This is a trip for those who enjoy nature, walking, sailing, watching the wildlife of the Iberian peninsula, both in Spain and Portugal. The province of Huelva and the South of Portugal are privileged places to practise this kind of activities. The itinerary includes:

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This is a trip for those who enjoy nature, walking, sailing, watching the wildlife of the Iberian peninsula, both in Spain and Portugal. The province of Huelva and the South of Portugal are privileged places to practise this kind of activities. The itinerary includes:

  • Journey by kayak with the rhythm of the tides
  • Cycling along a greenway to Portugal
  • Trekking in the Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche forests, valleys and white villages
  • Exploration of extensive wetlands, dunes and pine forests in Doñana, a bird paradise and one of the most important natural areas in Europe.  

After a week of activities you'll also jump on board of a sailing yacht and explore the most spectacular yet least known landscapes in southern Portugal, winding your way up the River Guadiana among mountains and ancient fortifications as far Alcoutim. You will set full sail for Tavira and the Ría Formosa Natural Park with its islets and small fishing villages set amongst wetlands and windswept beaches.It will be an unforgettable vacation.

Trip summary

  • Departure Seville
  • End Seville
  • Countries
    • Spain
    • Portugal
  • City
    • Isla Cristina
    • Sanlucar de Guadiana
    • Tavira
    • Culatra
    • Vila Real de Santo Antonio
    • Seville
  • Theme Adventure and trekking
  • Travel style Group departure
  • Accommodation Standard
  • Flight Excluded
  • Guide Included
  • The tour has met our standards

Detailed itinerary

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  • 1
    Transfer from Seville to Isla Cristina
    Day 1
    Transfer from Seville to Isla Cristina

    The meeting point for all groups is at Seville airport at 5 pm. If people arrive earlier, they could visit on their own Sevilla Old City Centre.  You will arrive at Faro del Sur offices and have a meeting about the different activities you are going to accomplish. You will be accommodated in Faro del Sur apartments. Welcome dinner. 

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  • 2
    Kayaking Tour
    Day 2
    Kayaking Tour

    Taking advantage of high tide and after receiving a short training about how to manage a kayak, you will get into the marshes world where you will enjoy a unique ecosystem. You will see several areas of salt plants mixed with swamps and navigation channels while enjoying fauna and flora diversity. You'll also observe ancient mills, fishing ports, shore carpenters, the fish market: all smells and flavours that we thought we had already lost.

    You do not need previous experience for going in kayak: the only requirement is being able to swim. The route takes 4 to 5 hours. The rest of the day is free.   

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  • 3
    Doñana protected area
    Day 3
    Doñana protected area

    One of the most awaited days for bird lovers. You will be leaving early in the morning with a biologist and guide to tour the landscape of this protected natural area. Doñana is a vital stopover, breeding and wintering ground for many birds, and over 360 different species are seen at various times of year. You will start your bird watching in the well known village of El Rocío, where the marshes become waterlogged with the first autumn rains, flooding the clay soil and creating a fantastic place for spotting waders such as flamingos and other animal species such as wild horses and organically farmed livestock.

    You can also see a huge variety of birds of prey on the wing, such as kites, western marsh harriers and if we are lucky, the spectacular western imperial eagle. You will then visit various monitoring centres, such as La Rocina and Acebuche. In the afternoon, you will get close to Natural Park Dunas del Asperillo by taking a path that will get you to a desert beach. After that, you will make your way back to Isla Cristina. 

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  • 4
    Portugal by bicycle
    Day 4
    Portugal by bicycle

    Today you will take the bicycles and reach the Portuguese Algarve. You will cross the marshes by a coastal green track, between former salt plants and tidal mills, so as to reach the lovely town of Ayamonte.

    You will wait for the ferry at the dock  to cross Guadiana river and reach Portugal. These natural parks and reserves are privileged places for observing the fauna and flora. You will stroll around Vila Real de Santo Antonio, a charming village, and continue by river bank until the river‘s mouth to Atlantic ocean. You will rest at one of the lonely beaches where you can swim. You will go back to Isla in the afternoon.   

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  • 5
    Free day
    Day 5
    Free day

     Today you can visit by yourself the beaches, dunes and pine forests where you can find some chamaeleons on the Retama bushes. 

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  • 6
    Hiking in Sierra de Aracena Natural Park
    Day 6
    Hiking in Sierra de Aracena Natural Park

    Early in the morning the van will pick you up to head north to Castaño del Robledo, a mountain village. From this point you will enjoy an easy walk through paths and tracks that, even today, comunícate with small white villages. This route crosses mountains, chesnut forests and also pastures of cork oaks and olm oaks where the Iberian porks run freely.

    In the afternoon, after enjoying the local gastronomy, you will have a glimpse of the Rio Tinto mines. Then you'll go back to Isla Cristina.

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  • 7
    Shipping on the boat
    Day 7
    Shipping on the boat

    Today you will be shipping on your sail boat of 12m length, where you will be the next 7 days. You will be assigned to your cabins and you’ll buy the groceries for the week. You will spend the night on board at Isla Cristina Docks

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  • 8
    Navigation up the River Guadiana
    Day 8
    Navigation up the River Guadiana

    Departing from the Isla Cristina wetlands you will follow the coast to the mouth of the Guadiana. You will follow the river north, taking in the historical Castro Marim fortress and winding your way past the whitewashed villages which lie scattered among the rolling sierra until you reach the picturesque town of Alcoutim.

    After an opportunity to explore its cobbled streets, you will take the lifeboat across the river to its Spanish counterpart, Sanlúcar de Guadiana. You will spend the night anchored beneath the walls of the fortifications which dominate the two towns.  

  • 9
    Alcoutim to Isla de Tavira
    Day 9
    Alcoutim to Isla de Tavira

    With the prevailing northerly winds in your sails you will head downriver to rejoin the Atlantic. This is a full day’s sailing with opportunities for trying ocean swimming, doing some fishing, or developing your sailing skills under the tutelage of an experienced skipper.

    In the afternoon you will reach the island of Tavira where you'll dock with other yachts in the marina. There is time to explore its deserted beaches, visit the historical town of Tavira, or simply relax with a drink on board. You'll spend the night anchored in the riverhead.

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  • 10
    Tavira – Ría Formosa Natural Reserve
    Day 10
    Tavira – Ría Formosa Natural Reserve

    After breakfast, you will proceed westwards under full sail to the group of uninhabited islands and wetlands making up the Ría Formosa Natural Reserve, one of Portugal’s foremost protected areas. The reserve extends for 60kms along the coast, and features salt flats, streams, dunes and freshwater lakes which are home to a wide variety of aquatic and sea-faring birds.

    You will anchor off Culatra Island, and use the more navigable lifeboat to explore the wetland landscape of windswept beaches and traditional fishing villages. You will spend the night anchored between the islands of Armona and Culatra.  

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  • 11
    Ilha de Culatra
    Day 11
    Ilha de Culatra

    Today you will spend the day enjoying this natural paradise. First of all you will approach Culatra Island by dinghy and you will walk all over a pristine white sand beach with dunes and small fishing settlements with colourful boats balanced by the waves and wide marshes.

    You will also have a chance to see birds as herons or pink flamingos. In the afternoon you will head back to the Ría Formosa and Olhao, a picturesque town of narrow bustling streets with a distinct North African air. You will spend the night off the nearby Farol beach

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  • 12
    Ilha de Culatra– Vila Real de Santo Antonio
    Day 12
    Ilha de Culatra– Vila Real de Santo Antonio

    Today you will set sail early in the morning to head back to Vila Real. It will be a day of sailing under full sail before favourable winds, full of unforgettable feelings and experiences. You will arrive at Guadiana Estuary at sunset with its intense reds, violets and blues to delight the senses. You will spend the night between the communities of Vila Real de Santo Antonio and Ayamonte.  

  • 13
    Guadiana Estuary – Isla Cristina
    Day 13
    Guadiana Estuary – Isla Cristina

    Today you will make a short navigation to Isla Cristina to enjoy the last swim in the open ocean. You will meet at boat for the return trip to Seville. Estimated arrival time is 3 pm.   

  • Prices and conditions

    Price includes
    • Transfer Seville – Isla Cristina - Seville
    • Faro del Sur qualified guides and skipper
    • Accommodation in double or individual rooms in Faro del Sur apartments located on the coastline and in front of a natural reserve. Shared facilities and activities with other clients
    • Accommodation in double or triple cabin 7days/6 nights on sail boat
    • Sheets
    • Port fees, anchorage in natural reserves and fuel
    • Short trips in motorised lifeboat
    • All activities included in the program (bicycles, kayaking, Doñana Natural Park, Aracena Natural Park hiking, sail boat and skipper, routes and activities)
    • Itinerary of sailing yacht as programmed
    • Insurance
    • Welcome dinner.   
    Price does not include
    • International flights
    • Individual room supplement
    • Meals