Exploring beyond the beaches of the Algarve.
Whilst we know that relaxing by a pool or laying on one of our beautiful beaches is no doubt for many their "perfect" Algarve experience there is so much more to discover, especially if you make the Algarve your home.
There are plenty of activities to experience that show case the beauty of the region, heritage, traditional practices. From simple walks or cycling, visiting a vineyard, an olive farm, a working salt mine or experiencing how cork is harvested through to the end product and more. We have listed a few and hope you get a chance to experience some of them.
Walking in the Algarve: From our beautiful coastline to the hills, the Algarve offers unforgettable countryside to explore and for those wishing to do so on foot, there are endless opportunities. Indeed, the famous Via Algarviana, a walking route stretching for 300 km across inland Algarve, starting in Alcoutim, next to the River Guadiana, and finishing at Cape St Vincent, in Sagres. The route is divided into 14 sectors, none of which is longer than 30 km. Recharge your batteries between each stage of the route by staying at rural tourism properties. Try the regional cuisine, admire the local handicrafts, and meet the artisans and locals.
If you decide to explore the region’s south-west coast, the Vicentine route lets you travel along more than 400 km of pedestrian trails between Cape St Vincent and Santiago do Cacém. Travel the Historical Route and visit the main towns and villages on a rural itinerary boasting several centuries of history and with a connection to the Way of St James and the St Vincent pilgrimages. Follow the Fishermen’s Trail, a complementary route along the coast. Explore the paths used by the locals to get to the beaches and fishing grounds. Another route worth exploring is the Cork Route in São Brás de Alportel. Here, you will have the opportunity to learn about the entire production cycle of this fantastic raw material. Start with the cork oaks and finish with the end product as it leaves the factories. Go walking and visit museums. Discover arts, crafts, and the local cuisine. This route focuses on six themes: heritage, nature, rural life, traditions, innovation, and knowledge.
Cycling in the Algarve: Cycling is a great way to explore the Algarve and with stunning countryside and views to enjoy there is much which you simply could not reach or see in a vehicle. Whether you simply want to stay on accessible roads and lanes or are more adventurous with cycling and wish to go fully off road and onto the stone tracks and downhill paths you will never get bored. It would take a lifetime to explore them all. Cycling is incredibly popular in the Algarve so don’t be surprised if you see more than one fellow enthusiast while you are out on your bike.
Wine Tours: The Algarve with its exceptional climate is a great terroir for growing vines. The vines grow in a variety of soils including clay, limestone, sandstone and even some areas of schist and produce high-quality grapes. In the 1980's, the Algarve gained the status of demarcated Region for: Lagos, Portimão, Lagoa and Tavira. For any wine lover a visit to a vineyard is a wonderful way to find out the process from grape to bottle and of course to then sample, enjoy and then hopefully take a few cases away with you different areas of the Algarve.
Visit an olive oil farm: For any lovers of olive oil, we highly recommend taking time out at least once to go and visit an olive farm. One such farm that we recommend is Monterosa Olive Oil Farm, Moncarapacho with 20 hectares of olive groves. To find out more and to book your tour visit the Monterosa Olive Oil Farm web site: Monterosa Page (monterosa-oliveoil.com).
Cork Tour Experience: From the cork oak to the traditional factory, what better way than to discover the story and witness the processes of one of the most characteristic industries in the Algarve. You will never look at cork the same way! One of the most comprehensive tours and experiences that we have found and can recommend is with Algarve Rotas. Based in Sao Bras de Alportel. In 2013, Sofia Carrusca, created the Algarve Rotas company, which operates in the field of tourist activities for the interpretation and valuation of the local cork industrial heritage, the promotion of cultural tours, nature tours and develop workshops in the field of traditional arts and crafts improving new experiences to the customers. To find out more and to book your tour visit the Algarve Rotas web site: www.algarverotas.com
Dive into the only Portuguese Mine, which is below sea level and possible to visit! The Salt Mine - Gema de Loulé opens its doors to the general public, where all those interested can during a 2-hour tour, discover the extraordinary world of the Sal-Gema underground mine with more than 45 km of galleries and dive into the only Portuguese mine that is below sea level that is open to the public
It's worth a visit so check out their website: MINA SAL-GEMA LOULÉ ROCKSALT MINE - Home (mina-sal-gema-loule.com)