Walking in the Algarve

Cliffs in the Algarve, the far south region of Portugal.
Cliffs in the Algarve, the far south region of Portugal.

By Jackie Cohen

For the longest time, tourists never considered the Algarve, the dream-worthy southern portion of Portugal, a walking destination.

Today, an increasing number of tourists are discovering the incredibly walks lent by the dramatic and curvy coastline. In Julie Statham's Walking in the Algarve: 34 Coastal and Mountain Walks, tourists are guided through the volcanic hills to dramatic limestone escarpments.

This diverse geology of the region is complemented by the local flora and fauna in the delightfully warm springs, hot summers, and short and nearly pain-free winters. The guide takes walkers from the large touristy areas through the more untouched, less known highlights of the Algarve.

Excerpt from the Book

"The area of southern Portugal known as the Algarve has been the destination for winter-sun-seekers for many years. Although bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to both the south and west, it is warmed by the Gulf Stream and experiences a Mediterranean Climate with hot, dry summers, and mild, sunny winters.

The oft-quoted statistic-- that the Algarve receives an average of 300 days of sunshine a year-- is true.

For many years the Algarve was not considered a 'real' walking destination, but rather the domain of golfers in winter and sun-worshipers during the summer months, but that opinion is rapidly changing.

An increasing number of people, drawn to the area by low-cost flights, are beginning to realize that there is far more to this area than first meets the eye.

 Unspoiled Coastline
The dramatic view of the Atlantic in the back of the Tivoli Carvoeiro Algarve resort.
The dramatic view of the Atlantic in the back of the Tivoli Carvoeiro Algarve resort.

Besides the spectacular and dramatic coastline- much of which still remains unspoiled- there is a huge interior that most tourists never visit. Here there is a rich variety of landscape, from the mountains of the Serra to the rolling foothills interspersed with dramatic limestone escarpments.

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With the changes in scenery come variations in  the local flora and fauna, which combine to make walking here so very interesting, in addition there are still many villages that see very few, if any, tourists, places where the mule and plough still work the land and where laundry is done by hand  at the local wash house."

This perfectly-pocket sized guide to walking in the Algarve contains thirty-four full and half-day walks offering a mix of coastal, mountain, and inland scenery. It is illustrated with clear route maps including markers and keys to ensure you know where you are at all times.

The guide also contains background information on local geology, wildlife, history, agriculture, and the shaping of the current landscape. There is also a useful route table to help planning walks during your stay in the south of Portugal.

Author Biography

Julie Stratham
Julie Stratham

Julie Statham, the author of this pocket guide, has lived in the Algarve for twenty years. Moving to Portugal from France but originally from the United Kingdom, Statham studied Earth Sciences from the Open University and a doctoral degree in Geology from Bristol University, with a special interest in conservation and environmental protection. Since moving to the Algarve, walking has become her life.

Running her own company, Portugal Walks, offering walking holidays throughout the country, Julie is passionate about her work. She also runs a walking club for local residents, walking together and raising money for charities.

The Algarve offers the perfect European escape to sun and beauty, with long bright days and warm sandy nights. Endless trails and walks await you in the Algarve.

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Buy this book: Walking in the Algarve: 34 Coastal and Mountain Walks

Jackie Cohen

Jackie Cohen is an avid globetrotter, in constant search for new obscure destinations and adventures. With a special interest in sustainable tourism practices, she’s traveled around the world to North and East Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, Southeast Asia, and across Europe-always looking for local cuisine, hidden surprises, and lessons in different cultures. She’s from Beverly, MA.