Sunday, March 25, 2018

Snapshots: Hiking the Rota Vicentina, Southwest Portugal

The Rota Vicentina is a 450 km trail system in southwest Portugal. It includes the Fishermen's Trail along the rugged Atlantic coastline, the Historical Way that heads inland through rolling countryside, and loop trails that connect both worlds.

The system is good for point-to-point hiking where we moved to a different place each day, and hub-and-spoke hiking where we stayed in one place for a couple days.

Monday March 19
d. Lisbon-Oriente 10:02a IC570 (Train)
a. Tunes 1:00p
d. Tunes 1:13p R5906 (Train)
a. Lagos 2:08p
Bus to Odeceixe (about 1 hour).
There is also a direct bus from Lisbon to Odeceixe, but I wanted to ride trains.
Stay: Casas do Moinho, Odeceixe
Tuesday March 20
Hike sections of Rota Vicentina
Casas do Moinho, Odeceixe
Wednesday March 21
Hike sections of Rota Vicentina
Casas do Moinho, Odeceixe
Thursday March 22
Walk: Monte Ruivo to Carrapateira
Stay: Casa Da Estela, Carrapateira
Friday March 23
Hike sections of Rota Vicentina
Casa Da Estela, Carrapateira
Saturday March 24
Walk: Carrapateira to Vila do Bispo, 22 Km
Stay: Hotel Mira Sagres
Sunday March 25
Hike sections of Rota Vicentina
Hotel Mira Sagres
Monday March 26
Bus to Lagos (about 1 hour)
d. Lagos 2:18p R5911 (Train)
a. Tunes 3:15p
d. Tunes 3:35p AP184 (Train)
a. Lisbon-Oriente 6:05p

  • I booked the hotels via
  • I booked train travel via the Portugal Rail Web site. I saved quite a bit by buying tickets two months in advance. I did not print the tickets: we simply displayed the tickets on our phones. 
From our room on this street in Odeceixe, we walked past the windmill, through the hill town, then alongside a river until we reached a cliff trail. 
Each evening we ate well.
We stayed three nights in Odeceixe, which gave us the chance to explore trails to the north and south. Wildflowers were at peak. (See the photo at the top of this post.)
Odeceixe to Carrapateira
We took a bus, then hiked to the village of Carrapateira in the Algarve, our base for the next two days. The trail took us across rolling hills and past olive trees, cork oak trees, and abandoned farms.
Portugal is a major cork producer.
One morning it rained, giving us the opportunity to enjoy books in our €35 per night room in Carrapateira. 
The rain stopped. We enjoyed a 10 km hike with a stop for a tasty lunch.
Carrapateira to Vila do Bispo

Next day we hiked south through farmland and rolling country to our final stop.
Choosing fish for dinner was too difficult so we ordered Cataplana, a wonderful Algarve version of bouillabaisse.
Our hotel, Vila do Bispo.
On our last full day, in the distance we could see the most southwestern point in Portugal.
Note: Dwight took all the wildflower pictures at the top of this post.

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