Rota Vicentina: Exploring the Fisherman’s Trail

Rota Vicentina: Exploring the Fisherman’s Trail

Rota Vicentina: Exploring the Fisherman’s Trail 600 450 Hiking Blog

6 Days

164 km


2430 m

2409 m

In the footsteps of the fishermen: The Rota Vicentina – hiking on the Fisherman’s Trail in Portugal

Where the Atlantic is wild and the coast is rugged, the Fisherman’s Trail winds along the southwest coast of Portugal. The Rota Vicentina is a network of hiking trails and is divided into two main paths. This route leads along the southwest coast. With 4 stages, 75km (Porto Covo to Odeceixe) and additional loops, it runs along the coast for a total of 125 kilometers. The Historical Trail (Santiago do Cacém to Sagres) is divided into 12 stages covering over 230 kilometers. It leads through the comparatively quiet hinterland. The Historical Trail, Fisherman’s Trail and circular paths can be combined with each other. Accordingly, there are various signposts that you should keep an eye on.

Nestled in the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park, the Rota Vicentina (long-distance hiking trail) runs 226.5 kilometers through a landscape of breathtaking beauty. We embarked on an unforgettable hike from Porto Covo to the Cabo de São Vicente lighthouse, the most southwestern point in Europe.

Wild coast, sandy paths (60-70%), hidden coves: This trail takes you through traditional fishing villages where you can experience the culture and hospitality of the locals. Along the way, small bays invite you to linger and pause. Immerse yourself in the silence, enjoy the sound of the waves and let your gaze wander over the endless horizon – these moments on the Fischerpfad are unforgettable. The climate on the Portuguese south coast is Mediterranean. Spring and fall are the best times of year to hike the Fishermen’s Trail. It can get hot in the summer months and a hike is not recommended!

Well prepared for the journey

Good equipment is important for a hike on the Fisherman’s Trail. Sturdy shoes, enough water and provisions should not be missing from your backpack. Hiking poles with a small plate (sand) are recommended. Since there is hardly any shade on the Fishermen’s Trail, sunscreen and possibly a hat are a must. Wind and rain protection should not be forgotten either.

Hiking Experience – on the Fisherman’s Trail: In our stage report “The Fisherman’s Trail in Portugal – map and stages” we tell you about our experiences on the Fisherman’s Trail. We share our impressions of the landscape, the places and the people we met along the way. Be inspired and immerse yourself in the fascination of the Fisherman’s Trail!

Hiking on the Rota Vicentina – The Fisherman’s Trail

Explore more on YouTube @hikingexperience

Hiking Trails – Rota Vicentina

The Rota Vicentina in Portugal is a long-distance hiking trail that stretches along the Alentejo and Vicentina coasts. This network of trails has gradually grown to offer breathtaking views along the coast as well as inland. It consists of two main hiking trails and several circular trails.

  • Fisherman’s Trail (Trilho dos Pescadores): The Fishermen’s Trail is the coastal section of the Rota Vicentina. The trail markings are blue-green and consist of horizontal stripes. They lead along the spectacular coastline, past cliffs, sand dunes and picturesque beaches.
  • Historical Trail (Trilho Histórico): The Historical Path leads through the inland Alentejo. The trail markings are red and white and consist of vertical stripes. This section offers a glimpse into the region’s rich history and culture, with picturesque villages, hills and fields.
  • Circular routes (Caminhos Circulares): The circular trails are shorter loops that branch off from the main trails. They are ideal for day trips or when you have less time. The trail markings vary depending on the loop, but they are usually yellow-red.

Rota Vicentina – Fisherman’s Trail | Our Tour Guide 6 Stages in 2024

164 km along the Fisherman’s Trail in Portugal.

Start: Porto Covo

Destination: Cabo de São Vicente

rota vicentina fischerweg

FAQ – Rota Vicentina / Fisherman’s Trail – Our Experiences

The Rota Vicentina (Fisherman’s Trail, Historical Path) takes you along the Portuguese coast. That’s why we have combined both long-distance hiking trails to form a 164 km long coastal hiking trail. You can find detailed information about the route for our tour under stages.
The journey was from Lisbon by bus (Rede Expressos) to Porto Covo for 17€. A timely reservation is recommended, there are several buses a day. The route of the Fisherman’s Trail runs along the promenade of Porto Covo.
The 164 km can be strenuous due to the sandy ground, the wind or the sun. The heat can put a lot of strain on the circulatory system, so it is essential to keep yourself hydrated. We strongly advise against taking this tour in midsummer! Sometimes you only have the opportunity to recharge in the evening.
You should also bring a certain amount of cash with you on this tour. Otherwise, card payment is no problem.
The Rota Vicentina leads you through numerous smaller and larger settlements. However, there is not something to eat or drink everywhere.
For more information on specific accommodations, see our detailed report! As always, you can find the exact locations on our maps. Due to the landscape and the scarcity of water along the way, we decided not to bring a tent, especially since this is officially forbidden in Portugal. If you prefer to travel with a tent, you can also find campsites on the Rota Vicentina map. There are numerous accommodations along the route.
The route is heavily influenced by the Atlantic. This means rapid weather changes are possible, strong winds and strong sunlight. Some sections take you directly along the beach. 60-70% of the path is sandy. A combination with the historical path offers a wonderful change. There are several providers of guided tours. Tours with luggage transport can also be booked. We met a few hikers who took advantage of this service.
Technically, the Fisherman’s Trail in Portugal is not difficult. In some places, the route leads steeply downhill on unstable paths with lots of scree to remote beaches and then just as steeply uphill again. Good sure-footedness is necessary here! Heat can also be very stressful. There is no drinking water on longer sections!

For more information about the Fisherman’s Trail in Portugal do not hesitate to contact us.

Watch our videos on YouTube and explore our other trails we have experienced for you!

Take care, go out and make it happen!

Back to top