If you like to stay active while on holiday, chances are you’re always in the market for good walks to go on. But let’s be honest… a hike for the sake of a hike can be kind of boring. Sometimes you want to have something to keep an eye out for. And if that something just happens to coincide with your interests? Well, you’re out the door immediately, aren’t you?
Birdwatchers, historians and city slickers read on – here are three diverse trails you’ll drive past on Shuttle’s airport transfer from Faro to Lisbon.
Ludo Hiking Trail
As you travel from the airport in Faro to Lisbon, the first hiking trail you will pass by is Ludo Hiking Trail. This path is a great way to see a high selection of Portuguese wildlife, specifically the birds that live in the area. At the beginning of the trail, there are lagoons on either side, with different animals living in each. The left is home to coots, moorhens, ducks and the Spiny Rush, whereas the Greenshank and the Kentish Plover much prefer the right.
Carrying on, you will have an option to continue straight or veer right. The latter takes you to an intersecting salt marsh and stream filled with Curlew, Pied Avocet, the Black-winged Stilt and flamingos. Choosing to turn right will lead you to a large bird hide that offers gorgeous marshland views and eventually takes you to a tree-filled area. Keep an eye out for the Azure-winged Magpie, the Sardinian Warbler and the Hoopoe.
Continue until you finally reach the salt pans, another great spot to see more flamingos. Other species you may encounter over the course of your hike include the Spoonbill, the White Stork and the Grey Heron.
Although seeing a particular bird is never 100% guaranteed, the Ludo Hiking Trail has so many different species there’s a very high chance you’ll come across some of your favourite feathered friends – birdwatchers should definitely consider coming back.
Top Tip: Bring some binoculars to catch a glimpse of far away or in flight birds!
At a Glance
Length: 6.95 kilometres
Time to Complete: 3.5 hours (on average)
Perfect For: Avian aficionados
Paderne Castle Trail
The next trail to keep an eye out for on your transfer from Faro to Lisbon is Paderne Castle Trail. This is the perfect walk for history lovers – the route takes you directly past the physical remnants of this area’s rich and interesting past. The Moors, who were major inhabitants of the area, built a complex system of dams and watermills, the remains of which can be seen after walking down the trail for just a few metres.
Proceed until you see a three-arched medieval bridge that originally connected Faro to Lisbon (although they were known as the Roman cities of Ossnoba and Olisipo at the time). While here, make sure you look out for the ruins of an eighteenth-century gristmill and its oven. Carry on and eventually you will come to what is the star of this trail – Paderne Castle itself.
Constructed in the twelfth century, its medieval Islamic military architecture is just as fascinating as its history. With thick walls built from a concrete consisting of gravel, limestone, soil and chalk, an entrance that was easy to protect and a watchtower, this small and unassuming castle proved itself to be a formidable fortress. In the years after its creation, it found itself being passed back and forth between the Moors and the Portuguese, until it was eventually definitively conquered by the latter in 1248.
I would highly recommend returning for a walk along this trail to anyone who is interested in the medieval history that surrounds Paderne – and anyone who wants to follow the very path that a Portuguese assault party took one of the many times they conquered this castle!
At a Glance
Length: 3.94 kilometres
Time to Complete: 2 hours (on average)
Perfect For: History buffs
Restauradores Square to Amália Rodrigues Garden
The final walking route that you’ll pass by on your way from Faro to Lisbon is not an official trail – however, if you’re someone who likes to stretch your legs while still staying in the city centre, this will give you a lovely overview of some of Lisbon’s best sites.
This journey will take you down Lisbon’s main boulevard, Avenida da Liberdade. This elegant avenue brings you past cafes, fountains, grand hotels, designer shops, mansions and historical monuments. Begin in Restauradores Square, built to honour Portugal’s emancipation from Spain in 1640. There’s lots of culture to see here – the obelisk and bronze statues in the very centre, Foz Palace, Eden Cinema and a funicular known as Elevador da Gloria are my particular favourites.
As you continue down the boulevard, I recommend keeping an eye out for Marquis of Pombal Square, where you will see a breathtaking and imposing statue erected to commemorate a governor of the same name.
Carry on to Edward VII Park, the largest central park in Lisbon. Check out the hothouse and greenhouse, before ending your walk at the charming garden connected to the park – Amália Rodrigues Garden. (And don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for the unique amphitheatre and artificial lake!)
A great promenade for those who love culture and exploring the wonders of the cities they visit!
At a Glance
Length: 2.41 kilometres
Time to Complete: 30 minutes (on average)
Perfect For: Culture connoisseurs
From Faro to Lisbon
Flights from London to Faro are quite short – just under three hours. Once you arrive in the airport, consider using Shuttle Direct as a transport service to your accommodation. The journey from Faro to Lisbon is a little over three hours. When you prebook, you know exactly what you’re going to get – taxis and public transportation can be unpredictable, and driving can just add unnecessary stress. Plus, you’ll have a chance to be on the lookout for these walks, and take in the gorgeous Portuguese landscape.
Top Tip: If your driver speaks English, ask them about the area’s hiking trails and walks during your drive from Faro to Lisbon. They are often locals who have great insider tips on things to do on your holiday!
About Shuttle Direct
Here at Shuttle Direct we have one goal – getting you to your destination in a timely manner. We offer professional, reliable services, and shared and private transfers. If you’re heading from Faro to Lisbon (or somewhere else in Europe or North Africa), consider trying us out.
NB. This route guide has been compiled as an aid to visiting the region. This airport transfer from Faro to Lisbon does not include stops to these destinations.