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3 Hour Flight GMT +/-0 Mediterranean Map

What to expect

Coastal Charm

Discover delightful coastal towns like Olhão

Twin-Centre Guided Walking

Range of East & West Algarve escorted walks

Portugal & Spain

Experience two countries at Christmas & New Year

About the trip

Discover the allure and beauty of the Eastern, Western Algarve and Southern Spain on our two week Christmas and New Year solo walking break of excellent Solos fully guided walking. We venture along stunning coastline, through the pine forests, charming towns and nature reserves to soak up every inch of Portuguese and Spanish charm.


Activity Level:

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What's Included

  • Return flights and transfers
  • Airport taxes & charges
  • Room for sole use
  • Welcome drink
  • Half Board – breakfast and dinner daily
  • Christmas Eve & New Years Eve Gala Dinner
  • Drinks included with evening meals
  • 1 x tapas lunch with drinks in Ayamonte
  • 1 x grilled fish lunch with drinks Tavira Island with drinks (meat option available)
  • 11 fully guided walking days
  • 1 x ferry boat trip to Ayamonte
  • 1 x boat tour Ria Formosa in Tavira
  • 1 x ferry boat trip to Olhão
  • Accompanying Solos Tour Leader
  • Fully financially Protected


  • Arrive in Portugal
  • Estômbar & Silves Walk
  • Seven Valleys Walk
  • Alvor & Praia da Rocha
  • Ponte da Piedade & Lagos
  • Barão De São João
  • Sagres & Cabo de São Vicente
  • Transfer from Portimao to Monte Gordo
  • Altura to Monte Gordo Walk
  • Vila Real de Santo António and Ayamonte
  • Day at leisure
  • Tavira
  • Castro Marim Nature Reserve
  • Olhão
  • Departure Day


  • Insurance click here
  • Lunches where not included

What you'll be doing


Arrive in Faro

Arrive at Faro Airport and transfer to the AguaHotels Riverside Hotel near Portimao.


Estômbar & Silves Walk

We begin in the traditional Algarve village of Estombar. Along the valley of the River Arade, we visit the Ecological Park of Fontes, an attractive local beauty spot. Here, we find the largest limestone springs in the Algarve. At Sitio das Fontes, we see a water mill, learn more about the local flora and fauna while walking along an educational trail. The route itself enables us to explore this river valley, following quiet tracks and paths so we can appreciate the diverse habitats and wildlife. The walk ends in Silves, the ancient capital of the Algarve with its iconic castle.


Seven Valleys Walk

Today we take a fantastic coastal walk taking in one of the most famous and dramatic sections of the Algarve coastline. Towering cliffs, sea caves and grottos, superb sandy coves and spectacular headlands including the much photographed Benagil domed caves lined with beautiful sandstone strata. We finish along Carvoeiro’s renowned elevated boardwalk.


Alvor & Praia da Rocha

Today we have a full programme with a fantastic coastal walk taking in the superb sandy beaches and dramatic headlands between Alvor and Portimão, including the much photographed beach at Praia da Rocha, one of the best in the Algarve. The rock strata are particularly varied and very colourful, from white limestone to red sandstone. These different rocks support a wide variety of flora and, in spring, there are impressive displays of wild flowers.


Ponte da Piedade & Lagos

We continue our coastal theme with a spectacular walk starting from the small village and resort of Luz. On this walk, we follow a coastal path to Lagos, visiting Ponta da Piedade along the way, where the famous sea caves are found and visited by many small boats carrying visitors from nearby Lagos. The walk finishes in Lagos, leaving plenty time to sightsee in this attractive town that was an important Roman settlement called ‘Lacobriga’. A variety of ancient Roman & medieval ruins remain, including the old slave market. The town centre, which is enclosed within 5th Century walls, offers a modern and well equipped marina that dominates the seafront, with the town now firmly positioned as a centre for tourists from all over the world. We have an opt out at Ponte de Piedade, allowing people to have a little more time to sightsee in Lagos.


Barão De São João

We head back inland for a walk that takes in the villages of Barão de São João and Barão de São Miguel. These charming, rural and peaceful villages are characterized by the typical white houses with a coloured border around the windows and doors. This and the traditional Algarve chimneys demonstrate the many years of Moorish occupancy of the area. We have an opt out at lunch time allowing people to relax and explore the fascinating village of Barão S. João.


Sagres & Cabo de São Vicente

Our final day on the Western Algarve fittingly culminates in Sagres, the most westerly town in the Algarve. This area of intensely dramatic cliffs, opening onto a vast horizon of sea and sky, was the last sight of Europe for the explorers setting forth on their fearsome voyages beyond the horizon. We will also visit the nearby Cabo de S. Vincente, whose spectacular cliffs were once believed to be the end of the world.


Transfer from Portimao to Monte Gordo

Transfer to the three-star hotel – Baia de Monte Gordo in Monte Gordo.

If time allows, an introductory walk will be offered.

Meals Included: Dinner


Altura to Monte Gordo Walk

For our first walk of the week, we take the public bus to the lovely coastal town of Altura – known for its cafes, restaurants and white sandy beach. Our walk takes us along raised walkways across the sand dunes back towards Monte Gordo. Along the way, we see how the dune vegetation changes and the abundance of European beach grass and sea holly growing along the way. The beach is vast, stretching as far as the eye can see down to the calm sea. At lunch time, we’ll stop for a picnic lunch (not included) at the Monte Gordo seafront, before returning to the hotel for a well earned rest.

Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner

Walking Distance 7.5km/4.6 miles
Ascent +10m
Descent -10m
Highest Point 10m
Terrain: Board walks, good dirt roads, some short tracks with soft sand.

DAY 10

Vila Real de Santo António and Ayamonte

We start the day with a walk through the Monte Gordo pine forest. The walk finishes in Vila Real de Santo António, a charming town with a fascinating history and architecture, in the estuary of the Rio Guadiana, which separates Portugal from Spain. From here, we’ll take the ferry across the river to the town of Ayamonte in Spain. We’ll tour the city and enjoy a meal of traditional tapas.

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DAY 11

Day at Leisure

Take a well earned rest and relax in the hotel, or take a stroll around Monte Gordo.

DAY 12

Exploring Tavira

This morning, we’ll travel by train to discover Tavira, a lovely and quaint old-Portuguese charm, with over 30 churches, cobbled streets, and bougainvillea lined balconies. In the historic and charismatic old town, the castle and typical houses provide much cultural interest. The River Gilão, with its working fisherman’s riverfront, runs to the azure lagoons of the Ria Formosa. We’ll take a boat tour along the Ria Formosa and stop at Tavira’s Island, for a grilled fish lunch, with a sea view (optional grilled meat dish, lunch with drinks included). We then take the boat back and head to the train to return to Monte Gordo.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Walking Distance 5.8km/3.6miles
Ascent +34m
Descent -32m
Highest Point 25m
Terrain: Good dirt and tarmac roads. very uneven cobbled pavement in and out of Tavira historical centre.

DAY 13

Castro Marim Nature Reserve

We enjoy a free morning to take a leisurely breakfast before heading to the Castro Marim Nature Reserve. After lunch (not included) we’ll take a transfer to the Castro Marim Nature Reserve – a unique landscape in the Eastern Algarve. A true realm of serenity, far from the hustle and bustle of the beach resorts, this is a haven for countless bird species such as the flamingos who regularly visit this charming patchwork of green-blue marshes and crisp white saltpans. From the salt pans, you’ll have a privileged view to the Castle, Fort, and walls of Castro Marim, one of the oldest communities in the Algarve, and an important centre of Arab power until 1242.

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DAY 14

Discovering the beauty of Olhão

After breakfast, we catch the train from Monte Gordo to Olhão – a picturesque coastal town inspired by Moroccan architecture that attracts artists, writers and photographers. We have free time to discover the town and take lunch (not included). The city centre has a collection of white houses with roof terraces and minarets that form a patchwork of layering cubes. The waterfront avenue near the Ria Formosa is lined with glorious tile-fronted, 19th-Century townhouses, with verandas and wrought-iron work. The highlight is the colourful atmosphere at the Municipal Market, which fulfils its traditional function by day and is the setting for lively nightlife bars.

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DAY 15

Departure Day

Today we check out of our hotel and say goodbye before transferring to Faro Airport.


Hotel Baia de Monte Gordo Three-star - Monte Gordo

Our cosy, friendly, hotel is located near the beach and within reach of the resorts bars and restaurants, an ideal base for our week of Solos walking.

Facilities Include

Facilities include restaurant, bar, small rooftop swimming pool, lounge area, Wi-Fi

Room Includes

Our rooms have ensuite bathroom, desk, flat screen satellite  TV, hairdryer, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning and balcony


Frequently Asked Questions

Our Reviews

“I’m sure you will enjoy it, I have been on three solos holidays to date and the people I’ve met have been great.”

“I’ve been travelling with Solos for nearly 20 years, on and off. The reason is for exactly what you want – you meet like minded people… and have loads of fun!”

“I’ve been on loads of trips with Solos over the years and can honestly say you will not regret booking your 1st one!”

“The feeling you have once you go away on your own is worth all the nerves before! I was so very anxious the first time but now having done it 4 times, I love it!”


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