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The Fishermen’s Trail walking itinerary 2022 season

The Fishermen’s Trail walking itinerary 2022 season

The Fishermen’s Trail walking itinerary 2022 season

The Fishermen’s Trail in the Algarve region, in the south of Portugal is a part of the Rota Vicentina hiking routes. The trail follows the coastline and offers breathtaking scenery; rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and crystal clear water, it’s a perfect route for those who like the sea and outdoor activities. The route can be walked as a separate trek or combined with the Historical Way of the Rota Vicentina.

Walking along the coast is always a special experience. We’ve done several coastal hiking routes including the famous West Coast Trail in Canada and the Otter Trail in South Africa and they’re some of our favorite trails.

To help you with planning your walk we created a free downloadable PDF file Fishermen’s Trail itinerary. The file contains walking stages and a list of accommodation options on the Fishermen’s Trail of the Rota Vicentina.

The Fishermen’s Trail route overview 

  • Distance – 230 km/143 mi
  • The required time – 12 days or less; any section of the trail can be walked as a separate hike
  • Starting point – Porto Covo or S.Torpez Beach
  • Finishing point – Lagos
  • Walking surface – a mix of soft sand (dunes, beaches) and footpath with short parts on the gravel road.
  • Route marking – blue & green markers
  • Average cost – from 30 Euro per person per day 
  • Accommodation – campsites, hostels, guesthouses
One of the secret beaches along the Fishermen's Trail of the Rota Vicentina in Portugal
The stunning beach scenery on the Fisherman’s Trail of the Rota Vicentina

To help you with planning we’ve created a downloadable PDF file with the walking itinerary and places to stay on the Fishermen’s Trail of the Rota Vicentina. The file contains distances, elevation profiles, campsites, hostels, and hotels along the route.

YouTube thumbnail of the Fishermen's Trail video
Watch our YouTube video on walking the Fishermen’s Trail in Portugal

The Fishermen’s Trail is not the only long-distance walking route near Lisbon. If after walking along the coast you’d like to hike through a totally different area you can walk one of the pilgrimage routes that start in Santiago e.g. the Portuguese Camino & the Camino de Fatima.

Travel insurance. Walking the Fishermen’s Trail like any other outdoor activity involves a risk of getting injured, trip cancellation, or gear loss. It’s recommended to have travel insurance when you go on holiday to another country. The Fishermen’s Trail is not a high-altitude wild trek through remote areas but it’s still a physically challenging experience. Anything from small injuries like blisters to a knee or shin split issues can happen along the way. Make sure you will be able to get medical assistance any time you need it. If you have a European Health Insurance card you don’t need any other medical insurance for Portugal.

Porto Covo, the beginning of the Fishermen’s Trail

Porto Covo is a really nice town, probably our favorite town on the Fishermen’s Trail. It’s quite small and cozy;  cobblestone streets, two-story houses with red roofs, the main square with many restaurants and bars, and a great holiday vibe. We liked the town so much that we are thinking of renting a place here for a couple of weeks.

If you arrive with a morning bus (available only Friday – Sunday) you can start walking the same day but we’d recommend stopping at Porto Covo for a night, to walk around, drink a beer on the square, watch the sunset, etc.

  • Hotel/guesthouse – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – yes
  • ATM – yes
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Beach – yes

Ahoy Porto Covo Hostel

Ahoy Porto Covo Hostel is a great place to stay for trekkers, Nicolau, the owner,  knows everything about the route, he is much better informed than people at the information office. We got some useful tips, recommendations, and a map of the trail with some marks on it. The location is perfect, close to the restaurants, shops, and the beach, right on the trail. The price depending on the season varies between 16 and 20 Euro per bed, there are private rooms as well. The hostel was fully booked so it’s better to book it in advance, it’s one of the few budget accommodation options in the town.

Facilities

  • Kitchen – yes
  • Hot shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Power outlets in the room – yes
  • Washing machine – no
  • Extra – washing lines, lockers

More accommodation options in Porto Covo

A wooden pole marking the route along the coast
Wooden poles with blue & green stripes mark the Fishermen’s Trail of the Rota Vicentina

The Fishermen’s Trail itinerary

Day 1. Porto Covo – Vila Nova de Milfontes, 19 km/11,8 mi

  • Distance – 19 km/11,8 mi
  • Time – 5h10min.
  • Ascent – 278 m
  • Descent – 292 m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5 it was a short walking day but most of the time you walk on sand dunes sometimes ankle-deep in the sand.
Porto Covo to Vila Nova de Milfontes elevation profile
Elevation profile of the trail from Porto Covo to Vila Nova de Milfontes. As you can see it’s very flat with barely any hills on the route

It was an incredible walking day on the Fishermen’s Trail. The route goes along the shore or on the beach with some stunning views from the cliffs. The water temperature was about 17 °C a bit cold to go for a swim but nice to walk barefoot ankle-deep in water. Make sure to take enough water, especially in the summer walking on sand makes you tired and thirsty you’ll need at least 1,5l of water per person. There were a couple of amazing beaches on the way the route sometimes takes you away from the sea but it’s possible to walk along the coast all the way. I’m sure in summer the water is warm enough for swimming so pack a swimming costume and a towel.

A map of the Fishermen's Trail from Porto Covo to Vila Nova de Milfontes
A route map of the trail from Porto Covo to Vila Nova de Milfontes

Highlights

A couple of long sandy beaches; Praia da Ilha do Pessegueiro, Praia dos Aivados, Praia do Saltinho, Praia dos Nascedios, Praia do Malhao. Every time we got a chance we took off the shoes and walked barefoot on the beach, basically first 10 km you can walk on the beach.

There are many wildflowers along the trail (we walked the Fishermen’s trail in May).

A couple of stork nests at the edge of the cliffs.

In fact, the entire walk was one big highlight we absolutely loved it despite the tough part of walking on the sand dunes.

Challenges

As I already mentioned walking on sand was quite difficult, our shoes were full of it for most of the day, it doesn’t help to shake it out because it gets in immediately.

We were unpleasantly surprised how many people walked the trail maybe because it was Sunday and there were many day walkers.

No place to stop for food or water for 16 km after the restaurant at Praia da Ilha do Pessegueiro.

Stops on the route

  • At 3,5 km at Forte do Pessegueiro, there is a restaurant

Vila Nova de Milfontes

This place is quite a bit bigger than Porto Covo, but to be honest we liked the previous town more. The center of the town is nice with traditional white houses with blue, red and yellow color doors and windows but the big part of the town is just hotels it wasn’t the season yet the place was very quiet. There are a nice fortress Forte de Sao Clemente and a couple of beaches in the town.

  • Hotel/guesthouse – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – yes
  • ATM – yes
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Beach – yes

Apartamentos Patio Victoria

Apartamentos Patio Victoria – good value for money, we got a spacious double room with an attached bathroom for 23 Euro. I guess it depends on the season in this area in the summer months you’ll pay more for the same room. The only drawback of this place was its location, about 15 min. walk to the center and 10 min. walk to the beach, but the room was clean and neat, everything worked well, the owner was very nice and friendly. 

Facilities

  • Kitchen – no, a fridge and a microwave in the room
  • Hot shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Power outlets in the room – yes
  • Washing machine – no
  • Extra – towels, shower gel

More accommodation options in Vila Nova de Milfontes

A beautiful cape with an unspoiled beach on the Fisherman's Trail in Portugal
The scenery on the Fishermen’s Trail is fantastic from the first day

Day 2. Vila Nova de Milfontes – Almograve, 16 km/10 mi

  • Distance – 16 km/10 mi
  • Time – 4h15min.
  • Ascent – 204 m
  • Descent – 192 m
  • Difficulty level – 1 out of 5, a short and easy walking day on the footpath with some sandy parts.
Elevation graph of the trail from Vila Nova de Milfontes to Almograve on the Fishermen's Trail
Elevation profile of the route from Vila Nova de Milfontes to Almograve

The route goes through Vila Nova following Rua Custodio Bras Pacheco (the main street in the town) from your hotel you just can get to this street and continue following the signs on the left-hand side of the street. The first 4 km was not very scenic; out of the town, along the road, across the bridge to the other side and then through the bush back to the coast. You can easily skip it and take a boat.

Alternative! In Vila Nova de Milfontes you can take a boat to the other side of the river instead of walking across the bridge, it’ll make your walking day about 4 km shorter, but to be honest, you won’t miss out a lot, the first 4 km were through the town and along the road (we walked this part). I’d rather spend that time enjoying the beach Praia das Furnas. The boat leaves as soon as there are people willing to go, the pier is at the fortress in Vila Nova de Milfontes, price 5 Euro pp. The boat drops you at the beach on the opposite side you don’t have to look for the route just continue walking along the beach till Ocean Drive Beach restaurant.

Praia das Furnas is a great place to stop, the route goes past the beach but we’d recommend going down and walking on the beach. After Praia das Furna the trail goes on and off the coast through forest and fields. At about 3,5 km before Almograve, there is a split; the left route continues inland, the right route goes back to the coast, both routes join in Almograve.

We’d recommend taking the coastal route it’s more scenic and takes you past three beautiful beaches, though we missed the split and took the inland route. We walked a part of the coastal route from Almograve later without backpacks.

A map of one of the walking stages of the Fishermen's Trail
A route map of the section of the Fishermen’s Trail from Vila Nova de Milfontes to Almograve

Highlights

  • Several great beaches on the way; Praia das Furnas, Praia dos Picos, Praia da Angra.
  • Stunning views from the cliffs, rugged coastline, fields of flowers.

Challenges

1,5 km of walking on the road in the beginning from Vila Nova de Milfontes across the bridge to the other side of the river. You can skip this part by taking a boat.

No places in between to stop for food and water make sure to have enough water and some snack. There was a bar at Praia das Furnas at about 5 km but it was closed (maybe because it was Monday).

Stops on the route

  • At 5 km (if walk across the bridge) at Praia da Furnas, there is a restaurant.

Almograve

  • Hotel/guesthouse – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – no
  • ATM – yes
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Beach – yes, about 500 m away

A very small town much smaller than Vila Nova, about 500 km away from the beach. There are a couple of restaurants on the main square and several guesthouses.

Refugio do Almograve

Refugio do Almogarve – a cozy house with two rooms, one shared bathroom, a kitchen, and a living room, there are only two double rooms in the house so sharing the bathroom and the kitchen wasn’t a problem. Our room was very nice and cozy. The facilities were great, all you need for cooking, washing, etc. This place seems to be very popular they’re always fully booked I’d recommend booking it in advance. There are a couple of other nice guesthouses in the same price range in Almograve.

Facilities

  • Kitchen – yes
  • Hot shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Power outlets in the room – yes
  • Washing machine – yes
  • Extra – towels, washing lines, shower gel

More accommodation options in Almograve

Ferry across the river from Vila Nova de Milfontes, the Fishermen's Trail
Campbell on the beach close to Vila Nova de Milfontes

Day 3. Almograve – Zambujeira do Mar, 22,5 km/14 mi

  • Distance – 22,5 km/14 mi
  • Time – 5h45min.
  • Ascent – 293 m
  • Descent – 274 m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5
Ascents and descents on the trail from Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar
Elevation profile of the trail from Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar

There are two options to walk out of the town; the first route goes back to the beach the second one continues inland. Both routes join after about 1 km. We took the beach option, this route goes past the church left through the bush to the beach. After about 1 km at the parking spot, the official route goes inland but it’s possible to walk on the beach Praia da Longueirinha for about 500 m and then go upstairs back to the trail. It’s the only place on the route for the whole day where you can actually get to the beach so don’t miss this opportunity. For the rest of the day, you can enjoy the stunning sea scenery but have no chance to get close to the water.

For the first 10 km, the route goes through the dunes again walking in deep sand. After a small town of Cavaleiro most of the time, you walk on the gravel road.

A map of the walking route from Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar
A map of the walking trail from Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar

Highlights

  • Breathtaking views from the trail; sea, small beaches, rugged coast, cliffs, etc.
  • Cabo Sardao – a beautiful cape and a lighthouse.
  • Many stork nests at the edges of the cliffs. The best area for spotting storks was at 18 km just before Entrada do Barca, there were some nests with babies that you could come pretty close to.
  • Stunning views from the cliffs just before Zambujeira.

Challenges

  • First 10 km on the sand dunes
  • A short stretch of boring walking along the road past Entrada do Braca, for about 1,5 km.

Stops on the route

  • At 10 km Cavaleiro; two restaurants, shop, hotels, bus stop
  • At 19 km Entrada do Barca; two restaurants

Zambujeira do Mar

  • Hotel/guesthouse – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – yes
  • ATM – yes
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Beach – yes

Another small town, a bit bigger than the previous one, with many restaurants and guesthouses. There are a couple of nice beaches around the town.

Hotel Hakuna Matata

Hostel Hakuna Matata – an awesome place, very close to the sea, good facilities, clean and comfortable. We stayed in a dormitory but with only 2 beds so basically we got a private room. All dorms are quite small; 2-4 beds, there is one or two private rooms as well. 

Facilities

  • Kitchen – yes
  • Hot shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Power outlets in the room – yes
  • Washing machine – no
  • Extra – towels

More accommodation options in Zambujeira do Mar

A stork's nest on the cliff above the water on the Fishermen's Trail
Walking the Fishermen’s Trail in spring you can see many storks’ nests on the cliffs along the coast

Day 4. Zambujeira do Mar – Odeceixe, 19 km/11,8 mi

  • Distance – 19 km/11,8 mi
  • Time – 4h50min.
  • Ascent – 403 m
  • Descent – 423 m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5, a couple of short ascends and descends, here and there some sandy parts.
Elevation graph of the Fishermen's Trail from Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe
Ascents and descents on the Fishermen’s Trail from Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe

From the beginning till about 4 km before the end, the route goes next to the ocean so incredible views are guaranteed. Today’s walk had a bit more ascends and descends than the previous days but nothing really tough. The last 4 km to Odeceixe is along the road with the river on one side and green hills on the other side, not as stunning as the rest of the day but still beautiful. Just before Odeceixe, you cross from the Alentejo region to the Algarve, the sunniest part of Portugal, the place to be for those who love sunshine, the sea, the beach, and surfing.

A map of the trail from Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe
A map of the walking stage of the Fishermen’s Trail from Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe

Highlights

Praia dos Alterinhos – an unspoiled beach right after Zambujeira with a cave (at the end of the beach) and interesting rock formations, the only beach on the route for the day.

Breathtaking views on the way; rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, pine forest, fields of flowers

Not really a highlight more curiosity, after Praia do Carvalhal (at 3 km) there is a safari park, a person from Angola brought several African animals here like ostriches, zebras, giraffes, antelopes, and even an American buffalo, we got to see a couple of ostriches and an antelope.

Praia de Odeceixe-Mar – stunning view over the beach with a couple of houses on the opposite side and a river.

Challenges

  • Walking in deep sand from time to time
  • A couple of steep but short ascents

Stops on the route

  • At 3 km Praia do Carvalhal there is a coffee shop but we wouldn’t recommend stopping here, everything is very expensive.
  • At 10 km Azenha do Mar – a tiny village with a restaurant

Odeceixe

  • Hotel/guesthouse – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – yes
  • ATM – yes
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Beach – yes, about 3 km away at Praia de Odeceixe

The first town on the route that is not by the sea, the beach is about 3 km away. Odeceixe is the place where both Rota Vicentina routes; the Fisherman’s Trail and the Historical Way join. From here you can continue on the Rota Vicentina to Cabo de Sao Vicente.

If you prefer to stay closer to the beach you can walk 3,5 km extra to Praia de Odeceixe, a tiny place with a couple of hotels and restaurants located right at the beach, you’ll see it from the cliff on the way. It’s on the opposite side of the river, at low tide it’s possible to walk across the river close to the sea, it still might be about knee-deep. If the crossing is impossible you’ll have to walk first to Odeceixe where you can cross the river over the bridge and then back to the beach, it’s a 6 km loop. 

Hostal Ceixe

Hostal Ceixe – a nice place, very clean, cozy, with good facilities. We stayed in a double room with a shared bathroom (there are no rooms with attached bathroom here), the room was quite big with a small balcony. Price 35 Euro. They have small dormitories as well.

Facilities

  • Kitchen – yes
  • Hot shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Power outlets in the room – yes
  • Washing machine – yes
  • Extra – towels, washing lines

More accommodation options in Odeceixe

Day 5. Odeceixe – Aljezur, 23 km/14,2 mi

  • Distance – 23 km/14,2 mi*
  • Time – 5h30min.
  • Ascent – 288 m
  • Descent – 280 m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5

*if you don’t do the Odeceixe beach circuit and follow the inland route total distance is 18 km/11 mi

Ascents and descents on the trail from Odeceixe to Aljezur
Elevation graph of the Fishermen’s Trail from Odeceixe to Aljezur

From Odeceixe you have two route options; one to continue inland, this route is 5 km shorter; another option is to walk past Odeceixe beach to the coast. This route is a bit longer but you get to see the sea and beautiful beach Praia do Odeceixe. After walking for 6 days inland I think it’s a good idea to change the scenery and to enjoy the beach and the sea. If you take the inland route – follow white and red markers (like the previous days), if you choose the coast, follow blue and green markers.

From Odeceixe on there will be several optional routes that will take you to the coast most of the time they’re marked with blue and green stripes.

A route map of the walk from Odeceixe to Aljezur
A route map of the walking trail from Odeceixe to Aljezur

Highlights

  • Incredible scenery on the coastal route. We’d highly recommend to do it it’s the first time on the Historical Way when you get to see the ocean.

Challenges

  • Occasional walking on the road, here and there but not for long and the road is not busy at all.

Stops on the route

  • At 3,5 km Praia de Odeceixe; restaurants, hotels
  • At 14,5 km Rogil (11 km if walk inland); supermarket, restaurants, hotels, ATMs

Aljezur

  • Hotel – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – yes, 3 km before the town on the route
  • ATM – yes
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Beach – no

A nice town, bigger than Odeceixe with several accommodation options, many restaurants, and bars, about 5 km away from the sea. If you’re planning to camp the campsite is about 3 km before the town, on the trail.

Daguasoul Hostel

Daguasoul hostel – a great and very chilled place, quite small 4 rooms, 10 beds in total, very cozy, clean, and comfortable. The location is good, a bit away from the route, about 500 m, but close to a shop and a couple of bars/restaurants.

Facilities

  • Kitchen – yes
  • Hot shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Power sockets in the room – yes
  • Washing machine – yes
  • Extra – towels, washing lines, terrace
Odeceixe beach in the morning on the Fishermen's Trail
Praia de Odeceixe is one of the most spectacular beaches on the Fishermen’s Trail

Day 6. Aljezur – Arrifana, 19 km/12 mi

  • Distance – 19 km/12 mi or 12 km/7,4 mi*
  • Time – 4h35min.
  • Ascent – 418 m
  • Descent – 362 m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5 a couple of steep ups, in the beginning, 4-5 km of walking through the sand in the second half

*At 4,5 km/2,7 mi there is a split; one route is shorter with a total distance of 12 km/7,4 mi, it continues inland. The second route goes to the coast, it offers great scenery but it’s longer, the total distance 19 km/12 mi.

Elevation graph for the route from Aljezur to Arrifana
Elevation profile of the trail from Aljezur to Arrifana

Note! You can skip Arrifana and walk directly from Aljezur to Carrapateira it’s a very long walk, about 31 km/19,2 mi.

We thought it was going to be a short walking day but it wasn’t because we decided to take the coastal route which was 6 km/3,7 mi longer but the scenery along the coast was stunning. The very beginning of the route for about 3 km/1,8 mi after the split is not that spectacular you walk on the gravel road past houses but once you reach the coast it gets much better. If you have time go down to the beach, enjoy the swim, drink a cup of coffee, and then continue. It’s the only place to stop for food or drinks on the way.

The last 3 km/1,8 mi to Arrifana is through the pine forest on a sandy footpath the scenery is not as impressive as along the coast but still quite nice.

A route map of the trail from Aljezur to Arrifana
A map of the walking trail from Aljezur to Arrifana

Highlights

  • Praia de Monte Clerigo – a beautiful beach with a couple of restaurants and cafes
  • On the coastal route stunning views from the cliffs, rugged coastline, several pristine beaches
  • Praia da Arrifana

Challenges

  • In the beginning, a couple of steep ascents and descents
  • On the coastal route 4-5 km of walking on the sand

Stops on the route

  • At 11 km (coastal route) Praia de Monte Clerigo; restaurant, coffee shop, hotel

Arrifana

  • Hotel – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – no
  • ATM – no
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes 2-3 km away
  • Pharmacy – no
  • Beach – yes

When you book a place in Arrifana make sure it’s located in the town, the place is very small, there are many accommodations around but some of them are located 3 km away from the beach and the trail. The best would be to find your accommodation on the map beforehand and make sure you don’t miss it following the route markers. We had to walk 3 km extra to get to our hotel.

Aljezur Villas

Aljezur Villas – the place is really nice with a swimming pool, garden, BBQ, etc. but it’s located about 3 km from the beach and the trail so if you want to stay here be ready for that.

Facilities

  • Kitchen – yes
  • Hot shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Power sockets in the room – yes
  • Washing machine – yes
  • Extra – towels, washing lines, swimming pool, free rea & coffee
Arrifana beach is one of the best surfing beaches on the Fishermen's Trail
Sunset from the cliffs at Arrifana Beach

Day 7. Arrifana – Carrapateira, 20 km/12,4 mi

  • Distance – 20 km/12,4 mi
  • Time – 4h30min.
  • Ascent – 555 m
  • Descent – 619 m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5 many ascents and descents
Elevation profile of the route from Arrifana to Carrapateira
Elevation profile of the Fishermen’s Trail Arrifana to Carrapateira sections

It was a nice walking day though in the afternoon it got quite hot, make sure to refill your water at every stop and put on sunscreen you are exposed to the sun for the whole day. After about 2 km you get to the coast it’s the only time today when the route comes that close to the sea till the end of the day you walk inland from time to time you can see the ocean from far.

There are two new places to stop on the way at 8 km/5 km and 9,5/5,9 mi km that were not mentioned in the guidebook. We really liked Nomads Surfers at 9,5 km/5,9 mi; good food, cold drinks, great views over the area, pool – a perfect place to stop for rest in the middle of the day.

If you have time you can do a detour and walk to the beach before heading to Carrapateira, the town is about 3 km/1,7 mi away from the sea.

A map of the Fishermen's Trail the part from Arrifana to Carrapateira
A map of the walking trail from Arrifana to Carrapateira

Highlights

  • Praia do Canal, a small beach at 2 km, beautiful views from the surrounding cliffs over the area.
  • Green hills, vineyards, flowers fields for most of the day.
  • Many cork oaks along the road, this tree is Portugal’s national tree, we did see them before on the route but not as many as here.
  • Praia da Bordeira a long sandy beach about 3 km before Carrapateira.

Challenges

  • A couple of quite steep ascents and descents, no shade to hide if it’s hot and sunny

Stops on the route

  • At 8 km a guest house/restaurant (was closed when we were there on Saturday afternoon).
  • At 9,5 km Nomad Surfers hostel and restaurant – a great place to stop.
  • At 18 km Bordeira – a small town with a couple of guest houses and restaurants.

Carrapateira

  • Hotel – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – no
  • ATM – no
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – no
  • Beach – yes, 3 km away

A small town about 3 km away from the sea, there are some more expensive hotels and apartments located closer to the beach. If you want to go out for dinner there are not many options, the only place we found open after 8 pm was Restaurant Gato, about 1 km outside the town, a nice place, a chilled vibe.

Casa da Estela

Casa da Estela – an amazing homestay with a great hostess. Spacious rooms, good facilities, nice and comfortable. You get tea, coffee, toasts, cookies, cheese spreads, yogurt, muesli, fruit for your use for free in a mini kitchenette next to your room. The location is great next to the trail, close to two bars and a shop. The owners are very friendly and welcome.

Facilities

  • Kitchen – yes
  • Hot shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Power sockets in the room – yes
  • Washing machine – yes
  • Extra – towels, washing lines, free tea, coffee, breakfast & snacks
Boardwalks at the Carrapateira Beach, Cosa Vicentina, Portugal
Boardwalks leading to a lookout point at the Carrapateira Beach

Day 8. Carrapateira – Vila do Bispo, 22 km/13,6 mi or 16 km/10 mi

  • Distance – 22 km/13,6 mi inland route, 16 km/10 mi coastal route.
  • Time – 4h20min.
  • Ascent – 418 m
  • Descent – 368 m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5, several ascends and descends
Ascents and descents on the Fishermen's Trail from Carrapateira to Vila do Bispo
Ascents and descents on the walking trail from Carrapateira to Vila do Bispo

From Carrapateira the route goes inland and for the rest of the day, it meanders between the hills, fields, and the forest. Today you won’t get to see the sea at all if you have time and really want to get to the beach do it in the morning from Carrapateira.

A route map from Carrapateira to Vila do Bispo, Fishermen's Trail
A route map of the walking trail from Carrapateira to Vila do Bispo

Highlights

  • It was quite a regular day of walking mostly through the fields, no breathtaking cliffs or sea views more of pastoral countryside scenery.

Challenges

  • Several steep ascents and descents if you walk it in summer make sure you have enough water it gets very hot.

Stops on the route

  • At 10 km/6,2 mi Pedralva – a tiny town with a couple of restaurants and guesthouses.

Vila do Bispo

  • Hotel – yes
  • Hostel – no
  • Campsite – no
  • ATM – no
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Beach – no

A very quiet town with many new houses, a couple of restaurants along the main street, a big supermarket, it doesn’t look like a typical holiday town.

Lilas’ Private Accommodation

Lilas’ private accommodation – an apartment with three rooms, a shared bathroom (you can book with a private bathroom as well), a big kitchen and living room. Located close to the supermarket and restaurants. A brand new place with good facilities, comfortable, clean and neat.

Facilities

  • Kitchen – yes
  • Hot shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Power sockets in the room – yes
  • Washing machine – yes, free of charge
  • Extra – towels, washing lines

Day 9. Vila do Bispo – Sagres, 21 km/13 mi

  • Distance – 21 km/13 mi*
  • Time – 4h50min.
  • Ascent – 282 m
  • Descent – 313 m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5

*If you don’t feel like walking 6 km/3,7 mi from Cabo to Sagres (the route ends at the Cape) you can take a shuttle bus.

Ups and downs on the trail from Vila do Bispo to Sagres
Elevation profile of the route from Vila do Bispo to Sagres, Fishermen’s Trail

Out of Vila do Bispo the route goes past the market towards the sea, for the first 6 km/3,7 mi you walk through the fields, at about 6 km/3,7 mi there is a split; one route goes to the sea, another continues inland almost all the way to the cape. The coastal route is marked with green and blue, the inland route is marked with red and white. The distance on both routes is about the same, 14 km/8,6 mi from Vila do Bispo to the cape. Be ready to see many tourists at Cabo San Vicente.

There is no accommodation available at the cape the nearest town Sagres is 6 km/3,7 mi away, you can walk there, the walk is mostly along the road. You can take a bus from the cape to Sagres, there are two daily buses at 11.55 am and 3.05 pm, they run only from Monday to Friday, no buses to Sagres on weekends and public holidays.

Vila do Bispo to Sagres trail map
A map of the walking trail from Vila do Bispo to Sagres

Highlights

  • If you take the coastal route (the split is about 6 km from Vila do Bispo) there are some stunning views from the cliffs over the sea and the beaches.
  • Cabo S.Vicente – a cape with a lighthouse and a fortress, impressive scenery, and the official end of the Rota Vicentina.

Challenges

  • If you decide to walk from Cabe S.Vicente to Sagres most part of 6 km the route goes along the road.

Stops on the way

  • At 14 km Cabo S.Vicente there are a couple of food stalls.

Sagres

  • Hotel – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – yes, 2 km outside the town
  • ATM – yes
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Beach – yes

A cool beach town quite small with a couple of nice beaches around, good surf spots, many hotels, and restaurants. It’s a nice place to stay for a couple of days after finishing the Rota Vicentina. We stayed here for three days and really enjoyed the place. We liked Sagres more than Lagos, Lagos is a big and very busy place.

Sagres Sunny Room

Sagres Sunny Room – a nice place in the center of the town, comfortable room, clean and cozy. There are only two or three rooms in the season it’s usually fully booked.

Facilities

  • Kitchen – no
  • Hot shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Power sockets in the room – yes
  • Washing machine – no
  • Extra – towels, balcony

Day 10. Sagres – Salema, 20 km/12,4 mi

We haven’t walked the last stretch of the Fishermen’s Trail from Sagres to Lagos yet. We have it planned for March this year (2022). I’ll update the post as soon as we complete it.

  • Distance – 20 km/12,4 mi
  • Time – 4 hours
  • Ascent – 550 m
  • Descent – 600 m
  • Difficulty level – 4 out of 5

Day 11. Salema – Lagos, 24 km/15 mi

  • Distance – 24 km/12,4 mi
  • Time – 5 hours
  • Ascent – 620 m
  • Descent – 570 m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5

If you decide to stay for a couple of days in Lagos to enjoy its beautiful beaches and relax after the hike send us a message we can meet up for coffee or drinks. We live in Lagos and love meeting people who share our passion for hiking and the outdoors.

Alya walking on a boardwalk near Lagos
Alya walking on the boardwalk at Ponta da Piedade near Lagos

Recommended books and guidebooks

Fishermen’s Trail planning resources

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