The bustling resorts and sandy beaches of Portugal’s Algarve region are well known to visitors, who flock in their thousands each year to enjoy one of the most reliably sunny climates in Europe. A short distance inland, however, is a very different Algarve.
Threading its way through the hills from settlement to settlement is the Via Algarviana (‘Algarve Way’), a waymarked, long-distance trail stretching the entire length of the Algarve, from the Spanish border in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west.
The 300km (186-mile) journey along this trail is an unforgettable experience and provides an introduction to an Algarve that few visitors ever get to see – a landscape of rolling hills, dry orchards, cork forests, and agricultural terraces.
You’ll walk through (and stay in) sleepy, unspoilt towns and villages which offer a fascinating glimpse into the Algarve’s cultural heritage while also providing an opportunity to sample the region’s hospitality and rich culinary traditions.
Harri’s latest book describes the complete route from Alcoutim to Cabo de São Vicente (Cape St Vincent), as well as an alternative finish to the walk via Aljezur and the Rota Vicentina – another long-distance trail exploring southern Portugal’s windswept Atlantic coast.
Allow 14 days to walk the actual route (you may need additional time to reach the start point at Alcoutim). Most of the walking is on gravel tracks.
The Via Algarviana – an English guide to the ‘Algarve Way’ by Harri Garrod Roberts is available from online bookstores, included Amazon’s Kindle store and is priced at £2.99.
A ‘Made for iBooks’ version is also available from Apple’s iBookstore.
Never Too Old To Backpack: the Via Algarviana by Tracy Burton will be published in August 2016.
For more photographs of the Via Algarviana visit Pinterest.