This Fishermen’s Trail highlights holiday is a six day, self-guided adventure, taking in the saltiest and most sumptuous parts of one of Portugal’s most celebrated long-distance walking routes. Starting in Porto Côvo and finishing in Odeceixe, this holiday covers 74km in total, with some transfer shortcuts to all the hot highlights of the main trail along the coast. Explore the cliffs and coves, fishing villages and cultural traditions in a region protected by Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park. Stay in small, locally-owned hotels and guesthouses, with luggage transfers.
- Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park
- Cabo Sardão lighthouse
- Zambujeira do Mar
Day 1: Arrival – Porto Côvo/Vila Nova de Milfontes
Check in and find the tour materials at your accommodation.
Day 2: Porto Côvo – Vila Nova de Milfontes | 8-20km
If you are staying in Vila Nova de Milfontes, you have a 25mins transfer to Porto Côvo (included), where you can stock up on supplies as your first day of walking is in a fantastically remote area. This is a moderate-to-strenuous walk, crossing several sandy stretches, with some superb coastal views en route. If you want to get off to a gentle start, there are options for shorter walks today, of either 14km or 8km.
- Walking for the day: 20km, 6h ,↑160m ↓150m (or 14km / 8km alternative walks)
- Accommodation: Mil Réis or similar
Day 3: Milfontes – Almograve / Longuerira | 15km
Today’s walk is an easy one, starting off by crossing the river by ferry, or via the footbridge, then continuing across fields and along cliffs, with access to several beaches, one of which is in Almograve, a perfect lunch spot. In the afternoon, walk to the village of Longueira, around 35mins inland.
- Walking for the day: 15km, 5h, ↑90m ↓115m (full walk)
- Accommodation: Vicentina Rooms or similar
Day 4: Almograve – Zambujeira do Mar | 21km
Continue along the trail from Almograve through the unspoilt seascapes of Alentejo, Zambujeira fishing village and onto the small village of Cavaleiro, with more superb coastal views en route. Stop in Cavaleiro for supplies or treat yourself to some fine local seafood, before heading west to Cabo Sardão lighthouse. Your walk finishes in Zambujeira do Mar, considered by many to be one of the most extraordinary beaches in Portugal.
- Walking for the day: 21km, 6h, ↑200m ↓200m
- Accommodation: Rosa dos Ventos or similar
Day 5: Zambujeira do Mar – Odeceixe | 18km
This is one of the most spectacular sections of the Fishermen’s Trail, taking you to Odeceixe, the first village in the Algarve region. Walk past the stunning Praia do Carvalhal, then on to the clifftop village of Azenha do Mar and harbour. After recharging your batteries at Azenha do Mar’s seafood restaurant, or perhaps just taking a swim in their famous natural seawater pool, continue on to Odeceixe, where the bridge over the river sets the border between Alentejo and Algarve regions.
Day 6: Departure
Departure or extend your stay.
What to expect
Accommodation on this tour includes a mix of small, locally-owned hotels, B&Bs and traditional guesthouses. They have been carefully selected based on a variety of criteria including their location, warm hospitality, fine local food or commitment to responsible tourism. Please note that many rooms with ensuite/private facilities have a shower rather than a bath, usually because of limited space. Some rooms may have private bathrooms outside the room.
Click to view default hotels
Hotels are subject to availability. In the event of a particular hotel being fully booked for your chosen dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal 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, specialising in traditional Portuguese cuisine will be supplied on arrival. 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.
Difficulty and terrain
This holiday is appropriate for seasoned walkers and requires a reasonable level of fitness; average walking time is 5-6h per day (14-15km). Some stages can be optionally shortened (read more about difficulty grades).
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 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 February – beginning of June and mid-September – November. Best months to visit are March – May/June and October – 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 20-21C across the season. 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 26C in September to 19C in November. December is winter’s wettest month with an average 96mm of rainfall through the month. 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 20C – the days are much shorter, with an average of nine hours of daylight in December. For more information, see our blog on The Fishermen’s Trail.
Click to view travel options
- From Lisbon Airport: Take the train from Oriente to Funcheira train station, you will need a private transfer from there to Vila Nova de Milfontes (50km, around £60 extra cost). For more information, visit cp.pt. or use the Omio planner above.
- Bus service – Rede Expressos – goes directly to Vila Nova de Milfontes.
- From Faro Airport, get the train from Faro Station to Funcheira, you will need a private transfer from there to Vila Nova de Milfontes (50km distance, around £60 extra cost). For more information, visit cp.pt. or use the Omio planner above.
- You can take the bus to Lagos and from there to Vila Nova de Milfontes with Rede Expressos.
- On your departure day, you can get a private transfer to Santa Clara Saboia train station (about 45mins drive, around £80 extra cost) and from there take a train to Lisbon.
- Private transfers are available upon request.
- 5 nights accommodation
- 5 breakfasts
- Detailed holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions and map
- GPS tracks to use via our smartphone navigation app
- Recommended restaurants list
- Transfer on day two to Porto Côvo
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days
- Phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Any items not explicitly listed as included
Options, extras and supplements
- If you’re travelling in a group, a supplement applies to group members who would like to have a room of their own
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request
- Airport transfers