Strolling the Rota Vicentina alongside Portugal’s Atlantic Coast

Native fishermen have used these tracks for hundreds of years to succeed in the perfect fishing spots alongside the coast, however lately they’ve been changed by surfers and their camper vans. The seascape is spectacular, a fierce Atlantic with large waves, battering sheer cliffs and embracing lengthy sandy seashores.

Cape St Vincent

Cape St Vincent

The path begins in Porto Covo, south of Lisbon and ends in Cape St Vincent, essentially the most south-westerly level of Portugal and mainland Europe. The entire stroll takes 9 days, however I’m lacking out the primary three because of lack of time and beginning at Zambujeira do Mar. I get there by taking a gradual practice from Lisbon, typically on a single monitor, by means of the desolate areas of Alentejo after which take a taxi. 

Zambujeira do Mar – Odeceixe 18km

Zambujeira do Mar

Zambujeira do Mar

I go away the little Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Mar and head alongside the primary seaside earlier than persevering with on the cliffs above. There’s a light-weight drizzle, however it’s heat, and the largest drawback is the sand underfoot which makes strolling onerous. Quickly I’m again all the way down to the seaside, and the surf faculty at Praia do Carvalhal earlier than a number of extra ups and downs to succeed in the pleasant fishing village of Azenha do Mar. From right here it’s a marvellous cliff stroll to succeed in the Seixe Estuary after which inland to Odeceixe. Right here I go away the Alentejo, and I cross into the Algarve.

Odeceixe – Aljezur 24 km

Aljezur Castle

Aljezur Citadel

The solar is shining, and I comply with the river again to the estuary earlier than climbing up on the cliffs. The monitor sporadically veers away from the coast, maybe as a result of erosion has made it impassable, and by lunchtime, I’m within the inland city of Rogil, actually only a string of homes alongside a primary street. It’s then again to the ocean earlier than crossing over a bridge and reaching the hilltop settlement of Alijezur. A citadel overlooks its cobbled streets, and this was the final city within the Algarve to be captured by the Christians from the Moors.

Aljezur – Arrifana 19km

After a go to to the citadel to admire the great views, I’m quickly within the forest, the timber scorched by current fires. I cross the vacation village of Vale da Telha earlier than taking the street to Praia de Monte Clerigo. It begins to rain closely, and I battle the sturdy wind as I comply with the clifftops. At Ponta da Atalaia the ocean under is in torment, visibility is nearly zero, however I battle on, and the rain eases. Arrifana continues to be an lively fishing village and has browsing seaside. The solar comes out, and all of the sudden the ocean is swamped by surfers.

Arrifana – Carrapateira 24km

I’m barely apprehensive by an early morning bathe however then the remainder of the day is dry. On the cliffs as we speak I’m overtaken by motorcyclists scrambling down the free rocks to the stony seaside of Praia do Canal.

I climb inland then take an undocumented monitor on a deep sandy path which brings me again to the coast. It provides my ft a troublesome exercise, however it’s price it as I’m away from visitors and bikers. Bordeira Seaside is among the largest on my stroll up to now, and I climb over the dunes to succeed in the city of Carrapateira.

Sandy Cove close to Carrapateira

Carrapateira – Vila do Bispo 22km

I stroll the size of a Praia do Amado, a big seaside stuffed with surfers earlier than climbing up the cliffs. This stretch is house to some abandoned sandy coves and is among the most spectacular of your complete stroll. There’s a piece of featureless grime monitor so flip off to Praia da Barriga, taking the prospect that the tide is low sufficient to permit me the remainder of the best way alongside the sand. I kick off my sneakers and benefit from the chilly water on my toes. The draw back is a 4km street stroll inland to Vila do Bispo.

Vila do Bispo – Sagres 20km

My remaining day and it appears a little bit of a slog, partly as a result of the panorama is bereft of timber, all flattened by the sturdy Atlantic winds. Nonetheless, there are the standard browsing seashores, and the lighthouse at Cape St Vincent within the distance steadily will get nearer. The ultimate monitor is vague however well-marked by cairns, and all of the sudden I’m on the Cape. After the solitude of the previous few days, it’s a little bit of a shock to seek out coachloads of trippers all out for a view of the tip of Europe. I take a number of footage, earlier than strolling the ultimate 6 km to Sagres, and having fun with an exquisite seafood dinner.

This can be a mild stroll, not too demanding, effectively signed, and the ocean views are beautiful. Better of all, you’ll have the spectacular cliffs, very good seashores, quaint fishing villages and the wild shoreline principally to your self.  Go in spring or autumn when it’s not too scorching and dip your toes into the ocean. Braver souls might go for a swim.

Truth File

FLY: TAP Air Portugal flies direct to Lisbon from London Heathrow each day

PACKAGE: Camino Methods has a Zambujeira do Mar to Sagres journey together with seven nights’ lodging, breakfast, baggage transfers and vacation pack with sensible info, in addition to entry to 24/7 help. Flights, lunch, dinner, transport or insurance coverage not included. Airport transfers can be organized from Faro Airport.

GUIDE: Cicerone’s Portugal’s Rota Vicentina has detailed route directions

Vacationer Info: Go to Portugal has details about the nation.


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