Inn-to-Inn long distance hiking along the Rota Vicentina in Southwest Portugal
This route is an incredible journey over the wild and unspoiled Southwest Coast of Portugal. Great Coastal scenery, nature, authentic rural life and a very mild climate, pampered by over 300 days of sunshine per year, make this region an must do it destination for hike seekers and lovers of nature tourism. Best of Rota Vicentina is a long distance trail, mixing an inland route with coastal scenic trails. It’s a great experience where you will find authentic rural culture and a surprisingly wild coastline.
Day 1: Welcome evening and local dinner in the historic center of Lisbon
Lodging » Lima: The Beautique Hotels Figueira or Similar
Day 2: Transfer to Arrabida (1h). Short warm up hike in Arrabida National Park.
Stunning views over the sea on beautiful Mediterranean forest landscape. Wine Tasting at Azeitão and lunch. Drive to our home for two nights (2h).
Lodging » Matinha Guest House
Day 3: Porto Covo and Matinha Hike (16 or 21km)
Transfer to Malhão Beach (15min).We will hike by the beautiful coast by the cliffs cross the beautiful beaches of Aivados and Malhão beaches and discover small deserted coves that will surprise you. Arrive to the beautiful Ilha beach where you will find two fortresses: one on the island and one on the shore. These coastal fortifications were the result of need to defend the coast from the pirates! Pass by Porto Covo Village and go inland to the cork forest returning to Matinha.
Lodging » Matinha Guest House
Day 4: Matinha to Vila Nova Milfontes.Inland Hiking day (19km, +400m).
As we leave Matinha we’ll go through the beautiful natural forest of the area, dominated by cork oaks. In this forest we’ll be able to find more than 150 different species of plants! Enjoy the perfume of wild herbs such as Lavender, Thyme, Calamintha or Rosemary. Roughly half way through the route, making a detour of 600m we’ll find a very special place. Rocha de Agua d'Alte, a beautiful spot with hidden waterfall. Continue to Vila Nova Milfontes village.
Lodging » Quinta Moinho de Vento
Day 5: Vila Nova Milfontes to Touril.Coastal Hiking day (20km, +550m)
Leave Milfontes crossing river Mira by boat with stunning views of the river’s mouth, the small town beside it and the natural vegetation that covers the local hillsides. Walk along the Atlantic Ocean and then inland crossing rural countryside.
Return to the cliffs and cross a beautiful area where we’ll walk by colorful sand dunes and discover small fishing harbors. This coastline is the only place in the world where Storks nest on the cliffs and rocky islands! Take the time to stop at Cabo Sardão’s lighthouse. This lighthouse has a unique characteristic in that it was built the wrong way round. The entry door is facing the ocean and the lighthouse is facing inland! Continue on the trail on top of high cliffs arrive to our charming guest house.
Lodging » Quinta Moinho de Vento
Day 6: Touril to Odeceixe Beach. Coastal Hiking day (21km, +500m)
Today’s beautiful walk takes us along the cliffs with gorgeous views, heading to Zambujeira do Mar a lovely village inside this Natural Park. Find deserted beaches with little access…some ropes used by the local fisherman to catch seafood. Discover nests of storks all along the coastline as we walk through the narrow trails made by the fisherman. Another spectacular day by the cliffs of this wild coast!
Enjoy breathtaking views over Odeceixe beach, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. We’ll reach Odeceixe and cross the and river that separates the two southern regions of Portugal, Alentejo and then the Algarve.
Lodging » Herdade do Touril.
Day 7: Monte Clérigo to Aljezur. Coastal/Inland Hiking day (22km, +400m)
Transfer to Monte Clérigo Beach (15min).
Start hike by the Atlantic Ocean passing by the beautiful beach and typical piscatorial village of Monte Clérigo. Walk by the coast, passing in the mythical Ponta da Atalaia, a fantastic promontory where we can see many ruins and excavations of an ancient Moorish fortress (Ribat) controlled by Ibn Qasî around 1150!
Cross amazing places like Arriafana beach, a surf spot where we’ll find plenty of stones, rounded by the constant erosion from the waves and tides. Return passing by the castle of Aljezur, visit the village and see the flat fertile ground of the lowlands, and the creeks that wind through these fields with their magnificent galleries of poplars, alders, ash trees, willows and tamarisks.
Lodging » Vicentina Hotel
Day 8: Arrifana to Carrapateira. Coastal/Inland Hiking day (20km, +500m)
Transfer to Bordeira Village Beach (20min).
We will start today at Bordeira Village, where time seems to slow down. Stop for a cafe and a chat with whoever comes by the window or the doorstep!Start another beautiful day going close to the river to the beach of Bordeira to appreciate how the sea has carved the sand into harmonious shapes that change with the seasons.
We follow along the coast trough “Carrapateira Pontal” an incredible peninsula crossing various viewpoints, with superb views of the escarpments. Get to the most famous spot for surfers and one of the most beautiful beaches of the region – Amado Beach! We wind our way through beautiful Pine forest and discover a hidden valley inland where you will find a lost village – Pedralva, a typical and old village once abandoned and now rebuilt as a hotel.
Lodging » Slow Village Hotel
Day 9: Pedralva to Vila do Bispo. Coastal/Inland Hiking day (19km, +600m)
From Pedralva village, along the riverbanks, there are tamarisk, willow, ash and Portuguese oaks. On the drier slopes, cork oak, maritime and stone pines, oleaster and olive trees. On these steep slopes admire the natural vegetation, virtually untouched by man, with dense scrub under the cover of cork trees. In this undergrowth arbutus, white heather, scotch heather, viburnum tinus, cistus, lentiscus, wild asparagus, laurel and furze are in abundance. On this day we exit the Rota Vicentina to discover a fantastic beach and great black rock cliffs of Barriga beach.
Lodging » Mira Sagres Hotel
Day 10: Vila do Bispo to Sagres. Coastal/Inland Hiking day (14km or 23km, +200m)
Today we walk towards the south western most point of Europe. This is a magical place where one can almost hear the echoes of the voices of sailors and pilgrims. Find monumental cliffs, outstanding views over the coastline and a privileged area to watch the natural phenomenon of autumn bird migration. The name of this promontory ‘Sagres’ seems to be linked to its past sacred character, as a place of pilgrimage for believers of various religions throughout the ages.
Finally Finisterra - Cape St. Vincent, the magical and mythical place which signals the end of this journey along the Rota Vicentina!
Lodging » Memmo Baleeira Hotel
Day 11: Hike the gorgeous South Coast to Salema!Coastal Hiking day (17km or 11km)
Deserted secret beaches with lagoons and a coast line almost untouched by Man, a landscape of rare beauty which is discovered while you walk along trails on the cliffs. Arrive to Salema beach and time to enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
Travel back to Lisbon on a private transfer (3:30h). Final night dinner together to reminisce about our adventure.
Lodging » The Beautique Hotels Figueira or similar
Day 12: Departure to US. Transfer to the airport after breakfast or extend your stay Lisbon.