Portugal's Rota Vinecentina

Walking the Atlantic coast`s `Rota Vicentina` to the tip of Europe




From $1,460 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • A week of walking on the little-known south-west coast of Portugal
  • Idyllic landscapes with beaches, dunes and impressive sea cliffs
  • Aromatic eucalyptus and thyme and Mediterranean flora and fauna
  • Relaxed pace with time for swimming
A week of serendipitous coastal walking in the Algarve of Portugal through the ‘Sudoeste Alentejano en Costa Vicentina' National Park, to Cabo de Sao Vincente, the southwestern-most point on the European continent. We follow the new long distance footpath, the Rota Vicentina, which makes its way along the wild Atlantic coast over beaches and dunes, around pretty coves and along cliff-top paths, occasionaly moving inland to pass through a Mediterranean pastoral landscape. The Portuguese coast known as the Algarve offers much more than sun and sea and well away from the resorts of the south, the little-known west coast is a walkers delight. The pace of this walking holiday is relaxed with time to enjoy the traditional Portugese life-style and all the pleasures of great-tasting food and good wine. During the holiday we stay at welcoming hotels and pensions with friendly staff. For a relaxed week of walking in the Portuguese sun on a great new coastal trail, look no further!
Is this holiday for you?
This is a relatively moderate walking holiday along the Costa Vicentina in the Algarve region of Portugal. Throughout the week we will be walking at a relaxed pace with stops for exploration and/or swimming. Some of the days are quite long but the terrain is not difficult and there is little in the way of ascent and descent. Most of the walking is on level paths or gravel tracks although there are some occasions when we will walk along the beach or over the rocky shore line. The holiday is perfect for lovers of long distance path walking.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group accommodation in Zambujeira. A single timed transfer from Faro Airport is provided.
  • Walk the 'Fisherman's Trail' from Almogravo to Zambujeira.
  • Walk to Odeceixe via the fishing village at Azenha do Mar. Transfer to Vale de Telha.
  • Walk the Odeceixe Circuit. Return to Vale de Telha.
  • Transfer to Arrifana and walk to the beach at Praia da Bordeira and the village of Carrapateira.
  • Walk to Vila do Bispo via the villages of Vilarinha and Pedralva.
  • Walk to Cape Sao Vicente, the south-western tip of Europe. Transfer back to Vila do Bispo.
  • Departure day. A single timed transfer to Faro Airport is provided.
Fri 25 Mar - Fri 01 Apr Code PRV /01/16/
Portugal's Rota Vicentina
Adult$1,460 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Portugal's Rota Vinecentina - Portugal's Rota Vicentina
  • The departure reference for this tour is PRV /01/16/
  • This tour begins on Fri 25 Mar and departs on Fri 01 Apr
  • This departure is available and departs within weeks. Secure your place today with full payment.
  • Single Supplement $315
We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis and recommend that you book your flights to Faro Airport. Group transfers between Faro Airport and the group hotel are included in the holiday price. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements and transfers' section of the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK there are a number of low cost airlines operating direct flights to Faro including easyjet, ryanair, jet2, Monarch and Thomas Cook. Easyjet flights from Gatwick, Luton and Southend, Ryanair from Manchester, Monarch from Gatwick, Luton, Manchester and Birmingham, and Jet 2from Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh all fit with the group transfers. Flights from other departure airports and with other airlines may require additional nights or independent transfers. Click on the 'Flight information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • airport
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group accommodation in Zambujeira. A single timed transfer from Faro Airport is provided.

    Meet at the group accommodation, a family run guesthouse in the coastal cliff-top village of Zambujeira do Mar. KE Land Only package services begin with a single timed group transfer from Faro Airport to the group hotel. KE Land Only package services begin with an evening meal at the guesthouse or in a nearby restaurant. Over dinner our guide will brief us about the coming week.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Meals d

  • Walk the 'Fisherman's Trail' from Almogravo to Zambujeira.

    There are two route options on the Rota Vicentina today - the 'Historical Way' which travels inland and the 'Fisherman's Trail' which follows the coast. We will take the Fisherman's Trail which begins at the village of Almogravo. We walk along the sandstone sea cliffs which are the nesting site for more than 20 species of sea-birds, falcons and doves. We divert inland to avoid a particularly eroded section of the cliffs, walking through a pine forest then return to the coast to visit the Cabo Sardao lighthouse. This lighthouse is rather unusual in that it was built the wrong way round with the entrance facing the sea and the light facing inland! Not the first miscommunication between architect and builder. From here the trail is wide and fairly level along the coast as far as the fishing village of Entrada da Barca where a steep descent leads to the harbour. From here we complete this section of the Rota Vicentina on a trail that leads back to Zambujeira.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Ascent 200m

    • Distance 22km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 200m

    • Time 7 hours walking

  • Walk to Odeceixe via the fishing village at Azenha do Mar. Transfer to Vale de Telha.

    Today's walk takes us along more dramatic cliff tops and past the beaches of Alteirinhos, Carvalhal, Machados and Amalia and by way of the fishing village at Azenha do Mar. The trail rises and falls and is continuously interesting with views of natural bays, sandy beaches and weirdly sculpted formations among the folded rock strata of the cliffs. At Ponta em Branco (white summit) so called for the colour of the top of this cliff, we cross the border from the region of the Alentejo to the Algarve. The view from here across the bay of Odeceixe is simply stunning. After descending to the beach we follow the north bank of the Seixe River to Odeceixe and make a short transfer by vehicle to the group hotel in Vale de Telha, where we have time for a swim in the pool before dinner.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Ascent 260m

    • Distance 16km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 280m

    • Time 5 - 6 hours walking

  • Walk the Odeceixe Circuit. Return to Vale de Telha.

    The Rota Vicentina now returns to the coast along the south side of the Seixe River and we head south for approximately 1.5 hours to the village of Monte Clerigo which has a very pleasant sandy beach backed by dunes and with cliffs on either side. This small settlement of whitewashed houses sprawls up the hill on one side of the beach. We can spend some time swimming here or we can extend the walk a further 2 hours along the coast down to Arrifana with its long crescent shaped beach which is popular with surfers catching the wild Atlantic breaks. From either beach we can return directly to our hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 100m

    • Distance 18km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 - 6 hours

  • Transfer to Arrifana and walk to the beach at Praia da Bordeira and the village of Carrapateira.

    We transfer to Arrifana and follow the beautiful coast line of the Costa Vicentina over cliff top paths and along quiet beaches. If the tide is high we will take the alternative 'Historical Trail' of the Rota Vicentina through the quiet hinterland between the mountains and the sea, passing through Mediterranean woods rich in citrus and carob, crossing open fields and by way of small villages. We end today's walk at Praia da Bordeira, one of the best beaches in the Algarve. This long crescent-shaped sandy beach with extensive dunes is flanked by limestone cliffs where hardy (or perhaps foolhardy) fishermen traverse ledges high above the sea to cast their lines. Atop the cliffs to the south on a headland jutting out into the Atlantic, is the village of Carrapateira where we will stay tonight.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Ascent 160m

    • Distance 20km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 - 7 hours walking

  • Walk to Vila do Bispo via the villages of Vilarinha and Pedralva.

    Starting from Carrapateira we continue south on the Rota Vicentina, with sections of coastal walking and others inland, depending on the tides. The rolling hill country of the Algarve comes right down to the coast here, often ending in dramatic cliffs of limestone or sedimentary rock and near the start of the walk we are likely to see fishermen perched high on the ledges of the sea cliffs. We pass through the villages of Vilarinha and Pedralva and walk along riverbanks lined with willows, ash and tamarisk. As we venture inland we encounter woods of cork, oak laurel, and olive trees. Today's walk ends in Vila do Bispo, a picturesque small town of traditional Algarvean houses clustered around the 16th century church. Like most places in the far western end of the Algarve, it is still relatively untouched by mass tourism and has a quiet and unspoilt ambience. We check into our hotel here for two nights.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 340m

    • Distance 20km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hours walking

  • Walk to Cape Sao Vicente, the south-western tip of Europe. Transfer back to Vila do Bispo.

    This is the climax of our walking week as we head down the coast to the south-western tip of Europe. Today's walk encapsulates all the scenery and terrain of the Rota Vicentina, walking across monumental cliff tops, through pastures, fields, woodland, and streams and over bays and beaches where we can stop for a swim. The walking section of our holiday ends at windy Cape Sao Vicente where we have sweeping views of the ocean. We can visit the lighthouse, originally established in 1846 before we transfer back to Vila do Bispo.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 150m

    • Distance 15km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 hours walking

  • Departure day. A single timed transfer to Faro Airport is provided.

    After an early breakfast, we have a transfer back to Faro Airport where KE Land Only package services end.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A local English-speaking tour leader
  • Single timed group transfers between Faro Airport and the group hotels
  • All land transport required by the itinerary
  • Luggage transfer between hotels
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • All meals
  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers other than group transfers
  • Tips for local staff
  • Miscellaneous personal spending

Portuguese cuisine has a unique character influenced by its position on the Atlantic coast, its proximity to the Mediterranean and the imported spices and recipes of its former colonial possessions. The spice most associated with Portuguese dishes is piri piri (small, fiery chilli peppers), but black pepper, cinnamon, vanilla and saffron all feature. Olive oil is one of the bases of Portuguese cuisine both for cooking and flavouring meals and garlic is widely used, as are herbs such as coriander and parsley. Portuguese breakfasts usually consist of cereals, yoghurt and freshly baked bread with ham, cheese and jam, accompanied with coffee or tea. Dinner is generally served late, around or after 8.00pm and will normally consist of soup followed by a main dish (fish, meat or vegetarian) and with a desert which may be a pastry or a custard or rice pudding. Wine and beer will be available to buy at meal times.

All meals are included in the holiday price from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8.
The group will rendezvous at the group hotel in Zambujeira do Mar. A single, timed group transfer is provided from Faro airport. The transfer takes approximately 2 hours. The transfer will normally leave the airport at 4.00pm. This will accommodate the majority of flights arriving in Faro. If your flight arrives considerably earlier there are left luggage facilities just outside the airport (approximately 2 Euros per piece for 4 hours) and it is 20 minutes by shuttle bus into town. At the end of the holiday a group transfer to Faro Airport is provided. This transfer takes approximately 1 hour 15 minutes and will normally arrive at Faro Airport for 10.00am.
Accommodation is in hotels or welcoming family-run pensions in twin or double rooms with en-suite bathrooms. There are no extra charges for single travellers. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired with another single traveller of the same sex for room share. Single rooms are available on request for a supplemetary charge. Please see Dates & Prices on the KE website for details.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

The group will be led by an experienced qualified English speaking tour leader.

Approximately 150 - 200 Euros should be sufficient for miscellaneous expenses, including a reasonable amount of wine with meals. If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly. ATMs are available in most towns and credit cards can be used in most places on this trip.

We ask you to restrict your baggage to one main bag and a small day pack. As you will have to carry your own bags from the vehicle to the hotels (including possibly upstairs), a bag with wheels may be preferred to the KE bag for this holiday.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. Please be aware that you will be required to carry your bag to your room which in some cases may involve flights of stairs.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots
  • Socks
  • Trekking trousers / pants
  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
  • Underwear
  • Baselayer shirts
  • T-shirts and/or casual shirts
  • Fleece jacket or similar
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Lightweight thermal gloves
  • Warm hat
  • Sunhat
  • Eyewear - sunglasses
  • Daypack c. 20 litres
  • Torch / flashlight
  • Sun protection (including for lips)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre / 2 pint (x2)
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)
  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters (band-aids) and blister treatment, insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

The following items are optional:

  • Trainers or sandals
  • Shorts
  • Towel (for swimming)
  • Swimwear
  • Trekking poles
  • Camera and batteries
  • Spare laces
  • Penknife (for picnic lunches)

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:


This is a moderately-paced walking holiday, but it makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on any active holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. While regular hiking is the best preparation, any regular exercise (jogging, squash, swimming etc.) is good for developing cardio-vascular fitness. Before setting off we recommend that you make time to fit in several 5 – 6 hour walks in hilly country.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

The regions of the Alentejo and the Algarve enjoy almost year round sunshine. It gets very hot here in the summer where in July and August temperatures can climb in the forties centigrade. The best times fo visit the Algarve from a walkers perspective are during the cooler months of April-May and October-November when average daytime temperatures are in the mid twenties Celcius falling to around 15 degees at night.

  • Lonely Planet Portugal. Abigail Hole & Charlotte Beech

  • Rough Guide to the Algarve. Matthew Hancock

  • Algarve Pocket Guide. Berlitz.

  • Walking in the Algarve. Cicerone. Julie Statham

Algarve - Southern Portugal

This map is good for orientation and shows a reasonable amount of detail although at 1:200,000 scale it cannot be used for close navigation. Topography is shown by relief shading with spot heights and colouring for wooded areas. The map shows plenty of names of geographical features, local forests, etc.

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