A wooden sign for hikers at coast.

Glamping and nature: Walking Festival Ameixial has dozens of activities scheduled for April 26-28.

The Algarve’s most famous postcard depicts its paradisiacal beaches. What few people know is that far from the sea, there are countless trails and walking routes that are some of the most beautiful in the country. Exploring the magnificent landscapes while practicing sport is one of the attractions of the area – and you can do so between April 26 and 28 during the Walking Festival Ameixial, in Loulé, which presents itself as “the first walking festival in Portugal”.

The 11th edition of the initiative, which features 27 walks, kicks off on April 26 at 5 p.m. with a sunset walk and another at 9:30 p.m. with a storytelling session. The following day will be filled with more than a dozen walks, including the extreme route along the Vascão stream and the route between Ameixial and Besteiros “in search of the medronho distillate”. There are also activities designed for families, with routes in search of “butterflies and other flying jewels”.

On Sunday you can also take part in a “mindfulness in nature” walk. The festival closes at 3:30 p.m. on April 28 with a raffle for a “hiking basket”.

As happened last year, for those who want to stay in Ameixial, the initiative will once again have a glamping area, with tents that combine camping with comfort, because the village has no hotel accommodation.

Registration must be done online by April 21 and costs €10 per person. Children under 12 don’t pay. This walking festival is part of the Algarve Walking Season, which also promotes four other initiatives: Caminheiros – Experiências na Fronteira, which took place from March 15 to 17; Walk & Art Fest, which takes place from November 1 to 3; and the Monchique Walking Festival, from November 29 to December 1.

The idea for the Ameixial Walking Festival came about in 2013 with the aim of “revealing the natural and cultural wealth of this territory, contributing to boosting the local economy and raising awareness of its sustainable development, in this case through ecotourism and cultural tourism”, the official website states. The first edition was held a year later. “It was a success and welcomed dozens of participants from all over the Algarve and other parts of the country. Since then it has grown and gained regional and national notoriety.”

Related article: Hiking on the Fishermen’s Trail in Portugal

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