This tour takes place almost exclusively within protected areas along the coast from Alentejo to Algarve, meandering through authentic fishing villages along the sea. Imagine yourself walking on some of the most beautiful and well-preserved beaches in Europe. Now add the feeling of adventure when discovering pirate hideouts, a rich culture and a cuisine that serves the best the sea has to offer. The coast, characterized by turquoise waters, rugged rocks and stratified cliff faces buffeted by coastal winds for centuries, is perfect for relaxing walks.
The southwestern Portuguese coast has the distinction of being one of the least developed and best preserved coastlines in Europe. Also named the Fisherman’s Trail, the protected area of the Southwestern Alentejan and Vicentine Coast Natural Park (Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina), basically runs from south of Lisbon to Sagres Point in the Algarve. This protected designation is very different from a national park: it allows villages and human habitation within while protecting its natural and cultural patrimony. And stimulating economic well-being for those who live there. The result is a laid-back, beautifully natural experience on the coast.
The Fishermen’s Trail within the Vicentine Route is a network of walking trails, totaling more than 240 miles for walking. We will discover seven of those trail circuits with enough time to also explore the numerous fishing villages we encounter along the way. Totaling over 48 miles of walking, we will experience ancient Roman ports, medieval castles, tasty meals of fresh fish caught locally and traditional artisanal crafts, sold by villagers.
We will also have a free day to explore on your own along the coast or spend the day a little away from the coast in Aljezur, a white-washed town with a 10th century Moorish castle, old quarter, views of the Serra de Monchique, and the Mother Church (Igreja Matriz) with its Neo-classical altarpiece, dating to 1809.
Other activities on our tour include country picnic lunches, visits to pristine beaches and surfing areas, vistas of lighthouses and the open sea, a visit to the ruins of an ancient Islamic fishermen’s settlement and boat rides on the Mira River and in Ria Formosa in Faro, another Natural Park!
Delight your eyes and soul with the breathtaking, untouched horizon of the Rota Vicentina. Come join us on this exciting natural adventure for a unique look into the past and present of a region that has maintained its authenticity for centuries!