The Best Algarve Hiking Trails & Walking Routes

5th August 2020

The Southern Portugal coast is home to many of the best hikes in the Algarve. The region includes areas of hilly slopes, vegetation-covered valleys, and scenic coastline. The most popular Algarve hikes showcase the region’s natural beauty and the unique wildlife and fauna living within it.

The Algarve consists of several regions, each with its own unique Algarve hiking and walking trails. There are more than 30 trails in areas encompassing the Algarve – South Coast, Barrocal, Guadiana, Vicentine Coast, and Serra.

Check out our list of the best Algarve hiking trails below.

Related reading:
15 Best Things to do in Algarve – Boat Tours & More!

Best Hiking on the Algarve South Coast

Seven Hanging Valleys Trail

Seven Hanging Valleys Trail

Seven Hanging Valleys Trail

  • Type of trail: Walking trail
  • Length: 12 km
  • Hiking Time: 5hrs
  • Highlight: Coastal scenery

Southern Portugal is known for its scenic coast, and the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail is one of the best places to walk in the Algarve to see its beauty. The entire length of the trail extends along the southern coast, providing views of the golden cliffs towering over the turquoise waters.

The trail extends between Marinha Beach and Wale Centeanes Beach. Along the path are sights of naturally formed cliff arches and caves. Some of the points of interest include the Alfanzina Lighthouse, Praia do Carvalho, and Praia de Benagil.

There are lots of observation points along the way for sweeping views of the Portugal coastline.

São Lourenço Trail

  • Type of Algarve hiking trail: Walking trail
  • Length: 3.4 km
  • Hiking Time: 1hr 30mins
  • Highlight: Wetland landscape and birdwatching

Trek through the Algarve wetlands along the São Lourenço Trail. The landscape features lakes, salt marshes, and lagoons, making it the perfect habitat for an abundance of marine bird species.

In addition to exploring the unique landscape, this Algarve hiking trail offers lots of bird watching stations for seeing the native terrapins, Azure-winged magpie, swamphen, and flamingos.

The São Lourenço Trail extends into a pine forest to reach the Quinta do Lago, the artificially-made São Lourenço Lake, and the Roman ruins.

Best Hiking in Barrocal, Algarve

Rocha da Pena Trail

Rocha da Pena Trail

Cerro de São Vicente Trail (100)

  • Type of Algarve hiking trail: Walking trail
  • Length: 11 km (loop)
  • Hiking Time: 3hrs 30mins
  • Highlight: Viewpoint atop Cerro de São Vicente

Cerro de São Vicente Trail is among the favorite Algarve walking trails for exploring the Paderne region. The centerpiece of the Cerro de São Vicente Trail is ascending to the mountain summit for incredible views overlooking the surrounding landscape. The trail extends around and up the mountain in a circular path.

The trail consists of rural and asphalt roads, with the route passing by several human-made landmarks, such as the Chapel of Nossa Senhora as Pé da Cruz, Paderne Bridge, and the ruins of the São Vicente windmill.

Rocha da Pena Trail

  • Type of Algarve hiking trail: Walking trail
  • Length: 6.4 km (loop)
  • Hiking Time: 2hrs
  • Highlight: Diverse Mediterranean flora

The Rocha da Pena Trail is one of the few Algarve hiking trails to explore the lush countryside of the region. The path derives its name from the Rocha da Pena protected area, known for the diverse Mediterranean vegetation.

The green scenery includes sights of plants such as rosemary, white-leaved rockrose, European fan palm, and other endemic flowers of the Algarve Barrocal region.

The elevated viewpoints over the landscape provide a beautiful look at the landscape before continuing the journey through the Penina village and the Rocha windmill ruins.

Best Hiking in Guadiana, Algarve 

Amendoeira Trail

Amendoeira Trail

Amendoeira Trail

  • Type of Algarve hiking trail: Walking and biking trail
  • Length: 11 km (loop)
  • Hiking Time: 4hrs
  • Highlight: Vast flowerbeds and viewpoint over the valley

Amendoeira Trail is perfect for leisure or recreational hiking in the Algarve. The trail explores the Alta Mora, a broad valley surrounded by tall mountains. It’s famous for the colorful flowerbed scenery so is one of the best places to walk in the Algarve for hikers who come during the bloom season in the spring.

Trek the valley to see unique wildlife, including everything from the European water snake to the Mediterranean terrapin. It also features local vegetation consisting of cistus, lavender, oleander, and almond trees.

Be sure to hike up the cliff slopes for breath-taking views of the picturesque valley and watercourse.

Venta Moinhos Wetlands Trail

  • Type of Algarve hiking trail: Walking and biking trail
  • Length: 7 km
  • Hiking Time: 2hrs
  • Highlight: Biodiversity of flora and fauna

Venta Moinhos Wetlands Trail explores a region recognized for its abundant biodiversity in the Algarve. The area called Castro Marim is popular for tourists and includes several visitor facilities along the route.

The trail extends through the landscape characterized by salt marshes, lagoons, and wetlands. It’s a nature reserve, home to a diverse mix of flora and fauna.

Algarve birdwatching is common along the trail for seeing rare bird species – black-winged stilts, storks, and spoonbills.

An interpretation center for visitors is on the trail, featuring exhibits about the reserve, observation decks, and picnic spaces.

Best Hiking on the Algarve Vicentine Coast

Castelejo Environmental Trail

Castelejo Environmental Trail

Castelejo Environmental Trail

  • Type of Algarve hiking trail: Walking trail
  • Length: 3.5 km (loop)
  • Hiking Time: 1hr 30mins
  • Highlight: Nature and sightseeing

The Castelejo Environmental Trail is one of the best hikes in the Algarve for seeing the lush vegetation of the region. While many of the other popular trails run along the coast, this trail extends through the Castelejo Leisure area, characterized by pine forests.

The stone pine forest landscape is perfect for bird watching, with a variety of species such as the Eurasian jay and spotted woodpecker.

The height of the walking path reaches the Torre da Aspa geodesic landmark, providing panoramic views overlooking the Vicentine plateau and out towards the Castelejo Beach.

Bordeira Trail

  • Type of Algarve hiking trail: Walking trail
  • Length: 14km (loop)
  • Hiking Time: 4hrs 30mins
  • Highlight: Scenic viewpoints

The Bordeira Trail is nicknamed the ‘Trail of Aromas’ because of the various culinary herbs growing naturally along the trail. The trail begins at Ribeira da Bordeira bridge. It runs along a loop to see some of the best panoramas around, including a viewpoint overlooking the Bordeira Valley and the Ribeira da Bordeira floodplains.

The landscape, covered in low shrub vegetation, is home to wildlife such as hares, quails, wild boar, and mongoose. Being an excellent destination for birdwatching and cycling, it’s not just one of the best places to walk in the Algarve. 

The best time to visit the Bordeira Trail is in the spring when the vegetation is in full bloom.

Best Hiking in Serra, Algarve 

Lagoão Trail

Lagoão Trail

Lagoão Trail

  • Type of Algarve hiking trail: Walking trail
  • Length: 10 km (loop)
  • Hiking Time: 3hrs 30mins
  • Highlight: Ribeira de Odelouca

Although the Lagoão Trail derives its name from the Lagoão Valley (seen along the trail), a significant portion of the trail runs alongside the Ribeira de Odelouca. The trail extends along the river floodplains, taking hikers along a path surrounded by woodland areas.

Since the trail crosses over the river, it may be challenging during the rainy season.

This Algarve hike features a marked trail along the dirt path. Hikers can see a variety of small forest animals and birds, including orioles, doves, and multiple frog species.

Barranco das Lajes Trail

  • Type of Algarve hiking trail: Walking trail
  • Length: 5.5 km (loop)
  • Hiking Time: 2hrs
  • Highlight: Views from Cerro da Urza

Start the journey of the Barranco das Lajes Trail from the village of Cabanas on the trail en route to Lajes. Along the way, the popular Algarve hiking trail ascends the slopes of Cerro da Urza for panoramic views of the region.

The trail predominantly consists of a rugged landscape, with each side of the path lined with a variety of trees from the cork oak forests. The trail eventually transitions into river vegetation before reaching the hill slope.

These are just 8 of the many more Algarve hiking trails available. The Algarve really is more than just pretty beaches and nightlife. And there are Algarve hiking trails to suit all fitness levels too.

If you’re looking for hiking ideas all over Portugal, then check out our guide to the 16 Best Portugal hikes and trails!

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The Algarve consists of several regions, each with its own unique hiking and walking trails. Check out our list of the very best Algarve hiking trails!

The Algarve consists of several regions, each with its own unique hiking and walking trails. Check out our list of the very best Algarve hiking trails!

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