Figs On The Funcho

Walking Holiday

walking group in countryside
Walkers on the holiday walking route

WALKING HOLIDAY IN THE ALGARVE COUNTRYSIDE AND COASTLINE

If it is beautiful scenery, delicious cuisine and non-stop sunshine you are after, then this walking holiday in the Algarve is for you. Come and enjoy a relaxing 4-night or 6-night walking holiday at Figs on the Funcho with direct views over Barragem do Funcho and the river. Take in the beautiful views and experience some of the wonderful sights surrounding our idyllic location.

On your walking holiday, in the Algarve, you will enjoy the tranquillity of the beautiful riverside location where you’ll find plenty of walking paths on the doorstep that will take you down to the waterfront, as well as enjoying clear night skies and stunning sunsets.

What’s included…

Included in this package is accommodation in a well appointed and relaxing double rooms, breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. Lunch could be at Figs on the Funcho, a packed lunch or a picnic in the countryside depending on the walking route chosen.

We’ll have one Faro airport pick-up at 15h00 for the group. We can arrange airport transfers for you at other times for your cost. If there is anybody else arriving doing the same we will arrange it so that you can share the transport costs. 

There’s one of a few things that are not included, and they include entrance fees to any of the local attractions we visit whilst out sight-seeing and your drinks at Figs on the Funcho (we have an honesty bar at your disposal).

This walking holiday may be adjusted to 4-nights to suit your scheduled. See hikes below for inspiration. A minimum booking of 5 persons is required to book a private walking group. Contact Cheryl to create your own bespoke hiking itinerary

What you can expect…

This holiday is an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors in one of Europe’s most stunning locations and to explore the wonderful Algarve walking routes.

Some walks will be led by expert local walking guides and some by Cheryl or Graham. If you have booked an exclusive walking holiday for your group then the chosen walks can be adjusted to suit all the needs and fitness ability of your group. Whether you are keen to hike or just want to explore this region and its hidden beauty, your guide will ensure this trip is perfect for you.

The coastal walking trails explore the beach cliff tops with beautiful views of some of the most prestigious beaches on the Algarve and we also explore a section of the very popular and scenic Seven Hanging Valleys Trail with stunning lookouts so don’t forget your camera!  

The countryside walking routes uncover the Algarve’s rich history including a visit to the remnants of the famous 1834 Sant’Ana battle, as well as many other historic sights such as the Necropolis of Pedreirinha, dating back to the Early Middle Ages.

This walking holiday is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a truly wonderful experience in a stunning and relaxing riverside location.

Optional activities

During your free time, you could explore the cobbled streets of the nearby historical town and visit the Gothic cathedral and the Moorish Castle that was built between the 8th and 13th century.  The archaeology museum, near the castle and cathedral, exhibits Roman, Phoenician, Moorish and prehistoric materials and also houses a beautifully preserved, 15-meter deep, Arabian well that has a staircase leading down to the bottom of the well.  You will find plenty of shops selling local products and handicrafts including the beautifully decorated Portuguese pottery plates.  

Walkers can end their day wild swimming, kayaking or paddle boarding on the Funcho lake or simply enjoy the infinity pool and deck whilst enjoying a cocktail and watching the sun set over the river.

There is an opportunity to view the countryside landscape on horseback when you book a hack at the nearby equestrian centre.

walker on dirt track in the hills passing a pond
Algarve walking trail in the countryside

Some of the many things you can expect to do and see…

  • Enjoy the riverside location with un-interrupted panoramic country and river views
  • See how many birds that are local to Figs on the Funcho you can spot from the relaxed comfort of the outdoor shaded seating area
  • You’ll have direct access to the river to enjoy some time out on our tandem kayak or have a go on the stand-up paddle board (SUP) 
  • Explore some of the well-marked hiking trails that you can access straight from the villa 
  • Unspoilt, uncrowded, peaceful and tranquil setting off the the beaten track where you can fully relax and rejuvenate
  • You can enjoy our location all year round with very pleasant warm temperatures and sunshine even in the winter 

Walking Holiday in the Algarve Accommodation

Figs on the Funcho. A walking and painting holiday destination in the Algarve.

The River House is an idyllic location with direct views over Barragem do Funcho. Set back in the hills and surrounded by fig and carob trees, wildflowers, and a pathway winding down to the water’s edge. It offers complete privacy with un-interrupted and panoramic views. This location allows you to connect with nature so that you can enjoy a peaceful and calming holiday that will leave you feeling revitalised and truly relaxed. 

Take look at the video of The River House that was originally a Portuguese farmhouse, and see how it has been tastefully and fully renovated to its current contemporary style. You can also learn more about The River House here

Walking Holiday in the Algarve Schedule

Saturday, Arrival Day

Arrive from 14h00 to settle into your accommodation and enjoy the stunning yet tranquil riverside location that is surrounded with panoramic views.

Join us for welcome drinks at 18h30, on the waterfront deck, where you will have the opportunity to meet your walking group and enjoy the sunset. Dinner will be enjoyed outdoors (weather permitting), where you will be served a wholesome vegetarian meal that was lovingly prepared by your hosts, Graham and Cheryl.

After dinner enjoy a cheese platter served with port under the carob trees.  

Later you can retreat into your beautiful rooms for the evening and relax ahead of the first full day of your walking holiday in the Algarve. 

Sunday – Friday Will Follow a Similar Format

08h30 –  09h30 Outdoor breakfast with views of the rolling hills

09h30  Discovering the great outdoors. Confirm with Cheryl the walking routes included for your walking holiday as we have quite a collection!

18h30 – 19h30 Sunset drinks and an opportunity to enjoy our gorgeous sunsets

19h30 – 20h30 Al fresco dinner under the Algarve starry sky

20h30 – 22h00 Port and cheese on the riverside deck

Outdoor Riverside Lounge

outdoor coaches and chairs on a wooden deck
See how many birds that are local to Figs on the Funcho you can spot from the relaxed comfort of the shaded seating area.

Vegetarian Meals

Graham and Cheryl prepare a variety of vegetarian meals with some fish options, if required. The dishes served will vary depending on the group’s dietary requirements. Several guests visiting Figs on the Funcho experience vegetarian meals for the first time and this is what they have to say: 

“The vegetarian meals a delicious revelation. I’ve ordered my first-ever veggie cookbook to continue the benefits of ‘Fig’s’ healthy delicious meals” – Judith Dawson

“So surprised at the vegetarian food. Every meal was delicious.” – Dave Russel

“A great evening with great vegetarian food cooked and prepared by Graham and Cheryl who were wonderful hosts.” – Rob Thorne

Feeling hungry? Take a look at the delicious wholesome meal options and sweet treats on our sample menu.

Walking Holiday in the Algarve Routes

Please note: the walking routes below can be combined or shortened to create a tailor made bespoke walking holiday that will meet your preferences and fitness levels and are subject to the walking guide’s availability.

The hiking trails chosen for the walking holiday will vary in distance from 8 – 15 km unless it is a bespoke walking holding and in that case you choose the duration and trails you wish to explore.

Every walking holiday could be different as we have a variety of walking routes to chose from. Walking programs can vary depending on the season and weather conditions. Below are a sample selection of some of our favourite walking paths. Routes may differ slightly to the descriptions below as the route followed is dependent on the track the walking guide may follow and the shorter trails are often combined into other routes to increase the distance covered  – all routes will lead to Rome! If you had a particular walking route in mind, please discuss it with us before confirming your booking.

The Historical Battle Walking Trail

church on the hill surrounded by tree
The church of Sant’Ana on the via Algarviana walking route

The Historical Battle Walking Trail follows part of the panoramic river Funcho, passing the ‘secret pond’, and thereafter to the iconic ‘church hill’.

On the hill, a large picture-tiled plaque depicts the historic 1834 Sant’Ana battle. This shows the army positions and the site where they erected a field hospital. This important historic artefact is sure to teach you about the noteworthy Portuguese history in this region, immersing you into Portuguese culture.

If you are passing through the village, you’ll discover the 16th Century church and its beautifully decorated altar. Near the church, the house of the famous Portuguese poet Joao de Deus (1830-1896) can be found. This idyllic town is sure to fascinate all those who visit with its charm and unique character. More interesting details about our village can be heard on the downloadable audio guided walking route

Visit the Archaeological Circuit of Vilarinha

red stone menhir surrounded by vegetation
A menhir carved in red sandstone on the archaeology walking trail. Note the markings carved in the stone.

Walk to the Archaeological Circuit of Vilarinha that is rich in archaeological remains, proving to be a journey in time from Prehistory to the Middle Ages. The walking route is also near the reproduction centre for the endangered Iberian lynx that is on the verge of extinction in Algarve.

On this route you’ll be visiting the Necropolis of Pedreirinha, dating back to the Early Middle Ages. This beautiful piece of Portugal’s history is composed of two adult and one children’s sepulchres, found dispersed by rocky emergencies that emerge in isolation at the top of the elevation.

The Alignment of Vilarinha, carved in roughly 6000 BC, will also be observed. The four menhirs that remain in the sites were carved in red sandstone from the region “gres de Silves” and formed an alignment with socio-religious functions, which was built by the first communities that inhabited the area. This deeply meaningful sight holds great importance across Portugal, and is certainly a must visit whilst you are in Algarve.

Your route will also let you observe the Necropolis of Carrasqueira, Forneca Necropolis, and the stunning rural scenery which includes orchards, citrus groves, and other beautiful Mediterranean vegetation.

The Scenic Seven Hanging Valley Walking Path

Instagramable walking route on the Algarve coastline

A spectacular scenic Seven Hanging Valley coastal walking path that is not to be rushed. From  striking lookout points, the rugged Atlantic coast with its vertical rock stacks and picturesque beaches will provide several photo opportunities to take Instagramable photos . You will pass the natural skylight of one of the most popular tourist attractions on the Algarve, the Benagil Cave. On top of the cliff you can peak through the light-filled dome where you will hear the ocean waves roaring down below in the cave. Don’t forget your camera!

Stroll above the Algarve Ochre Cliffs

Enjoy incredible scenic coastal walking views 

On top of the beautiful ochre cliffs we follow the cliff top path that takes us under green canopies of pine forests and several opportunities to take in the incredible scenic coastal views of one of the most prestigious Algarve beaches. The height of the ochre cliffs can be admired when we descend down to the golden beach to dip our toes in the clean, cool Atlantic sea water.  This beach has been consistently awarded the Blue Flag Beach status and is a very popular beach in the high season. The walk includes a stroll around one of the most prestigious marinas on the Algarve where million dollar yachts can be seen everywhere.

Embark on a Moorish City Cultural Walk

Moorish red stone castle turret
Moorish red stone castle turret

The Moorish City Cultural Walk leads you through town of Silves. Silves is a historical Moorish city with one of the best preserved examples of Moorish castles in Portugal.

This walking tour will be passing the 15th century bridge that once was the site of the Roman bridge, the gothic cathedral, and the castle. You’ll also have the chance to stop at the main city souvenir shops, pottery shops, cork shops and an indoor market.

There are several eateries; one of the restaurants seats you under the cool canopy of the jacaranda tree below the castle walls. An off the beaten track experience creating an extremely unique experience for you whilst you lunch on delicious food and marvel at the beautiful historical buildings that surround you.

You’ll then continue to explore the historical town, walking past the castle, gothic Ponte Romana bridge, cathedral, roman bridge and the river. Your guide will be pointing out all of the key sights in Silves, allowing you to learn about Silves from a local expert.

The Ruin Walking Path 

white ruin with tree
One of the ruins we pass on the ruin walking path

A  walking tour through Algarve’s charming countryside ruins. This light walk takes you past a few Algarve country ruins, each with their own unique characteristics. You’ll enjoy the stunning country views across the valley and river, passing through a small clump of evergreen eucalyptus trees, creating a strong, aromatic smell.

You can read more about this walk on the blog

The Lynx Walk

Iberian Lynx - Uriel Soberanes
Iberian Lynx walk leading you to the Iberian Lynx Breeding Center
 
The countryside walk, travels partly along the Funcho across high ground with fantastic views looking back down on to the winding Funcho. Looking down on the rehabilitation centre gives you the opportunity to potentially spot the wonderful Iberian Lynx! There are now reported to be 109 lynx living wild in Portugal following the Iberian Lynx Project’s wonderful work to re-introduce this species back into the wild. 

Funcho View Walk

River views on the Funcho river walk.

The Funcho river view walk can be shortened or lengthen to suit your fitness ability and ends with a lovely picnic under the pine trees near the dam wall.

Admire the natural beauty and nature as you walk through the Funcho reservoir, with its low lying hills, bee hives, beautiful heather, charming ruins, and the Algarve water wheels. Along with uninterrupted views and unimaginable scenic backgrounds, this hike is sure to amaze you.

Walk the beautiful Via Algarviana

tranquil resting places on the via algarviana Portugal
Scenic tranquil resting places on the river Funcho walking route.

The Via Algarviana walk from S.B. Messines to the beautiful historic town of Silves is 27.6km; however this will be shortened to suit the rest of the programme. If you thoroughly enjoy walking, you can choose to take the full route.

On this walk, you will be passing through the village of S.B. Messines and many other key locations in the village such as the house of João de Deus, a beloved local poet.

Enjoy the mesmerising landscape of rolling hills along the Arade river, making this path truly outstanding. You’ll have the chance to admire the beautiful landscape of this fluvial valley, its tributaries and the surrounding hillside.

Esteval dos Mouros

This is an 8.5km circular walk starting and finishing by the abandoned school at the entrance to the village. The walk starts on a quiet tarmac Lane through the village and then continues with orange groves and olive trees on either side. Eventually, the tarmac gives way to rough tracks which wind up into the hills above the village.

The walking trail leads to the abandoned village of Roche Amarela (yellow rock), probably abandoned 50 – 60 years ago – it’s fascinating to wander around the crumbling village houses and to imagine the hard lives the villagers endured scraping a living in the harsh countryside.

After leaving the village the track meanders downhill with breathtaking views of the countryside towards the coast.

Don’t forget to Bring…

  • Sun hat, sun cream and suitable footwear for walking to explore different paths 
  • Your swimming costume to enjoy the pool and wetsuits and swimming shoes for wild swimming or canoeing in the dam. I strongly advise you wear swimming shoes for all river activities.
  • Something warm to relax in at night
  • Re-useable water bottle 
  • Binoculars 
  • Walking sticks
  • Good walking shoes
  • Wind breaker and waterproof jacket

Getting here

One of the many walking trails we will explore.

Please note that prices for the holidays do not include flights. We recommend using www.skyscanner.net to check flights.  

Nearest airport: Faro – 30 – 45 minutes away by car.

We’ll have one Faro airport pick-up at 3pm for the group. We can arrange airport transfers for you at other times for your cost. If there is anybody else arriving doing the same we will arrange it so that you can share the transport costs.

It is easy to find train times and prices on the Portuguese train site here. Ideally chose the train station, S.B. Messines, as your destination station as it is only 10 minutes from our location or get off at the train station, Tunes and continue your journey by taxi. Details on booking a taxi are here.  

What’s Included in your walking holiday in the Algarve

  • 4 or 6 nights of accommodation and breakfast each morning
  • Breakfast at 08h30 and evening meals at 19h30 every day 
  • Lunch, packed lunch or an outdoor picnic will be provided depending on walk chosen
  • One pick up from Faro airport or Faro train station at 3pm
  • One drop off on departure day after breakfast to Faro airport or Faro train station.
  • Check-in from 14h00 – 22h00. Faro has plenty of accommodation options to chose from if your flight is very late. 
  • Check-in after 14h00, check-out after breakfast.

What’s not Included in your walking holiday in the Algarve

  • Drinks – instead we have an honesty bar
  • One lunch
  • Your flights
  • Travel insurance (recommended) 

Book your Walking Holiday in the Algarve

Walkers can create their own private group with a minimum of 5 walkers.
Read more about our upcoming retreat dates and rates and how to book here …

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About Us

Graham & Cheryl on holiday enjoying one of their home cooked Thai meals

The past shapes us and the decisions that we make. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus for Cheryl and her husband Graham what was most important to them. As a result, reflecting on the past and recalling happy memories helped them to take the decision to create a new life in Portugal’s beautiful Algarve region. Read more about us and our life here in the Algarve…