Program and Lodging:
Day 1: Welcome at airport or hotel in Lisbon.
Private transfer from Lisbon to Monte do Xisto (2 h). Lodging: Charming Guest House.
Day 2: Santiago Cacém to Monte do Xisto. Inland Hiking day (21 km, +300 m).
Short Transfer to Santiago do Cacém. This long distance path along Sw Portugal begins at the emblematic Santiago do Cacém Church, a city with a strong connection to the pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela. Since the Middle Ages pilgrims pass here coming from the Promontorium Sacrum, the mythical destination of this historic journey now recovered through Rota Vicentina. Follow beautiful trails through Cork Oak Forests. Lodging - Same charming guest House
Day 3: Monte do Xisto to Matinha. Inland Hiking day (22 km, +350 m).
Continue the route passing by small agricultural properties. This is an opportunity to look for the rhythm of country life and the people who live here. You will arrive to a lake, Campilhas dam, and find a great contrast between the green and brown fields and the blue of the water. Pass by Cercal Village and continue through luxuriant forest. Lodging - Matinha charming Guest House.
Day 4: Matinha to São Luis. Inland Hiking day (17 km, +300 m).
Today you will hike Rota Vicentina’s most hilly section, with long ascent segments on harsh and irregular terrain. Roughly half way through the route, making a detour of 600 m you will find a very special place. Rocha de Água d'Alte, a beautiful spot where you can discover a waterfall. At the end of day you will be rewarded with breath-taking views over the plains and the Atlantic ocean, right from the top of the hills at 329 m – the highest point on this route! Lodging - Naturarte Campo charming Guest House
Day 5: Pastogal to Odemira. 10 min car transfer to Pastogal and inland Hiking day (22 km, +300 m).
This is the water section, where a different, green and vibrant Alentejo reveals itself before your eyes, with refreshing water streams and ponds – Ribeira do Torgal being the protagonist – where forests of valuable species such as ash, willow and alder trees covering the water streams banks abound. Lodging - Chocalinho charming Guest House
Day 6: Odemira to Cerro da Borrega. Inland Hiking day (25 km, +400 m).
Walk close to the riverside in Odemira, where maybe you could see an otter (Lutra lutra) wich is quite common in the river Mira, though it is very hard to see it. Continue through old trails getting close to S.Teotónio, a typical Alentejo Village. Continue to your resting place for today, Cerro da Borrega Guest House. Lodging - Cerro da Borrega Charming Guest House.
Day 7: Cerro da Borrega to Odeceixe. Inland Hiking day (11 km, +100 m).
This will be a memorable trekking day, where you will walk along inhospitable trails covered with well-preserved native vegetation, climb down steep valleys and back up again to the top of the hills, while enjoying the view over Odeceixe and the ocean. The arrival at S. Miguel and crossing of the Seixe river is a significant moment of this walk through the Sw of Portugal. The Alentejo and the Algarve meet precisely here - in Odeceixe! Lodging - Casas do Moinho Guest Charming House.
Day 8: Odeceixe to Rogil. Coastal/Inland Hiking day (12 km, +300 m).
Start walking side by side with the Seixe river and the wetlands till you get to the south side of Odeceixe beach. Go up to the cliffs and enjoy the superb views of the beach, Follow the trail by the cliffs over the Ocean. Close to the end cross inland and get to the water channel, at João Roupeiro hamlet, you’ll be in the section of the Historical Way. Continue along the canal and arrive at Rogil, your village for today. Lodging - Guest House.
Day 9: Rogil to Aljezur. Coastal/Inland Hiking day (11 km, +300 m).
Return to the water channel and follow it crossing a farmland area with sweet potatoes, maize, peanuts and tomatoes. Arrive to a pine forest and follow a dirt road getting close to the Ocean. Walk along the coast and cliffs till you discover a beautiful beach and valley – Amoreira! Get back to the inland flat plateau and from the top follow the beautiful valley of the Amoreira river. Suddenly the medieval village of Aljezur and it Moorish castle emerges! Lodging - Hostal (private room with WC)
Day 10: Aljezur to Arrifana. Coastal/Inland Hiking day (16 km, +400 m).
Start going up to the top of the castle of Aljezur, from where you can take in the village, the flat fertile ground of the lowlands, and the creeks that wind through these fields with their magnificent galleries of poplars, alders, ash trees, willows and tamarisks! Going onde again to the Atlantic Ocean on this walk you’ll be passing by the beautiful beach and typical piscatorial village of Monte Clérigo. Walk by the coast, passing in the mythical Ponta da Atalaia, a fantastic promontory where we can see many ruins and excavations of an ancient Moorish fortress (Ribat) controlled by Ibn Qasî around 1150! Lodging - Charming Guest House.
Day 11: Arrifana to Carrapateira. Coastal/Inland Hiking day (20 km, +500 m).
This is a gorgeous day: you will feel the power of the sea breaking over ancient cliffs! Cross amazing places like Canal beach, a secret surf spot where you will find plenty of stones, rounded by the constant erosion from the waves and tides. The route follow now a big wild area covered by cistus and lentiscus. Before arriving in Carrapateira, follow a trail with great views over the valley and the beach of Bordeira, and get to the village of Bordeira, where time seems to move slower. Stop for a cafe and a chat with whoever comes by the window or the doorstep! Lodging - Guest House.
Day 12: Carrapateira to Pedralva. Coastal/Inland Hiking day (18 km, +400 m).
Start another beautiful day going close to the river to the beach of Bordeira to appreciate how the sea has carved the sand into harmonious shapes that change with the seasons. Then follow along the coast trough “Carrapateira Pontal” an incredible peninsula where you will go across various viewpoints, with superb views of the escarpments. Get to the most famous spot for surfers and one of the most beautiful beaches of the region – Amado Beach! Go up through a beautiful Pine forest and discover a hidden valley inland where you will find a lost village – Pedralva, a typical and old village once abandoned and recovered as a hotel! Lodging - Slow Village Hotel
Day 13: Pedralva to Vila do Bispo. Coastal/Inland Hiking day (19 km, +600 m).
From Pedralva village, along the riverbanks, there are tamarisk, willow, ash and Portuguese oaks. On the drier slopes, cork oak, maritime and stone pines, oleaster and olive trees. On the steepest slopes you can admire the natural vegetation, virtually untouched by man, with dense scrub under the cover of cork trees. In this undergrowth arbutus, white heather, scotch heather, viburnum tinus, cistus, lentiscus, wild asparagus, laurel and furze are in abundance. On this day you go out of the Rota Vicentina to discover a fantastic beach and great black rock cliffs of Barriga beach! Lodging - Charming Hotel 3*.
Day 14: Vila do Bispo to Sagres. Coastal/Inland Hiking day (14 km, +200 m).
Today, you will be walking towards the south western most point of Europe. This is a magical place where one can almost hear the echoes of the voices of sailors and pilgrims. Find monumental cliffs, outstanding views over the coastline and a privileged area to watch the natural phenomenon of autumn bird migration. The name of this promontory ‘Sagres’ seems to be linked to its past sacred character, as a place of pilgrimage for believers of various religions throughout the ages. Finally Finisterra - Cape St. Vincent, the magical and mythical place which signals the end of this journey along the Rota Vicentina! Lodging - Hotel 4*.
Day 15: Travel back to Lisbon on a private transfer (3 h).
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