Algarve: Coastal Walk from Faro west (6-7 days)

Walking in the Algarve from the airport Faro always west along the coast 3

From the airport Faro just hike off at random!

Inspired by a travel report by Werner (Link), the dream of a coastal hike in the Algarve has been going through my head for a long time: the heart of this idea is the fact that the airport Faro is only a few hundred meters as the crow flies from the sea and you can get off the plane and start hiking right away!

The conditions for a spontaneous long-distance coastal hike in the Algarve are ideal for two reasons:

  1. Little planning necessary: There are plenty of accommodations in the Algarve. Those who are not hiking in high season can spontaneously plan their daily stages and overnight stays according to their mood, mood and weather.
  2. Easy orientation: With a few exceptions, the hiking trail runs right by the sea, and it is almost impossible to get lost.

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Condition50%
Landscape100%
Culture & culinary90%
Selection of accommodations100%

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  • Walking in the Algarve from the airport Faro always west along the coast 4

The hiking route

Coastal walkers benefit from a Portuguese specialty that goes back to a royal decree from 1864: The first 50 meters of land along the entire coastline of Portugal have since been classified as public property. With a few exceptions, all private land by the sea in Portugal must therefore leave a public passage open: Of course, these are ideal conditions for a coastal hike!

This results in a hiking route of about 100 kilometers in length (6 to 7 days).

Walking in the Algarve from the airport Faro always west along the coast 5
There are almost no closed private plots directly by the sea in Portugal: thanks to a royal decree from 1864, the first meters of the coastline of Portugal are in public hands.

Starting point and goal

Airport departure point Faro: The airport Faro lies on the edge of a unique lagoon landscape, the nature reserve Parque Natural da Ria Formosa. At the end of the tarmac, about 2 km walk from the airport building, a hiking route begins in a west direction.

Destination Ferragudo or Alvor: The destinations of this long-distance hike are either Ferragudo (at km 75) or in the slightly longer variant Alvor (at km 93). It is relatively easy to get back from both locations by train Faro, Ferragudo train station is about 2 km from the town center. A small lagoon hike from Alvor to the Mexilhoeira Grande railway connection, about 6 km away, is recommended. Both train stations are on the single-track line Faro (Connection several times a day, approx. 1:45 a.m. without changing trains).

Further information on the coastal hike in the Algarve can be found in the following categories:

Note on the history of this article:

This article was published for the first time in November 2017 - back then as an idea for a future hiking holiday. At the time, I also asked if anyone would like to embark on this little hiking adventure that I had not yet tried. And in fact Rico sent me a very detailed report on the coastal hike in the Algarve in January 2019 with lots of pictures: to the report from Rico.

In April 2019 I finally did it myself and set off for a coastal hike in the Algarve! Therefore I have partially revised the above post. I also optimized and adapted the originally planned hiking route. I had only planned to hike to Ferragudo. On site, however, I noticed that it is really worthwhile to extend the route to Alvor!

32 comments

  1. Tobias
    23 October 2018

    Hello Frank,
    Thanks for the great tutorial. We have just returned from the Algarve and hiked sections a little further west (e.g. between Cavoeiro and Marinha) and since then I have also been totally hooked on the idea of ​​a hike along the cliffs for several days. In the search for suitable routes, I came across your contribution. A few testimonials would of course be very welcome.
    Regards
    Tobias

    Reply
    1. Frank
      23 October 2018

      Hello Tobias,
      you happen to be writing at exactly the right moment - I've planned the tour for next spring myself and have just got a flight to Faro booked :-) From May 2019 I can report myself!
      But maybe there is someone else before that who shares his experience here?
      Regards
      Frank

      Reply
      1. Betty
        7. February 2019

        Hello Frank,

        hach, I plan to run this hiking route this May.
        From Faro to Lagos and from Sagres to Odeceixe.
        I'm already looking forward to it.

        How can you download the GPX file?
        When I click on the button checkout appears and nothing happened.

        But the route looks rather easy.
        I think you can just start running.

        Reply
        1. Frank
          8. February 2019

          Hello Betty,
          Sagres-Odeceixe also sounds super interesting! Would be worth considering for me ...
          To download you have to click on "Checkout". The button first shows “add to shopping cart” and with the second click “checkout”.
          Regards
          Frank

          Reply
  2. Anna
    27 October 2018

    Hello Frank,

    we, my husband and I, are leaving tonight, our tour starts on Monday - from Faro to Lagos. Significantly less well prepared than anything you've gathered here, but it will be fine. We have pre-booked accommodations.
    I can tell you when I get back. ;-)
    Best regards,
    Anna

    Reply
    1. Frank
      28 October 2018

      Hi Anna,
      then I wish you a lot of fun, good weather and a varied tour! I'm looking forward to your report - and Tobias too, I'm sure!
      Best regards,
      Frank

      Reply
  3. Barbara
    30 October 2018

    Hello Frank, hello Anna,
    I would be interested in whether you feel in the middle of nature on this tour or whether the settlement is very close? It appears populated on the map.
    Have a nice hiking holiday and thank you for the descriptions.
    Best regards,
    Barbara

    Reply
    1. Frank
      31 October 2018

      Hello Barbara,
      I don't know the entire coast yet, but I've been in the area for a few days. Do you feel in the middle of nature on this tour? Hard to say. I chose the hiking route, among other things, because it is uncomplicated with the overnight logistics. The relatively strong settlement is often not so noticeable because of the steep coast. If you take a look at the coast with Google Maps in satellite view 3-D mode, I think you get a very good feeling for the route. But you are not really alone in nature there. Loneliness also plays a certain role in the feeling of nature. Then there would be other hiking routes such as the circular hike La Gomera more suitable.
      Regards
      Frank

      Reply
  4. Rico Boening
    19 December 2018

    Hello Mr. Ehlers,
    I did the La Gomera hike twice in January 2017 and 2018. It's the best thing I've ever experienced. I also sent a comment at the time.
    I will fly on January 03.01.2019rd, XNUMX Faro and hike the Algarve coastal hike. I will report to you in detail after my return.
    Best regards, Rico Böning

    Reply
    1. Frank
      23 December 2018

      Hello Mr. Böning,

      I clearly remember your enthusiastic comments! I only fly after in April Faro, Then we do it the other way around this time: you report and I then hike according to your recommendation :-)
      Best regards and a nice hike!
      Frank Ehlers

      Reply
  5. Alexandra
    12 May 2019

    Hello Frank,

    I have problems with my knees and therefore can't handle inclines well, which is why I have to plan the day's stages with particular care.
    Is there an elevation profile for your great route somewhere?

    Best regards,

    Alexandra

    Reply
    1. Frank
      12 May 2019

      Hello Alexandra,
      I went hiking there in April and am currently preparing even more information. I have now preferred the point "Elevation profile": you can find the elevation profile under the following link: https://www.wanderndeluxe.de/hoehenprofil-kuestenwanderweg-algarve/.
      Some sections run for kilometers across the beach. Would walking in the sand be a problem for your knees? In many places there are wooden paths on the beach, which are more pleasant to walk, but only partially available.
      Greetings from Hamburg
      Frank

      Reply
  6. Roswitha Biehl
    14 December 2019

    Hello Frank,
    in April I fly with an 8-member hiking group Faroand then from Olhos de Agua to hike to Alvor in a week.
    I downloaded your hiking maps. Since I have already taken a close look at the routes, I am not sure whether the first stage - we start at the Hotel Porto Bay Falesia in a westerly direction - really can be walked continuously on the beach or on coastal paths. At Maria Luisa beach I don't see any coastal paths ... do you have to take the road? Do you have to go through hotel complexes?
    Are there any difficult sections in the terrain? We still have the heavy backpacks on our backs. The accommodations are all pre-booked.
    Would be nice if you could answer the questions for me.
    Last year we did the hike on the Dingle Way in Ireland.
    Kind regards Roswitha

    Reply
    1. Frank
      14 December 2019

      Hello Roswitha,
      thanks for the hint. You are right, there is one exception here: whether you get down depends on the tides. I noticed and photographed this on my hike, but then I forgot it because I was able to continue hiking at low tide. I have the Description of stage 2 (which should then be your stage 1) adapted (including the image of this point). I have documented other special features in the terrain below the overview map: https://www.wanderndeluxe.de/algarve-karte-zur-kuestenwanderung-faro-alvor/, But there are no really difficult sections. Hiking in the sand is probably the most strenuous when you sink deeper with your luggage than usual.
      Regards
      Frank

      Reply
      1. Roswitha Biehl
        17 December 2019

        Thank you for the quick reply with the important information. So we will pay attention to the tides and then maybe run across the street.
        Everyone is really looking forward to the hike. I will definitely write you a report afterwards.

        Greetings, merry Christmas and a happy new year 2020
        Roswitha

        Reply
  7. Ing snow
    March 2, 2021

    Hi Frank,
    We took up your suggestion during our three month stay in the Algarve and are on the coast of Faro Hiked to Sagres (Cabo do São Vincente). You have to keep an eye on the tides on some stages - at Olhos de Agua it was pretty close for us. Due to bad weather we could not walk the route from Carvoeiro to Ferragudo. Here are some impressions on my channel:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhRlMH7lOh0

    Reply
    1. Frank
      March 2, 2021

      Hello Ingrid!
      Thanks for the video! Great! Some places looked very familiar to me :)
      Regards
      Frank

      Reply
  8. Dagmar
    29 April 2021

    Hello and good day,
    great site!
    We have already hiked in the Sagres area and then also hiked the fishing path and now want to explore the south of the Algarve. I was looking for directions from Faro to the west and found you. What luck! We have already hiked the fishing path in the Sagres area and another time and now want to explore the south of the Algarve.
    I took a quick look at your other hikes and will certainly get suggestions every now and then. You are firmly connected to my start screen. ;-)
    So, first of all, thank you for the great descriptions, information and tips.
    When we are back (in autumn), I'll be in touch
    Best regards,
    Dagmar

    Reply
    1. Frank
      1 May 2021

      Hello Dagmar,
      Thank you very much for the compliment! I am happy if you have found what you are looking for here. Then I'll keep my fingers crossed that everything will work out in autumn!
      Regards
      Frank

      Reply
  9. Lies
    June 19, 2022

    Dear Frank,

    I'm really glad to have all this info! I would like to do the trail alone in July (high season). I didn't make any reservations. So I am a bit nervous about sleeping accommodation and prices. I guess carrying an extra tent alle nu myself will be too demanding?
    I would like to take surf lessons as well… Do you have any knowledge of surf camp accommodations on the route?

    Kind regards,
    Lies

    Reply
    1. Frank
      June 20, 2022

      Hello Lies,
      yes, July is not the ideal month for this hike. It could get very hot in places, possibly even too hot for hiking. And of course the prices are not exactly cheap either. I would definitely advise against tenting – wild camping is not allowed in Portugal. Maybe try to reserve in advance?
      Sorry I don't have any better advice for you.
      Regards
      Frank

      Reply
  10. Siegi and Helga
    24 January 2023

    Hello Frank,
    I would like to pass on our experiences from our coastal hike in the Algarve to you. We actually wanted to go mountaineering in the Dolomites at the end of September 2022, but the weather in the Alps was so bad that we looked for alternatives. So after the Cami de Cavalls on Menorca in June we came to a second trail of your great selection. You're absolutely right that it doesn't require much planning (we only booked the flight 2 days in advance and only reserved all accommodation 2-3 hours in advance) and that orientation is also very easy. We approached it a little differently and first took the bus from Faro to Lagos and straight on to Sagres. From there we started the next day from the lighthouse direction Faro. The first two days to Lagos (overnight stay in Salema) are very lonely and natural and we didn't want to miss them. From Lagos another 5 walking days followed Faro, often directly on the wonderful sandy beach (which is very easy to walk on barefoot). We would like to draw particular attention to the area of ​​the lagoon between Lagos and Alvor. We thought we could cross it and were probably misunderstood by a local woman. In any case, you cannot cross the lagoon because the water level is too high. On the way back (although it was only in the morning) we were already busy getting back when the tide started to rise. In any case, we then completed the main stretch of road from Odiaxere to Alvor by hitchhiking.
    All in all, a highly recommended trail with a great coast, historic towns, extremely good infrastructure and fine cuisine.
    Hope you had the opportunity to lace up your hiking boots last year.
    We are currently planning the GR 92 on the Costa Brava for this year and are already extremely grateful for your tips.
    LG Siegi and Helga

    Reply
    1. Ingrid
      25 January 2023

      Hello you two, we did the GR2022 on the Costa Brava in May 92. The many campsites where you are welcome with a tent were great, so sleeping outside and not having to forego hygiene. There is a video on my Slowtrekking.work channel: https://youtu.be/n1PeJmbaXWs there are also tips on my site.
      Greetings and have fun outside.

      Reply
      1. victory
        29 January 2023

        Hello Ingrid,
        thanks for your tips. I came across your videos back in December and they positively influenced our decision to go the GR 92.
        LG Siegi

        Reply
  11. irmgard
    12. February 2023

    Hello Frank,
    I am yesterday (February 11, 23) from Faro came back. On 29.1. am i from Faro went away, with the best weather and this, sunny and completely cloud-free, lasted 10 days, to my great happiness. I have in Faro in the happy house (www.happyhousefaro.com) spent the first night and was allowed to leave the rest of my luggage there (then for the second non-hiking week). The hike was beautiful, I went alone and on the first day I had reserved accommodation the day before, I didn't do that for the rest of the days, wanted to see how far I was happy to walk. And via booking.com it was always very easy to find something a few hours in advance, sometimes I just went straight to the hotel without booking via booking.com first. I particularly liked the overnight stay in Albufeira on a houseboat (it was just 50% cheaper there, including a very nice, good breakfast basket). I didn't experience the ford, but I walked further along the beach. I went with the maps you and Komod printed out, at certain points it was necessary to find the way. In Ferragudo, the boat taxi was on vacation, so after a very good meal at Borda do Cais, right on the water, I went to the train station and drove to Silves. This is a very nice, less touristy place. I was there for two days (I can highly recommend the hotel and restaurant Ponte Romana), on the second day I took a taxi to Monchique and went for a long walk there. A nice contrast to the coast. Then from Silves by train back to Faro, luggage and a week in Tavira, also with long "walks" and a bike ride to Fuzeta). In the second week the weather was not so stable and I felt even more how lucky I was the first 10 days. With such a storm or heavy rain, though never all day, the hike along the coast would have been a different experience. Thank you for the idea, the precise descriptions and the maps. Hello, Irmgard

    Reply
    1. Frank
      12. February 2023

      Hello Irmgard!
      Great that you enjoyed it so much and that you were so lucky with the weather! The detour to Silves is also a good idea, we were there a few years ago (regardless of the long-distance hike). A nice place.
      Thank you for your travel report!
      Regards
      Frank

      Reply
  12. Ollivier and Tineke
    4 November 2023

    Hello, we have just returned from the AlgarveFaro trip (departure 27/10/2023). As newcomers to long-distance walking, this was a step into the unknown for us. Your website and your itinerary were more than useful to us. We benefited greatly from the very detailed descriptions and signposts. This way we could enjoy the walking and the very beautiful surroundings to the fullest. Thanks a lot!
    We are already looking forward to planning our next trip and will undoubtedly base this on other of your travel destinations and descriptions.

    Reply
    1. Frank
      4 November 2023

      Hello Ollivier,

      I am very pleased! Especially that it was your first long-distance hike and you seem to be “hooked” :-)
      Have fun with your further planning!

      Frank

      Reply
  13. monica
    29 January 2024

    Buongiorno Frank
    che spettacolo l'itinerario proposto Algarve: passeggiata costiera da Faro ovest (6-7 days).
    Mi piacerebbe now fare this itinerario and chiedo qualche info:
    1) Is it consigliato farlo all'inizio di agosto oppure the temperature sono troppo old? Is there ventilation on the coast?
    2) The percorso is visible and tracciato longo la spiaggia in particolare?
    grazie per la risposta. a presto!
    Monica

    Reply
    1. Frank
      29 January 2024

      Hello Monica,
      I'm glad that the hiking suggestion inspires you!
      1) In August I think the temperatures are much too high. In my opinion, the optimal travel time is October to May - i.e. only in the low season.
      2) The proposed hike does not follow an official hiking trail - therefore there are no markings that I know of. In principle, orientation is very easy because it almost always goes directly along the coast. If necessary, the GPX files, the PDF hiking maps or the map integrated here on the website can help (assuming you have reception).
      I hope this helps you further! The hike is really worthwhile, but you should really concentrate on the low season. Otherwise the heat is too dangerous.
      Regards
      Frank

      Reply
  14. Sylvia Jacquin
    June 4, 2024

    Hi Frank
    We plan to return in October Faro Hike to Lagos. Two questions come up and I hope I didn't 'overlook' them in your brilliant blog ;-).
    Is it possible to have luggage sent from hotel to hotel/guesthouse (similar to the Rota Vicentina; this service is available there for a small fee)?
    Have you already walked the route from Alvor to Lagos? Is there a path along the sea (or close by) for this part and is this section recommended?
    We are really looking forward to our trip and thank you for your countless great information and tips!
    Best regards, Sylvia

    Reply
    1. Frank
      June 5, 2024

      Hi Sylvia,

      No, unfortunately there is no luggage transport like on the Rota Vicentina in this section - overall there are significantly fewer or no hikers on the trail; you are more likely to meet them on the Rota Vicentina.
      About the section just before Lagos: I was there a few weeks ago and watched the route live again. I would hike stage 5 as described and then get on the train in Mexilhoeira Grande and travel at least one stop towards Lagos (or all the way to Lagos). The only alternative would be to walk along the railway tracks for a very long time and use another, longer railway bridge as a pedestrian - that is too risky. And all other proper paths lead too far through the hinterland.

      So if you take the train (which can be timed quite well with hiking from Alvor) and only go one stop to “Meia Praia”, you can hike along the beach again from there. Or even take a short detour “back” towards the lagoon.

      I hope this helps you!

      By the way, I added a video of the first, smaller bridge in stage 5 (here). This railway bridge is easy to walk on because the section on or along the tracks is very short and can easily be completed in 30 seconds. This is not the case with the other bridge towards Lagos…

      Regards
      Frank

      Reply

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