Rota Vicentina Walking Holiday

Rota Vicentina Walking Holiday

Our Rota Vicentina Walking Holiday is a long-distance trail from Santiago do Cacém to Cabo de São Vicente. Located in south-west Portugal, the trail is divided into two interconnected paths.

These two paths highlight Portugal’s best features. Its rural charm and its rugged coastline.
The Fisherman’s Trail hugs the shoreline, where hikers discover deserted beaches, abundant stork nests and the occasional fisherman. The Historical Way rambles through cork forest, farmlands and the occasional village.
The Fishermans Trail follows along the coastline using the trails used by locals to get to the beaches and fishing spots. A single track along the cliffs that can only be travelled by foot. It comprises a total of 4 sections and five complementary circuits, totalling 120 km.

The historical way runs through the main towns and villages in a rural itinerary with centuries of history. Composed mainly of rural trails, this is a classic Grand Route (GR). Fully accessible to hikers and mountain bikers it moves through cork forests, mountain ranges, valleys, rivers, and creeks.
A real journey through time, local culture and nature.

Our eight-day tour combines the best of both trails.
Adventure Holidays can tailor-make your Rota Vicentina Walking Holiday, add days in Lisbon or extend your stay for a beach holiday. If you decide not to take a private transfer, we can provide details for public transport. Ask your travel consultant for more information. We can also arrange a Rota Vicentina Cycling Holiday.

Rota Vicentina Walking Holiday Overview

Destination Portugal
Holiday TypeSelf Guided walking
Start/FinishLisbon or Faro
Duration8 Days 7 nights and 6 walks
DistanceAverage 20km per day
SeasonYear round

Rota Vicentina Walking Holiday Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival & Briefing at the Accommodation

Meet your transfer driver in the Lisbon or Faro arrivals hall (if taking private transfer option). Transfer to Santiago do Cacém situated in the inland of Alentejo’s coast. It is an interesting town well worth exploring. A passage point of walkers since the medieval age. Enjoy the magnificent panoramic views over the city and towards the hill with the castle and city’s church on top. Accommodation: in a Small Hotel

Day 2: Route between – Santiago do Cacém- Vale Seco

Daily distance: 20km – 6h

Time to start your adventure, This section of the trail is dominated by cork trees, the Alentejo’s emblematic species. Vieira Natividade, a well-known Portuguese forester, said: “No other tree gives us so much while requiring so little”. The cork tree is crucial to the local economy and supports an extraordinarily wide-ranging ecosystem. Cork oak forests also support various economic activities such as Bee-keeping, Nature orientated tourism, the collection of edible or medicinal mushrooms, (and even mushrooms used in the making of cosmetics), as well as farming of local animal breeds such as the famed Black Pig of the area and several different species of Alentejo cows. Being an evergreen species, Cork oaks provide shelter and food right up the food chain the whole year-round. They are home to numerous insects and spiders which produce food for a wealth of different birds, and there are over fifty different species that commonly nest in cork forests, among which can be found at least three different species of eagle, the Short-toed, Booted and Bonelli’s. Other species of wildlife, such as the Wildcat, Genet or Weasel can also be found.

Accommodation: in a Turismo rural.

Day 3: Route between – Vale Seco – Cercal do Alentejo

Daily distance: – 19Km – 6h

The third day brings a strong rural feeling to the walk, passing by many farms and cultivated fields, an excellent opportunity to see a different rhythm and lifestyle. Walking through forests, open cultivated fields, olive fields, small dams and reservoirs of water before reaching Cercal, the path takes you around the beautiful Campilhas damp, a lovely spot for a picnic and a quick swim in the warmer days.

Accommodation: In a small Hotel.

Day 4: Route between – Cercal do Alentejo – Porto Côvo

Daily distance: 17km – 5h

Now it’s time to get closer to the sea. This is the section connecting the Historical Way to the Fishermen’s Trail on Rota Vicentina’s northern region, allowing you to feel this area’s strong connection to the ocean, as you approach the coastline and Porto Covo, a picturesque fishermen’s village. After the first Kms by small farms and their beautiful cultivated gardens, we can smell the eucalyptus in the air as we pass by a plantation. You will know the sea’s getting closer as soon as we find some flat cereal fields, with the ocean on the horizon.

Accommodation: in a Small Hotel.

Day 5: Route between – Porto Côvo – Vila Nova de Milfontes

Daily distance: 19km – 6h

This is the beaches section, where you will walk along the vast dunes area of Ilha do Pessegueiro, Aivados and Malhão beaches and discover small deserted coves that will surprise you. It is a tiring walking day though, given its extension and the constant sandy terrain. Walk along the coastline, always with a fantastic sea view. Starting in the pretty historic village Porto Côvo, passing a small Island called “Ilha do Pessegueiro” with the option to go by the beach to walk on the hard sand or going a little inland by the dunes path. You will find some stunning beaches, and after that, almost at the end, you have a fishing harbour in the “north area” of Vila Nova de Milfontes.

Accommodation: Small Guesthouse.

Day 6: From Vila Nova de Milfontes – Almograve/Longueira

Daily distance: 17km – 4h

Easy walking along the coast with paths winding their way through pinewoods, dunes and along cliff tops. You will find some deserted beaches and after that than the tiny fishing village called Almograve. Here you can have a rest and try the local gastronomy (seafood is excellent). After lunch, a 30 minutes walk to Longueira, where Maria do Carmo will be excepting you at her Turismo Rural.

Accommodation: in rural tourism.

Day 7: Route between – Almograve – Zambujeira do Mar

Daily distance: 21km – 5h

The high cliffs you will see during this part of the journey, despite being exposed to the constant salty ocean winds, are the nesting site for over twenty species of bird! These include Jackdaw, Shag, Common Kestrel, “pure” Rock Dove, White Stork, Peregrine Falcon and Black Redstart. It is worthwhile taking the time to stop and watch these birds, especially during Spring, around the Cape Sardão area. The Rock Doves are especially interesting as they are the original species from which all the feral pigeons in the world descend. If you look carefully along this coastal stretch, it is easy to see past climate change written in the rocks. The sandstone was formed when the sea was at least 100m, (400 ft), lower than at present, with the beach over 60 km further west. Prehistoric settlements have been found here with remains of colder climate animals and shellfish, evident signs of a colder, drier past, but it is equally possible to see signs of times when the climate here was warmer, wetter and more tropical, displayed by impressive reddish tones in the sand and sandstone, resulting from the accumulation of iron oxides. Leaving the village of Almograve behind you will be once again, exploring landscapes along the unspoiled coastal Alentejo. Passing on the side of the fishing harbour (Entrada da Barca – on route) you continue walking next to the cliffs with panoramic sceneries. You can stop at the village of Cavaleiro to rest, gather supplies and enjoy a tasty and homemade local dish before heading West to the beautiful lighthouse of Cabo Sardão. You finish at Zambujeira do Mar, with one of the most amazing urban beaches in Portugal.

Accommodation: in a Small Hotel

Day 8: Departure.

Enjoy breakfast. Checking out today and private transfer to Airport (if taking private transfer option). We can also arrange an extension in the Algarve or Lisbon/Lisbon coast.

Rota Vicentina Walking Holiday Dates & Prices

Dates Depart any day. Year round (except July & August)
Price Per Person Sharing €525
Single Supplement €189
Return airport transfers from Lisbon airport €470 per car (5 people)
Departure Transfer to Lisbon or Faro airport €489 per car (5 people)

Included in Rota Vicentina Walking Holiday

  • Briefing at the first accommodation
  • 7 nights bed & breakfast
  • 1 dinner
  • Accommodation in guesthouses and a small hotels
  • Map & guidebook
  • Luggage transfers Between accommodations
  • Emergency support
  • GPS on request.
  • Private airport transfers Available. For Supplement Return  Lisbon airport €470 per car (5 people)
    Return Faro airport €489 per car (5 people)

Accommodation:Rota Vicentina Walking Holiday

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in guesthouses and  small hotels

Departure point: Depart from Lisbon or Faro

The Rota Vicentina is fully signposted with intuitive and clearly visible route markers, so that everyone, regardless of their degree of familiarity with hiking, can make the journey independently and safely.

Getting There/Home
The region is served by Lisbon and Faro airports. Direct flights available with Ryanair & Aerlingus. Lisbon Airport is ideal for getting to the northern part of the region and Faro airport is ideal for the southern area. Private transfer options are available from both airports.

Public Transport

To reach Santiago from Lisbon, best option is by Bus. Use website to check schedules, departures are from the Sete Rios central Station (Zoo). Another option from Lisbon is to take the train at Oriente Train Station or Sete Rios Central Station (Zoo) until Ermidas-sado train station (schedules and tickets available from their website using and a Taxi from there to Santiago do Cacém (taxi about 35€).
From Faro the best option is to take the train from Faro to Ermidas-sado (schedules and tickets available at their website using and then a Taxi from there to Santiago, extra cost of 35€.

To Lisbon, from Zambujeira do Mar, you can take the Bus directly to Lisbon, or take a private transfer to Funcheira train Station (1h distance – extra cost of 65€) returning by train, schedules and tickets available at .

To Faro. From Zambujeira the best option is to take a private transfer to Funcheira train Station (1h distance- extra cost of 65€) returning by train, schedules and tickets available at their website using

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