A walk along Rota Vicentina or The Way of St. Vincent in Southwestern Portugal.
Highlights of the tour:
♦ Zambujeira do Mar – a small cozy village with the historical mountains Amores and Santa Catarina
♦ Almograve – a popular spot for surfing enthusiasts from around the world
♦ Odeceixe – another cozy village by the opening of the Ribera de Seixe at the border between Algrave and Alentejo
Day 1: São Luís
Arrival at Lisbon airport or Faro airport in the Algarve. Overnighting near the Alentejo village of São Luís at a rural guest house with use of swimming pool (in season), where you can relax on the terrace and take in the wonderful views of the serra.
Day 2: São Luís - Cercal do Alentejo
Welcome meeting after breakfast at your guest house before the first walk from São Luís to Cercal do Alentejo along a stage of the Historical Way with long ascents over harsh terrain through the hills between São Luís and Cercal with breathtaking views over the plains and the Altantic Ocean. Your accommodation for the night is in a small hotel near the centre of Cercal.
Walking distance: 21 km; walking time: 6-7 hrs, + 500m. / -500m
Day 3: Cercal do Alentejo - Porto Covo das Bandeiras
A walk along the stage joining the Historical Way to the Fishermen's Trail. Emerging from the wooded foothills of the serra, with the ocean ahead of you, the spectacular sight of Peachtree Island appears before you. The night will be spent at a small inn or hotel near the village square.
Walking distance: 16,5 km; walking time: 4,5-5 hrs, +200m. / -300m.
Day 4: Porto Covo das Bandeiras - Vila Nova de Milfontes
A hike starting at the original northernmost point of the Fishermen's Trail, from where you will walk through the wide sand dunes of Ilha do Pessegueiro, Aivados and Malhão beaches and along the cliff tops, discovering secluded coves at every turn. You will spend the night at a small hotel/guest house near to the old historic centre of Vila Nova de Milfontes, close to the castle with its views over the Mira estuary.
Walking distance: 20 km; walking time: 7-8 hrs; +200m. / - 180m.
Day 5: Vila Nova de Milfontes - Almograve
Continuing on the Fishermen's Trail along the coast with the spectacular views of the Mira estuary from the bridge and equally enjoyable views if you choose to take the shortcut by boat. A relatively short walking day which gives you time to enjoy the area to its full extent, particularly Brejo Largo beach. You will spend the night at a delightful guest house situated just behind the sand dunes at Almograve.
Walking distance: 15 km; walking time: 4,5-5 hrs; +150m. / - 130m.
Day 6: Almograve - Zambujeira do Mar
Heading south from Almograve, passing scented pine forest to the village of Cavaleiro and the historic Cabo Sardão lighthouse. From the cliff tops you can view the nests of white storks on the rocky crags, something that is unique to this short stretch of coastline. You will spend the night at a small guest house close to the centre of Zambujeira do Mar.
Walking distance: 22 km; walking time: 6-7 hrs ; + 200m. / - 200m.
Day 7: Zambujeira do Mar - Odeceixe
A walk along a coastal path, passing the wonderful beaches of Alteirinhos, Carvalhal, Machados and Amalia en route to the fishing village of Azenha do Mar, with its seemingly inaccessible natural harbour. The trail continues along the cliff tops, through the sand dunes to reach the majestic Ponta em Branco, with views over Odeceixe beach and estuary and southwards along the western Algarve coast.You will spend the night at a small guest house close to the river in Odeceixe.
Walking distance: 18 km; walking time: 6,5-7 hrs; +300m. / -300m.
Day 8: Departure
Departure on your own from Odeceixe to Lisbon or Faro airport (or you can order a private transfer).
NB! The higher price band applies to stays during 8 April – 19 April Easter holidays.
Practical information: ►You can fly to Lisbon Airport. There is a direct bus from Lisbon to S. Luis and from Odeceixe to Lisbon ►The tour is not available in July and August as it is hot, nor in the Christmas/New Year's period.
How to get there:
Rede Expressos coaches from Lisbon (Sete Rios) transit station depart daily to São Luis and other towns closeby.
Tickets can be purchased from the transit station or on-line on the English language pages of the coach company's website https://rede-expressos.pt/en 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 Odemira.
Trains depart from Lisbon Oriente or Entrecampos stations and Faro station to Funcheira (Garvão) station.
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, 36 km from the station to the guest house.
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.