DOÑANA, BIKES, TREKKING, KAYAK + ONE WEEK SAILING IN PORTUGAL

                Isla Cristina (Huelva) –Algarve (Portugal) 13 days

 

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 focuses on small groups, highly qualified guides and a healthy and sustainable activity.

 

If you are an Adventure seeker, this is YOUR TRIP! The province of Huelva and the South of Portugal are privileged places to make anything fun outdoors. Hiking 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 visit to the extraordinary National Park of Doñana, one of the most important wetlands worldwide, will give you the opportunity to get closer to a highlighted hotspot of biodiversity, specially known amongst bird lovers. Cycling through a Vía Verde to Vila Real de Santo António (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.

 

Join us for a second week on this amazing sailing trip through one of the most stunning areas of Portugal, the unknown and wild Algarve. Navigate the Atlantic Ocean in a calm and safe way listening only to the sound of the sea and the wind on the sails. Ascend the idyllic Guadiana River between green hills and ancient fortresses to get to Alcoutim, a charming white village on the Portuguese side. Some of the highlights in the program are the historical town of Tavira and the Ria Formosa Natural Park with its long sand bars and clear waters. On one side, the ocean, on the other, a huge labyrinth of marshes and islets broken by channels and small lagoons where to anchor to overnight under the stars, surrounded by nature. Explore the islands of Culatra, Barreta and Armona where you will be delighted by their small fishing villages and secluded beaches. Learn the art of navigation, swim in the open seas, look for whales and dolphins and enjoy unforgettable sunsets. Discover a different world of sea and skies, wind and tides with 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

25th June

INCLUDED

Transfer Seville – Isla Cristina – Seville.

Faro del Sur qualified guides (week on land) and skipper (week on board).

7days/6nights accommodation in Faro del Sur Touristic Apartments.

Bed sheets and towels.

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.

7 days itinerary on sailing boat as scheduled.

7days/6nights accommodation in double or single (optional) cabin.

Anchorage in natural reserves and fuel.

Short rides to land with the dinghy.

End of the trip cleaning.

Insurance.

NOT INCLUDED

Travel to Seville.

For the sailing week: shared expenses (common pool of approx 70€ per person for the week) intended for: meals and drinks, possible stays at some port, water taxi, Guadiana River Zip Line (subject to availability).

For the activity week on land: meals.

Any other non-specified service.

PRICE

1.300€ (VAT inc.)

Suppl. single room with private bathroom (optional): 250 €

Suppl. single cabin /6 nights (optional): 350 €

THE TRIP

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 exceptional 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 travellers 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 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.

The second part of the trip is a quite complete route that we develop in an exceptional setting: the Portuguese Algarve and the Ria Formosa Natural Park with its wide and long beaches, sand dunes, marshes and pine forests on the leeward coast. On land, we will visit beautiful villages full of history such as Alcoutim, located on the banks of the idyllic Guadiana River, the seafaring town of Olhão and multi-cultural charming Tavira on the Atlantic coast. This is a relaxing journey of 180 nautical miles with many possibilities while sailing; swimming in the open sea, learning sail manoeuvring, walking around on the ports of call, fishing and exploring an extraordinary country. Whale watching during the crossing and a great diversity of seabirds between the islands of Tavira, Culatra and Armona is also one of the favourite activities of our guests. We will sleep on the sailboat when anchored in the middle of nature and we will witness unforgettable sunsets. The entire program has been designed and is carried out by us, with great care and to the detail. Thanks to this fact, we achieve a perfect combination of quality and price. We also have the constant support of our Faro del Sur main office in Isla Cristina that makes sure we get the most of this trip to discover the magic of the ocean.

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.

The sea during the summer remains very calm, so sailing is a very comfortable and safe activity, suitable for everyone even if they have no previous experience.

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

Due to the nature and characteristics of these adventure services, the trip and its complementary activities are not exempt from certain risk and unpredictability.

1

Day 1

Transfer from Seville to Isla Cristina. Meeting point for pick up will be in Santa Justa Train Station (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

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 saltpans, 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.

 

3

Day 3

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.
4

Day 4

Portugal by Bicycle. Today we take our bikes following a “Vía 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 saltpans, 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

FREE DAY.  Today you can visit our fabulous beaches on your own, sand dunes and pine forests where you may pop into some chameleons among the bushes. If you want to be immersed with local life, we suggest you to visit the traditional salt harvesting family business where you can take a relaxing bath in a magnesium lagoon or learn about the process of obtaining salt in the traditional way. For a more dynamic activity, paddle surfboards may be rented on the beach to practice the trendiest sport by the shore.
6

Day 6

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 a walking tour that 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.
7

Day 7

Embarkation day. Today we embark on our sailboat that will be our home during the next 7 days. Cabins distribution and purchase of food for the week. Overnight on board at port.
8

Day 8

Navigation up the Guadiana River. Cast off and set sail!! Get ready to enter through the mouth of the Guadiana with the help of the tides. We sail upriver and the landscape begins to change its marine atmosphere into a mountain range dotted with white villages, nature and old fortresses. We aim to arrive in Alcoutim in the afternoon, a small Portuguese village of white houses located on a hill and extended down to the river itself. Some of the possibilities in this picturesque spot are a stroll through its cobbled streets to reach the Castle or taking a bath in a curious river beach. 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 (subject to availability). Overnight on the Guadiana River.
9

Day 9

Alcoutim – Ilha de Tavira. Today we go down the river helped by the north winds towards the Great Blue. We head west and navigate between the horizon and the old fortified village of Cacela Velha. This is an intense sailing day with time to swim, to fish or to discover all the secrets about the art of sailing. In the afternoon, we will arrive to the Island of Tavira, easily recognized for its impressive wild beaches. We can also visit the town of Tavira, which is valued as one of the main historical centres of the Algarve with an interesting heritage hidden among its cobbled streets. Overnight anchored under the stars.
10

Day 10

Ilha de Tavira – Ria Formosa Natural Reserve. Today we will lift anchor to keep on sailing to some unspoiled islands and marshes of Ria Formosa, one of the most relevant protected areas in Portugal due to its geographical location and exceptional biological diversity. The isles of Cabanas, Armona, Culatra or Barreta make up this barrier of narrow and sandy islands with deserted beaches and clear waters to explore. Overnight anchored in the Natural Park.
11

Day 11

Ilha de Culatra. Today we spend the day enjoying this protected natural paradise. In the morning, we will approach Culatra Island with the dinghy: a long white sand bar that creates sand dunes and keep fishermen settlements full of coloured boats on the marshes. A large extension of water that gradually narrows until it becomes a perfect navigational channel from which practicing some bird watching. We can also visit the picturesque town of Olhão with its lively market surrounded by narrow cobbled streets with North African remainders. Overnight anchored in the midst of nature.
12

Day 12

Ilha de Culatra – VR Santo António. We set sail in the morning to set course to the Guadiana Estuary. During this intense day of sailing at full speed, we may observe sea birds and dolphins riding the waves in front of Praia Verde. We will arrive at sunset, just on time to enjoy red and pinkish colours on the west and intense blues to the east that offer a magic spectacle for our senses! Up on the weather conditions and tidal times, we will spend the night anchored in the river or docked at any of the marinas in Vila Real de Santo António or Ayamonte, two very lively and charming towns.
13

Day 13

Guadiana Estuary – Isla Cristina. In the early morning, we will head back to Isla Cristina to enjoy the last hours of sailing, full of unforgettable sensations and experiences. Disembark after lunch to arrive in Seville at 5pm. End of program.  

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