Portugal - Alentejo Coast
Portugal – South West Coastal Hike
2018 dates: March 22-30.
Hiking south on the Alentejo Coast
Alentejo is the region south of Lisbon and North of The Algarve. In the east, it reaches up to the Spanish border, whilst on the west, it ends where the Atlantic Ocean starts. Our hike is based on the coastal area of Alentejo, in the amazing setting of its 150km of coast which is inside the ‘Alentejan National Park’. This is Portugal’s least populated area, and the vibe is one of a place that is still very much basing its rhythms and habits on the slow way of the past and of Nature. Fishing and agriculture are still the main activities here, and though tourism is on the rise, we can still feel the true personality of this place and of its people, who are still surprised when they see a visitor.
This is a trip for sea lovers, for people that would live all their life on a beach and would happily eat just grilled fish. Or it’s is a trip for somebody who still hasn’t truly appreciated the Ocean and all its life and wants the opportunity to truly taste its beauty.
The Sea, or better, the Atlantic Ocean is the constant in this hike that, in 7 days will take us from ‘Porto Covo’ to ‘Cabo de San Vincente’, one of the most westerly point in Europe. We will constantly head south, hiking on small paths that the local fishermen have used for centuries to get to the best fishing spots.
This walk, who the locals call “The Rota Vicentina”, will take us along high sea cliffs that will turn into endless beaches or stunning dunes covered in flowers. The combination of the natural elements, together with the constant roaring of the ocean will give us vistas of indescribable beauty that will fill our eyes and warm our hearts. At night, we will take comfort in the simple but amazingly good Alentejan restaurants, for meals that will satisfy every mouth and belly.
The Hike consist of 7 days with lengths that vary from 15 to 25km. The climb is always limited and never gets higher than 200m during the whole day. Nonetheless, small ups and downs are a constant and we often walk on sand, with all its consequences. Indeed, hiking for long hours on soft sand can be quite tiring, and sand will find its way to get pretty much everywhere. For this reason we will always hike with our day bags while our luggage will be transferred independently. This hike is not technically challenging but can be quite tiring overall. So, if anybody feels too tired or wants to take a rest from the walking one day, they are more than welcome to hitch a ride with our luggage transfer and wait for the group at the next hotel. Pictured – old Lisbon, right.
Sleeping and Eating
The towns we visit are all very small, so consequently hospitality offers are often limited to one or two choices. Having said that, our sleeping accommodations are always comfortable, cozy and very clean. We sleep in small hotels, pensions, B&B’s and two very modern and stylish hostels. Rooms are usually doubles and often all our rooms will only have double beds in them. Single rooms can be provided if you don’t want to sleep next to somebody else, with a supplement being payable. In the hostels, there will be a various number of options, some will get double rooms, while some will have to sleep in triple/quadruple or 6 beds rooms. But the comfort and beauty of the structure will compensate for this small inconvenience. Toilets are practically always en-suite and when they are not, the ratio is always two persons for one toilet.
Regarding the meals: all the dinners are in local Alentejan restaurants, where we will taste the amazing and simple local fish dishes. The menus are fixed by the guide Giulio, who will surprise you every night with different dish selections, according to which restaurant we’re in – and of course we will look after all your food habits. Apart from 4 included breakfasts, all the others are free and can be taken in the local bars and cafes for as little as 3 euros for a coffee and a pastry. Lunches are also independent and can be purchased at the same cafes we have breakfast in, or at the local supermarket. 5 euros per day will be enough for that.
There will be options for extra nights in either Lisbon or Lagos.
Cost €1,690, or approximately £1,437
- All participants of our International holidays will be required to sign a Liability Release form upon arrival at the destination.