Rota Vicentina – walking Portugal’s southwestern coastline
Do you want to get away from tourism, but not miss out on Portugal’s phenomenal coast? Do you like to be active during your holiday? The Rota Vicentina is just the place for you.
Along Portugal’s southwestern coastline lies the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina. This natural park consists of more than 100 kilometres of coast, from Porto Covo in the Alentejo to Burgau in the Algarve. This is a landscape of steep cliffs, hidden bays, sand dunes and surf beaches. It’s a protected area, where construction is rare and nature unspoiled.
Inside of this breathtaking landscape lies a network of walking trails of no less than 450 kilometres. It takes you along the coast, but also inland, to the farms, villages and small towns. The fully marked trails are divided into three different types: the Fishermen’s Trail, The Historical Way and the Circular Routes. You can choose just one or make a nice mixture.
This is the most popular of all tracks, never leaving the coast and offering the most stunning views. It is also a challenging route, as the sandy and steep cliffs let you work hard in exchange for all this beauty. Wind and sun might challenge you, but it will all be worth it.
The Fishermen’s Trail consists of 9 different tracks with a total of 125 kilometres.
This rural itinerary takes you through the villages and towns, passing different sceneries like cork tree forests, valleys and even mountains. It will bring you closer to the local people and culture of the Alentejo and the Algarve.
The Historical Way consists of 12 different tracks with a total of 230 kilometres.
The Circular Routes are great for those who want to start simple. These trails are shorter and they start and finish at the same place, so you don’t have to worry about transportation or luggage. They run along both the coast and the interior, having a focus on nature.
There are 8 Circular Routes, with a total of 89 kilometres.
The Rota Vicentina is located in the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina, a protected coastal area in the regions Alentejo and Algarve. Public transport or a car will get you there.
Note: Because this can be a very hot region in summer, it’s best to plan your trip in spring or fall.
There are a lot of facilities for people wanting to walk the trails of the Rota Vicentina. Everything you need to know can be found on this website. If you want advice on travelling in this region, you can also request our Personal Travel Plan.