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Fishermen’s Trail – Rota Vicentina

Porto Covo to Sagres

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The Rota Vicentina Fishermen’s Trail is a magnificent coastal trail taking walkers along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in a region of spectacular beauty in Southern Portugal.

Walkers will be amazed by the breathtaking landscapes of this off-the-beaten track area in the Alentejo and Algarve. You will be following in the footsteps of local fishermen who have used these tracks to reach the best fishing spots along the coast for many generations. Spectacular cliffs, superb beaches and quaint fishing villages make this trail simply unmissable. Enjoying balmy temperatures throughout the year, the Rota Vicentina Fishermen’s Trail is ideal to travel in the Spring (March, April, May) and Autumn (September, October).

While the Rota Vicentina is not part of the Camino de Santiago route network, the trail takes walkers to the Cape St Vincent (Cabo de São Vicente), a traditional place of pilgrimage for centuries.

You can choose to walk the trail from Porto Covo (10 nights) or from Odexeice (6 nights). Talk to the CaminoWays.com travel specialists to customise your trip.

Click on ‘booking’ or ‘get a quote’ to customise your Camino trip

VIEW TOUR SUGGESTIONS

Standard

  • 11 days/ 10 nights. Start your Rota Vicentina Fishermen’s Trail from the village of Porto Covo.
  • 7 days/6 nights. Start your Rota Vicentina Fishermen’s Trail from Odexeice.

Trip highlights

  • Follow in the footsteps of local fishermen
  • Take in breathtaking ocean views
  • Taste delicious fresh seafood and fish
  • Feel the magic at Cape St Vincent

1 Porto Covo

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Your Rota Vicentina coastal walk starts from the pretty coastal village of Porto Covo, by the Atlantic Ocean. Take in the relaxed atmosphere, wander its cobbled streets, take in the sea breeze at the harbour and watch the world go by like a local in the main square.

2 Porto Covo to Vila Nova de Milfontes - 20km

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7h +142 m / -150 m
On the first day walking the Rota Vicentina Coastal route: the Fishermen’s Trail, you will set off from the main square in Porto Covo and take in the magnificent coastal path all the way to Vila Nova de Milfontes. Walkers will be amazed by number of pretty beaches along the way, such as Aivados and Malhão; as well as the sand dunes of Ilha do Pessegueiro. Be ready for spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, waves crashing against the rugged coast and cliffs; as well as hidden coves. On the way, you will also encounter the iconic Pessegueiro fort. Your stop for the night is the lively town of Vila Nova de Milfontes, where the River Mira meets the Atlantic Ocean.

3 Vila Nova de Milfontes to Almograve - 16km

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5h +173 m / -166 m
Today you have another walking day packed with breath taking scenery but a shorter distance, so you can take your time, walk at a more leisurely pace and take in the superb ocean views. From Vila Nova de Milfontes you will kick start the day crossing the bridge over the Mira River, enjoying great views of the river marsh. Those into bird watching shouldn’t forget their binoculars! you will be able to spot the many bird species that breed and nest in this area.

4 Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar - 22km

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7h | +256 m / -245 m
The Fishermen’s Trail, the Rota Vicentina coastal route, takes walkers today to pretty fishing harbours, pine forests and along even more dramatic and spectacular cliffs of red sand; always with the sound of the waves and the magnificent Atlantic Ocean in sight. The cliffs are home to many bird species, including the peregrine falcon, the common kestrel, white storks and the ‘pure’ rock dove. Also on the way today is the Cabo Sardão lighthouse. Your destination for today is the Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Mar (Our Lady of the Sea) in Zambujeira do Mar.

5 Zambujeira do Mar to Odexeice - 19km

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7h | +275 m / -295 m
Today, you will set off from the Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Mar on your way to the village beach and then continue on the Rota Vicentina trail. As well as enjoying another fantastic day walking along coastal cliffs you will also reach the beaches of Alteirinhos, Carvalhal, Machados and Amália; perfect for a picnic, a rest or a swim. In Azenha do Mar you will find a pretty natural harbour and from Ponta em Branco you will enjoy some of the best views of the whole trip: over the Odexeice Beach and also the Monchique mountain range in the background. Ponta em Branco (White Headland) marks the border between the Alentejo and the Algarve regions.

6 Odexeice to Aljezur - 18km

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6h | +300 m / -270 m
Today you have the option to walk the Rota Vicentina straight from Odexeice to Aljezur (all inland for 18kms – 6h walk approximately) following the historic path or take a detour to reach the coast of Odeceixe (adding 6kms to the day – 2 more hours). From Odeceixe, you will be following the Seixe River all the way to the beach, then continue on coastal paths before heading back inland to join the traditional Rota Vicentina trail. Towards the end the day (after the village of Rogil), you will also have the option to take another coastal detour and follow the Amoreira Beach trail (adding 5kms – 2 more hours) before heading back inland and continue to your stop for the night: Aljezur.

We recommend you take one of the detours at least, to enjoy the fantastic coastal views and the beach.

7 Aljezur to Arrifana - 18km

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6h | +335 m / -282 m
Today we suggest you visit the castle before leaving Aljezur, which is one of the seven castles featuring in the flag of Portugal. Instead of taking the historic trail all the way to Arrifana (12kms inland) we recommend you follow the coastal trail to Ponta da Atalaia for more superb views. The path is lined with aromatic herbs and other unique native vegetation. You will be passing valleys and farms (Aljezur is famous for its sweet potato!) along the way. This area is also known for its goose neck barnacles (perceves), harvested from exposed cliffs by intrepid fishermen, called ‘perceveiros’. Your stop for the night is the town of Arrifana.

8 Arrifana to Carrapateira - 24km

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7h | +403 m / -484 m
The terrain of the Rota Vicentina trail for today, from Arrifana to Carrapateira, is varied and takes walkers to impressive cliffs and Atlantic coastline but also through peaceful forests of cork and native Portuguese oak, hills and valleys. This is another wonderful section and as you arrive to your destination for the day, you will enjoy fantastic views of the sand dunes of Bordeira beach.

9 Carrapateira - Vila do Bispo - 22km

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6h | +293 m / -220 m
Today you will continue your Rota Vicentina walking adventure setting off from the main square in Carrapateira. From there you will be heading inland towards Vila do Bispo, through peaceful forest tracks and sleepy villages. The route today will reward you with fantastic views of the mountains stretching all the way to the sea. This is a region with rich wild life and great biodiversity.

10 Vila do Bispo to Sagres - 20km

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6h | +157 m / -216 m
Today you will set off from the church at Vila do Bispo on your last day walking the Rota Vicentina coastal route, the Fishermen’s Trail. We recommend you follow the Telheiro Beach path, which adds a couple of kms to the route but takes you to closer to the shore so you can admire the spectacular views of the cliffs and the ocean. Your highlight and destination is the lighthouse at Cape St Vincent (Cabo de São Vicente) and the Vale Santo (the Sacred Valley), site of pilgrimage for devotees of St Vincent but also other religions for many centuries. The cape is Europe’s most southwestern point. This spectacular area is also a privileged location for bird watchers looking to spot migrating birds in the Autumn. From the lighthouse, you will continue to the laid-back seaside resort of Sagres (5kms away), your stop for the night.

11 Sagres

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Your Rota Vicentina adventure comes to an end today, make sure you explore this relaxed coastal town and taste the delicious seafood and shellfish on offer. The name of Sagres might have an origin in the word ‘sacred’, as the area (particularly St Vincent’s Cape, Cabo de São Vicente) has been a place of pilgrimage for believers of many different religions for centuries.

Porto Covo - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Fisherman’s trail for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Fisherman’s trail.

Vila Nova de Milfontes - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Fisherman’s trail for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Fisherman’s trail.

Almograve - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Fisherman’s trail for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Fisherman’s trail.

Zambujeira do Mar - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Fisherman’s trail for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Fisherman’s trail.

Mar do Odexeice - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Fisherman’s trail for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Fisherman’s trail.

Aljezur - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Fisherman’s trail for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Fisherman’s trail.

Arrifana - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Fisherman’s trail for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Fisherman’s trail.

Carrapateira - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Fisherman’s trail for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Fisherman’s trail.

Vila do Bispo - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Fisherman’s trail for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Fisherman’s trail.

Sagres - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Fisherman’s trail for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Fisherman’s trail.

Porto Covo Average Temperature & Rainfall

 

 av-temp-Porto-Covo Average-rainfall-Porto-Covo

Sagres Average Temperature & Rainfall

Av-temp-Sagres Average-rainfall-Sagres

How to Get There

Live information on Rome2Rio. We can also arrange private transfers if you prefer, just ask us.

 

Porto Covo

Lisbon Airport 170km: From Lisbon airport you can take the metro to Jardim Zoologico metro station, to reach Sete Rios bus station. There is only one bus a day from Lisbon (from Sete Rios bus station) to Porto Covo operated by Rede Expressos and the journey takes 2h30 approximately. Tickets can be pre-booked online up to 30 days in advance. See: www.rede-expressos.pt for details. Bear in mind this is a seasonal bus service. Another alternative is to take the bus to Vila Nova de Milfontes and then take a taxi (20km). The bus to Vila Nova departs from Sete Rios also and is operated by Rede Expressos. It is also seasonal but it is more regular than the bus to Porto Covo.

If you are starting in Odexeice you will have to take a bus from Faro to Lagos and then a bus from Lagos to Odexeice (twice a day).

 

Sagres
Faro Airport 115km: From Sagres you can take a bus to Lagos and from Lagos to Faro central station (see www.eva-bus.com). Once in Faro central station you can take a shuttle bus to the airport.