The Vicentina Route and the Untamed Atlantic is a Self-Drive Walking tour designed for keen walkers, interested in experiencing a different side of Portugal.
Following one of the most beautiful and best-preserved coastal areas of Europe, you’ll walk among jagged cliffs, secluded beaches, endless fields of wildflowers, forest tracks, and historic villages.
The delicious regional cuisine and wines stand out, with a highlight for the seafood and fresh fish.
The Vicentina Route is part of the European footpath network and combines inland (Historical Way) and coastal walking (Fishermen’s Trail), covering 340km of tracks between the city of Santiago do Cacém and the Cape of St. Vincent.
The circular walks in the Historical Way are unforgettable routes full of tradition. Used for centuries to easily access the nearby villages and the farmland, they are a delightful way of exploring the real Alentejo and a mostly unknown Algarve.
You’ll find a green landscape with stretches of cork tree woods, soft hillsides, valleys, and meandering rivers and creeks. A true journey through time, local culture, and nature.
The Fishermen’s trail, exclusively pedestrian, was traditionally used by fishermen to access secretive fishing spots. You can still see them today, impossibly perched on top of the rocky cliffs.
The tour base is a small and centrally located village, from where it’s easy to explore the region and the tracks of this itinerary.
It includes tailored walks to show you the best sections of the Vicentina and all the wonders of this region.
From the wild and see-through blue waters of Porto Covo, the amazing views over the beach of Odeceixe, to the deserted plateaus around the Carrapateira.
The surprises nature has to offer, such as the colourful carpets of flowers, the aroma of herbs near the creeks, and the storks’ nests on the coastal cliffs, like nowhere else in the world!
Find peaceful beaches, some deserted, where you can relax from your hiking efforts. In the countryside, enjoy the streams and rivers, a much welcome relief from the heat on hotter days.
Also, you have the opportunity to experience the authenticity, the culture, the heritage, and the ways of life of the people, in small villages and towns like Aljezur, Vila do Bispo, and Sagres.
The mild weather year-round and the wonderful traditional food and wines will round up this amazing holiday adventure, perfect for independent travellers.
Day 1 -Arrival to Faro
Individual arrival to Faro Airport and rent-a-car vehicle pick up. Drive to Vila Nova de Milfontes.
Day 2 – Porto Covo
Home to some of the most wild and unspoilt beaches in the country, the small fishing village of Porto Covo became eternalized in a song of a Portuguese singer. Here, local traditions and habits emanate from the song, the rugged cliffs that hide the clear, transparent blue waters and the secluded beaches.
The day was designed with a shorter walk to allow you to take the time to experience this small place, its grilled fish or just a break in the cafes in the central square.
From there, our walk brings you through the gems of the west coast, towards the Fort of the Pessegueiro beach, built in the 16th century to protect this precious coast. Take the time, look to the horizon and find its “brother”: the Fort of Saint Albert on the small Island planted by nature in the middle of the sea.
Walking time: approx. 1h30 / Distance: 6km; 3.7miles / Ascent/Descent: 37m/-32m
Day 3 – Vale Juncalinho
This tailored made walk is the confluence of the historical trails of the Vicentina route. It gathers the views from the top of the hills as far as you can see, if crosses small streams in wooden bridges and the abundant forestry woodland provides a welcome shade during the warm days.
Painted in vibrant colours, occasional plane fields boost with wild flowers teaming with life when the seasons change. Melodic bird songs are a constant, along with the sound of the small watercourses that run alongside us.
Walking time: approx. 4h30 / Distance: 16km; 9.9miles / Ascent/Descent: +-298m
Day 4 – Day off
There are various experiences you may choose from, when a relaxing day is available… Rest, read a book, sleep in… Our suggestion is to explore the surrounding towns for the day! Visit Odemira, a nearby small village where time doesn’t seem to go by; explore Vila Nova de Milfontes, one of the Portuguese favourite’s villages for the amazing grilled fish and the spectacular views over the Mira river estuary, famous for its cold transparent waters!
Or drive to Zambujeira do Mar, just near the coast and experience one of the most beautiful sunsets in the country!
Day 5 – Odeceixe–ao–mar
The Historical route follows the river Seixe as it meanders past gardens and meadows into the small village of Odeceixe itself. From here, the Fishermen’s trail passes through a maze of wetlands which provide essential habitat for wildlife & then on towards the sea where the waters from Monchique spill abundantly into the ocean.
As you arrive to the beach of Odeceixe, breath in…take a break…enjoy the view and you’ll realize why this was elected as one of the most beautiful beaches in the country!
After a welcoming break, continue to follow the Fishermen trail south along the coast, before turning inland to walk through peaceful farmland.
Walking time: approx. 4h / Distance: 15km; 9.3miles / Ascent/Descent: +-162m
Day 6 – Pontal da Carrapateira
As the vicentina route begins the approach to its final section, the walks provide some of the most spectacular coastal sections with fabulous views over the secretive rocky coves.
Located south west of Aljezur, protected by sand dunes from the northern winds, you’ll find the small village of Carrapateira. Unfamiliar for the most, this quaint village with its white washed terraced houses has discreetly become a haven for surfers.
The walk, bring you to where the headland hides secret beaches, accessible only by the lucky birds that nest on these rugged cliffs and the photographic cameras of those adventurous to witness it.
Should the day allow you, don’t lose the opportunity of visiting the picturesque town of Aljezur and explore this charming ancient Moorish settlement.
Walking time: approx. 2h30 / Distance: 10km; 6.4miles / Ascent/Descent: 75m/-75m
Day 7 -Vila do Bispo
Today marks the final section of the Vicentina route. This walk, starting from the small town of Vila do Bispo was designed to provide you with the ultimate opportunity to witness the expansive open countryside, the dramatic cliffs and a cape that was once believed to be the end of the world.
The fisherman’s trail finishes in the Cape of Saint Vincent, the most south westerly point of Europe. This famous geological headland was a central stage for the Portuguese explorer’s history, pirate stories and nowadays, it’s a famous hotspot for the observation of migratory bird species.
We highly recommend to visit near the village of Sagres, the crowning glory of the Vicentina Route.
Walking time: approx. 4h / Distance: 15km; 9.3miles / Ascent/Descent: +-277m
Day 8 – Individual departure or extra days.
HS Milfontes Beach Hotel
HS Milfontes Beach Hotel
HS Milfontes Beach Hotel (3*) or similar
HS Milfontes Beach is located in Southern Portugal, about two hours from either Lisbon or Faro airports. It enjoys one of the best spots in the village of Vila Nova de Milfontes, on the main seafront avenue, overlooking both the north and southern banks of the river Mira, its golden sandy beaches and the estuary opening out to the Atlantic Ocean. It is just the ideal place to spend a summer or winter holiday.
The rooms have fantastic views of the beach and the river estuary or the pool. From your room to the beach is a 2-minute walk, and as you wake up and look outside it feels you’re already there.
You must be adequately insured to join our Guided and Self-Guided holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday.
BeCool Travel has partnered with WorldNomads.com to keep you travelling safely. WorldNomads.com Travel Insurance is designed for independent and adventurous travellers, with coverage for overseas medical expenses, cancellation, baggage, and other expenses.
Please consult our Travel Insurance page, where you’ll be able to get more detailed info about insurance requirements and an immediate quote for your trip.