A walk along the famous Rota Vicentina or The Way of St. Vincent in Southwestern Portugal
Our self-guided walking in Portugal goes along a part of the Rota Vincentina along the south-western coast of sunny Portugal, between Santiago do Cacém and Cape St. Vincent on the verge of Portugal's strip of land. The trails are well-marked and are nearly 350 km long. This historical way takes us to numerous towns and villages.
Highlights of the trip:
♦ Santiago do Cacem – with the Roman ruins of Mirobriga
♦ Odemira – a town on the mainland that is connected to the sea via water trails
♦ Odeceixe – cozy village by the opening of the Ribera de Seixe at the border between Algrave and Alentejo
Day 1: Santiago do Cacem
Arrival at Lisbon airport or Faro airport in the Algarve. Overnighting in the Alentejo town of Santiago do Cacém at a guesthouse close to the historical centre and the northern starting point of the Rota Vicentina.
Day 2: Santiago do Cacém - Vale Seco
Your walk along a stage of the Historical Way through the hills between Santiago do Cacém and Vale Seco begins. Your accommodation for the night is in the converted mill buildings of the 19th century twin windmills, Moinhos do Paneiros, directly on the trail.
Walking distance: 21 km; walking time: 6-7 hrs
Day 3: Vale Seco - Cercal do Alentejo
Today's walk passes by Campilhas Dam & Reservoir on what is considered to be the most arrid stage of the Historical Way. The night will be spent at an art nouveau style guesthouse in the centre of the village.
Walking distance: 20 km; walking time: 5-5,5 hrs
Day 4: Cercal do Alentejo - São Luis
The path goes through the "serras" with views to the coast and inland over the Alentejo plains. The night will be spent at a rural guesthouse in a typical Alentejano style farmhouse just outside the village, with views over the "Alentejo Montado".
Walking distance: 21 km; walking time: 6-7 hrs
Day 5: São Luis - Odemira
This part of the route is known as the water section of the Historical Way, where there is an optional but recommended side trail to Pego da Pias pools. The night will be spent at a family owned pension in the centre of Odemira.
Walking distance: 25 km; walking time: 7-8 hrs
Day 6: Odemira - São Teotónio
For much of the route, the trail follows the River Mira and the River S. Teotonio along wide trails. The night will be spent in a small hotel on the edge of the town
Walking distance: 19 km; walking time: 6 hrs
Day 7: São Teotónio - Odeceixe
A walk along some inhospitable but truly memorable trails to the Algarve village of Odeceixe. You will spend the night at a small guest house close to the village centre.
Walking distance: 17 km; walking time: 5,5-6 hrs
Day 8: Departure
Departure on your own from Odeceixe to Lisbon or Faro airport.
NB! The higher price band applies to stays during 28 March – 12 April due to Easter holidays.
Practical information: ►You can fly to Lisbon Airport. There are shuttle buses between Lisbon airport and the city and bus transport to Santiago do Cacem. There is a direct bus from Odeceixe to Lisbon ►The tour is not available in July and August as it is too hot, nor in the Christmas/New Year's period.
How to get there:
By bus: Rede Expressos coaches from Lisbon (Sete Rios) transit station depart daily to Santiago do Cacém. Single fare is €13.70.
Departs: 10.30. Arrives: 12.35; Departs: 11.30 Arrives: 13.40 Departs: 13.00. Arrives: 14.50; Departs: 15.00. Arrives: 17.25; Departs: 17.00. Arrives: 19.05; Departs: 17.30. Arrives: 19.20;Departs: 19.30. Arrives: 21.55.
Tickets can be purchased from the transit station or on-line on the English language pages of the coach company's website http://www.rede-expressos.pt/default.aspx no more than 14 days before travel date. Tickets cannot be bought on the coach. There are no direct express coaches from Faro to the region. There is an option to travel
from Faro via Portimao to Santiago do Cacém.
EVA Transrapido http://www.eva-bus.com , single fare is €5.45, pay driver on bus. Departs Faro: 12.30 Arrives Portimão: 14.15
Rede Expressos, single fare is €14.50, purchase as detailed above. Departs Portimão: 15.00 Arrive Santiago: 18.20
The coach station is a short walk (200m) from the guest house.
By train: Trains depart from Lisbon Oriente or Entrecampos stations and Faro station to Ermidas-Sado station, the nearest one to Santiago do Cacém, nearly 30km away.
From Lisbon Entrecampos to Ermidas-Sado: 10.29 - 11.45; 14.29 - 15.45; 17.29 - 18.45. Single fare €15.20
From Faro to Ermidas-Sado: 07.00 - 08.41; 09.46 - 11.49; 13.41 - 15.33; 17.35 - 19.43 Single fare from €11.70
Tickets can be bought in advance from ticket office at the station or on-line on the English language pages of the railway company's website http://www.cp.pt no more than 28 days before travel date. Tickets cannot be bought on the train. You will then have to take a taxi from the station to the guest house. The local bus times
do not offer easy connections.
Recommended travel period of the year: April - June, September - October
Necessary equipment: sturdy walking boots and walking socks, a small rucksack, sunglasses, sunhat, sun cream, rainwear and insect repellent.