ALGARVE WALKING HOLIDAY: COUNTRYSIDE AND COASTLINE
Embark on an incredible journey through the aw-inspiring Algarve, where hidden gems and stunning scenery eagerly await your exploration. Get ready to experience the very best this captivating region has to offer on an unforgettable 6-night walking holiday at Figs on the Funcho. Nestled amidst the sublime beauty of the Barragem do Funcho (river), our charming accommodations provide direct views of the serene landscape, allowing you to immerse yourself in its tranquil splendour. Prepare to stroll along peaceful riverside paths, where every step unveils wonderful vistas that that will leave you in awe. And when night falls, be prepared to be enchanted by the clear starry skies and mesmerizing sunsets, ensuring that your Algarve walking holiday will be etched in your memory forever.
The Walking Experience
This holiday offers you the perfect opportunity to bask in the great outdoors, exploring one of Europe’s most stunning destinations and delving into the wonders of Algarve’s scenic walking routes. Some of the walks will be expertly guided, while others may be led by your hosts Cheryl or Graham. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply want to uncover the hidden beauties of this region at a leisurely pace, your guide will ensure that this trip is perfect for you.
In addition to soaking up the impressive landscapes, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in Algarve’s rich culture by visiting idyllic towns, admiring beautiful architecture, and indulging in the mouth-watering local cuisine. Discover the remnants of the famous 1834 Sant’Ana battle, delve into the fascinating history at the Necropolis of Pedreirinha dating back to the Early Middle Ages, and uncover countless other historic sights. This holiday promises a truly magnificent experience in a stunning and relaxing location.
What Awaits You
- Discover an unspoilt, uncrowded, and tranquil setting off the beaten track, where you can fully unwind and rejuvenate amidst peaceful surroundings.
- Take delight in our riverside location, boasting an infinity swimming pool that offers uninterrupted panoramic views of the countryside and river—a true oasis of tranquillity.
- From the comfort of the shaded seating area, you can keep an eye out for the abundance of local bird species that call Figs on the Funcho their home.
- Get ready to be mesmerised by the splendour of starry skies and unforgettable sunsets.
- Throughout the year, enjoy our exceptional location, as the Algarve offers pleasant sunshine and warm temperatures even in winter.
- Immerse yourself in the option of horse riding in the vicinity, allowing you to explore the surrounding area from a different perspective.
- Indulge in a pampering experience with relaxing massages available on request, ensuring that every moment of your holiday is filled with tranquillity and rejuvenation.
Walking Holiday Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival and Welcome
Upon your arrival from 16:00, settle into your accommodation and bask in the stunning yet tranquil riverside location, surrounded by panoramic views. Join us at 18:30 on the waterfront deck for welcome drinks, where you can meet your walking group and savor the sunset. Weather permitting, dinner will be served outdoors, offering a wholesome vegetarian meal prepared with love by your hosts, Graham and Cheryl. After dinner, indulge in a cheese platter served with port under the carob trees. Take the evening to relax in your beautiful rooms, preparing for the exciting days of your Algarve walking holiday. Please note that guests should arrive before 22:00, or alternatively arrange for arrival the following morning.
Day 2: The Historical Battle Trail
After breakfast, embark on a guided 14km journey along the Historical Battle Trail. Follow the panoramic river Funcho to the enchanting ‘secret pond’ and then make your way to the iconic ‘church hill’. In the village, pause for a coffee and sample the delightful “pastel de nata,” a typical Portuguese custard tart. Explore the 16th-century church adorned with a beautiful altar and the house of the renowned Portuguese poet Joao de Deus (1830-1896). At the hill, a large picture-tiled plaque illustrates the historic 1834 Sant’Ana battle, providing insight into Portuguese history and culture. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the hill under the trees, appreciating the picturesque landscape and reflecting on the scenes of conflict that unfolded here almost 200 years ago. Return to your accommodation for leisure time, allowing you to admire the surroundings, unwind by the pool, or enjoy a refreshing wild swim.
Day 3: Visit the Archaeological Circuit of Vilarinha
A menhir carved in red sandstone on the archaeology walking trail. Note the markings carved in the stone.
Set out on a 15km guided walk to explore the famous Archaeological Circuit of Vilarinha. This route is rich in archaeological remains, offering a journey through time from Prehistory to the Middle Ages. Keep an eye out for the endangered Iberian lynx reproduction centre located nearby. Discover the Necropolis of Pedreirinha, which dates back to the Early Middle Ages, showcasing two adult and one children’s sepulchres. Observe the Alignment of Vilarinha, carved around 6000 BC, consisting of four menhirs that formed an alignment with socio-religious significance for the early communities in the area. Appreciate the beauty of the Necropolis of Carrasqueira, Forneca Necropolis, and the stunning rural scenery, including orchards, citrus groves, and Mediterranean vegetation. Enjoy a delightful lunch at a typical Portuguese café in the countryside, savouring authentic country cuisine.
Day 4: Stroll above the Algarve Ochre Cliffs
Enjoy a scenic walk atop the magnificent ochre cliffs, following the cliff-top path that leads through lush pine forests. Admire the incredible coastal views of one of the Algarve’s most prestigious beaches. Descend to the golden beach and immerse your toes in the clean, cool Atlantic seawater. This Blue Flag Beach is highly regarded and popular during the high season. A packed lunch will be provided for your convenience.
Day 5: The Ghost Village Walk
Embark on an 8.5km circular walk that begins and ends at the entrance to the abandoned school in the village. Wander along a quiet tarmac lane through the village, surrounded by orange groves and olive trees. As the tarmac gives way to rough tracks, ascend into the hills above the village, reaching the abandoned Algarve. Explore the crumbling village houses and envision the challenging lives the villagers once led. Descend along the track, treated to breath-taking views of the countryside leading towards the coast. Take the opportunity to explore one of the prettiest villages in the Algarve and indulge in a leisurely lunch at a typical Portuguese restaurant, savouring the local flavours.
Day 6: Funcho View Walk
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and marvel at the wonders of nature as you embark on a walk through the captivating Funcho reservoir. Traverse the low-lying hills, observe buzzing beehives, admire beautiful heather, and discover charming ruins along the way. With uninterrupted views and stunning scenic backgrounds, this 12km hike promises to leave you in awe. Enjoy a delightful picnic prepared by Cheryl and Graham, nestled under the pine trees, while taking in the panoramic views over the river. If needed, the walk can be adjusted to suit your fitness ability.
Day 7: Departure Day
After a delicious breakfast, bid farewell to your fellow walkers, cherishing the memories created during your walking holiday. Transfers to the airport will be arranged for your convenience, as you depart from this remarkable region.
Please note that the itinerary is subject to change based on weather conditions and the group’s pace. Our experienced guides will ensure that your walking holiday in the Algarve is a memorable and enjoyable experience from start to finish.
Inclusions, Transfers, and Additional Information
Included in this package
- Accommodation in well-appointed and relaxing double rooms
- Daily breakfast, lunch (except one lunch) and dinner
- Lunch options include dining at Figs on the Funcho, enjoying a packed lunch, or indulging in a scenic countryside picnic, depending on the chosen walking route.
Airport Transfers: We provide one Faro airport pick-up at 15:00 for the group. If you require transfers at other times, we can arrange them for an additional cost. Whenever possible, we organize shared transport to help reduce costs for individual travelers.
Please note that entrance fees to local attractions visited during sightseeing excursions are not included in the package. Additionally, any drinks consumed at Figs on the Funcho, including the availability of our honesty bar, are not covered.
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 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.
Discovering the Rich Heritage and Leisure Pursuit
During your leisure time, there are wonderful opportunities to delve deeper into the local culture and engage in exciting activities. Your host can arrange taxis for you to explore nearby attractions and experiences.
Historical Town Exploration
Stroll through the enchanting cobbled streets of the nearby historical town and immerse yourself in its fascinating heritage. Visit the impressive Gothic cathedral and the Moorish Castle, which dates back to the 8th and 13th centuries. Adjacent to the castle and cathedral, the archaeology museum showcases Roman, Phoenician, Moorish, and prehistoric artifacts. Don’t miss the chance to marvel at the remarkably preserved 15-meter deep Arabian well, complete with a staircase leading to its bottom. As you wander, discover an array of shops offering local products and exquisite Portuguese pottery plates adorned with beautiful designs.
Water Activities and Serene Relaxation
After a fulfilling day of walking, indulge in some refreshing water activities*. Take a dip in the tranquil waters of the Funcho lake, engage in kayaking or paddleboarding adventures, or simply unwind by the infinity pool and deck. Savor a delicious cocktail while witnessing the mesmerizing sunset over the river, creating a picture-perfect moment.
* Please Note: Check water levels in advance for optimal water sport experiences during dry periods in the Algarve.
Horseback Riding in the Algarve Countryside
For those seeking a unique perspective of the countryside, consider booking a horseback ride, a mere 5 minute walk to the nearby equestrian centre. Saddle up and traverse the picturesque landscapes, taking in the serene beauty of the surroundings as you enjoy an unforgettable experience on horseback.
Algarve Walking Holiday Accommodation
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.
Outdoor Riverside Lounge
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.
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
- Walking sticks
- Good walking shoes
- Wind breaker and waterproof jacket
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.
Tailor-Made Walking Holiday and Discover the Algarve Your Way
Your private walking holiday can be customized, combined, or shortened to create a bespoke walking holiday tailored to your preferences and fitness levels for groups of 7 persons or more. Subject to the availability of the walking guide.
Flexibility for Your Walking Schedule
This walking holiday could be adjusted to a 4-night duration to accommodate your schedule. You could select the hikes that inspire you the most. To create your own bespoke hiking itinerary, we invite you to contact Cheryl for personalized assistance.
Varied Routes for Every Preference
The hiking trails included in the walking holiday offer a range of distances, typically ranging from 8 to 15 kilometres. However, in the case of a bespoke walking holiday, you have the freedom to choose the duration and specific trails you wish to explore.
Endless Possibilities: With a variety of walking routes available, each walking holiday can be a unique experience. Please keep in mind that the walking programs may vary depending on the season and weather conditions. The additional walking routes listed below represents some of our favourite walking paths, but it’s important to note that routes may differ slightly from the descriptions as our experienced walking guide may adapt the route and occasionally combine shorter trails for an enhanced experience. Rest assured, whichever route you choose, it will lead to unforgettable discoveries in the Algarve.
Tailor Your Algarve Walking Adventure
We encourage you to share any walking routes you have in mind during the booking process. Our team will be delighted to assist you in crafting the perfect walking holiday that aligns with your preferences and ensures an exceptional experience from start to finish.
Alternate Walking Trails
The Scenic Seven Hanging Valley Walking Path
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!
Embark on a Moorish City Cultural Walk
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
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
Walk the Beautiful Via Algarviana
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.
Read more about how we are focused on being sustainable, eco-friendly and responsible.
The past shapes us and the decisions that we make. The Covid-19 pandemic 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…