Through Vicentine Coast Natural Park, 10 days
The whole tour guides you through Vicentine Coast Natural Park. You will start at Sagres and then along the fishermen path you will head north to Vila do Bispo. You will discover the inland with its plateau of pine trees and enchanted valleys and you will arrive in Carrapateira, a friendly sunny white washed little village where farmer, fishermen and surfers live. From here you will head off right away to the fantastic Atlantic coast line, you will hike over the cliffs coming across various viewpoints, with superb views of the escarpments, the sands of Bordeira and Amado and also the ruins of an ancient Islamic fishermen’s settlement.
The following days the route leads northwards switching from backland half-wild, backland with eucalyptus, pine, corkoak woods and macchie where rockrose (cistus landanifer), arbutus unedo, heather and lavender grow to unique cliff sceneries. You will stop at Arrifana, 100m above the cliffs, a huge bay with beach and traditional fishing harbor. You walk through the alleys of historic Aljezur, reigned over by a 10th century fortress before your hike ends at the donkey farm in the backland.
After the first practical instruction you will have a daily routine with your long eared companion which means every morning packing your luggage in special bags, preparing the donkey (feeding & grooming) for the tour and, finally loading him. During the tour donkey needs some rest. While you picnic he uses his time to graze and, at the end of the day you will groom and feed him again before he gets to his pasture.
On our trekkings each two people enjoy the company of one donkey. He will carry your luggage, max. 10kg/ person. The donkeys own equipment weights 8kg.
Duration: 10 days
Departure: 01.02. - 30.06. & 15.09. - 15.11.
Price: from 1275,00 eur per person in dbl/twin room
- accommodation in dbl / twin room
- 6 breakfasts (no breakfasts on days 6,7,8)
- 5 days donkey rent & trekking equipment (saddle & luggage bags)
- introduction to the donkey handling on day 2
- transfers as per program on days 2, 6, 7 and 9
- road book, maps and information materials
- assistance during the tour
- costs of transportation for getting to Sagres and from Aljezur
- 3 breakfasts at the beach caffè
- lunches (lunch boxes available for 8,00 eur) and dinners
- anything not mentioned under “the price includes”
Individual arrival in Sagres
Welcome to the beautiful Algarve! Arrive in peace and enjoy the town of Sagres, the sea and the sun.
Sagres - Vila do Bispo (14 km)
After breakfast, transfer to Cape Sao Vicente (included in the price), the southwestern tip of Europe. Here you will meet your companion and the tour assistant, who will accompany you for the whole first day. Before you go, there is time to visit the Cape and the lighthouse situated at the top of high steep cliffs offering you wonderful views of the endless Atlantic Ocean.
After the introduction, you saddle up and pack together, and you start the walk on the long-distance hiking trail Rota Vicentina, precisely on the fishermen path to the north and to Vila do Bispo, the destination of today. You start hiking close to the cliffs before heading inland, where you find different landscape made of pastures, fields of corn, stony soils and macchia which characterizes the region. The vegetation rarely grows higher than the knees.
Vila do Bispo - Pedralva (12.5 km)
Today you hike on the Rota Vicentina stage “Vila do Bispo – Carrapateira”, but only for half the stage up until the idyllic village of Pedralva. You say goodbye to the bare, open landscape of the southwestern tip of Europe, and for today also to the Atlantic Ocean and its cliffs, as you head more inland to discover plateau of pine trees and enchanted valleys. You will pass some temporary Mediterranean shallow waters. These habitats have one of the largest biodiversity varieties in southwestern Portugal. From autumn to spring, they are the habitat of a myriad of living creatures – amphibians, birds, turtles and mammals reside here. In April and May, the various plants, herbs and flowers offer an amazing palette of colors into the landscape.
Pedralva - Carrapateira (9.5 km
Back on the stage “Vila do Bispo – Carrapateira” , the path will lead you to the picturesque fishing and surfer village of Carrapateira. This short stage today offers a good opportunity to spend more time observing the very rich vegetation. The path through a river valley brings you in a particularly rich world of vegetation, from tamarisk and pastures to ash trees and Portuguese oaks. On the drier slopes are cork oaks, and (wild and refined) pines and olive trees. On the steeper slopes, the natural vegetation is made of dense shrubs under cork oaks with strawberry tree (Medronho), tree heather, broom heath, cinnamon, rock roses, mastic, wild asparagus, daphne, and gorse. Shortly before reaching the village, the view and the vegetation open up to the beautiful coastal landscape.
In Carrapateira you will spend two nights in an idyllic pension.
Pontal da Carrapateira (10 km)
Today is a light, short and easy walk along the wonderful coast, leaving you with time for sunbathing on the beaches or taking a swim in the sea. You will enjoy the magnificent views from the cliffs of the Atlantic Ocean and of the beaches Bordeira and Amado and visit the archaeological site of a Moorish whale fisherman settlement.
Carrapateira – Arrifana (19,6 km)
Today is not a day for the faint-hearted, but what a day and what amazing sceneries! You will head directly towards the sea on small paths before walking by a more than 100 years old umbrella pine forest and climbing to a higher trail leading up and down through a colorful landscape. You leave behind Carrapateira and Bordeira beach. Soon after Monte Novo you will descent to another stunning, and this time stony, beach, Canal. You will then go up to the fishing and surfer village of Arrifana. Your destination today is situated on top of the cliffs, overlooking a fantastic, far-reaching bay. After visiting the town and its scenery, you will be transfered to Monte Clérigo, a peaceful and idyllic beach village of the 70s. You will enjoy this very special place for 3 nights.
Arrifana – Monte Clèrigo (11 km)
Today, the hike is predominantly on top of the cliffs, which will provide you with great views to both the north and south of the coast. If you are lucky, on a clear day, you can even see the Cap São Vicente, the southwestern tip of Europe. The walk is partly on sandy, narrow paths, surrounded by colorful coastal vegetation, and partly on solid ground and wider paths. Highlights of the day include: Atalaia, a promontory of high rocks, and the Ribat de Arrifana where an Arabic monastery once stood in the 12th century. Today a National Monument, it is recognized only by the floor plans. You return to Monte Clérigo in the afternoon right in time for a rest and relax at the beach.
Monte Clèrigo – free day!
Having breakfast at the beach café, visiting the donkey, joining the fishermen, throwing a glance at the neighbour beach, Amoreira, sunbathing on the beach, jumping in the water, admiring the surfers or having a try on the surfboard yourself… the day is long and the day is yours!
Monte Clèrigo – Aljezur – Donkey Farm (13 km)
After breakfast, you head towards a protected pasture valley, then uphill and downhill to the next valley, the Aljezur river valley. From here you can climb to the “Castelo de Aljezur”, castle ruins, which dominates the old town of Aljezur, and offers wonderful panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean in the west and of the Monchique Mountains in the east. You can choose between picnicking in the countryside or lunching at one of the restaurants. After this welcoming lunch break, you follow the historical road “Aljezur – Odeceixe” of the Rota Vicentina northwards for few kilometers before turning eastwards and continuing through hinterland with cork oaks, strawberry trees, wild lavender and cistus, to join your final destination, Vale das Amoreiras (valley of the mulberry trees), and the donkey farm, where you and your companion will be warmly welcomed by the herd. Accommodation in Aljezur (4 km from the donkey farm).