Spend a week enjoying nature and the warm Mediterranean coast on this relaxed 7-day itinerary. Sail with wild dolphins, go horseback riding along the crystal waters of the Ria Formosa lagoons, and relax with a nourishing spa in a remote natural preserve. Round out your trip with a visit to the Castro Marim salt marshes, a tour of a beekeeping farm, and a sampling of freshly harvested oysters.

Highlights

  • Visit small local farms to see beekeeping and oyster farming techniques
  • Rejuvenate with a mud bath at a spa in the middle of a salt marsh
  • Go horseback riding on shallow beaches and discover hidden coves
  • Enjoy luxurious overnight accommodations 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Tavira - Stay in a Boutique Country House or Historical Pousada Tavira
Day 2 Wild Dolphin Observation & Cacela Velha Tavira
Day 3 Beekeeper Experience & Organic Farm Visit Tavira
Day 4 Beach Horse Riding & Oyster Tasting Tavira
Day 5 Stay in a Beach Boutique Hotel & Natural Floating Spa Experience Castro Marim
Day 6 Jeep Nature Safari Tour Castro Marim
Day 7 Free Day in Castro Marim Castro Marim
Day 8 Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Tavira - Stay in a Boutique Country House or Historical Pousada

Quinta dos Perfumes garden
Quinta dos Perfumes garden

Welcome to Portugal! Arrive in the Faro Airport, located on the shores of the Ria Formosa Lagoons, one of Portugal's top natural wonders. You will be met by a private driver, who will transfer you to your accommodation. Choose between the charming country house Quinta dos Perfumes in the sleepy village of Tavira, located 30 minutes away, or the Pousada Convento de Tavira, a superbly restored convent with 13th-century Islamic artifacts and a luxurious pool. 

Day 2: Wild Dolphin Observation & Cacela Velha

Wild dolphins off the coast of Albufeira
Wild dolphins off the coast of Albufeira

Head onto the water with a marine biologist for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and learn about wild dolphins. After a full morning head to Cacela Velha to enjoy traditional Portuguese tapas with a view of the sparkling blue water. 

In the afternoon head down to the beach for a short walk to Praia da Cacela Velha, or get back onto the water with a short boat ride. Enjoy the warm sunshine and relax on the beach before returning to town for dinner. 

Day 3: Beekeeper Experience & Organic Farm Visit

Raw honey being harvested
Raw honey being harvested

Get in touch with nature with today's visit to a local beekeeping farm, nestled deep in the Algarvian countryside. Learn about the traditional practice of keeping bees and taste some delicious local mountain honey. 

Continue to São Brás de Alportel, a small town famous for its quirky low white houses, for a traditional Portuguese lunch. Afterward, join a tea farm tour to see how the aromatic plants are grown and harvested. 

Day 4: Beach Horse Riding & Oyster Tasting

Oyster Tasting
Oyster Tasting

Today is another day on the beach. Go horseback riding at low tides, ride through orange orchards, and enjoy the beauty of the Cabanas de Tavira lagoon. Beginners and experts alike will love the varied and fun riding. 

After lunch tour a family-run oyster nursery to learn about the life cycle and meet the local workers who run the operation. Sample some of Portugal's freshest oysters, paired with unparalleled Algarvian wines. 

Day 5: Stay in a Beach Boutique Hotel & Natural Floating Spa Experience

SPA Natural Floating Experience
SPA Natural Floating Experience

Depart from the Ria Formosa and visit the Castro Marim Natural Salt Marsh Reserve, a protected wildlife area that is home to thousands of birds and animals. 

In the afternoon try a relaxing mineral floating bath and mud treatment for a peaceful spa experience. Relax your mind, recharge your body, and enjoy listening to sounds of nature as you rejuvenate. 

Day 6: Jeep Nature Safari Tour

Olhao salt marsh inlet
Olhao salt marsh inlet

Venture out of town for a private jeep tour of the surrounding landscapes and enjoy birdwatching, stopping in small villages for coffee, and catching a performance of traditional Fado music. Continue to the salt marshes of Castro Marim to see traditional methods of salt extraction. After a full day out, return to town for a relaxing dinner. 

Day 7: Free Day in Castro Marim

Praia Verde
Praia Verde

Enjoy sleeping in this morning after a long day before. Wake up to a fresh ocean breeze, sounds of seabirds, and a freshly prepared breakfast made with local produce. 

Today is a free day to spend how you want: relax by the pool, head down to the beach for a day of sunbathing, or try something more adventurous. The nearby Treetop Adventure Park is a top destination for visitors—try the zip line, which runs across the border between Portugal and Spain! 

Day 8: Departure

View of Carvoeiro beach
View of Carvoeiro beach 

Time to say goodbye to the beautiful beaches and unforgettable hospitality of Algarve. Transfer to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels! 

Map

Map of Nature & Food in the Algarve - 8 Days
Map of Nature & Food in the Algarve - 8 Days