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3
moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 4 nights in pensions
  • 4 nights in hotels
Meals
  • 8 Breakfasts

9 Days£680GBP

Overview

Trip Code: UWA

Trip highlights


  • Hike through the impressive coastal scenery of the western Algarve
  • Stay in comfortable family run accommodation in pretty coastal towns
  • Swim at remote beaches away from the busy resorts
  • Arrive at Cape St Vincent on foot, the south-western most point of Portugal

The Rota Vicentina is a long distance footpath which opened in 2013 and represents a successful eco-tourism initiative to develop low impact tourism in a relatively untouched region of Portugal. The trail connects Cape St Vincent, Portugal's most south-westerly point, to the village of Odeceixe, where it splits into two trails; the Historical Way which heads inland and the Fishermen's Trail which follows the coast to Porto Covo. This trip follows the trail south from Odeceixe to Cape St Vincent and a section of the Fishermen's trail. Experience the renowned beauty of the Algarve coastline well away from the tourist areas on this inspiring walk along enchanting sections of the Atlantic coast. As you make your way towards the south-western most point on the European continent by foot you'll pass idyllic beaches, sand dunes and dramatic steep cliffs that see surprisingly few visitors compared to the busier resort based beaches. The walk has been carefully researched and will be appreciated by those who want to enjoy one of Europe's most celebrated coastal scenes but stay away from the crowds. Starting in the north the route will have you trekking through the Sudoeste Alentejano en Costa Vicentina Natural Park to Cape Saint Vincent. The trip will be an assault on the senses with tasty regional specialties and good wine to enjoy, the aroma of eucalyptus and thyme mixed with the fresh sea air, a wide variety of Mediterranean flora and fauna to spot and of course plenty of time to enjoy the traditionally relaxed Portuguese lifestyle.

Countries:

Portugal

Starting Point:

Zambujeira do Mar

Finishing Point:

Vila do Bispo


Make your way to the Algarve and the coastal village of Zambujeira do Mar. A transfer can be arranged from Faro airport or train station (additional cost applies and must be pre-booked), a journey of just over 2 hours. We can also assist with a transfer from Lisbon airport on request. Your accommodation in this small whitewashed village for two nights is a small hotel just 200m from the beach and 300m from the bus stop.

Meals:  Nil

This morning a short taxi transfer will take you to the village of Almograve, where your walk starts. You will walk along the waymarked 'Rota Vicentina' path, following the coast via Cavaleiro and the lighthouse at Cape Sardao, enjoying spectacular views on the way back to Zambujeira do Mar. Distance 20.2km/12.6mi, ascent/descent 175m/575ft Option to shorten: ask the taxi driver to drop you off in Cavalheiro (2hrs, 9km/5.6mi less)

Meals:  B

Today's walk follows another section of the Rota Vicentina along the coast. Rolling dunes alternate with rocky shores where storks nest. You'll pass several beaches and the fishing village of Azenha do Mar, which has a nice bar/restaurant, before reaching Odeceixe. Distance 18.6km/11.6mi, ascent/descent 220m/722ft

Meals:  B

Once again, today's (18km) route follows the Rota Vicentina, although this time you walk inland. First you follow rural tracks and quiet tarmac lanes, winding through farmed fields. Then the scenery changes to an open landscape of heather and fragrant shrubs. Your route ends in the interesting village of Aljezur, where you will spend the night. This evening there will be time to explore the historic village centre and Moorish castle. (Option to shorten to 8km/5mi by transferring with the driver to Rogil) If you prefer to walk on the coast today, the route you can walk a combination of the coastal Rota Vicentina and the inland Caminho Histórico, allowing for two stretches along the coast (one at the beginning, one at the end) and avoiding the middle section with dangerous cliffs and unstable terrain. The first 3km are on tarmac, so you may want to order a taxi* for the start. This walk ends at Praia da Amoreira and you can arrange an extra taxi* transfer to Aljezur. Note* the extra taxi transfers on this walk are not included and should be paid on the spot. Our usual accommodation in Aljezur is a hotel with an outdoor pool, close to one of the best restaurants in town. Distance 18km (option to shorten) or 22km/11.3mi or 13.6mi, ascent/descent 145m/476ft

Meals:  B

Today, your choice of walk will once again depend on the tide. After a short transfer (included) to the fishing village of Arrifana, you can choose between the coastal and inland route. If the tide is low, you can walk along rocky strands and sandy beaches. If the tide is high, there's an an inland route via Bordeira. It's also possible to do a combination of these, ie start on the inland route then switch to the coastal route after Chabouco. Both routes can also be shortened, by taking the transfer to Chabouco (near Monte Novo). The inland route is long but technically quite easy, as you follow the waymarked Rota Vicentina / Caminho Histórico, while part of the coastal route is not officially marked as the Rota Vicentina. Your destination is Carrapateira, where the beach is considered one of the most beautiful in Portugal. Overnight in Carrapateira, or subject to availability at Aldeia Pedralva (in which case a short transfer from Carrapateira to the accommodation is included). Inland: distance 15.5-22.9km/9.7-14.3mi, ascent 175m-325m/574-1066ft, descent 250-425m/820-1395ft Coastal: distance 18.5km/11.6mi, ascent 200m/656ft, descent 265m/869ft

Meals:  B

Today you can have a rest day in Carrapateira or on the beach, or choose from two loop walks. The shorter walk is to Pontal, passing two beautiful beaches along the way. The longer walk is to Praia and Pedralva, traversing idyllic valleys. If you stayed in Pedralva last night you can arrange to be driven to Carrapateira in the morning and walk back to Pedralva. Distance 10km or 22km/6.3mi or 13.7mi, ascent/descent 125m/410ft or 215m/705ft

Meals:  B

Today you will walk from Carrapateira heading south, with sections both on the coast and inland, depending on the tides. Near the start of the walk, there's a good chance you'll spot fishermen perched high on the cliffs. There's an option to shorten the stage by 3km via an inland route on the Caminho Historico. The route ends in Vila do Bispo, where you'll spend the next two nights at a welcoming hotel with indoor pool/spa facilities. Distance 18km/11.3mi, ascent 400m/1312ft

Meals:  B

The last hike of the tour takes you through pastures and fields along the coast to the most south-western point of Portugal. If the weather is warm you can stop for a swim at ‘Praia do Ponto Ruiva’. The trail is a flat, with narrow fishermen’s paths above rocky shores. The walk ends at windy 'Cabo de São Vicente', with sweeping views of the ocean. A taxi transfer in the afternoon will take you back to your hotel in Vila do Bispo. Distance 14km/9mi, ascent 150m/492ft

Meals:  B

The trip concludes after breakfast. You can take the local bus to Lagos and change to another bus to Faro, or we can assist with a transfer to Faro Airport (on request, must be pre-booked - please ask for our rates.)

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 8 breakfasts
  • 8 nights accommodation: 5 nights in simple family run pensions, 3 nights in hotels with swimming pool, all on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Luggage transfers on days 3, 4, 5 & 7 - 1 piece maximum 20kg, supplement applies for excess
  • Digital information pack including route notes, maps and navigational App (can be used offline) per booking
  • Private transfers on days 2, 5 & 8
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to Zambujeira do Mar and from Vila do Bispo. Arrival and departure transfers to/from Faro airport are available on request, please ask for our rates
  • Meals not listed as included, drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Guide – this is a self guided walking holiday
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Entrance fees
  • Transfers not noted as included
  • Excess luggage
  • Items of a personal nature

Suitability

moderate

3

MODERATE – GRADE 3 This trip involves walking between 4 and 7 hours per day over undulating terrain, sometimes on the beach, with some short steep ascents and descents. Daily distances range from 12-24km with ascents of between 150m and 340m. Some stages are easily shortened either by choosing a shorter route or through the use of public transport. The trip is graded moderate and is considered suitable for active people who have a good level of fitness.


Departure dates

1 Feb to 30 Nov

Notes

M
Mid Season
H
High Season
Note:
Mid season is from 21 Mar to 23 Jun and 29 Sep to 31 Oct. High season is from 24 Jun to 28 Sep, supplement applies

Priceper person from

£680GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Single supplement - low seasonGBP£240
  • Solo traveller supplement – low seasonGBP£350
  • Single supplement - mid seasonGBP£360
  • Solo traveller supplement - mid seasonGBP£460
  • Single supplement - high seasonGBP£570
  • Solo traveller supplement - high seasonGBP£680
*Prices listed are per person

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Personal Experience

We've been walking and cycling the planet for over four decades and are passionate about delivering exceptional service. Combined, we’ve travelled to virtually every corner of Europe, and are eager to share the many benefits of travelling on foot or by bike.

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Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

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We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.

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