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Portugal Walking Holidays, Rota Vicentina: Fishermen's Trail Highlights, Portugal walking holidays, walking holidays in Portugal, rota vicentina hiking, hiking in portugal

The Natural Adventure Company | Self Guided Walking Holidays in Europe & Walking Tours in Europe

Self Guided Walking Holidays in Europe

Rota Vicentina: Fishermen’s Trail Highlights

Overview for Rota Vicentina: Fishermen’s Trail Highlights

The Fishermen’s Trail is the coastal part of Portugal’s famous Rota Vicentina long distance trail. This walking holiday follows some of the best preserved coastline in Europe through the beautiful national park in the Alentejo region. During your walks you will be accompanied by the ocean always on your side and, at times, you will be presented with seemingly endless fields of wild flowers. Well-signposted paths will take you along impressive cliffs, down to deserted beaches and secret sandy coves, accessible only on foot.

Itinerary for Rota Vicentina: Fishermen’s Trail Highlights

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Day 1: Arrival – Vila Nova de Milfontes

After the check-in, our local representative will deliver a short briefing to clarify everything related to the tour, after that everything will sound much clearer. All the trails are fully marked, being part of Rota Vicentina’s Historical Way and Fishermen’s Trail.

  • Overnight in Vila Nova de Milfontes

Day 2: Porto Côvo  – Vila Nova de Milfontes

In the morning, you will have a 25 minutes transfer to Porto Côvo (start), there you’ll be able to stock up on supplies for the day, since that during the day you won’t be able to get any. This is a moderate-to-strenuous walk, crossing several areas with loose sand, you will notice that this is a unexplored area, where you can take in some astonishing views. If you are not an experienced walker, there are two shorter alternative walks available – 14 km and 8 km.

  • Walking for the day: 20 km, 6h ↑160m ↓150m (or 14 km / 8 km alternative walks)
  • Overnight in Vila Nova de Milfontes

Day 3: Milfontes – Almogarve / Longuerira

You have two options for today’s walk: a) take the small ferry to do the river crossing first and then start walking, or, b) cross the river on foot via the bridge,  taking the path from the beginning. Both options will lead you into an easy day of walking crossing fields and passing by small cliffs, with access to several beaches, heading to Almograve, further South. Almograve is a nice place to have a lunch and enjoy local gastronomy. After lunch, it’s time to explore the Almograve beach, or to finish the route, heading to the village of Longueira, located inland (35 minutes walking distance).

  • Walking for the day: 17 km, 5h ↑90m ↓115m (full walk)
  • Overnight in Longueira

Day 4: Almograve – Zambujeira do Mar

Leaving Almograve behind, you will be once again exploring the landscapes along the unspoilt coastal Alentejo. Pass by Zambujeira’s fishing harbour (Entrada da Barca), then walk next to the cliffs offering panoramic seascapes, where you’ll be able to watch cliff-nesting storks. You can make a stop at the small village of Cavaleiro, buy some supplies and enjoy a good home-made local dish, just before heading West do the beautiful lighthouse of Cabo Sardão. Your walk finishes in Zambujeira do Mar, with one of the most amazing beaches in Portugal.

  • Walking for the day: 21 km, 6h ↑200m ↓200m
  • Overnight in Zambujeira do Mar

Day 5: Zambujeira – Odeceixe

This is one of the most popular hiking routes used by the fishermen going South, heading to Odeceixe, the first village in the Algarve region. You’ll find plenty do explore, passing by Carvalhal Beach, the residence of the famous fado singer Amália Rodrigues and the locally famous harbour of Azenha do Mar, and these are just some of the highlights. After recharging your batteries at Azenha do Mar’s seafood restaurant, you will have the energy to continue your journey to Odeceixe, where the bridge over the river sets the border between Alentejo and Algarve regions.

  • Walking for the day: 18 km, 6h ↑260m ↓280m
  • Overnight in Odeceixe

Day 6: Individual Stay Extension, Departure, or Onward Travel

Hotels for Rota Vicentina: Fishermen’s Trail Highlights

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Accommodation is mainly on a bed and breakfast basis using local small hotels. The places we stay at during the tour are all privately owned, and have plenty of Portuguese character. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour. Please note that many rooms with ensuite/private facilities have a shower rather than a bath, usually because of limited space.

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.


Breakfast is included (usually coffee and toast/bread/croissant). A recommended list of local restaurants (based on our personal experience) will be supplied on arrival – we have listed places with character which offer delicious traditional dishes of fresh Portuguese cuisine. When no restaurant location is available on route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before.

Travel for Rota Vicentina: Fishermen’s Trail Highlights

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Our recommended airports for this holiday are Lisbon and Faro.

Please note that flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking. 

Transfers to/from Airports


Lisboa to Vila Nova de Milfontes:

  • Lisbon Airport:
  • Train/Comboio – you can get the train at Oriente Train Station to Funcheira train station, you will need a private transfer from there to Vila Nova de Milfontes (50 km distance, around £60 extra cost). More information at
  • Bus service – Rede Expressos – (it goes directly to Vila Nova de Milfontes).
  • Private from Lisboa to Vila Nova de Milfontes (on request);

Odeceixe to Lisboa:

  • You can get a private transfer to Funcheira train station (about 1 hour drive, around £80 extra cost) and from there take direct train to Lisbon;
  • Bus service – Rede Expressos – – You can take the bus directly to Lisbon
  • Private transfer from Odeceixe to Lisboa (on request);


Faro to Vila Nova de Milfontes:

  • Faro International Airport link:
  • Train/Comboio – you can get the train at Faro Station to Funcheira train station, you will need a private transfer from there to Vila Nova de Milfontes (50 km distance, around £60 extra cost). More information at
  • Bus Service – EVABUS and REDE EXPRESSOS – You will have to take the bus to Lagos and then from there to Vila Nova de Milfontes. More info at
  • Private transfer from Faro to Vila Nova de Milfontes (on request)

Odeceixe to Faro:

  • You can get a private transfer to Funcheira train station (about 1 hour drive, around £80 extra cost) and from there take direct train to Lisbon;
  • Bus service – EVABUS and REDE EXPRESSOS – You can take take the bus to Lagos and then from there to Faro. More info at;
  • Private transfer from Odeceixe to Faro (on request)

Private Transfers

Airport transfers by public transport are recommended for this trip, however private transfers can be arranged at an additional cost.

Baggage Transfers

All hotel to hotel luggage transfers on walking days are included (maximum one piece of 20 kg per person). When arriving at hotels, sometimes your luggage will have been taken to your room awaiting your arrival. However don’t be surprised if in some places your luggage is waiting for you at the reception desk. Please politely ask someone from the staff if you need assistance to bring it to your room.

Country Info

Up-to-date travel advice on Portugal is available here.

Trip Info for Rota Vicentina: Fishermen’s Trail Highlights

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Difficulty Grade: Moderate

This holiday is appropriate for seasoned walkers and requires a reasonable level of fitness; average walking time is 5-6 hours per day (14-15 km). Some stages can be optionally shortened (read more about difficulty grades).

Route Navigation

The routes are on waymarked paths and trails, including walking on sand and dirt roads, and in general the itinerary is very easy to follow. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to Go

This trip is available in January – June and September – December. Best months to visit are March – June and September – November.

The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date during the season. 


The region is benefiting from the Mediterranean climate which brings long, warm and dry summers and very mild winters. The region receives more sun each year than California.


The  spring season is warm, with temperatures averaging around 20 °C to 21 °C across the season. A quieter time of the year, visitors to the area need not worry too much about the rainfall, but there are occasional showers. By the end of spring, the weather is more like summer with temperatures rising quickly. The days grow longer through the spring, with an average of eight hours of sunlight per day at the start of the season, rising to around 10 hours by the end of spring.


Travellers looking for sunshine will enjoy the summer, but it may become too hot for hiking. This is why we do not run this holiday in July and August.


The autumn is typically warm and pleasant, cooling slightly by November. Late-season sun seekers can still be found sunbathing throughout the autumn, enjoying average daily maximum temperatures ranging from 26°C in September to 19°C in November. Whilst it remains warm, rainfall gradually increases through the autumn season: 26mm in September, 56mm in October and 81mm in November.


December is winter’s wettest month with 96mm of rainfall through the month, typically. Whilst the winter season is warm – expect the air to feel cool to mild, although you might find temperatures in the sunlight to be as high as 20°C – the days are much shorter, with 5 to 6 hours expected each month through the winter.

What to Bring

We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 20 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.

  • Good hiking boots
  • Hiking socks
  • Several t-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying)
  • Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
  • Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
  • Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
  • Hat/Baseball cap
  • Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)

Included for Rota Vicentina: Fishermen’s Trail Highlights

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  • Detailed holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions and map
  • Briefing on arrival
  • Recommended restaurants list
  • Transfer on Day 2 to Porto Côvo
  • 5 nights in small hotels
  • 5 breakfasts
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days
  • 24/7 assistance by phone

Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements

  • Single room supplement: add £100 to the standard price. Please note that on this holiday the single supplement guarantees the privacy of your own room, however, rooms can at times be smaller and in some places you may not enjoy the same facilities as in double/twin rooms.
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; as costs are not shared, there is a £100 solo traveller supplement added to the standard price.

Other Trip-Related Costs

  • Entrance fees for attractions and museums


  • Flights and airport transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the program

Extensions and Optional Extras

  • Extra nights along the trail bookable upon request
  • Airport transfers

Gallery for Rota Vicentina: Fishermen’s Trail Highlights

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We really enjoyed this walking holiday in Portugal. It was well organised, the natural adventure staff were efficient and friendly. Accommodations met our expectations - nothing too fancy, but clean and local staff was very friendly and helpful, which also applies to the drivers.

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