Map of Hike the Rota Vicentina in Portugal including Portugal

A scenic journey along Portugal’s southwest coast

Portugal’s Rota Vicentina, also known as the Fisherman’s Trail, may not be Europe’s most famous walk, but it’s certainly one of its most spectacular. A world away from the bustle of Lisbon and the sunbathers of the south, you may often find you and your group are the only ones around as you cross the most scenic sections of this ancient coastal path, passing through the sunny Alentejo and Algarve regions. Join a local leader to marvel at jagged cliffs, traverse sand dunes brimming with unique wildlife, relax on heavenly beaches and feast on fresh seafood – the beauty of this corner of Portugal will stay stamped on your memory.

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Offer applies to trips departing in 2022.

Terms & Conditions

Start
Lisbon, Portugal
Finish
Sagres, Portugal
Destination
Portugal
Style
Original
Theme
Walking & Trekking
Code
ZMXV
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Follow the most scenic and interesting section of the coastal Fisherman’s Trail, taking in awe-inspiring views of Portugal’s cliffs, beaches and ocean.

  • Delight in Portugal’s bountiful coastline and enjoy a fresh seafood lunch in the village of Zambujeira do Mar with ingredients from the local fish market.

  • Walk to Capela de Nossa Senhora do Mar, a delightful chapel overlooking the ocean, and enjoy a spectacular sunset you won’t soon forget.

  • Rest your legs or keep the momentum going during a day at leisure in Aljezur, a mecca for surfing, hiking, stand up paddleboarding (or chilling on the beach!)

  • Hike to Cabo de de Sao Vicente, mainland Europe’s southwesternmost point, as your local leader shares stories of its maritime, Phoenician and Roman past.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip involves plenty of walking over varied and sometimes steep terrain and is best suited to travellers with a good level of mobility. Good footwear and clothing for all types of weather is recommended. Details on physical activities can be found in the itinerary.

  • You will be passing through remote and undeveloped parts of Portugal on your journey so you must bring a day pack to carry enough water and snacks for each day.

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

Itinerary

Welcome to Lisbon! Portugal’s lively capital city is brimming with fascinating historical sites and fantastic restaurants. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm, where you’ll meet your local leader and new travel companions. If you arrive early, perhaps take a stroll through the winding alleyways of the charming Alfama neighbourhood or pay a visit to Sao Jorge Castle. After your meeting, head out with your leader and group to get to know each other over dinner in a local restaurant, followed by a post-dinner walk around the city, which really comes to life in the evenings.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Leave Lisbon behind and drive towards the start of the ancient Fisherman's Trail in the southwest of Portugal, made up of an amazing collection of hiking tracks down through Alentejo and the Algarve. Jump out of your vehicle in the coastal parish of Porto Covo and lace up your boots for your first day of walking. Making the most of your seaside setting, most of today’s walk is along sandy sweeps of beach, crossing the dunes of Ilha do Pessegueiro, Aivados and Malhao. Each beach you pass offers something different, from freshwater springs to sharp cliffs and hidden coves. As you walk, your leader will introduce you the hardy plants that live along the coast, defying the odds to thrive against a landscape of poor soil, salty air and hot sun. Today’s walk wraps up in Vila Nova de Milfontes, where you may like to cool off with a refreshing dip in the ocean.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Porto Covo to Vila Nova de Milfontes guided walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s walking distance is approximately 20km.
Start the day with a boat ride from the mouth of the Mira River to Praia das Furnas, where you’ll disembark and begin your walk. On your journey to Almograve, follow the coast and pass by marshes that serve as breeding grounds for many species of fish. If travelling over summer you’ll most likely see swifts soaring overhead. Your leader will point out examples of diverse native vegetation, and also examples of places where such vegetation has been overtaken by the invasive acacia plant. Keep an eye out for small stone-age quarries tucked into the sand dunes, and you may pass a friendly local fisherman or two.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vila Nova de Milfontes to Almograve guided walk
  • Boat ride through Mira River
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s walking distance is approximately 12km.
Rise bright and early to hit the trail between Almograve and Zambujeira do Mar – the scenery you’ll come upon today is some of the most dramatic and beautiful on your journey. Walk past high, jagged cliffs which serve as the nesting place of over twenty bird species – look out for peregrine falcons, rock doves, jackdaws and kestrels. The area’s layered geological history will become apparent as you pass red sands and oxidised sandstone from previous tropical climates, and remains of cold climate animals from a cooler past. Arrive in Zambujeira do Mar in time for lunch and head to a local restaurant with a menu brimming with fresh seafood, brought in from the fish market up the road. You may like to tuck into a tasty meal of shrimp, clams, hake or whelk. Later in the day, take a short walk to Capela de Nossa Senhora do Mar, a charming little chapel overlooking the sea. You’ll have the option to bring along a picnic and watch the sun go down from this privileged spot.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar guided walk
  • Typical seafood lunch in Zambujeira do Mar
  • Capela de Nossa Senhora do Mar evening walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s walking distance is approximately 22km.
Enjoy a slower start to the day before heading off for another fantastic walk, bursting with more stunning coastal scenery. Setting off from Zambujeira do Mar, walk along gentle clifftops past the beaches of Alteirinhos, Carvalhal, Machados and Amália before arriving at a natural fishing harbour in Azenha do Mar. The sand dunes on this stretch of your walk are alive with activity and home to many mammals, and while they are pretty hard to spot, you may be able to see evidence of burrows and footprints. Egyptian mongooses, beech martens, otters, weasels, genets and badgers all call this part of the country home. Finish your walk in Odeceixe and enjoy some downtime to relax on the beach or explore the village, then board a public bus and head to Aljezur, where you will spend the night.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe guided walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s walking distance is approximately 18km.
The day is yours to enjoy the abundance of activities available in the Aljezur area. If you want to keep the momentum going, there are plenty of scenic walking trails ranging from 5 to 15km. For those who want to make the most of the waves, head to Praia da Amoreira where you can hire a stand up paddleboard, surf gear or join in with a class, or you may prefer to rent a bicycle to explore the surrounding landscapes. Of course, if you’d prefer to give your legs a rest, there are plenty of peaceful beaches to stretch out on!
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Transfer this morning from Aljezur to Vila do Bispo where you’ll pick up another walk, first heading towards the Cabo de São Vicente, the southwesternmost point of mainland Europe. Your leader will share stories of the cape’s maritime, Phoenician and Roman past as the finish line beckons. Today’s walk will reveal rare plant life only found in this corner of Portugal, so be sure to look down as well as at the scenery around you! Skirt along the coast before finishing up in Sagres, a popular spot for surfers and holiday makers. If the name sounds familiar, it may be because of Portugal’s iconic beer which is named after the town, so this evening why not grab a cool glass of cerveja and some dinner with your group.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vila do Bispo to Sagres guided walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s walking distance is approximately 20km.
With no walks or activities planned for today, your adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Transport

On foot, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (3 nights), Guesthouse (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Porto Covo to Vila Nova de Milfontes guided walk
  • Vila Nova de Milfontes to Almograve guided walk
  • Boat ride through Mira River
  • Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar guided walk
  • Typical seafood lunch in Zambujeira do Mar
  • Capela de Nossa Senhora do Mar evening walk
  • Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe guided walk
  • Vila do Bispo to Sagres guided walk

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Hike the Rota Vicentina in Portugal trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

All travellers on Intrepid trips (outside Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands) are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. From 1 December 2021, all travellers on Intrepid trips, including in Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands, are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please see Joining Point Hotel listed in the Essential Trip Information for this itinerary. Your adventure ends on Day 8 after breakfast. There are no activities included on that day.

A single supplement is available for this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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