa Luzia and Tavira Island Our remarkably varied walk takes us through Tavira's salt pans, which date back thousands of years to the picturesque fishing village of Santa Luzia, with its glorious waterfront. After time for coffee, we cross over to Tavira Island and walk along the island's beach which is regarded by many as one of the finest in the world. Vast stretches of golden sand and sparkling blue waters await you before we catch the ferry back to Tavira Distance: 15.3km (9.5 miles), Ascent/Descent: minimal
Sao Bras do Alportel We travel inland to the ancient town of S. Bras do Alportel, the centre of the Algarve's cork production. Our walk allows us to explore the rolling wooded hillsides and verdant valleys of the area, with time to also explore the charming narrow streets of the old town. Here you'll find local carob and almond cakes, which are the stars of the show! Distance: 14.5km (9 miles), Ascent/Descent: +/- 300m
Santa Catarina, Mesquita and Bengado A gorgeous walk, much of it on a waymarked route, titled Routes and Crossroads to the Fountain. This intricate mix of paths and tracks pass through wild open hillsides, intimate small holdings and quintessential Algarve hamlets. Distance: 13.6km (8.5 miles), Ascent: 350m, Descent: 300m
Manta Rota to Tavira with opt out in Cabanas A classic coastal walk following the inner shore and visiting the iconic village of Cacela Velha, with its picturesque sea views, before arriving in Cabanas. Here we'll take a well earned rest at one of the many cafes lining the spectacular waterfront and you can then chose to explore Cabanas further or continue with the walk to Tavira. Distance: 14.6km (9 miles), Ascent/Descent: minimal
Santa Catarina, Ceramicas and Pego do Inferno 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 reflects this. We will also pass by tiny brick and tile works, whose hand-made craft dates back to before Roman times. Distance: 12.3km (7.5 miles), Ascent: 200m, Descent: 300m
Departure from Tavira for Faro airport. The walks noted above are generally offered during your week in Tavira. There will also be a free day for you to explore on our own. You can reach Faro and Vila Real de Santo Antonio easily by train, Tavira's cobbled streets, cafes, shops museums, churches and castle are good to visit or you may also want to take a boat trip. The hotel offers an indoor and outdoor swimming pool as well as a spa.
See where this holiday travels to.
Located a 5-minute walk from Tavira’s bustling town centre, Maria Nova Hotel enjoys a quiet hillside location. Its modern rooms feature a private balcony. Facilities include indoor and outdoor pools. Tavira Castle is just 1,000 yards from Maria Nova Lounge Hotel, and the Tavira train station is 0.9 miles away. Ria Formosa Natural Park is 9.9 miles from the hotel. Maria Nova Lounge Hotel’s rooms are decorated with tiled floors, wooden furniture, and large windows. All rooms have a minibar, satellite TV, and an en suite bathroom. The rooms have either panoramic city or mountain views.