Enjoy discovering the unspoiled nature of the eastern Algarve on this eight-day itinerary. Starting in Tavira, you'll work your way east along the coast to Castro Marim. You'll watch dolphins in the wild, hand pick oysters with local fishermen, horseback ride through lagoons, and soak in a mudbath on the expansive salt plains.


  • Swim in the warm lagoon waters of Praia da Cacela Velha
  • Horseback ride through Cabanas de Tavira at low tide
  • Float in a mud bath on the Natural Salt Marsh Reserve of Castro Marim
  • Go off the beaten path on a Jeep safari and discover the authentic Algarve

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tavira Tavira
Day 2 Dolphin watching; Visit Cacela Velha Tavira
Day 3 Beekeeper experience; Organic farm visit Tavira
Day 4 Beach horse riding; Oyster tasting Tavira
Day 5 Transfer to Castro Marim; Mud spa experience Castro Marim
Day 6 Jeep Nature Safari Tour Castro Marim
Day 7 Free Day in Castro Marim Castro Marim
Day 8 Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tavira

Ria Formosa, Portugal
Sunset over Ria Formosa Natural Park

Welcome to Tavira. As you touch down at Faro airport, you will see a stunning view of the Ria Formosa lagoons, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Portugal. Meet your private chauffeur at the airport and drive a short distance to Tavira and to your accommodation. Settle in and relax before venturing out to explore your surroundings.

Day 2: Dolphin watching - Visit Cacela Velha

Cacela Velha, Portugal
View of Ria Formosa lagoon from Cacela Velha

Today you will have the chance to observe wild dolphins playing as they swim and dive around your boat. You will transfer from your hotel to your boat and ride with a local marine biologist who will teach you everything you want to know about dolphins and the wildlife ecosystem of Ria Formosa.

Return to your hotel to wash up before heading to the village of Cacela Velha to enjoy a delicious Portuguese tapas lunch with one of the best views over the lagoons. On low tide days, take a short walk to Praia da Cacela Velha to spend the rest of the afternoon on the beach. Alternatively, you can take a quick boat ride if the tide is in. 

Day 3: Beekeeper experience - Organic farm visit

Bridge Ponte Romana in the old town of Tavira, Portugal
Tavira's Ponte Romana at low tide

Today you will immerse yourself in nature. You will visit a bee farm in the Algarvian countryside to learn, as well as taste, what is involved in making honey.

In the afternoon, you will head to the quirky town of São Brás de Alportel for a traditional Portuguese lunch, prepared in a typical tasca. From there, you will transfer to an organic farm to learn about the plants' benefits and taste organic teas from the farm.

Day 4: Beach horse riding - Oyster tasting

Cabanas de Tavira
Ride through Cabanas de Tavira

Start today with a gentle horseback ride through the Cabanas de Tavira lagoons at low tide. Follow your guide as you ride through orange orchards and carob trees and discover the beauty of your surroundings.

After a local lunch, you will have the chance to explore a family-run oyster nursery. Learn about the life cycle of the oysters, meet the local workers, and then enjoy some of the best oysters in Portugal, paired with a wine tasting of Algarvian grapes.

Day 5: Transfer to Castro Marim - Mud spa experience 

Have fun in the Algarve mud
Have fun in the Algarve mud

Leave the wonders of the Ria Formosa behind to experience the Natural Salt Marsh Reserve of Castro Marim. Check into your beachside accommodation and relax before meeting your private transfer to experience the benefits of the local mud.

Castro Marim is a protected area home to thousands of birds and animal species and offers unique spa services, including mineral floating baths and mud treatments. Relax and recharge your mind and body as you listen to birds' songs in their natural environment.

Day 6: Jeep Nature Safari Tour

Jeep Safari Tour in the Algarvian Countryside
Jeep Safari Tour in the Algarvian Countryside

Today you will venture out on a private Jeep safari with your guide to experience the unspoilt countryside of the real Algarve. 

Enjoy spotting the different species of birds and learning about the local flora and fauna. Along the way, you will stop in the little villages on the road to Odeleite to experience the local life as well as taste the products of the Algarve. Enjoy the authentic Portuguese gastronomy, listening to traditional Fado music, before heading to the Salt Marshes of Castro Marim. Here you will discover the ancient methods of salt extraction before returning to your hotel.

Day 7: Free Day in Castro Marim

Praia Verde
Praia Verde

Today is yours to do as you like.

Relax by your hotel's pool, visit the perfect Praia Verde beach, or book a birdwatching tour. If you're feeling a little more adventurous, you may wish to visit the Tree Top Adventure Park and zipline between Spain and Portugal.

Day 8: Depart

Castro Marim, Portugal
Castro Marim

Say goodbye to the beautiful Algarve, taking your memories with you. Meet your private airport transfer and enjoy one last look over the Ria Formosa lagoons as you get comfortable in-flight.


Map of Secrets of the Eastern Algarve - 8 Days
Map of Secrets of the Eastern Algarve - 8 Days
Written by H ., updated Feb 18, 2021