Discover a land that time forgot as you explore the unspoilt wild coastlines, pretty white villages and deserted cycling routes of the Algarve. The area is a birdwatchers paradise, with endemic and migratory species passing through from Africa and Northern Europe.
Day 1: Arrive at Sagres Arrive at the wonderful coastal town of Sagres in time for dinner at the hotel.
Day 2: Sagres to Lagos 38km/24mi 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.
Day 3: At Lagos 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.
Day 4: Lagos to Pedralva 42km/26.5mi or 52km/32.5mi 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.
Day 5: At Pedralva 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.
Day 6: Pedralva to Sagres 29km/18.5mi or 30km/19mi 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.
Day 7: Leave Sagres
Hotel Memmo Baleeira (4 star) This designer hotel is perfectly situated overlooking the stunning bay on the edge of Sagres. The rooms are minimalistic in design and feature all amenities. The restaurant here prides itself on serving the best of the local seafood, whilst the hotel offers free use of the Turkish bath, sauna and indoor pool, the perfect tonic after a day exploring this stunning area.
Costa DOiro (4 star) Tucked away just a kilometre from Lagos old town this lovely hotel offers a relaxing tranquil stay. The rooms are different depending on which villa you stay in mixing a multitude of Portuguese and colonial designs. Food here is a real Portuguese affair including a complete breakfast section of Portuguese specialities. It is easy to walk to Lagos old town, the Dona Ana beach, one of Portugal's best and the famous light house at Ponta da Piedade.
Aldeia da Pedralva (3 star) This is a magical place, a real find. In 2006 the village of Pedralva was a ruin with houses just left to rot by owners who no longer wanted to live in the countryside. However, Antonio Ferreira, after initially deciding to buy a couple of houses, eventually renovated 24 which have been beautifully restored to create 24 rooms. The village itself is surrounded by verdant nature parks and offers great walking and cycling possibilities. Food here is rustic Portuguese, simple in terms of ingredients but mouth watering in terms of quality, flavour and freshness.
Add 186 single supplement
Out: British Airways Gatwick to Faro various times, then transfer to hotel 90 mins at 12:30 17:30. Return: Transfer to Airport 90 mins at 10:45 15:45 then British Airways Faro to Gatwick various times.
All continental breakfasts and 5 evening meals
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