The four events will take place in Alcoutim, from March 15 to March 17, in Ameixial (municipality of Loulé), between April 26 and April 28, in Barrão de São João (Lagos) from November 1 to November 3, and in Monchique, from November 29 to December 1.

The brand “Algarve Walking Season, A Region to Walk All Year Round”, managed by QRER – Cooperativa para o Desenvolvimento dos Territórios de Baixa Densidade, which was founded in 2017 to promote three of the festivals that were taking place at the time.

João Ministro, responsible for the project at the QRER cooperative, maintained that this “new chapter” of the brand will allow it to position the Algarve as the main region in the country for hiking.

“There is no other any region in the country that has a network and a brand that brings together several hiking festivals with these characteristics. It ends up establishing its position as a destination for this type of activities”, he added.

These events which are held in low-density regions, “impact the territory in many ways”, reinforcing the appeal of the interior, contributing to the preservation of natural and cultural heritage, and attracting residents, the resident foreign communities and tourists.

In total, among the four scheduled festivals, with more than 200 activities planned, including walks, workshops and many others, it is estimated the participation of “over 3,000 people”, said João Ministro.

Caminheiros – Alcoutim Walking Festival, whose first edition dates back to 2014, will occur from March 15 to March 17, with a program of 12 walks based on the themes of smuggling and experiences at the border.

The oldest of these events is the Ameixial Hiking Festival, in the municipality of Loulé, held for the first time in 2013, which will take place from April 26 to April 28, with more than 30 walks in a diverse program.

The seventh edition of Walk & Art Fest in Barão de São João which brings together a strong multicultural and artistic community residing in the village in the municipality of Lagos, is scheduled for November 1 to November 3.

The “Algarve Walking Season” will be finalised between November 29 and December 1, with the Monchique Walking Festival, in which water is the main theme.

RTA will bring specialised international operators and journalists to these events, in addition to promoting the brand at specific nature tourism fairs, in central and northern Europe.

The aim is to asses the real impact of these festivals in the region, with the walks whose value “already exceeds €40 billion” across Europe, disclosed the president of RTA.

As maintained by the organisation of the Ameixial Walking Festival, over the last 10 years, the event has generated an estimated revenue of €50 thousand for the local economy in the village in the interior of Loulé.