Autumn Activities in the Algarve
With average daytime highs of 23°C and plenty of sunshine throughout Autumn, it’s a great time to visit the region. A big attraction at this time of year are the array of birds that fly over the region as part of the annual migration season. Visitors can get involved at the Sagres Birdwatching Festival in October.
Autumn is the best time of year for birdwatching in the Algarve as thousands of birds fly over the region to wintering grounds in Africa.
The Algarve is home to 395 bird species, including rare species such as the Egyptian Vulture and the Spanish Imperial Eagle, all of which can be spotted during the migration period.
The Sagres Birdwatching Festival takes place this year on 1st to 5th October 2021 and is one of the most important events in the world's birdwatching calendar. Visitors can expect a fabulous programme of birdwatching tours and nature activities on land and sea, and hikes along scenic trails.
For more details and to register visit www.birdwatchingsagres.com/en
For those that can’t make the festival, but would like to spot birdlife, the large wetland areas such as Ria Formosa that stretches 60km along the Algarve coast, between the beaches of Manta Rota and Garrão, are a bird paradise and a must-visit hotspot for birdwatchers during the migration period. It’s one of the most important wetlands for aquatic birds, sheltering rare and threatened bird species. More than 200 bird species alone have been identified in Ria Formosa including the Greater Flamingo and the Eurasian Spoonbill.
Walking and Cycling
It is also a nice time to enjoy some spectacular walking and cycling along the well marked trails and cycle routes that showcase the best Algarve scenery. The best place to start is at the website, www.cyclingwalkingalgarve.pt which shows all the various routes
Each recommended route is categorised by its difficulty, the estimated time for completion, the sights and landscapes which can be enjoyed along the way. There are also handy preparation tips on what to pack, itinerary planning tools, with brochures and maps available to download, plus accommodation suggestions and guided tours with recommended partner links.
Visitors can for example get details on the longest of these trails, the Via Algarviana, which spans across the whole region from east to west, offering more than 300km of paths. The trail covers three types of landscapes in the Algarve. From the start at Alcoutim, the route goes through the mountainous Serra, before reaching the plains and fields of the rural countryside Barrocal, and finishes on the coastline in Cape St Vincent, where the Costa Vicentina Natural Park meets the Atlantic Ocean. The path is officially recognised as a Grande Rota, meaning that it is clearly marked and easily accessible, and it is also divided into 14 segments of approximately 30 km, making it ideal for those seeking to walk/cycle shorter distances or who wish to concentrate on one area in particular.
Other recommended routes include the Grande Rota do Guadiana, a walking and cycling trail which departs from Vila Real de Santo António to Alcoutim and follows the river Guadiana, offering stunning sights along the way such as the Castle of Castro Marim, or the Rota Vicentina, which offers panoramic views over the ocean and allows visitors to discover a more rugged and preserved part of the Algarvian Coastline.