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

Price

$750USD

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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 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. Your accommodation in this small whitewashed seaside village is a small hotel just 200m from the beach and 300m from the bus stop.

Meals:  Nil

This morning you start off with a short taxi transfer to the village of Almograve, where today's walk starts. You will walk along the way-marked 'Rota Vicentina', following the coast via Cavaleiro and the lighthouse at Cape Sardao, enjoying spectacular cliffs on the way back to Zambujeira do Mar. Distance 20.7km/12.9mi, ascent 175m/575ft

Meals:  B

Today you continue on the trail along the coast between Zambujeira and Odeceixe. Rolling dunes alternate with rocky shores where storks nest. You pass several beaches and the fishing village of Azenha do Mar, with its nice bar/restaurant, before reaching Odeceixe. Distance 20km/12.4mi, ascent 220m/722ft

Meals:  B

There is a choice between an unmarked coastal route or the completely way-marked Rota Vicentina / Caminho Historico inland for your walk today. The coastal route is a challenging 6hr walk, in which you constantly traverse narrow gorges from one beautiful beach to the next. Unfortunately, this route is only possible at low tide, so be sure to check the tide schedule well in advance! The inland route offers a very different landscape. For 8km you follow a towpath along an irrigation canal as it winds through varied agriculture fields. After a lunch break at the bakery in Rogil, you follow un-surfaced country roads and tractor tracks through an open landscape of heather and fragrant shrubs, before descending through a wood to Aljezur. Our usual accommodation is a hotel with an outdoor pool. Distance 18.6km or 22km/11.5mi or 13.6mi, ascent 145m/476ft

Meals:  B

Another day brings another route choice - again dependent on the tides, so again it's important to check the schedule. Whichever you choose, you will need a transfer (included) to the fishing village of Arrifana. If the tides are low, the coastal route is 15.5 km along the coast, but you will have to cross the high cliffs twice, where there is no beach. The overall ascent/descent is small, but you will have to 'slog' through the loose sand or pick your way across pebble beaches. The inland route is 24km long but technically easy, because you follow the way-marked Rota Vicentina / Caminho Histórico. There are several possibilities in order to shorten the route. The best part of this route, between Monte Novo and Carrapateira, follows country roads through the inland hills, with alternating bushes, pine forests and open grasslands with old cork and holm oaks. Overnight in Carrapateira in a cosy guesthouse. Distance 15.5km or 23.7km/9.6 or 14.7mi, ascent 200m/656ft or 325m/1066ft

Meals:  B

Today you can choose to have a rest day in Carrapateira or pick from two loop walks. The first walk is a shorter walk takes you along the coast and the beaches of Carrapateira. If you feel up for a challenge you can take longer option of 21.6km/13.4mi. Distance 10.6km or 21.6km/6.5mi or 13.4mi, ascent 125m/410ft or 215m/705ft

Meals:  B

Today you walk from Carrapateira heading south, with sections on the coast and others inland, depending on the tides. Near the start of the walk, you’ll have a good chance of spotting fishermen perched high on the cliffs. Your route ends in historic Vila do Bispo, where you send the night at a comfortable modern hotel with indoor pool/spa facilities. Distance 19km/11.8mi, ascent 400m/1312ft

Meals:  B

The last hike takes you through pastures and fields along the coast to the most south-western point of Portugal. If the weather is warm, there is an option of stopping for a swim at ‘Praia do Ponto Ruiva’. You walk along a flat track and narrow fishermen’s paths above rocky shores. This last walk ends at windy 'Cabo de São Vicente', with sweeping views of the ocean. Taxi transfer in the afternoon back to your hotel in Vila do Bispo. Distance 14.5km/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 28 Sep to 31 Oct. High season is from 24 Jun to 27 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

$750USD

Options & Supplements*
  • single supplement low seasonUSD$280
  • 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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