Doñana Natural Park, Trekking, Sailing, Cycling in the Algarve, Kayaking

Andalusia & Algarve 14 days / 13 nights

 

It has been a long time since we last travelled, and enjoying some holidays outdoors becomes more wanted than ever. Sailing the waves, walking the mountains and endless beaches always in contact with nature sounds like a plan now. Our adventure programs bet for small groups of travellers, highly qualified guides and a healthy and sustainable daily activity.

This 14-days-trip is an outstanding journey over two countries full of history, traditions and nature. In the last few years, the south of the Iberian Peninsula has become a perfect spot for outdoor activities and adventure seekers. Smooth winters and not too hot summers, due to the Atlantic winds, allow us to enjoy this magnificient place all year around. This trip is suitable for anyone with an active mind and a gentle to moderate physical condition.

For the week in Huelva we will hike in the astonishing Natural Park of Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche: wild forests, pastures, white traditional villages and a visit to the breathtaking Gruta de las Maravillas (“Wonders Cave”) to get amazed by its underground lagoons. The Natural Reserve of Isla Cristina Marshes offers a slow and quiet passage for kayaking at the tidal pace. A day in the extraordinary National Park of Doñana, one of the most important wetlands worldwide, will give you the opportunity to know a remarkable hotspot of biodiversity, especially attractive amongst bird lovers. The cycling tour through a Vía Verde to Vila Real de Santo António (in the Algarve) to try the local gastronomy and walk around its cobbled streets is one of the best ways to get a little taste of our neighbouring country. Or maybe embark for a coastal sailing setting course to the horizon to relax and enjoy the feeling of freedom that sails give us with the wind…

During the second week we will visit the most solitary and unknown retreats of the Algarve. Walk on the coastal cliffs along the Seven Hanging Valleys, the best hiking trail in Europe according to European Best Destinations ranking: rocky formations, sea caves and white sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, not to miss the famous Benagil “algar”, all found between Vale Centeanes and Praia da Marinha. A maritime excursion in Ria Formosa Natural Park includes highlights such as the charming village of Cacela Velha, ideal for bird watching, or Tavira, one of the most beautiful towns in the Algarve. Olhão has a traditional market of local products that can be visited after a walk on its narrow streets with North-African style corners. Culatra Island and Farol Beach let us enjoy unspoilt beaches and small fishing villages set on a magical location. The thrill seekers will have the opportunity to try the only crossborder Zip Line in Europe: jumping from Spain to land in Alcoutim, a charming fortified village on the Portuguese side of the Guadiana River. In our sailing tour we can look for dolphins, swim in the open sea or anchor in the middle of the great blue for some sunshine, all thanks to our professional and experienced skipper that will accompanied us onboard.

Let yourself be involved in a once in a lifetime experience. Welcome to Faro del Sur!

 

– CANCELLATION FREE OF CHARGE IN CASE CUSTOMERS ARE NOT ABLE TO TRAVEL DUE TO NEW COVID RESTRICTIONS AND FULL REFUND OF THE TOTAL COST OF THE TRIP

– SMALL GROUPS

– DOUBLE OR SINGLE ROOM ACCOMMODATION

– UP-TO-DATE COVID PROTOCOLS

DEPARTURES 2022

4th, 18th, 25th of June

INCLUDED

*Transfers Seville – Isla Cristina – Seville.

Faro del Sur professional guides during all your tours.

14days/13nights accommodation in Faro del Sur Touristic Apartments.

Double or single (optional) room.

Private or shared bathroom.(optional).

Bedding and towels.

Wifi.

All activities according to the program: Portugal by bicycle + ferry ticket, Kayaking, Doñana Natural Park, Coastal sailing with skipper, Trekking Aracena Natural Park + Wonders Cave ticket, Ria Formosa Natural Park + ferry ticket, Hiking 7 Hanging Valleys, Walk along Guadiana River + Zip Line ticket.

Specific equipment for activities: bikes and helmets, kayaks, binoculars, birdwatching guidebooks.

All transfers in private vehicles.

Insurance.

NOT INCLUDED

Travel to Seville.

  All meals along the week except for a light snack aboard the sailing boat.

All other non-specified services.

All other non-specified services.

PRICE

1.300 € (VAT inc.)

Suppl. single room with private bathroom (14 days): 400 €

Life goes on and we need, more than ever, to get some “normal routine” back. This is the reason why we are quite excited to welcome you in our Faro to do our very best so that your trip becomes an unforgettable experience.

This is a trip for those who enjoy nature by walking, sailing and exploring our local biodiversity. It is a very complete itinerary that includes funny outdoor activities in an excepcional location: the South West of Andalusia and South of Portugal. Long beaches, awesome dune systems and coastal pine forests, chestnut forests at the mountains and white villages with Arabian heritage. Pure southern flavours that offer a distinctive way of travelling, far from crowds. The entire program has been designed by our extraordinary team and is driven by our own naturalist guides. Specific equipment used in the activities belongs to Faro del Sur: bikes, kayaks, sailing boat, vans and accommodation. This way, we ensure our goal is achieved with a perfect balance between quality and price. Accommodation is in our new and fully equipped apartments located in front of a beautiful natural landscape dominated by marshes. We also have the constant support of Faro del Sur main office in Isla Cristina.

Our travelers do not need previous experience to do the activities. However, we require active minds wishing to take a once in a lifetime experience with so much fun and having a gentle/moderate fitness.

Our way of travelling is based on respect towards local people and places we visit. We look for a positive exchange and a responsible travel. We care about sustainable activities with small groups of guests that get involved in the local economy and get aware about the importance of protecting our historical and cultural heritage and conserving nature.

From a sanitary side, all of protocols and measures we adopt are kept updated as so the global situation evolves. We encourage social distancing and follow hygienic and sanitary measures in our facilities, accommodation and while on tour. Safety protocols are followed in order to minimize any risk in all services we provide and so that everyone can enjoy nature in the safest way.

* All activities are subject to changes or suspension due to weather condicitions or any other forces beyond our control.

Due to the natural characteristics of these Adventure services, the trip and activities scheduled are not exempted from certain risk and unpredictivility.

1

Day 1

ARRIVAL DAY.- Transfer to Isla Cristina. Meeting point for pick up will be in Seville at 17h. Upon arrival at our office in Isla Cristina there will be a short briefing about our week program. Accommodation in our cosy Faro del Sur Touristic Apartments located in front of a Natural Reserve and 20 minutes driving from Portugal.
2

Day 2

Doñana Natural Park (World Heritage). This is, with no doubt, the most eagerly desired excursion for nature lovers. We will leave early in the morning with our naturalist guide to enjoy a full day in one of most important protected areas of Europe and even of the world. This puzzle of ecosystems is a must if you come to Andalusia: wild pine forests, marshes and temporary lagoons, sand dunes and endless beaches, among others, make it a remarkable place where several species, inhabit, such as the western imperial eagle, the flamingos or the iconic Iberian lynx. It is also a paradise for bird livers, as it works as a winter ground, breeding ground and migratory stopover for over 360 species of birds coming from different continents. El Rocío village shows off its popular white church and its sandy streets are an attractive view for visitors. Our guide will take us to witness the impressive contrast between all landscapes in the Natural Park: a nice short walk in the forests, dunes, marshes and time for a swim and chill out on the wild beach before getting back to Isla Cristina. Full day.
3

Day 3

Kayak Excursion. After a short training and safety briefing, we take advantage of the high tide to immerse ourselves in the tranquillity of this coastal wetland and learn about its unique ecosystem. Slowly traversing areas of salt pans, marshes and navigation channels we will enjoy a rich diversity of flora and fauna. There are ancient tidal mills, fishing ports and fish markets offering tastes and smells that it seems we had almost forgotten. No previous experience is necessary for kayaking – the only requirement is that you can swim. The excursion takes about four hours and the remainder of the day you will have free time to visit the old town with its port, fish market and daily fish auction – a fascinating opportunity to savour the sights and smells of this lively town.

Kayaking time: 4 hours. Half day.

4

Day 4

Portugal by Bicycle. Today we take our bikes following a “Via Verde” that starts in Isla Cristina. This is an old disused railway line that has been recovered and reconditioned for use by walkers and cyclists. Between salt pans, marshes and tidal mills we finally reach the beautiful town of Ayamonte. Ayamonte has a fishing tradition port and is located to the shoreline of Guadiana River (natural boundary between Spain and Portugal in the south). There, we will take the regular ferry to Vila Real de Santo Antonio, a nice Portuguese little town of cobbled streets. Like many towns in the Algarve, Vila Real was dramatically affected by the strong earthquake of 1755 and was subsequently laid out and rebuilt in the enlightenment style. After a relaxing stroll in its alive square we continue our cycling tour by the riverside towards the river mouth where delicious seafood rice with some cool “vinho verde” (Algarve typical sparkling white wine) is waiting for us. Then, it is time to go back to Isla Cristina.

If you have doubts regarding cycling, no worries at all! We offer you a great alternative: we will take you to Ayamonte in our van, where you will have some free time to know the town and join the rest of the group to take the ferry and have a very nice lunch in Portugal.

  • Cycling: Distance 30 kilometres approx. Full day.
5

Day 5

Hiking in Sierra de Aracena Natural Park. A smooth and shading 12km trail that takes us throughout ancient “royal paths” between chestnut forests, wide olm oak pastures and small white villages with an interesting history and traditions that are still preserved nowadays. Traditional lifestyle of this region includes cork harvesting, family crops and livestock farming. The base of the economy is the Iberian pork, which is raised freely. We will enjoy walking in these landscapes at the same time we learn from our naturalist guides. After trying the nice gastronomy from the mountains, full of iberian products, we will visit the Gruta de las Maravillas” (Wonders Cave) and its spectacular underground lagoons. Nature, history and local culture are the perfect combination in this walking tour which has been designed to stop the time and have a deep breath in each corner of this magical Natural Park.
  • Walking time: 4-5 hours. Distance 12 kilometres. Full day.
6

Day 6

Coastal Sailing. Today we set sail aboard our ocean-going sailing boat. If weather and sea conditions permit we will set course to the open ocean to learn the ancient art of navigation.  There will be opportunities for everyone to crew the boat and help steer a steady course in search of soaring seabirds and dolphins riding the waves. Swimming at sea is possible and the excursion includes a snack while onboard. For a few hours we will feel the magic of the ocean and discover a world dominated by wind, sea, sky and tides.
  • Sailing time: 4 hours. Half day.
7 y 8

Day 7 y 8

Free days. We have a break between the 2 weeks of adventures. You will have time to chill out and charge batteries for the second week! Visit the traditional salt harvesting family business where you can take a relaxing bath in a magnesium lagoon or you can learn about the process of obtaining salt in the traditional way. The area is frequently visited by flamingos and you can buy natural products if you would like to take some souvenirs with you. Another good plan is to go for an energetic walk along the beach and return through the pine forests of Isla Cristina, where the last natural reserve of chameleons is found.

On day 8, around 18.45h there will be a short briefing at the main office with the newcomers which you may join in order to get to know the program of this week.

9

Day 9

The 7 Hanging Valleys. Today we begin our adventure in Carvoeiro (Lagoa) coastline where we shall start the best hiking route in Europe, according to the European Best Destinations ranking. We will be walking along impressive coastal cliffs, crossed by seven watercourses that moulded small valleys over time and are now washed by the Atlantic Ocean. We will let ourselves be amazed by turquoise water beaches, marine caves, lighthouses and natural rock formations in the heart of the Algarve: Praia da Marinha, Cabo Carvoeiro, Praia de Carvalho and Vale de Centianes. Bird lovers will also be able to observe several species of seabirds that nest on the rocky shore or are migrating passing by the south coast of Portugal.
  • Walking time: 3-4 hours. Distance: 10 km approx. Full day.
10

Day 10

Kayaking in Ria Formosa. Our first stopover will be in Cacela Velha, a small village of cobbled streets and whitewashed houses located on a cliff in front of the open ocean, an astonishing place with extraordinary views to the eastern part of the Natural Park. After that, we will start our kayaking day in this beautiful scenery. You will receive a basic introduction course for beginners on how to handle kayaks. This is the perfect boat to approach the birds and plants that grow in this corner of the Algarve throughout a quite route along a narrow water channel that separates the island from mainland. On one side, the dunes and the sea and on the other, an ancient rural system made up of small white villages, old farmhouses and fruit trees. We shall finish the route in a sandy area of shellfish gatherers and traditional fishing boats. We will end a perfect day in Tavira, one of the most famous towns in the Algarve, with an important historical heritage coming from a variety of cultures and a very tasty pastry tradition.
  • Kayaking time: 4 hours. Half day.
11

Day 11

Algarve coast by Sailing boat. Today we set sail aboard our ocean-going sailing boat. If weather and sea conditions permit we will set course to the open ocean to learn the ancient art of navigation.  There will be opportunities for everyone to crew the boat and help steer a steady course in search of soaring seabirds and dolphins riding the waves. Swimming at sea is possible and the excursion includes a snack while onboard. For a few hours we will feel the magic of the ocean and discover a world dominated by wind, sea, sky and tides.
  • Sailing time: 4 hours. Half day.
12

Day 12

Guadiana River walk: white villages in Spain and Portugal.  An hour drive will take us to the beginning of a gentle trekking trail which we will walk following a river stream in a natural surrounding dominated by olive trees, cork oaks and Mediterranean-type vegetation. The Guadiana River will show up in front of us and will indicate our way towards Sanlúcar del Guadiana, on the Spanish river side. For those who appeal the risk, there is the option to try the only cross border Zip Line in Europe. You will jump out in Spain and land in Portugal. An alternative short ride by boat is available to cross to the Portuguese side and join the others in the white village of Alcoutim.
  • Walking time: 2 hours approx.
13

Day 13

Ilha da Culatra – Farol. Today we shall spend the day visiting a different part of Ria Formosa, one of the most important natural reserves in Portugal. We start the morning walking around the picturesque village of Olhão with its narrow streets in the North African style and its lively promenade. From its port, we will take the local ferry that takes us to Ilha da Culatra where we will enjoy a relaxing walk along the white sand bar to reach the Farol Beach. Enjoy an authentic landscape among sand dunes and charming fishing settlements that reminds us of past times.
14

Day 14

Transfer to Seville. Today there may be some free time in the morning before our transfer van takes us to Seville aiming to arrive at 17h. End of program.

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