The Vicentina Route and the Untamed Atlantic is a Self-Drive Walking tour designed for keen walkers, interested in experiencing a different side of Portugal.
Following one of the most beautiful and best-preserved coastal areas of Europe, you’ll walk among jagged cliffs, secluded beaches, endless fields of wildflowers, forest tracks, and historic villages.
The delicious regional cuisine and wines stand out, with a highlight for the seafood and fresh fish.
The Vicentina Route is part of the European footpath network and combines inland (Historical Way) and coastal walking (Fishermen’s Trail), covering 340km of tracks between the city of Santiago do Cacém and the Cape of St. Vincent.
Vicentina Route, one of the finest stretches of preserved European coastlines, the area is home to the famous Rota Vicentina – a 340km long-distance path.
The circular walks in the Historical Way are unforgettable routes full of tradition. Used for centuries to easily access the nearby villages and the farmland, they are a delightful way of exploring the real Alentejo and a mostly unknown Algarve.
You’ll find a green landscape with stretches of cork tree woods, soft hillsides, valleys, and meandering rivers and creeks. A true journey through time, local culture, and nature.
The Fishermen’s trail, exclusively pedestrian, was traditionally used by fishermen to access secretive fishing spots. You can still see them today, impossibly perched on top of the rocky cliffs.
The tour base is a small and centrally located village, from where it’s easy to explore the region and the tracks of this itinerary.
It includes tailored walks to show you the best sections of the Vicentina and all the wonders of this region.
Vicentina Route – countryside, along the pastoral landscape and farming terrains that connect the small house clusters scattered in this vast area.
From the wild and see-through blue waters of Porto Covo, the amazing views over the beach of Odeceixe, to the deserted plateaus around the Carrapateira.
The surprises nature has to offer, such as the colourful carpets of flowers, the aroma of herbs near the creeks, and the storks’ nests on the coastal cliffs, like nowhere else in the world!
Find peaceful beaches, some deserted ones, where you can relax from your hiking efforts. In the countryside, enjoy the streams and rivers, a much welcome relief from the heat on hotter days.
Also, you have the opportunity to experience the authenticity, the culture, the heritage, and the ways of life of the people, in small villages and towns like Aljezur, Vila do Bispo, and Sagres.
The mild weather year-round and the wonderful traditional food and wines will round up this amazing holiday adventure, perfect for independent travellers.
Day 1 -Arrival in Faro
Individual arrival to Faro Airport and rent-a-car vehicle pick up. Drive to Vila Nova de Milfontes.
Rota Vicentina powerful landscape from the dramatic coast.
Day 2 – Porto Covo
Home to some of the wildest and unspoiled beaches in the country, the small fishing village of Porto Covo became eternalized in a song by a Portuguese singer.
Here, local traditions and habits emanate from the song, the rugged cliffs that hide the clear, transparent blue waters, and the secluded beaches.
The day was designed with a shorter walk to allow you to take the time to experience this small place, its grilled fish, or just a break in the cafes in the central square.
From there, our walk brings you through the gems of the west coast, towards the Fort of the Pessegueiro beach, built in the 16th century to protect this precious coast. Take the time, look to the horizon and find its “brother”: the Fort of Saint Albert on the small Island planted by nature in the middle of the sea.
Vicentina Coast, The Fishermen’s trail follows the coastline that gives access to hidden beaches and secret fishing grounds.
Day 3 – Vale Juncalinho
This tailored-made walk is the confluence of the historical trails of the Vicentina route.
It gathers the views from the top of the hills as far as you can see, if crosses small streams in wooden bridges and the abundant forestry woodland provide a welcome shade during the warm days.
Painted in vibrant colours, occasional plane fields boost with wildflowers teaming with life when the seasons change. Melodic bird songs are a constant, along with the sound of the small watercourses that run alongside us.
River Odemira luxuriant green valleys are the streams that shape the landscape.
Day 4 – Day off
There are various experiences you may choose from when a relaxing day is available… Rest, read a book, sleep in…
Our suggestion is to explore the surrounding towns for the day! Visit Odemira, a nearby small village where time doesn’t seem to go by; explore Vila Nova de Milfontes, one of the Portuguese favourite villages for the amazing grilled fish and the spectacular views over the Mira river estuary, famous for its cold transparent waters!
Or drive to Zambujeira do Mar, just near the coast, and experience one of the most beautiful sunsets in the country!
Porto Covo is a small fishing village that is a favourite for the Portuguese. The blue transparent waters, the colourful houses, and the pleasant square paint a romantic picture of the songs on the radio.
Day 5 – Odeceixe–ao–mar
The Historical route follows the river Seixe as it meanders past gardens and meadows into the small village of Odeceixe itself.
From here, the Fishermen’s trail passes through a maze of wetlands which provide essential habitat for wildlife & then on towards the sea where the waters from Monchique spill abundantly into the ocean.
As you arrive at the beach of Odeceixe, breathe in…take a break…enjoy the view and you’ll realize why this was elected as one of the most beautiful beaches in the country!
After a welcoming break, continue to follow the Fishermen trail south along the coast, before turning inland to walk through peaceful farmland.
Vicentina Route – Historical Way the real Alentejo and Algarve regions of Portugal and walk on unforgettable routes full of tradition.
Day 6 – Pontal da Carrapateira
As the Vicentina route begins the approach to its final section, the walks provide some of the most spectacular coastal sections with fabulous views over the secretive rocky coves.
Located southwest of Aljezur, protected by dunes from the northern winds, you’ll find the small village of Carrapateira. Unfamiliar for the most, this quaint village with its whitewashed terraced houses has discreetly become a haven for surfers.
The walk, bring you to where the headland hides secret beaches, accessible only by the lucky birds that nest on these rugged cliffs and the photographic cameras of those adventurous to witness it.
Should the day allow you, don’t lose the opportunity of visiting the picturesque town of Aljezur and explore this charming ancient Moorish settlement.
Porto Covo, we look beyond the cliffs and the vastness of the sea in front of us.
Day 7 -Vila do Bispo
Today marks the final section of the Vicentina route. This walk, starting from the small town of Vila do Bispo was designed to provide you with the ultimate opportunity to witness the expansive open countryside, the dramatic cliffs, and a cape that was once believed to be the end of the world.
The fisherman’s trail finishes in the Cape of Saint Vincent, the most south-westerly point of Europe. This famous geological headland was a central stage for the Portuguese explorer’s history and pirate stories, and nowadays, it’s a famous hotspot for observing migratory bird species.
We highly recommend visiting near the village of Sagres, the crowning glory of the Vicentina Route.
Fisherman on the rocks, in Sagres. We understand why this is one of the most beautiful places in the southwestern coast of Portugal.
Day 8 – Individual departure or extra days.
HS Milfontes Beach Hotel
HS Milfontes Beach Hotel
HS Milfontes Beach Hotel (3*) or similar
HS Milfontes Beach is located in Southern Portugal, about two hours from either Lisbon or Faro airports. It enjoys one of the best spots in the village of Vila Nova de Milfontes, on the main seafront avenue, overlooking both the north and south banks of the river Mira, its golden sandy beaches, and the estuary opening out to the Atlantic Ocean. It is just the ideal place to spend a summer or winter holiday.
The rooms have fantastic views of the beach and the river estuary or the pool. From your room to the beach is a 2-minute walk, and as you wake up and look outside it feels you’re already there.
7 nights in a twin room with pool view for two pax (3 stars hotel)
Single supplement available with a surcharge
Extra nights available on request
7 buffet breakfasts at the Hotel
Half-board available with surcharge (buffet dinner at the hotel without drinks)
Rental car vehicle (class A with ABS, 4 seats, and 3 doors)
Your car rental includes unlimited mileage, insurance (except Excess and TWL), and 24h Travelling Assistance
Rental car upgrade and extras available on request, with extra costs
Your information pack includes
Emergency contact numbers
General information about your holiday
List of the hotel(s)
Directions for arriving at your first hotel, if applicable
Detailed maps and route notes in your own mobile with App Routes & Maps (or detailed travel documents 1x per room)
Foreign Office Travel Advice
Any services not listed as included
Flights to and from Portugal
Meals, tips/gratuities, baggage, or personal insurance (except as outlined)
Admission fees to castles & attractions or events (except as outlined)