Via Algarviana

Description

    GR1
  1. Name Via Algarviana (GR13)
  2. Length of trail 300 km, 186 miles
  3. Length in days 14 days
  4. Start of trail Alcoutim
  5. End of trail Cabo de São Vicente
  6. Traildino grading EW, Easy walk, nature trail

Via Algarviana

Alcoutim – Cabo Santo Vincent, Algarve, 300 km, 14 days

The Algarve is a popular holiday destination in the South of Portugal. It differs from the Mediterranean in the influence of the Atlantic.

The Via Algarviana is a popular trail. It runs inland, not along the coastline.

The trail starts at the Spanish border in the village of Alcoutim. The first half of the trail runs through rather depopulated hills and villages. The second half of the trail is nearer to the popular tourist destinations along the coast. The villages the trail passes thrive on tourism and the hills gradually flatten out. During the last stage, the ocean is approaching from both sides, the landscape drastically changes to open grassland and the walk ends in Cape São Vicente.

The area is still full of remains of the old rural life. When you pay attention, you will find many traces of old farms, bakeries, even bath houses. Nowadays, large areas consist of Eucalyptus plantations, thriving on the poor grounds. Wind farms are another obvious or obtrusive new element in the landscape. You will have to deal with that.
Still, there is so much to enjoy. In March and April the air is saturated with Nightingales‘ songs and Citrus smell. Best time to walk is October till May. June to September is too hot. In autumn, the fields will turn green with the first rains. In spring flowers and weeds break out everywhere.

The trail is very well marked (as of 2017), better than almost any other trail in Europe. On the airport of Faro you can obtain a free copy of the guidebook and maps. Otherwise, download them from the trail’s website.

The trail is easy, consisting of small roads, gravel tracks and paths. Main challenge are some very long stages between villages. Alternatively carry a tent; good camping spots are easy to find. Or improvise a little with busses and taxi’s. In the villages, ask for lodging. There are more opportunities than those popping up on the Internet.

Select some tracks
Via Algarviana, 312km
Via Algarviana - Ligao 4: Lagos-Bensafrim, 9.8km
Ao Sabor da Maré, 1.9km
Cascatas, 7.4km
A Rocha Delicada, 7.7km
Barrancos, 8.1km
Via Algarviana, 30km

Opinions

Rate 8.3 | 3 votes | No 2. in Portugal
  • Nanda December 2015
  • Rate 9
  • Positive Beautiful views, small villages, friendly people, easy going paths, good signing.
  • John P February 2016
  • Rate 7
  • Positive The path has good way-marking and takes you through a part of the Algarve less visited by tourists. There are hills, and eucalyptus and pine trees, Mediterranean scrub and little towns with cobbled streets. It is an excellent walk in winter when footpaths in more northerly and easterly parts of Europe are affected by rain and snow, I would not do it in the heat of summer.
  • Negative The scenery is pleasant rather than dramatic.
  • Oranginas, hiking trails Europe March 2011
  • Rate 9
  • Positive Well marked trail through the original Algarve, far away from the tourist-coast. If you want to prepare your trail contact Almargem: to save and support the original Algarve, with her partially abandoned villages, the original architecture (water wheels, fountains, ovens), walled almond- and olive groves, cork oaks, the great panorama’s from the hilltops.
  • Negative In case of rain the water level of the rivers can be very high. So, ask the locals.
More opinions…

Books

De Zwerver
Netherlands
2012
  • Wandelgids - Pelgrimsroute Via Algarviana - Algarve | Conrad Stein Verlag
  • Conrad Stein wandelgids - Langeafstands wandelgids door de Algarve in 14 goed gemarkeerde dagetappes tot 300 km in delen door het binnenland van Portugal. De gids bevat een uitgebreide routebeschrijving, informatie over accomodatie, eenvoudige kaartjes en praktische informatie. Deze gids bevat kleine kaartjes die u samen met de markeringen van... Read more
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Maps

De Zwerver
Netherlands
2017
  • Wandelkaart Algarviana - Hiking the Via Algarviana | MapSite Verlag
  • Wandelkaartset van 6 kaarten van de Via Algarviana. The Via Algarviana (GR13) is a long distance trail in Portugal, running 300 km from Alcoutim at the Spanish border across the entire length of the Algarve to Cape St. Vincent at the Atlantic Ocean. A scale of 1:50.000, accurate relief presentation, 25-m contours, UTM-grid and -projection (for... Read more
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Walking holidays

Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Portugal - Via Algarviana
  • 'Barrocal', zo noemen de Portugezen hier in de Algarve de streek tussen kust en gebergte. Verbonden door een schitterende langeafstandsroute, de met Europees geld zorgvuldig aangelegde 'Via Algarviana', liggen hier een aantal verstilde bergdorpjes bijeen. Geurende kruiden, kurkeiken, olijfbomen en johannisbroodbomen markeren hier het landschap.... Read more
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