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Portugal

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Gorgeous, wild and surprisingly uncrowded, Portugal’s Costa Vicentina is an outstanding alternative to the beautiful but very touristy southern Algarve coastline. It extends from near the popular resort city of Lagos west to the famously scenic lighthouse at Cabo São Vicente, then north up the coast all the way to Odeceixe (where the stunning horsheshoe beach is an attraction all on its own). At this point, the Algarve gives way to the Alentejo, but the coastline remains ruggedly spectacular all the way up to the picturesque little fishing village of Porto Covo. The entire region is part of the massive Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina, ensuring its natural beauty and untamed landscapes remain protected from the ravages of development and tourism. Boasting untrammelled beauty, phenomenal beaches and world-class surfing, it is continually surprising that the Costa Vicentina Portugal retains such a relaxed and authentic air. While millions…

The Rota Vicentina and Fishermen’s Trail – an extensive network of stunning hiking trails throughout southern Portugal spanning 750 km featuring magnificent scenery, excellent weather and affordable accommodation. Fans of big coastal views will love the Fishermen’s Trail portion that follows the incredible Atlantic coastline all the way from Sines to Cabo São Vicente. Those who love gently rolling hills and pastoral rural scenery may prefer the Rota Vicentina Historical Way, running parallel to the Fishermen’s Trail just a couple hours inland. As much as it seems hard to talk about anything else but the coronavirus these days, eventually it’s going to be okay to travel again and, when that happens, spending a couple weeks hiking the trails through Portugal’s spectacular Costa Vicentina and Alentejo region would certainly be a good choice. Having done just that in early March, I decided to put together a detailed guide to the Rota…

Carrapateira, on the Costa Vicentina in the western Algarve, is one of the best surf destinations in Europe. Of course, there are plenty of other things to do as well, but its main claim to fame is the top-class surf scene. With not one, but two, relatively undeveloped beaches (Praia do Amado and Praia da Bordeira) featuring exceptional waves, you are sure to notice plenty of surfers and more than a few long-term campervans perched on the cliffs along Portugal’s west coast. Praia do Amado from the cliffs The narrow ribbon of Ribeira da Carrapateira runs through the village down to the ocean, where it adds to the already impressive scenery. Up and down the coast in both directions are awe-inspiring limestone cliffs and desolate sand dunes, part of the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park. The same intense currents that make it such a good surfing destination have…

Aljezur Portugal offers the rare combination of vibrant surfing scene, fascinating historical site and traditional architecture. Located just inland on the amazing Costa Vicentina, Aljezur is split in two halves by a small river, each side with its own unique personality. On the west side you’ll find the ancient Moorish quarter, full of old buildings, narrow alleys and a prominent medieval castle. Across the river and up the hill, the east side is more modern, with a pair of impressive churches, a pretty main square and many excellent restaurants with outdoor terraces. In keeping with its popularity as a surfer hangout, the Aljezur new town features some good hostels, bars and pizza places. Aljezur is actually located around 10 kilometres in from the coast but the beaches are still easily accessible. Aljezur Map The Aljezur old town along the river dividing the town Things to Do in Aljezur Take Advantage…

Odeceixe and Praia de Odeceixe are a wonderful little village and beach pairing found right at the start of the stunning Costa Vicentina in Southern Portugal. Featuring the lazy, picturesque waters of the Ribeira de Seixe (Pebble River), this beautiful area marks the border between the Portuguese regions of the Alentejo (north) and the Algarve (south). It is also the unofficial start (or end) of the famous Fishermen’s Trail, a wild, scenic coastal hike that runs for about 60 kilometres between Odeceixe and Porto Covo. The Fishermen’s Trail, however, is also just a portion of an even bigger, better trek, the incredible Rota Vicentina, which stretches all the way south to the Cabo Sao Vicente lighthouse, then continues east across the Algarve as far as Lagos. We enjoyed perfect weather and great scenery for 11 dazzling days on the Rota Vicentina in early March while most of Europe was still…

Best known for its terrific views and the iconic chapel of Nossa da Senhora do Mar (Our Lady of the Sea) standing sentinel over the ocean cliffs, Zambujeira do Mar Portugal is a small, peaceful fishing village. Located close to the beautiful Costa Vicentina along the famous Fishermen’s Trail hike, it is a great place for anyone who loves wild beaches and expansive cliff views. Hiking trail on the Rota Vicentina along the cliffs near Zambujeira do Mar Located in the municipality of Odemira within the region of Alentejo, Zambujeira do Mar features a small cluster of whitewashed buildings with picturesque terracotta roofs. The chapel sits on a small square overlooking the ocean and is a popular gathering point for the amazing Atlantic sunsets. There are many different beaches to choose from, as well as hiking, biking and various water sports. A standard stop along the magnificent Rota Vicentina trek…

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