4 days circular trek on Rota Vicentina route
From the donkey farm at the feet of Monchique Mountains you start your donkey hiking to the typical small town Aljezur reigned over by a 10th century fortress. From here you head off towards the fantastic Atlantic coast through a vast, fertile river valley.
In the Vicentine Coast Natural Park fishermen trails lead your way northwards along the fantastic coastline with cliffs, unspoilt beaches and sand dunes. Another singular beauty especially in spring – the endemic and Mediterranean vegetation.
An archaeological treasure, Ribat de Arrifana, the 2nd on whole Iberian Peninsula, welcomes you on the third day. This 12th century convent fortress was placed on a headland, right on top of the cliffs, metres high over the sea. Once perfect strategic location, the Ribat offers us again an endless, stunning coastline view. Fascinating the adventurous placed stork nests, right upon the steepest cliffs – unique worldwide!
When you surpass one and another gorge, you donkey hike through valleys or on plain land, mainly still traditionally cultivated with cattle pastures, cereals, potatoes and peanuts fields. You will walk through the alleys of historic Aljezur and pass single farmhouses here and there with the scenery you love: chickens running around, coloured flour pots, charmingly crooked fences and sheds, friendly owners, often asking whether you sell the donkey. And whoosh! Plenty of stories rise up around the animal they once had. Yes, that is it, the beautiful effect of donkey trekking: your long eared travel companion opens hearts and souls in us and the people you meet.
Trekking is suitable for adults and for children used to walking.
Duration: 5 days
Departure: 01.02. - 30.06. & 15.09. - 15.11.
Price: from 557,00 eur per person, min. 2 pax
- accommodation – 1 night with breakfast in hostel, 3 nights in guest house
- donkey for luggage transport (1 donkey for 2 persons)
- meeting with a local guide on day 2
- road book, maps and information material
- assistance during the trekking
- transfers as per program
- costs of transportation for getting to Carrapateira and from Aljezur
- anything not mentioned under “the price includes
Arrival in Aljezur
Check-in in a modern and cosy Hostel in the old town of Aljezur and free time for dinner in a restaurant near by.
From donkey farm to panoramic mountain view to Aljezur
Breakfast & transfer to the donkey farm. After introduction to the donkey handling (2,5h); grooming and packing the donkeys you start your 4 days donkey trekking in the direction of small town Aljezur, first through a little valley with dense vegetation, then along a crest always the impressive Monchique mountain to your left and Aljezur nestled on two hills hill to your right. Descent to the fertile riverbed, to Aljezur. Down-town will be time for everybody to satisfy their own needs and curiosity, by perhaps visiting tourist office, museums, chapel, grocery or pastry shop.
Transfer to Arrifana, Monte Clerigo and overnight in a friendly family guest house.
From fertile riverbed to spectacular coast line view
Transfer to the donkey pasture.
The exit of the village allows you to admire the valley of the Aljezur river which extends to the Amoreira beach. Moving closer to the coast, you will cross the sierra with a predominance of eucalyptus trees, whose progressive plantation, due to the growing need for paper, has altered the character of the region’s forest. When the sea appears on the horizon, in a landscape swept by salty winds, where hardly devolved undergrowth predominates, you can already foresee your arrival at the incomparable Bay of Arrifana.
Overnight in a family guest house in Monte Clerigo.
Cliff line hike, archaeological dig Ribat de Arrifana
You will walk on a narrow bush trek till the cliffs which you then follow heading North the rest of the day. In the middle on a spit the Ribat de Arrifana (arab convent fortress, 12th century), the 2nd on the Iberian Peninsula. Once the cliffs end, you arrive at a picturesque ensemble of holiday beach houses, Monte Clerigo. Overnight in a family guest house in Monte Clerigo.
On the trace of former times
You pass an ancient cattle farm, pasture land, semi-wild valley, Aljezur riverbed and through the alleys of historical Aljezur crowned by a fortress (10th century) with majestic view to the Monchique Mountains. Now your final trail is leading donkeys and you back to the donkey farm. Transfer to Aljezur.