There is so much variety to be found in The Algarve. We love working with you to create an itinerary specific to your needs and interests. We’ll take into account your taste and food allergy preferences (be aware that while vegetarian options are possible they are still not widely available in this region), your mobility status, your desire for culture, history, shopping, beaches or other personal preferences. A maximum of 3 guests per tour are accepted. No singles supplement is charged. Rather, we add an additional fee to our base price for each additional guest on a tour. We’ll help you with hotel or villa suggestions but these are not part of our tour services.
Beyond the 3 itineraries listed below, we can spend time back in the hills or exploring surfing beaches. If there’s a local festival happening we can arrange to take that in. Almost anything is possible. Just ask and we’ll see how we can turn your dreams into reality for you.
Most itineraries assume that we’ll leave the hotel at 9 a.m. Early start days usually begin at 8 a.m. Our return in the evening will vary but you’ll usually be home by 6 p.m. armed with suggestions for dinner places and activities near your hotel. Late day/evening tours can be organized.
Note: In the world of fresh food & small business many things can change quickly. We are committed to providing you the best possible experience so itinerary specifics may change due to availability and weather.
Three Possible ‘A Taste of Algarve’ Adventures
1) Sand, Sky and Historic Hills
We’ll begin our day’s explorations by wandering along a central Algarve town’s sidewalks overlooking the magnificent Praia Grande. Then into the hills for a ramble around the 10th century Castelo, a UNESCO historic site and key stopping point in the Crusades. We’ll explore it’s picturesque and charming streets, including its 12th Century Cathedral, stopping in the central square for coffee and sweet treats at a traditional coffee shop. Lunch will be at one of the best seafood restaurants in the region, after which we’ll drive through orange groves to a village considered by many to be the most beautiful village in the Algarve. There we’ll wander, exploring its many alleyways, its historic canal and fountain system and have another refreshment stop at a local bakery known for its regional sweets and views across the valley.
2) Saturday Mercado and Roman Roots
We’ll drive through salt flats and farmer’s fields to arrive at one of the best Saturday Morning Mercados (farmers market). Situated right by the Rio Formosa inland waterway, this is a gem for food lovers. One building is filled with the freshest possible fish and seafood. Another groans with fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses. Surrounding both buildings are local farmers who supplement the offerings with their colourful stalls bursting with local produce, honey, flowers and entertainment. After Mercado we’ll wander into the town which is a rabbit warren of alleyways and small squares that reflect its strong connections to North Africa. If we’re lucky we’ll see one of the old fishermen’s wives who still haunt the back streets garbed entirely in black. We’ll lunch in town and then head inland to view well preserved Roman Ruins, site of a 3rd century Roman villa. You’ll see Roman baths, colourful mosaics and a house that has been continually occupied since Roman times. We’ll close our afternoon by scooting a little further into the hills to a small town renowned for its cork production and a late afternoon refreshment stop.
3) A Sample of Spain, a ‘different’ Portuguese Town and Eastern Beauty
We’ll explore the furthest eastern reaches of the Algarve, take a short ferry ride across a tidal river and indulge in a spot of that uniquely Canadian love of cross-border shopping, this time in Spain. So different in terms of language, food, architecture and people’s character, it is obvious upon stepping off the ferry that you are in a different country. After a good ramble through this shopping haven, we’ll head back to Portugal and lunch right on the shores of the Guadiana River. Then we’ll discover a town built on the grid system, rather than having grown organically with the usual higgledy-piggledy assortment of alleyways and squares Portugal is known for. This town is a survivor of the great 1755 earthquake and was completely washed away in the tsunami that followed. It’s a wonderful place to shop for housewares if you are so inclined. Then we’ll head West, stopping at a number of points along the coast where you’ll get to view the glories of the inland waterways before arriving in the town considered to be the Venice of the Algarve. We’ll wander along its waterways, spending time feasting our eyes on the delights of this gem of a small city.