Portugal is a country with a deep history, lively culture, and some of the most stunning seaside terrain in the world. Low lying granite mountains and white-sand beaches stretch along the length of the Iberian Peninsula.
The urban centers of Portugal – Lisbon, and Porto – are a pair of immensely vibrant cities that balance a unique tourist culture with the local bohemian lifestyle. Every day in Portugal feels like a celebration of the nation’s unique lifestyle. While Portugal itself might be adjacent to central Europe, the Iberian peninsula feels as though it is a continent all of its own. In the southern regions of Portugal, people gather to enjoy a maritime lifestyle, while the middle region is defined by vineyards which cover entire valleys and deep eucalyptus forests, and finally, the remote north has only a spattering of isolated and traditional villages hidden amongst its granite hills.
Ryder-Walker’s first foray into Portugal explores the Southwestern coastal region of Portugal where the Portuguese young wine, Vinho Verde, is produced, with coastal paths that have been traveled by pilgrims for hundreds of years. The Southwestern Scenic Coastal Trek, which we offer as both a guided and self guided tour, follows a historic fisherman’s trail from the Iberian jewel of Porto Corvo to the wild beaches of Odeceixe. As you explore the winding coastal paths most days will also offer the unique experience to finish a long hiking day relaxing in the cobalt ocean water.
Portugal represents a cultural fusion that is a product of the country’s post-colonial history. While traveling throughout Portugal you will notice multiple regal relics to Portugal’s colonial era where the exploration of the Americas brought a stream of gold and international recognition to the maritime nation. Subsequently, the colonization of China would bring an infusion of shared culture which is most noticeable with the Portuguese language: to a layman, Portuguese looks quite a bit like anglicized Chinese, because the Portuguese were among the first to begin translating Chinese characters to Western script. The connection with Latin America results in a similar shared cultural influence. Often when exploring the most remote stretches of Portugal it feels almost as though you were visiting the European equivalent of Central America. Today, Portugal boasts a truly amazing food culture, which draws inspiration from Spanish tapas and French cooking techniques, with a special focus on the unique Portuguese pastry and cafe culture. Beyond this, Portugal offers one of the most lively urban environments on the continent, with the main cities of Lisbon and Porto offering vibrant art scenes, student centers, and dozens of museums filled with treasures from around the world. .
Whether you are looking for a truly different European experience or a luxurious romp along the glittering Iberian Coast, The Southwestern Scenic Coastal Trek offers something truly unique to Ryder-Walker’s roster of tours. Portugal enchanted us from the moment we stepped foot on its sandy shores, and we are confident that anyone who has overlooked Portugal as a destination up to this point will be amazed at the time they have missed exploring a region with as much heart as Portugal.
Our coastal route covers a portion of the historic Fishermen’s Trail with 4 days of hiking from Porto Covo to Odeceixe exploring deserted beaches, spectacular cliffs and quaint fishing villages. The Fishermen’s Trail follows in the footsteps of local fishermen throughout the years to favorite fishing spots while connecting the small coastal villages along the way. It is part of...View trip details
Our week-long trip to the Southwestern Coast of Portugal offers an opportunity to visit picture-perfect whitewashed villages, golden sandy dunes, and beaches dotted with dramatic black shale rocks. The rugged cliffs, crashing Atlantic waves, natural parks, and an unspoiled coastline make for a wonderfully diverse trek. Over the course of the week, you hike along the coastline and stop in...View trip details