“To get to know SW Portugal, you need to feel the earth beneath your feet.”

About the Trek

Experience the untouched and pristine southwest coast of Portugal on the Fisherman’s Trail. We will cover 120km over 6 days, staying in boutique guesthouses and lodges along the way. Completely within the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentina Coast National Park, we will hike atop cliffs that overlook sandy beaches and ocean views by day, then enjoy Portuguese wine and fresh local delicacies in the evening. The Rota Vicentina has been certified as a “Leading Quality Trail – Best of Europe”, and has something to offer everyone. This area of Portugal gets an incredible 300 days of sun per year, making the weather perfect for walking. Our expedition to Portugal’s Southwest coast is a nice balance between outdoor adventure and blissful vacation.

Itinerary

October 17 – October 27, 2019

October 17, 7pm

Meet at 7pm for a welcome dinner in the heart of Lisbon, a colourful city full of cobbled alleyways, lively street performers, ancient ruins, and white domed cathedrals.

October 18 – Explore Bélem and Lisbon

Bélem, a district in West Lisbon is a place to discover the history of Portuguese colonialism. Situated along the winding river Rio Tejo, we will watch boats gliding by while enjoying the world-famous pastry in its birthplace: Pastiés de Bélem (Portuguese egg tarts!).

October 19 – Day 1 – Porto Covo to Vila Nova de Milfontes, 20km

Our first day on the Fisherman’s Trail will follow beaches with diverse topography: sandstone dunes sliding into the ocean, rivers and streams, and dark cliffs and islands.Our day will end in Vila Nova de Milfontes – a delightful Portuguese town  filled with cobbled streets, whitewashed houses and scenic views across the Mira River.

October 20 – Day 2 – Vila Nova de Milfontes to Almograve, 15km

We will wake up this morning to a yoga class instructed by Clara Pratas, a local who has been practicing yoga since 2002. Having studied psychology at the University of Lisbon, this mother of two considers yoga to be a celebration of life and authenticity. Our relatively short day of walking will pass through several small towns taking particular notice of the unique vegetation that attracts birds and small mammals. Many types of swifts will be visible. Their breeding season will be in its peak and the birds fly high seeking food for chicks and mates.

October 21 – Day 3 – Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar, 22km

Today’s hike is truly wonderful with all the high cliffs, small coves, inlets, and rock islands. There will be lots of opportunities to spot local fishermen and, hopefully we can enjoy a swim and picnic at an untouched beach only accessible by foot.

October 22 – Day 4 – Zambujeira do Mar to Odecixe, 18km

A relatively short day of hiking will allow us to enjoy the bliss of Odeceixe’s beach and attractions. As Ellen Himelfarb quoted in her special to the Globe and Mail, “ arguably the most dazzling beach in the region, Praia de Odeceixe, a name whose pronunciation will make you suffer if you let it (o-de-SHAYSH is close), but which arouses an emotion approximating euphoria.”  Perched on rolling hills, we will wander the village making sure to visit the ancient windmill and the local market.

October 23 – Day 5 – Odecixe to Aljezur, 23km

Today’s hike is a flat and easy walk to Aljezur. Going inland, we will pass farmer’s fields while walking alongside the River Mira. Along the way, we will stop for lunch in Rogil, a quaint village 95meters above sea level.

October 24 – Day 6 – Aljezur to Arrifana, 18km

Our final day of hiking will take us to the surf town of Arrifana, where locals and travellers alike gather to take advantage of the excellent surf waves and pristine views. Renowned for its exceptional beach, Arrifana’s kilometer of sandy shoreline offers the perfect ending to our hike. After a dip in the sea, we’ll enjoy a delightful dinner in this  bustling and colourful fishing village.

October 25 – Fishing/Surfing, Arrifana to Lisbon

Today we’ll  learn to fish with the locals!  Weather permitting, we’ll head out on the Atlantic with some local fishermen for an authentic fishing experience getting close to cliffs that are only accessible by boat. Alternatively, you may choose to have a surfing lesson with local pros and learn to ride the Atlantic Ocean waves. We will say good bye to the coast and head back to Lisbon for our final evening.

October 26 – Onwards Travel

The trip is officially over on this day. People are free to make their own plans and/or depart from Lisbon as they wish.

Trip Costs

$3,200 CAD + HST. Details to follow

Please note that the cost does not include airfare to/from Lisbon and insurance (medical and cancellation).

May 1, 2019 Non-Refundable Deposit $1,000 CAD

July 1, 2019 1st Payment $1,000 CAD

August 1, 2019 Final payment $1,200 CAD + HST

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