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Duration
9 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 4 nights in pensions
  • 4 nights in hotels
Meals
  • 8 Breakfasts

Price

$790USD

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Overview

Trip Code: UWA

Trip highlights


  • Hike through the impressive coastal scenery of the western Algarve
  • Stay in comfortable family run accommodation in pretty coastal towns
  • Swim at remote beaches away from the busy resorts
  • Arrive at Cape St Vincent on foot, the south-western most point of Portugal

The Rota Vicentina is a long distance footpath which opened in 2013 and represents a successful eco-tourism initiative to develop low impact tourism in a relatively untouched region of Portugal. The trail connects Cape St Vincent, Portugal's most south-westerly point, to the village of Odeceixe, where it splits into two trails; the Historical Way which heads inland and the Fishermen's Trail which follows the coast to Porto Covo. This trip follows the trail south from Odeceixe to Cape St Vincent and a section of the Fishermen's trail. Experience the renowned beauty of the Algarve coastline well away from the tourist areas on this inspiring walk along enchanting sections of the Atlantic coast. As you make your way towards the south-western most point on the European continent by foot you'll pass idyllic beaches, sand dunes and dramatic steep cliffs that see surprisingly few visitors compared to the busier resort based beaches. The walk has been carefully researched and will be appreciated by those who want to enjoy one of Europe's most celebrated coastal scenes but stay away from the crowds. Starting in the north the route will have you trekking through the Sudoeste Alentejano en Costa Vicentina Natural Park to Cape Saint Vincent. The trip will be an assault on the senses with tasty regional specialties and good wine to enjoy, the aroma of eucalyptus and thyme mixed with the fresh sea air, a wide variety of Mediterranean flora and fauna to spot and of course plenty of time to enjoy the traditionally relaxed Portuguese lifestyle.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

Make your way to the Algarve and the coastal village of Zambujeira do Mar. A transfer can be arranged from Faro airport or train station (additional cost applies and must be pre-booked), a journey of just over 2 hours. We can also assist with a transfer from Lisbon airport on request. Your accommodation in this small whitewashed village is a small hotel just 200m from the beach and 300m from the bus stop.

Meals:  Nil

This morning a short taxi transfer will take you to the village of Almograve, where your walk starts. You will walk along the waymarked 'Rota Vicentina' path, following the coast via Cavaleiro and the lighthouse at Cape Sardao, enjoying spectacular views on the way back to Zambujeira do Mar. Distance 17.9km/11.2mi, ascent 175m/575ft Option to shorten: ask the taxi driver to drop you off in Cavalheiro (approx 9km less)

Meals:  B

Today's walk follows another section of the Rota Vicentina along the coast. Rolling dunes alternate with rocky shores where storks nest. You'll pass several beaches and the fishing village of Azenha do Mar, which has a nice bar/restaurant, before reaching Odeceixe. Distance 18.6km/11.6mi, ascent 220m/722ft

Meals:  B

Once again, today's (18km) route follows the Rota Vicentina, although this time you walk inland. First you follow rural tracks and quiet tarmac lanes, winding through farmed fields. Then the scenery changes to an open landscape of heather and fragrant shrubs. Your route ends in the interesting village of Aljezur, where you will spend the night. This evening there will be time to explore the historic village centre and Moorish castle. (Option to shorten to 8km/5mi by transferring with the driver to Rogil) If you prefer to walk on the coast today, the route you can walk a combination of the coastal Rota Vicentina and the inland Caminho Histórico, allowing for two stretches along the coast (one at the beginning, one at the end) and avoiding the middle section with dangerous cliffs and unstable terrain. The first 3km are on tarmac, so you may want to order a taxi* for the start. This walk ends at Praia da Amoreira and you can arrange an extra taxi* transfer to Aljezur. Note* the extra taxi transfers on this walk are not included and should be paid on the spot. Our usual accommodation in Aljezur is a hotel with an outdoor pool, close to one of the best restaurants in town. Distance 18km (option to shorten) or 22km/11.3mi or 13.6mi, ascent 145m/476ft

Meals:  B

You have another route choice today, dependent on the tides. Whichever you choose, you will need a transfer (included) to the hamlet of Chabouco (Monte Novo) to avoid an urban section along the coast. If the tide is low (check in advance), you can continue on the coastal path to reach the beach at Carrapateira, one of the most beautiful in all of Portugal. If the tide is high, you will head inland for a slightly longer walk through the valley of Bordeira to reach Carrapateira. Overnight in Carrapateira or subject to availability at Aldeia Pedralva (in which case a short transfer from Carrapateira to the accommodation is included). Distance 11km or 16km/7 or 10mi, ascent 50m/164ft or 175m/574ft

Meals:  B

Today you can walk from Carrapateira to Pedralva to Pontal. If you prefer to have a rest day, you can walk from Carrapateira out to the beach. If you stayed in Pedralva last night you can arrange to be driven to Carrapateira in the morning and walk back to Pedralva. Distance 10km or 22km/6.3mi or 13.7mi, ascent 125m/410ft or 215m/705ft

Meals:  B

Today you will walk from Carrapateira heading south, with sections both on the coast and inland, depending on the tides. Near the start of the walk, there's a good chance you'll spot fishermen perched high on the cliffs. Option to shorten by 3km via an inland route on the Caminho Historico. The route ends in historic Vila do Bispo, where you'll spend the next two nights at a welcoming hotel with indoor pool/spa facilities. Distance 18km/11.3mi, ascent 400m/1312ft

Meals:  B

The last hike of the tour takes you through pastures and fields along the coast to the most south-western point of Portugal. If the weather is warm you can stop for a swim at ‘Praia do Ponto Ruiva’. The trail is a flat, with narrow fishermen’s paths above rocky shores. The walk ends at windy 'Cabo de São Vicente', with sweeping views of the ocean. A taxi transfer in the afternoon will take you back to your hotel in Vila do Bispo. Distance 14km/9mi, ascent 150m/492ft

Meals:  B

The trip concludes after breakfast. You can take the local bus to Lagos and onwards, or we can assist with a transfer to Faro Airport (on request, must be pre-booked - please ask for our rates.)

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 8 breakfasts
  • 5 nights in simple family run pensions, 3 nights in hotels with swimming pool, all on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Luggage transfers on days 3, 4, 5 & 7
  • Private transfers on days 2, 5 & 8
  • Information pack including route notes and maps per room booked (GPS data files available on request)
  • 7 day emergency hotline

  • Transfers to and from Faro airport (available for an additional cost)
  • Lunch, dinner and drinks throughout
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees
  • Tour guide – this is a self guided walking trip
  • Transfers not noted as included
  • Travel insurance

Grading

moderate  

MODERATE – GRADE 3 This trip involves walking between 4 and 7 hours per day over undulating terrain, sometimes on the beach, with some short steep ascents and descents. Daily distances range from 12-24km with ascents of between 150m and 340m. Some stages are easily shortened either by choosing a shorter route or through the use of public transport. The trip is graded moderate and is considered suitable for active people who have a good level of fitness.


Departure dates

Daily

Notes

M
Mid Season
H
High Season
DN1
Mid season is from 25 Mar to 23 Jun and 29 Sep to 31 Oct. High season is from 24 Jun to 28 Sep. A supplement applies for mid and high season departures.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$790USD

Options & Supplements*
  • single supplement low seasonUSD$270
  • single supplement mid seasonUSD$310
  • single traveller surcharge low seasonUSD$400
  • single supplement high seasonUSD$430
  • single traveller surcharge mid seasonUSD$440
  • single traveller surcharge high seasonUSD$560
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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