Walking Portugal’s Coast and Beaches

Resort: Walking Portugal's Coast and Beaches
Operator: Exodus
Destination: Europe
Price From: £1149.00

Overview


Go beyond developed Algarve and explore Portugal’s most pristine coastal
trails

 

Boasting one of the most beautiful and well-preserved coastlines of Europe,
blessed withwild pristine beaches, towering cliffs, great biodiversity,
remote whitewashed traditional villages and a temperate climate, Portugals
Rota Vicentina is the ultimate hikers and ramblers’paradise. We have
hand-picked the very best walks from the 125km selection of coastal trails
thatspanthe tranquil Portuguese region of Alentejo and along the few
remaining undeveloped shores of the Algarve. Starting from the picturesque
town of Vila Nova de Milfontes,we walk on quiet breath-taking cliff trails
used by locals to get to the beaches and hot fishing spots, and endin the
famous town of Sagres. We stay overnight in three different villages
strategically located to provide easy access to/from the trails each day.
Always in close contact with refreshing ocean winds,rugged coastal scenery
and wild and powerful natural landscape, walking in this remote corner of
Europe will be truly reinvigorating.

Highlights

* Dramatic cliffs, forgotten sandy beaches and quiet trails
* Excellent bird watching opportunities and mild year-round climate
* Stay overnight in authentic whitewashed villages including Sagres
* Reach Cape of St Vincent,Europe’s most south western point

Itinerary

Day 1
Fly to Faro and transfer to the charming seaside town of Vila Nova de
Milfontes.

Those of us on the group flight touch down in Faro airport and will be driven
approx. 2 hrs the charming seaside town of Vila Nova de Milfontes, located in
the heart of the beautiful Alentejo coastline. Still largely undiscovered by
foreign visitors, the town is delightfully Portuguese, filled with cobbled
streets, whitewashed houses and scenic views across the Mira River. It is
also the start point of incredible coastal trails leading tovast stretches
of wild and deserted beaches. Despite its remote location, it has an
extensive selection of restaurants, and a lively nightlife making it a
perfect base for the first three days of the tour.

Day 2
Rewarding coastal walk to Almograve; transfer back to Vila Nova de Milfontes.

We start the week with a relatively short coastal hike offering superb views
throughout. Leaving from the hotel, wecross by boat and admire the views of
the River Mira meeting the ocean, with the small whitwashed town and lush
hillsides in the background.There are stretches along today’s trail where
native vegetation displays all its diversity and other areas where it has
been wiped out by a most aggressive exotic plant the Acacia.At times
farmlands stretches right down to the ocean, but you can also enjoy other
traces of human presence such as local, non-commercial, fishing or small
stone-age quarries hidden amongst the dunes, a reminder that man has lived in
this remote corner of the world since ancient times.Between March and
October youll be able to spot many swifts since Alpine, Pallid and Common
Swift all nest along this coast. Interestingly, swifts spend over 90% of
their life in the air as theyfeed, mate and sleep in flight – they are so
well adapted to flying that landing on the ground may be fatal. The walk ends
in thepeaceful town of Almograve, perfect for an unhurried, afternoon
stroll or break before we return by private transfer to Vila Nova de
Milfontes.

Day 3
Walk from Cabo Sardo to Zambujeira do Mar along dramatic high cliffs,
nesting spot of more than twenty species of birds.

Small fishing harbours, sand dunes, the scent of pine tree forests and the
sight, seen nowhere else in the world, of storks nesting on the cliffs make
this today’s walk truly special. We start with a short transfer (approx.
20mins) to Cabo Sardolighthouse which was pecularly built the wrong way
round. The entry door is facing the ocean and the lighthouse is facing
inland! This is the start of today’s trail which follows the high cliffs
exposed to the constant salty ocean waves and winds, and favourite nesting
spot for over twenty species of birds! These include Jackdaw, Shag, Common
Kestrel, White Stork, and the Peregrine Falcon, the fastest recorded animal
in the world. When they dive in flight they can reach speeds of up to 300
km/h! We will havetime to stop and watch these birds, especially during
spring, whenit is possible to quietly observe their mating rituals and the
careful building of their nests. We passLapa das Pombas, a picturesque tiny
non-commercial fishing harbour, before concluding the walk in thesleepy
seaside village ofZambujeira do Mar and its wondeful beach. In the
afternoon we return to Vila Nova de Milfontes by transfer (approx. 30mins).

Day 4
Coastal walk to Odeceixe; admire breath-taking rock, cliff formations and
some of Portugals best beaches; transfer to Vale da Telha.

This morning we transfer (approx. 40 mins) to Carvalhal beach, the start of
today’s walk. Along this stretch of coast it is interesting to take a close
look at the cliffs’rocks composed of schist and greywacke, resulting from
the consolidation of sand, clay and volcanic ashes accumulated on the bottom
of an ancient ocean over 300 million years ago.This whole coastal region
has a very special energy and it was here that the Fado diva Amlia
Rodrigues seeked refuge and inspiration for her songs. Along the walk we may
also spot traces ofnocturnal mammals include Egyptian Mongoose (locally
known as Escalabardo), Weasel, Beech Marten (also known as
Papalvo), Badger, Genet and rabbits.Before reaching Odeceixe, we will
take a break in Ponta em Branco (white summit) so named for the colour of the
sediments that form its summit, marking the border between the Alentejo and
the Algarve regions. This is consideredone of the the most scenic points in
the entire region thanks to the breathtking views overOdeceixe beach, with
the mountain top of Fia and Monchique as a backdrop. We transfer to the
cosy hotelnear Arrifana beach, and enjoy a refreshing dip in the swimming
pool or a drink on the sunny terrace before dinner.

Day 5
Free day; enjoy an optional circular walk to Arrifana beach or other
activities such as surfing and horse riding.

Today is free to choose from the many optional activities available in the
area. You may decide to go on a self-guided circular walk passing the beaches
of Monte Clrigo, Pontal da Atalaia, as well as the famous surfing
beach of Arrifana. Alternatively you may book a surfing class or a
horse riding excursion along the spectacular coastline. We also suggest a
visit to thesmall market town of Aljezur, famous for its whitewashed houses
and cobbled streets anddominated by the ruins of a tenth century Moorish
castle.

Day 6
Circular walk around Carrapateira; enjoy stunning ocean views and the sandy
beaches of Bordeira and Amado; transfer to Sagres.

Today we travel further south and transfer (approx. 30 mins) to the village
of Carrapateira, the start of today’s short circular walk. Along the circuit
we will come across various viewpoints, with superb views of the sandy
beaches of Bordeira and Amado and also the ruins of an ancient Islamic
fishermens settlement. On the first part of the trail we will walk through
undulatingdunes carpeted by lush vegetation and aromatic wild plants
including thyme, yellow amaranths, rosemary, lavender, crowberries, blue
pimpernel, sea lavender. We then walk along the limestonecliffs for most of
the trail and may getthe opportunity to spot the cormorant, a wintering
bird which is an expert angler, consuming almost 1 kg of fish per day! In the
afternoon we transfer (approx. 20 mins) to the village of Sagres, atthe
extreme western tip of the Algarve. Although primarily known as a surfing
destination, Sagres has a lot more to offer. You may decide to spend the rest
of the day in one of the sheltered pristine beaches, or book an optional
dophin watching excursion along the coast (weather and season dependent).

Day 7
Final cliff walk to Cape St. Vincent, the south-westernmost point in
continental Europe; afternoon optional visit to Sagres fort.

Surrounded by foaming Atlantic breakers, Cabo de Sao Vicente marks the most
south-westerly point of Europe. The final walk from Sagres out to the edge of
the continent should prove to be one of the highlights of the week!
Surrounded by amazing coastal scenery, we will walk across a wild trail that
follows sandy paths and gorse-strewn meadows to the very edge of the Iberian
Peninsula. Setting off from our hotel, we start walking on monumental cliffs
and ravines covered with native vegetation passing first by the golden beach
of Beliche, and, then after a short section inland,Telheiro beach, a place
of extraordinary geological interest.The last section of the path continues
along the cliff top before amemorable arrival to Cape St. Vincent where we
finda lighthouse, museum and small bar, offering wonderful photo
opportunities. It’s only a short transfer (5 mins) back to Sagres where we
can choose to visit the imposing sea fortress at sunset or relax with a cold
drink on the waterfront, watching fishermen mending their nets.

Day 8
Transfer to Faro airport and fly to London

Those on the group flight travel to Faro airport by private minibus in the
morning (approx. 1hr 30 mins) for the inbound flight to London.
Alternatively, you may decide to extend your trip by a few days and relax on
some the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve. Please contact our Customer
Operations or Sales team for quote on post-tour accommodation.

Sign up to get exclusive deals and the latest news direct to your inbox!

Read what our customers have to say about us...

Speak to our Travel Expert
0161 755 3081
holidays@aspentravel.co.uk