Fishermen's Trail, Portugal
Enrollment for this trip will close January 31, 2024.
47 miles, from Porto Covo to Odeceixe
October 7-12, 2024
Suitable for new and experienced hikers
Max: 6 participants per trip
Welcome to Portugal! Are you ready to travel the most beautiful coastal trail in the world? Our itinerary includes four days of breathtaking hiking on the Fishermen’s Trail. This trail - called the Rota Vicentina in Portuguese - runs over 200km along the southwestern and southern coast of Portugal. Our itinerary covers the four most scenic days of the route as it passes along the Alentejo coast for a distance of 80km or 50 miles. The wild Atlantic Ocean is our companion for virtually all of the hike, offering spectacular seascapes throughout. The waves along this coastline are renowned for their size and ferocity, and in the season this is one of the top surfing locations in the world. The region is sparsely populated and the trail passes through relatively few villages. Much of the hiking is along the top of the steep and rugged bluffs, passing by many beautiful coves and pristine beaches. In parts the trail drops to the beaches and we are able to walk right along (or in!) the sea. The topography of the trail is fairly undemanding, with only a few sections of climbing and descending between bluff and beach. The underfoot conditions are soft and sandy for large sections, which can be demanding and requires some physical preparation. We will help you with getting in shape for the journey. The weather in southern Portugal is generally good - making it a country that attracts many northern Europeans to vacation or to retire here. The sun is rarely absent, but the maritime location means that there is always the chance of wind and sharp rainstorms.
Day 1 - Meet in Lisbon. The Portuguese capital is a beautiful and lively city, and small enough to be able to explore largely on foot. The international airport is located close to the city, enabling an easy transfer and maximizing time to explore the city. We encourage you to consider arriving a couple of days before our trip begins to recover from jetlag and enjoy the sights. We will transfer in the morning by private van to Porto Covo, the starting location of the hike. The journey will take a couple of hours traveling south from Lisbon, reaching the coast at the town of Sines and continuing further to the small village of Porto Covo, perched on the edge of the coast next to its fishing harbor. We will enjoy a group dinner in the hotel in the evening and begin walking the following day.
Day 2 - Porto Covo to Vila Nova de Milfontes. We head south from our hotel and very quickly find ourselves on the cliff tops. The trail continues past beaches, islands and old forts. For a while we hike through and behind sand dunes, before returning to high bluffs with amazing sea views. Our destination is Vila Nova de Milfontes, a town with a pretty center and a small castle, located on the estuary of the Rio Mira with great views to the sea.
Day 3 - Vila Nova de Milfontes to Almograve. The day begins with a short boat crossing of the Rio Mira. On the far side we return to the bluffs. Initially the scenery is more agricultural than yesterday, before we enter extensive acacia forests which run right up to the edge of the bluffs. Later in the day, we re-emerge to bluffs with extensive sea and beach views. Depending upon the tide condition we may be able to hike the final couple of miles along the beach to the small village of Almograve, where a beautiful sunset hopefully awaits us.
Day 4 - Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar. South of Almograve we return to the sandy bluffs and amazing seascapes as we pass the lighthouse of Cabo Sardao. We have a short section cutting inland to avoid serious coastal erosion, before arriving at the town of Zambujeira do Mar, where the lovely town square and church sit above a charming beach.
Day 5 - Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe. Our final day initially takes us back to the bluffs once more, passing a large, beautiful, pristine and accessible beach. From there the trail continues along the cliff edge all the way to the estuary of the Ribeira de Seixe where we have a last final spectacular sea view before turning inland to walk the last few kilometers to the town of Odeceixe, overlooked by its old windmill.
Day 6 - Transfer to Lisbon. We transfer back to Lisbon by minibus, allowing you to explore the city further, to continue your own travels around Portugal, or to take your return flight.
$4560 per person.
Reserve a spot with a 50% deposit.
Balance due May 31, 2024.
Travel fee includes:
1. Three preparatory zoom calls.
2. Suggested packing list.
3. Hotel accommodations every night.
4. Transfers between Lisbon and trail head and trail end.
5. Baggage transport service each hiking day.
6. Dinner night 1.
Travel fee does not include:
1. Flight to and from Lisbon.
2. Dinner, lunches and snacks.