Walking the Rota Vicentina: Highlights
Wild and unspoiled coastal scenery along Portugal’s Atlantic coastline
Kick off your walking boots and feel the sand between your toes on pristine, deserted beaches
Follow the footsteps of Portuguese fishermen along well-marked clifftop trails
Discover the ‘real’ Portugal as you visit places only accessible by foot
Wonderful seafood, excellent wines and glorious sunsets over the Atlantic
A spectacular week-long walk along one of the most undisturbed, best-preserved coastlines in all of Europe. You will feel as if you are truly at the outer edge of the continent as you stroll along the ancient fisherman’s trails of Portugal’s little known south-west coast. Well-marked paths take you along dramatic honey-coloured cliffs, across ravines and down to idyllic virgin beaches and deserted sandy coves, washed by the restless Atlantic Ocean.
The Costa Vicentina – Europe’s largest coastal natural park – is an area of incredible biodiversity. The deserted beaches attract egrets and turtles, while Europe’s only marine stork colony nests on the off-shore sea stacks. Late spring is a particularly special time, when the cliff tops are carpeted by a profusion of Mediterranean flowers, as well as aromatic eucalyptus and thyme.
The pace of life here is refreshingly unhurried. You will discover the ‘real’ Portugal as you visit sleepy, whitewashed fishing villages offering a glimpse of a way of life that has remained unchanged for decades. You will enjoy magnificent sunsets over the Atlantic as you relax at the end of your day with a glass of ‘vinho’ and some delicious freshly caught seafood, listening to the crashing of the waves on the shore.
|8 DAY TOUR||From €499 per person sharing*
*high season supplement will apply June – October
|ACCOMMODATION||In very comfortable hotels on a bed & breakfast basis. All hotels are carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite.
Some of the hotels we work with are listed below. If a certain hotel is unable to confirm due to lack of availability, we will request a similar one and inform you about the alternative booked.
You can also book additional night(s) at any of the accommodations along the way.
|AVAILABILITY||This trip is available all year round. You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability.|
Day 1: Arrive in Zambujeira do Mar
Arrival in the Algarve, at the coastal village of Zambujeira do Mar – a small and tranquil fishing village with a beautiful sandy beach set below the cliffs, a good assortment of family-run restaurants and water sports facilities.
Overnight: Zambujeira do Mar
Day 2: Almograve – Cape Sardao - Zambujeira
Distance: 20.7 km | Ascent: 175 m | 5½ – 6 hrs approx.
After breakfast, a short taxi transfer is arranged to take you to the village of Almograve, where you will start your first day’s walk. You will follow the way-marked “Rota Vicentina” coastal path, via Cavalheiro and Cape Sardao lighthouse, enjoying spectacular views along the cliffs on the way back to Zambujeira de Mar.
Option to shorten the walk by starting from Cavalheiro, instead of Almograve (9km less)
Overnight: Zambujeira do Mar
Day 3: Zambujeira - Azhena - Odeceixe
Distance: 20 km | Ascent: 220 m | 5 – 6 hrs approx.
Today you again follow part of the Rota Vicentina along the coast. Rolling sand dunes alternate with rugged cliffs – keep an eye out for the region’s famous cliff-nesting white storks. Passing by several beaches, by way of the fishing village at Azenha do Mar, before reaching your accommodation in the rural town of Odeceixe.
Day 4: Odeceixe - Aljezur
Distance: 17.5/20 km | Ascent: maximum 145 m | 5 – 6 hrs approx.
Today you follow the Rota Vicentina inland to the Medieval town of Aljezur. Take in the panoramic view from the old windmill as you leave Odeceixe, before following an irrigation canal as it winds through pastures and farmland growing sweet potatoes, maize, peanuts and tomatoes and then through an open landscape of heather and fragrant shrubs.
The alternative is a coastal route. You can take a detour to Praia Amoreira, spend some time there and then order a taxi (not incl. only 5 km) to Aljezur, a small market town of whitewashed houses and cobbled streets, dominated by the ruins of a tenth century Moorish castle. Your hotel has a small swimming pool and is conveniently close to one of the best restaurants in town.
Day 5: Choice of walks from Arrifana
Distance: 15.5/23.7 km | Ascent: 200/325 m | 4½ / 7½ hrs approx.
Today begins with a short transfer to the fishing village of Arrifana. Your choice of walk from here depends on the tides; if tides are low, you can walk along rocky strands and sandy beaches. If water levels are high, you take an alternate route further inland via Bordeira. Afternoon transfer to your accommodation in the tranquil and pretty village of Carrapateira, popular with surfers for its spectacular beaches and crashing waves.
Day 6: From Carrapateira to Vila do Bispo
Distance: 19 km | Ascent: 400 m | 6 hrs approx.
After a short transfer this morning you continue your walk south towards the charming little town of Vila do Bispo, famed for its seafood. In between you will walk some sections on the coast and others inland, depending on the tides. Near the start of the walk, you’ll have a good chance of spotting local fishermen perched high on the cliffs. Your route ends in historic Vila do Bispo, where you sepnd the night at a lovely hotel with indoor swimming pool and sauna.
Overnight: Vila do Bispo
Day 7: Cape Sao Vicente
Distance: 14 km | Ascent: 150 m | Descent: xxx m | 4 hrs approx.
Your final walking day takes you through pastures and fields to the southwestern-most point on the European continent. The route is characterised by monumental cliffs and outstanding coastal vistas. You walk along a flat track and then narrow fishermen’s paths above the rocky shoreline. In fine weather, you will have the option of stopping for a refreshing swim at ‘Praia do Ponto Ruiva’, before coming to the end of the Rota Vicentina at windy Cape Sao Vicente with sweeping views of the ocean.
A taxi transfer is arranged to take you back to your hotel in Vila do Bispo.
Overnight: Vila do Bispo
Day 8: End of trip
Your trip and our services come to an end after breakfast.
Getting to Zambujeira do Mar
Departure from Vila do Bispo
|Optional airport transfers
Private taxi transfers can be booked from/to the airport (Lisbon-LIS or Faro-FAO). Prices on request
|We will send you a pre-departure information pack, which contains detailed public transport information.|