Fisherman’s Trail: Conquer Portugal’s Coastal Beauty (Guide, Map)

Fisherman’s Trail: Conquer Portugal’s Coastal Beauty (Guide, Map)

Fisherman’s Trail: Conquer Portugal’s Coastal Beauty (Guide, Map) 600 450 Hiking Blog

Overview

Maps

Stages

Gallery

Video

Fisherman’s Trail Portugal GPX-Datei-Download

(with locations of overnight stays)

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Fisherman’s Trail Portugal stages in 2024

  1. Porto Covo – Vila Nova de Milfontes (20 km)
  2. Vila Nova de Milfontes – Cabo Sardao (24 km)
  3. Cabo Sardao – Odeceixe (36 km)
  4. Odeceixe – Vale da Telha (35 km)
  5. Vale da Telha – Carrapateira (20 km)
  6. Carrapateira – Vila do Bispo (16 km) – Vila do Bispo – Cabo de São Vicente 13 km Bus)

Fisherman’s Trail Portugal map & stages

1: Porto Covo – Vila Nova de Milfontes (20 km)

A spring morning in Porto Covo. The sun is shining, the scent of pine trees is in the air. We lace up our hiking boots and set off. The first section takes us along the promenade and through sandy dunes covered in beach grass and thistles. Again and again we catch a glimpse of the Atlantic, which shimmers in deep blue. The sky is covered with clouds, it is the end of March.

Wild beauty

After a short climb we reach a viewing point with a view of the coast and an offshore island. Old fortifications show a piece of history along the way. Steep cliffs, jagged rocks and deep blue sea – the landscape is wildly beautiful. The Fisherman’s trail always leads you along the cliffs on this stage. There are always opportunities to come directly to the beach. Really fantastic!

The surf hits the rocks, seagulls scream above our heads. We enjoy the solitude and untouched nature. On some beaches, underground rivulets emerge from the mountains, giving rise to the name Milfontes (a thousand springs). In the late afternoon we reach our destination Vila Nova de Milfontes. Vila Nova de Milfontes is a charming fishing village with a beautiful old town. We reflect on the day in a cozy restaurant. We stayed in “Mil Reis”. The Fisherman’s Trail Portugal on this stage is well developed and partly sandy and partly rocky.

2: Vila Nova de Milfontes – Cabo Sardao (24 km)

Today one of the most beautiful stages of the Fisherman’s trail was on the program: the route from Vila Nova de Milfontes to the Cabo Sardão lighthouse. Even the start from Vila Nova de Milfontes was breathtaking. To avoid the bridge, we accepted the offer to cross the river by boat. For a few euros and four other hikers we crossed over without further ado.

Our first stop was Praia do Salto do Cavalo. Here we were able to marvel at the bizarre rock formation that gave the beach its name. We continued on the narrow path that led along the cliffs. Past small bays and hidden beaches where you could unwind.

At Praia da Forno we treated ourselves to a refreshing dip in the crystal clear water. Only with your feet! This dream beach was the perfect place to take a break and occasionally the sun shone. The path continued to Ponta da Atalaia, a viewpoint with fantastic views of the coast and the Cabo Sardão lighthouse. In the last kilometer of this stage we crossed the beach towards the lighthouse and did not directly follow the actual route to Cavaleiro. There we had the accommodation “Cavaleiro Rota Costa”.

Traveling on old tropical beaches

On the Fisherman’s trail Portugal you hike many kilometers on reddish, soft dune sand. These are iron oxide deposits from the time when Portugal had a tropical climate. We opted for trail shoes for this surface. These are not that difficult to move in the sand. We regularly removed the sand during breaks.

3: Cabo Sardao – Odeceixe (36 km)

After a restful night, we were looking forward to the stages from Cabo Sardão to Odeceixe. Full of anticipation, we set off at the Cabo Sardão lighthouse and enjoyed the view of the Atlantic once again. We were able to observe many storks along this coastline (spring to summer). A great experience!

The path initially took us through sandy dunes and along the wild coast. We took a short break at Praia do Moinho de Baixo and admired the crashing waves. We continued on the narrow path that led us through fragrant pine forests and over rolling hills. After about 5 km we came through a natural fishing harbor with original fishing huts. From there we had to walk along the road according to the directions. We passed through Zambujera do Mar (coffee break!). Later we hiked through the charming village of Azenha do Mar. Shortly before 4 a.m. we reached the mouth of the Rio Seixe. From here there is a great view of the beach of Odeceixe and our destination for the day on the other side of the river.

Between Odeceixe and the north side of the beach, the hiking trail runs along a country road for about 4 kilometers. So all the way around to get to our accommodation. A good fish restaurant with rooms was today’s hostel “Casa Dorita”.

4: Odeceixe – Vale da Telha (35 km)

Today, like yesterday, we faced one of the longest and most demanding stages of the Fisherman’s trail: the route from Odeceixe to Vale da Telha. We started the morning with mixed feelings and rain and set off.

The first section took us to the village of Rogil. There we went to a cozy café and stocked up on provisions. After a few kilometers in the hinterland we came through the picturesque village of Aljezur. Surrounded by lush green hills, wide valleys and rivers, the place exudes an incomparable peace and naturalness. White houses stretch from the river up the slope to the castle, which once sat on the hills and bears witness to the history of sailors and explorers.

The final part of the hike on this stage was along a sandy path to Vale da Telha. This stage is very long and demanding. It is important that you are well prepared. We stayed overnight in “Arrifana Destination”. This hostel was well located and contemporary.

5: Vale da Telha – Carrapateira (20 km)

After a few kilometers above the coast we went back down to the beach and then hiked uphill again towards the hinterland. A longer part of this stage of the Fisherman’s trail also runs inland together with the Historical Path. But the effort is worth it. The stage takes you through eucalyptus forests. Most of the time, however, macch covers the ground – low, sturdy shrubs that can withstand the elements. Cistus and wild herbs captivate your nose with their scent, which competes in the sun.

The last section of this route took us back along the beach to Carrapateira. Our accommodation “Casa Sol” was still 2 km away from the village. The owner tried very hard, although everything seemed very simple.

6: Carrapateira – Vila do Bispo (16 km) – Vila do Bispo – Cabo de São Vicente 13 km Bus)

After a homemade muesli breakfast at the accommodation, we hike about 3 km along Praia do Amado, one of the many surf beaches in Portugal. On this stage, the Rota Vicentina leads over small and sometimes somewhat steeper paths. The path soon took us inland through the typical landscape of the Algarve. Part of this stage runs on gravel roads.

The destination of today’s stage is Vila do Bispo, a picturesque place with a medieval church and a historic center. Here we can relax in one of the cafés or restaurants and reflect on the day. Our accommodation “Pure Flor de Esteva” is fairly new and well furnished.

Since our travel time was very limited, we took a bus from Vila do Bispo to Cabo de São Vicente to the lighthouse at the “end of the world”.

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

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