The western Algarve, a land away from the touristy towns of the central coast, is an area of stunning cliff tops, quiet fishermen's villages and lush green interior. It's also a birdwatcher's paradise and whilst autumn and spring bring in the huge migrations, winter sees numerous endemic bird species. Winter is more akin to springtime in the UK, meaning you can enjoy the warm temperatures and beautiful beaches of the Algarve from October right through to May.
All continental breakfasts and 5 evening meals. The local speciality from the sea is the Barnacle Perceve, this is not taken from the bottom of boats but the bottom of submerged local cliffs, it is harvested by hand using a dangerous and traditional method, which involves one of the two collectors dangling by a rope from the top of the cliffs! They are a bit of a delicacy not too dissimilar to mussels. Away from the sea the dried hams, salamis and chourico are as good as anything that Spain or Italy can produce. The strange sounding bread sausage Alheira is very good, invented by the Portuguese Jews during the Inquisition to avoid persecution, bread and non-pork products are used. Good quality meat is also on the menu, beef and pork are of a high quality and lamb in season is superb. Vegetables are plentiful and with big harvests of almonds and oranges, fruits are in good supply alongside another local vegetable, the sweet potato. The Algarve’s other surprise is the quality of cheese; from mild to strong using cow, goat or sheep milk there is a great range of cheeses for all tastes, Queijo de Cabra do Algarve, is a particular favourite.
Arrive into the waterfront city of Faro. Dine out this evening (payable locally) either at the hotel or from a plethora of options available to you. *Staying at Hotel Faro. *
Explore the walled Old Town, marina, restaurants and bars or take a boat trip around the lagoons of the Ria Formosa National Park. Later, transfer to the wonderful coastal town of Sagres in time for dinner at the hotel. *Staying at Hotel Memmo Baleeira. *
From Sagres head inland, mostly following the Ecovia, a national cycle trail. Pass shepherds tending their flocks before meeting the coast again in time for lunch. The villages of Salema, Burgau and Luz have great sandy beaches and offer rustic restaurants with al fresco dining; grilled fresh fish with zesty lemon is a favourite dish. You end the day at Lagos and your wonderfully atmospheric 4-star hotel.*Staying at Costa d'Oiro. *
Lagos is encircled by 14th century walls - the stone work and architecture you'll find hidden within these is a delight. Ornate churches date from the 13th century, and tangled cobbled lanes lead to new discoveries around every corner. Visit the new marina and the lively fish market (held daily), and join the locals for coffee in one of the many bars. Popular coastal walks lead to Ponte da Piedade lighthouse and from Porto de Mos to Luz, both offering outstanding sea views.*Staying at Costa d'Oiro. *
You have a choice of routes today, with both taking you along the promenade at Lagos, before heading inland to Odiaxere where you can choose a shorter option that has fewer climbs and takes you through lovely villages on winding roads, giving you a real insight into local life. The longer route takes you past the beautiful Bravura reservoir and pretty alpine-like hamlets and meadows, meeting the coast in picturesque Carrapateira. Then it's on to Pedralva, a village where each house has been restored to create individual hotel rooms. *Staying at Aldeia da Pedralva. * Optional shorter ride: Distance 42km/26.5mi.
Aldeia da Pedralva is a wonderful rural retreat and you could easily spend the day relaxing in the village. If you fancy doing more you can follow one of our routes taking you out along the cliff tops with great views of the coast, or return to Carrapateira to visit the Land and Sea Museum and have a leisurely lunch.*Staying at Aldeia da Pedralva. *
There's two options today but both routes are fairly short allowing you time to visit the lighthouse at Cabo de Sao Vicente and Sagres Fortress, built by Henry the Navigator. The longer route is on off-road tracks passing holm oak forests. Both routes give great views of the Serra de Monchique passing through Vila do Bispo, a nice lunch stop with its beautiful 17th century church. From Vila do Bispo head out across the Vicente peninsula to Cabo de Sao Vicente and the southwestern tip of Europe before following the coast road back to Sagres. *Staying at Hotel Memmo Baleeira. * Alternative ride: Distance 29km/18.5mi.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
With over 45 years’ experience of taking people on amazing adventure holidays, Exodus can help you reach some of the most incredible destinations on 500 itineraries across more than 90 countries around the world. All staff at Exodus have a passion for travel and adventure, and some team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland drivers, mountain leaders, diving and ski specialists and mountain bike gurus. But that’s not all. This reputable company is a Which? recommended escorted tour provider and has won many prestigious awards, including Best Activity and Sports Holiday Company at the 2018 British Travel Awards.
Exodus is all about adventure and helping others to achieve their travel dreams by offering a fantastic range of guided group holidays, self-guided trips, tailor-made getaways and escorted tours. So, if you’re looking to discover different countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts or even jungles, the expert team at Exodus can help you plan an unforgettable solo, group or family adventure.
Each tour and adventure has been created to give you maximum value for money, often including authentic activities, as well as flights, accommodation and a tour guide. And as the team has developed one of the very best and most exciting collections of guided-group tours and self-guided holidays, you’re guaranteed the adventure holiday of a lifetime, no matter which one you pick. Trips include everything from family adventure holidays and walking and cycling tours to mixed-activity tours and seasonal getaways. You can also ask Exodus to plan a tailored itinerary from scratch or tweak an existing one, which means you can book a bespoke holiday that is designed just for you.
Need some inspiration? You can enjoy varied walks in the stunning Spanish mountains, experience the magic of Italy in Tuscany or explore the rich Sri Lankan history and culture by bike. Try a host of different activities in glorious Turkish surroundings, ski through the magnificent Norwegian wilderness or embark on a journey through India’s tropical south. Visit Iceland and East Greenland, see the spectacular marine wildlife in the Maldives or cruise along the mighty Amazon River in Peru – the options are endless!
When it comes to travelling together as a family with Exodus, all family holidays are specifically designed to offer a mix of education and exploration, with plenty of downtime. Each adventure and tour has been created with one of three age ranges in mind, but children outside of the 5-8, 9-12 and 13-16 age bracket are welcome to travel too. Plus, the price for children up to the age of 16 is 25% lower than the adult cost for Exodus guided holidays to help make your trip more affordable. From canoeing and cycling in the Dordogne to safari tours in Africa and dolphin watching in Costa Rica, Exodus offer family adventures all over the world.
Something that makes this adventure holiday and escorted tour operator unique is the loyalty scheme, the Exodus Collective. When you book your second trip, you’ll join the Collective and be given access to exclusive discounts, sales previews and special travel benefits. The more you travel with Exodus the more you’ll be entitled to, and your membership also grants you special access to exclusive travel content.
At Exodus, they make sure that everyone travels respectfully and courteously in a small group to minimise their impact and to ensure each holiday is a beneficial experience for all those involved. Where possible, they believe in putting money directly into the communities they visit by eating locally produced food and using locally owned and run accommodation. They also strive to provide as much flexibility and choice as possible to make it simple for you to experience a memorable holiday, your way.