Walking Holidays in the Vicentina Route

Small Group Walking

0.00

Grade: Moderate (5/8)

The Walking in the Vincentina route – From sea to land along the stunning South West Coast of Portugal is an 8-day walking tour, centred in Vila Nova de Milfontes and Aljezur, in the middle of the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park.

Considered one of the finest stretches of preserved European coastlines, the area is home to the famous Rota Vicentina – a 340km long-distance path that begins in Santiago do Cacém and finishes at the once called the edge of the known world – the Cape of St. Vincent.

  • Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax
  • The Vicentina Route is one of the most beautiful and best-preserved coastal areas of southern Europe
  • Selected walks in the Historical Way (inland) and Fishermen’s Trail (coastal)
  • Explore the real Alentejo and a mostly unknown Algarve
  • Scarcely populated region
  • The amazing Portuguese gastronomy and wines

Tour Description

Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax.

 

The Rota Vicentina route is divided between the Fishermen’s Trail and the Historic Route. The Fishermen’s trail follows the coastline that gives access to hidden beaches and secret fishing grounds. As we look closer, we may glimpse the local fisherman that risks their lives standing in the cliffs to catch the wild and elusive fish species and the delicate goose barnacles.

The Historic Route brings us inland, along the pastoral landscape and farming terrains that connect the small house clusters scattered in this vast area. It’s common to find shepherds and their herds of goats or sheep, moving from field to field. Here, locals are used to walking along the calm roads, visiting their orchards, talking to their neighbours, or just keeping life moving!

Both trails are a rewarding way of seeing the real Alentejo and Algarve regions of Portugal and walking on unforgettable routes full of tradition. Our uniquely designed “opt-out system” allows you to walk the whole walk or just parts of it, so that you can spend more time sightseeing if you prefer!

We start our walking week in Porto Covo, a small fishing village that is a favourite for the Portuguese. The blue transparent waters, the colourful houses, and the pleasant square paint a romantic picture of the songs on the radio.

Rota Vicentina group walking in the Historic Route

Rota Vicentina group walking in the Historic Route

Not far from here, Vila Nova de Milfontes is our home for some of the days. Standing tall and exquisite on the north margin of the Mira River, this is the region of vast beaches, dramatic coastlines, and unspoiled rural countryside.

In Odemira, where the luxuriant green valleys are, the streams shape the landscape. The smells are different, the flowers have vibrant colours and the views over the hills are breathtaking.

Arrifana - One of the most beautiful and best-preserved coastal areas of Europe

Arrifana – One of the most beautiful and best-preserved coastal areas of Europe

Unique places shape this week. In small villages like Carrapateira and Arrifana, the Atlantic sea is king. From the sea comes life, surf, goose barnacles, seasonal changes, and calm sea breezes.

And as we reach the end of the Vicentina Route and we look beyond the cliffs of São Vicente and the vastness of the sea in front of us, we understand why this is one of the most beautiful places on the southwestern coast of Portugal.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival

Arrive at Faro airport and transfer to Vila Nova de Milfontes. If time allows an introductory walk will be offered

Day 2 – Porto Covo walk

Home to some of the wildest and unspoiled beaches in the country, the small fishing village of Porto Covo became eternalized in a song by a Portuguese singer. Here, local traditions and habits emanate from the songs, the rugged cliffs that hide the clear, transparent blue waters, and the secluded beaches.
Our walk will bring us through the gems of this part of the west coast, passing by the Fort of the Pessegueiro – built in the 16th century to protect this precious coast – towards Vila Nova de Milfontes.

Distance: 16km/10mi; Ascent/Descent: 91m/-104m; Opt-out: at 7km

Day 3 – Odemira walk

This is the lush section of the trail, where a different, green, and vibrant Alentejo reveals itself before our eyes, with refreshing water streams and ponds. Much of the route follows the Ribeira do Torgal where forests of valuable species such as ash, willow, and alder clothe the banks of the streams.
Birds and mammals are abundant in the area. We may well find evidence of Wild Boar, a species quite common in this region. Amongst the undergrowth, there are many scented and medicinal plants, such as Genista tridentata found during spring, Oregano during summer, and Wild Asparagus during autumn.

Distance: 15km; 9.3mi; Ascent/Descent: 170m/-275m; Opt-out: at 10km

Ribeira Seixe Walk - Rota Vicentina Historic Route Trail

Ribeira Seixe Walk – Rota Vicentina Historic Route Trail

Day 4 – Odeceixe walk

This wonderful coastal walk passes many isolated beaches on the way to Azenha do Mar, a natural fishing harbour. There are outstanding views throughout the walk, particularly over Odeceixe beach, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the country.
In Odeceixe, where the Fishermen’s trail and the Historic way coincide, the trails pass through a maze of wetlands which provide essential habitat for wildlife & then on towards the sea where the waters from Monchique flood the Seixe River and spill abundantly into the ocean.
At the end of the walk, we transfer to our new hotel.

Distance: 14km; 8.6mi; Ascent/Descent: 273m/-299m; Opt-out: at 10km

Odeceixe landscape

Odeceixe landscape on Rota Vicentina where you will find a beautiful and untouched landscape with small coves and rough cliffs.

Day 5 – Arrifana walk

The Fishermen’s trail brings us today on a journey through time. The cliffs hide traces of prehistoric human life. History tells us that this area was occupied by various peoples, from Phoenicians to the Arabs. The Ponta da Atalaia is the mandatory stopping point. Here, we find the “Ribat of Arrifana”- an Islamic fortress-convent built in the 12th century by warrior monks, to be both a pillar of prayer and protection.
The rugged coast below with its sharped edges beaten by the strong waves is the home for goose barnacles, a local delicacy that is only accessible at the extremely low spring tides.

Distance: 13km; 8mi; Ascent/Descent: +-118m; Opt-out: at 5km

Walking tours in Portugal

Walking tours in “Rota Vicentina” a hiking trail along the coastline, which offers fantastic views over the ocean.

Day 6 – Carrapateira walk

The small village of Carrapateira is a unique place that has been attracting surfers, vacationers, walkers, fishermen, goose barnacle hunters, and birders alike. Here, the life in the village is calm and days go by between the sound of the waves hitting the cliffs below and the chirping of the birds migrating south.
Our walk brings us along the dunes, where the exuberant displays of vegetation collide with the vibrating sounds of the sea. Thyme, yellow shrubby everlasting, rosemary, lavender, and rockroses grow as the rocks turn to limestone.

Distance: 10km/6.2mi; Ascent/Descent: +-82m; Opt out: at 7km

 

Rota Vicentina walking

Rota Vicentina powerful landscape from the dramatic coast, home to one of the world’s most dramatic, iconic landscapes.

 

Day 7 – Vila do Bispo Walk

Today marks the final section of the Vicentina route. This walk, starting from the small town of Vila do Bispo was designed to provide us with the ultimate opportunity to witness the expansive open countryside, the dramatic cliffs, and a cape that was once believed to be the end of the world.
The fisherman’s trail finishes in the Cape of Saint Vincent, the most south-westerly point of Europe. This famous geological headland was a central stage for the Portuguese explorer’s history, pirate stories, and nowadays, it’s a famous hotspot for the observation of migratory bird species.

Distance: 14km/8.6mi; Ascent/Descent: 78m/-126m; Opt-out: at 10km

Arrifana - one of the most beautiful and best-preserved coastal areas of Europe

Arrifana – One of the most beautiful and best-preserved coastal areas of Europe, with the craggy cliffs and outcrops being one of the most attractive aspects of the Vicentine Coast.

Day 8 – Departure

At a convenient time departure from the hotel to Airport.

What's included

Accommodation

  • 7 nights in a twin standard room for two pax

3 nights in Vila Nova de Milfontes
4 nights in Aljezur

  • Shared ensuite room with a travelling companion of the same sex
  • Single supplement available with a surcharge
  • Extra nights available on request

Meals

  • 7 buffet breakfasts at the Hotel
  • 7 Dinners with drinks included

Transport

  • Meet & Greet Airport Transfer to the hotel on the first day – group transfer
  • Transfer from the hotel to the airport on last day – group transfer
  • All transports to walks and activities (as outlined) with dedicated driver and vehicle
  • Additional transfers are available on request at an extra cost

Tour Leaders

  • Dedicated English speaking local tour leader
    The tour leader will assist and guide the group throughout the holidays, handle all the arrangements and other needs that might arise, make sure that you don’t have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday
    Each evening, your tour leader will discuss the details and program for the following day

Walks and Activities

  • Walks according to program

Exclusions

Any services not listed as included

  • Flights to and from Portugal
  • Meals, tips/gratuities, baggage, or personal insurance (except as outlined)
  • Admission fees to castles & attractions or events (except as outlined)
  • Personal expenses
  • Supplements
  • Guide services inside monuments

Insurance

You must be adequately insured to join our Guided group walking holidays and Portugal Self-Guided walking holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday.

BeCool Travel has partnered with WorldNomads.com to keep you travelling safely. WorldNomads.com Travel Insurance is designed for independent and adventurous travellers, with coverage for overseas medical expenses, cancellation, baggage, and other expenses.

Please consult our Travel Insurance page, where you’ll be able to get more detailed info about insurance requirements and an immediate quote for your trip.

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