Portugal – Walking & Birdwatching

8 Days from £889 | April, October 889

Sunshine and fantastic beaches – the Algarve is a great place for a holiday. But the eastern Algarve, with its vast wetlands which stretch from Faro to close to the border with Spain, is a nature lover’s wonderland. The system of barrier islands and peninsulas creates a variety of habitats in which wildlife, especially birds, can thrive.

In the spring, we visit the Alentejo. Inland from the coast, the Alentejo is an entirely different landscape to the Algarve, but just as enchanting. Great plains dotted with cork oaks stretch to the horizon. Protected areas, where hunting is banned and only traditional methods of agriculture are practised, have become one of the most important bird watching centres in Portugal and a perfect environment for the Great Bustard, the heaviest of flying birds.

In the autumn, the Alentejo is replaced by a walk in Portugal’s wild west at Cape St Vincent.

Your holiday hotel is on the outskirts of the historic town of Tavira. The busy market town has no less than thirty-seven churches and a lovely arched Roman bridge spanning the River Gilau. The pleasant old centre has arcades, shops and cafes.

Portugal – Walking & Birdwatching

Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this holiday* - 94%
* as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details

  • 7 nights hb near Tavira
  • Three included walking excursions
  • Walks accompanied by an expert birdwatcher

DAY ONE: Flight to Faro, transfer to your hotel, forty minutes away, for seven nights half board accommodation.

DAYS TWO TO SEVEN: In resort with three included walking excursions.

Walk 1: The Ria Formosa Natural Park. In the morning, transfer to the start of your walk near Faro (27 miles). The Ria Formosa nature area is one of the most important protected areas in the south of the Iberian Peninsula. You walk towards Quinta do Lago, passing salt marshes carved into a labyrinth of tidal flats, salt ponds, warm water lagoons and channels which provide shelter to many bird species, including Flamingos, Spoonbills, Storks and Hoopoes. The walk takes you through the area of Ludo, located in the middle of a complex of saltpans at the edge of the São Lorenço River, passing along salt mountains, eucalyptus and pine tree forests. The walk is level and about 4 miles. You return to the hotel in the late afternoon.

Walk 2: 15-mile transfer east to the wetlands of the Castro Marim Nature Reserve, on the mouth of the river Guadiana, the natural border between this side of Portugal and Spain. From the main road near the old town of Castro Marim you do the first part of the walk next to salt marshes, saltpans and cultivated fields towards the Visitor Centre – a good area for waders, warblers and even the Little Bustard in the dry flats of the marsh. 2.2 miles, ascent/descent 30m. Short transfer to the next walk through the more industrial saltpans of Cerro do Bufo. Along this dirt road you can see waders, gulls, terns and herons on one side and ground birds in the fields on the other side. Expected birds to be seen on the day are Crested Lark, Black-winged Stilt, Flamingo, Spoonbill, Avocet, Osprey, Marsh Harrier, Kentish Plover, Dartford Warbler, Stone Curlew. 3.75 miles, ascent/descent 10m.

Walk 3 (spring departures): An early start for the journey to Castro Verde in the inland province of Alentejo (83 miles). Alentejo is one of the most beautiful and sparsely populated areas of Portugal and holds one of the best-preserved steppes in Europe. The Special Protection Area of Castro Verde is full of birdlife and in the spring the fields are carpeted with wildflowers. You pass the grassland and oak woods in search of the iconic Great and Little Bustards, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Bee-eaters, the first Rollers of the year, Black-eared Wheatear, Iberian Grey Shrike and raptors such as the Black-winged Kite, Booted and Short-toed Eagle, Red and Black Kite, Griffon and Black Vulture and sometimes even young Golden, Bonelli´s and Spanish Imperial Eagles. 6.8 miles, ascent/descent 200m. Depending on the day of operation, lunch is included in the Castro Verde LPN visitor centre. Time permitting, a stop will be made on the return journey in the old walled town of Mertola on the Guadiana river. Return to the hotel late afternoon.

Walk 3 (autumn departures): An early start for the 82-mile transfer to the start of today’s walk from Vila do Bispo to the lighthouse at Cabo São Vincente. It is the most south-westerly point in mainland Europe and was considered by the Romans to be the end of the known world. Our walk affords stunning views of the ocean and takes us across the Vale Santo where, in October, migrating raptors may often be seen including Booted, Short-toed and Bonelli’s Eagles, Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, Honey-buzzards and Black Kites, various falcons plus Black Storks. The walk is a little under 8 miles and has a few gentle inclines. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon.

DAY EIGHT: Free time until your departure transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Portugal – Walking & Birdwatching

Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this holiday* - 94%
* as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details

VILA GALE ALBACORA ****, Tavira (seven nights)
The hotel is situated in a protected area at the mouth of the River Gilau on the outskirts of Tavira. It is a 40-minute walk to the town centre. The hotel operates a courtesy bus during the day Wednesday to Sunday (schedule subject to change) and taxis are cheap. The hotel is built on an old tuna fishing settlement and has a tuna fishing museum. There is plenty of nearby birdlife at the saltpans and low-tide mudflats of Forte do Rato, a 10-minute walk away. The hotel has a bar, restaurant, outdoor pool, and spa area (charges apply). Wifi is free throughout the hotel. Bedrooms (converted from the old fishermen’s houses) have bath/shower and wc, hairdryer, cable TV and minibar. Prices are based on standard rooms. Rooms with river view are available on request at a supplement. (www.vilagale.com)
Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this hotel* - 91%
*as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details
Walking Holiday - Portugal – Walking & Birdwatching
Holiday code: 7WAB
Supplements per person:
Single Room: £200
River View Twin/Double Room: £56
Supplements on some holidays vary by departure date - the applicable price will be shown when booking.

Fly FromDateDaysAirlineDep.Rtn.AvailabilityPriceFly ToSingle

Belfast IntlThu 16/04/20208Easyjet10351710Places Available889Faro20048BFS17WABC3

Belfast IntlThu 01/10/20208Easyjet10351710Places Available899Faro20049BFS17WABC4

BirminghamThu 16/04/20208Jet210151500Places Available929Faro20048BHX17WABC3

BirminghamThu 01/10/20208Jet208151500Places Available939Faro20049BHX17WABC4

BristolThu 16/04/20208Easyjet06501240Places Available889Faro20048BRS17WABC3

BristolThu 01/10/20208Easyjet06501240Places Available899Faro20049BRS17WABC4

CardiffThu 01/10/20208Thomson06052015Places Available959Faro20049CWL17WABC4

DublinThu 16/04/20208Ryanair09301545Places Available889Faro20048DUB17WABC3

DublinThu 01/10/20208Ryanair09301545Places Available899Faro20049DUB17WABC4

East MidlandsThu 16/04/20208Ryanair15502200Places Available889Faro20048EMA17WABC3

East MidlandsThu 01/10/20208Ryanair15502200Places Available899Faro20049EMA17WABC4

EdinburghThu 16/04/20208Jet208201420Places Available929Faro20048EDI17WABC3

EdinburghThu 01/10/20208Jet208201420Places Available939Faro20049EDI17WABC4

GlasgowThu 16/04/20208Jet208401450Places Available929Faro20048GLA17WABC3

GlasgowThu 01/10/20208Jet208401450Places Available939Faro20049GLA17WABC4

Leeds-BradfordThu 16/04/20208Ryanair19451920Places Available889Faro20048LBA17WABC3

Leeds-BradfordThu 01/10/20208Ryanair19451920Places Available899Faro20049LBA17WABC4

LiverpoolThu 16/04/20208Easyjet07001315Places Available889Faro20048LPL17WABC3

LiverpoolThu 01/10/20208Easyjet07001315Places Available899Faro20049LPL17WABC4

London GatwickThu 16/04/20208Easyjet08051410Places Available889Faro20048LGW17WABC3

London GatwickThu 01/10/20208Easyjet08051410Places Available899Faro20049LGW17WABC4

LutonThu 16/04/20208Easyjet06351255Places Available889Faro20048LTN17WABC3

LutonThu 01/10/20208Easyjet06351255Places Available899Faro20049LTN17WABC4

ManchesterThu 16/04/20208Ryanair12302000Places Available889Faro20048MAN17WABC3

ManchesterThu 01/10/20208Ryanair12302000Places Available899Faro20049MAN17WABC4

NewcastleThu 16/04/20208Jet209001640Places Available929Faro20048NCL17WABC3

NewcastleThu 01/10/20208Jet209001440Places Available939Faro20049NCL17WABC4

SouthendThu 16/04/20208Easyjet06301255Places Available889Faro20048SEN17WABC3

SouthendThu 01/10/20208Easyjet06401305Places Available899Faro20049SEN17WABC4

StanstedThu 16/04/20208Ryanair07101320Places Available889Faro20048STN17WABC3

StanstedThu 01/10/20208Ryanair07101320Places Available899Faro20049STN17WABC4

Prices shown include carriage of one piece of hold luggage per person (maximum size and weights vary). Prices include return transfers between airport and hotel and are based on the shared occupancy of twin/double standard rooms. Please refer to 'Accommodation' for details of any room supplements (including single rooms) and extended stay costs that apply to this holiday. All flight details are provisional and subject to confirmation when known. All holidays are subject to minimum numbers and are subject to availability. Further details in our FAQ.

Data as at 19/10/2019 at 20:47:07

The Tour Leader's expert knowledge and pleasant manner contributed to the success and enjoyment of our holiday


Such a lovely, happy holiday. A great idea to have reserved tables at meal times - really got to know people.

Miss McC, Essex

Tour Leader was exceptional and went far and beyond the call of duty to make sure everyone was ok.

Miss P, Notts

Great holiday!! Excellent birds.

Mr B, W Midlands

We really enjoyed this Walking and Birdwatching holiday in Portugal. June our guide was excellent. She and her partner made sure we saw a fantastic range of birds. Her knowledge and enthusiasm was boundless. She looked after the party generally as well as being a specialist. We saw the beauty of Portugal and the spring flowers as well as the birds. Excellent!

Mr & Mrs M, Warwick

We were delighted that our 2nd PTS holiday was, if anything, better than the 1st.

Mrs F, Bristol

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Don't forget, we fly from 20 airports right across the UK.
Most of our holidays include half board as standard.
All of our holidays have included visits and tours.

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Portugal – Walking & Birdwatching