Portugal | THE SOUTHWESTERN SCENIC COASTAL TREK

Visit picture-perfect villages, golden sandy dunes, and dramatic beaches.

Portugal Flag
  • Boat in Portugal
  • Almograve, Odemira, Portugal Coastline
  • Hiking in Southwestern Portugal
  • Rock formation on Southwestern Portugal coastal trek
  • Hikers in Portugal
  • Portugal cave
  • Portugal castle
  • Portugal boardwalk
  • Portugal beach

Trip Highlights:

  • Hike along the unspoiled Atlantic coastline on the Fishermen's Trail
  • Visit old, charming, picturesque fishing villages
  • Dine on delicious, regional wine, cheeses, meats, and pastries

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 the small, treasured resort of Almograve, home to the biggest and best-known beach in the area. A hike through the laid-back village of Cavaliero gives you a peek at the beautiful whitewashed architecture this area is known for. The small horseshoe-shaped beach is the town’s jewel, and features lovely villas set into the hillsides beyond. Another coastal hike takes you to Zambujeira do Mar, where you will want to be sure to visit the chapel of Nossa Senhora do Mar to get dramatic views of the coast. The final hike that follows the historic Fishermen’s Trail takes you through two more picturesque beach towns to the finest viewpoint in the region above Odeceixe Beach.

As you hike between villages, enjoy the flowers and wildlife of the region, and watch farmers and fishermen at work.

Throughout your journey, there are plenty of opportunities to dine on delicious, regional cuisine. Considering Southwest Portugal’s closeness to the mouth of the Tagus River and the Atlantic Ocean, it’s no wonder seafood dominates the main dishes of this region. You will also delight in the cured meats, cheeses, pastries, and wines.

Your accommodations include a variety of lodging, from 4-star hotels, to family-run inns. All the hotels and inns are selected for their comfort, cuisine, regional flavor, and friendliness.

Trip Itinerary

Ryder-Walker will provide transfer from Lisbon to Vila Nova de Milfontes, a lovely and laid-back coastal village located in the heart of the beautiful Alentejo coastline. We base out of this beautifully whitewashed and cobbled street village for two days as we embark on the historical Fishermen’s Trail.

After a quick transfer to the official start of the Fishermen’s Trail just north in Porto Covo, you embark on a coastal journey south through the dunes, deserted beaches, and coves of the Costa Vicentina; the last wild coast in Europe. Vila Nova de Milfontes will be a welcome respite after a day of sandy coastal walking.

Distance: 12 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 550/500 ft.

A short walk to the dock followed by a brief boat transfer takes you to another section of the Fishermen’s Trail. A wider path awaits you today and the scents of pine, eucalyptus, and the hearty coastal vegetation dominate the air. Your hike ends on the lovely beach in Almograve, before a short transfer to your hotel.

Distance: 9 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 280/380 ft.

Wander through red-hued sand dunes and cliffs harboring more than 20 species of birds nesting, including the Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel, and White Stork. Passing through the tiny village of Cavaleiro you eventually stroll back into the tranquil village of Zambujeira do Mar and on to your well-appointed hotel.

Distance: up to 13 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 660/630 ft

Continuing along the Fishermen’s Trail, you pass the beaches of Alteirinhos, Carvalhal, Machados, and Amalia en route to the natural fishing harbor of Azenha do Mar. From one of the finest viewpoints in the region you look down upon the stunning beach of Odeciexe, which is your final destination for the day.

Distance: 11 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 850/920 ft.

Leaving behind the Fisherman’s Trail your driver takes you south to the charming seaside village of Burgau. From here you hike along the stunning Algarve coastline ending up in the spectacular and historic coastal village of Lagos, located on the very southern tip of the Portuguese coast.

Distance: up to 8 miles. Elevation gain/loss: up to 500 ft.

Your final hiking day starts with a transfer to Praia da Marinha where you hike on one of the most classic trails in the Algarve. Covering some of the most beautiful beaches and coves in Europe, if not the world, you wander along the rugged coast, exploring the beautifully carved rock formations. The hike ends in Carvoeiro. Along the way there are beaches to sun and swim at as well as several great beachfront restaurants. End the day with a short transfer to your hotel in Lagos and spend another night at your hotel.

Distance: up to 7.5 miles  Elevation gain/loss: 400 ft.

NOTE: About 45 minutes into your hike you can opt to take a boat ride or rent kayaks from Benagil Beach where you will get up close and personal with this amazing coastline.  You also have the option to book an excursion out of Lagos if you prefer to finish the hike before heading out on the water.

There are public transportation options to Faro and Lisbon Airports or you can book a private transfer through the hotel reception or through Ryder-Walker.

THE SOUTHWESTERN SCENIC COASTAL TREK | Portugal

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