April 11, 2018 to April 19, 2018

Status FULL
Travel Dates April 11, 2018 to April 19, 2018
Cost $1,215 (per person, double occupancy)
$290 (per person, single occupancy supplement)
Description Located in SW Portugal, the Rota Vincentina stretches along some of the best preserved coastal areas of southern Europe. This moderately challenging walking trip will traverse 130km/81 miles of the best of both the Fisherman’s Trail and the Historical Way. A true pearl, kept and tended by its local inhabitants, this trail will capture the hearts of both nature lovers and fans of sustainable tourism. A designated protected area, it is amazingly diverse with countless untouched and unchanged habitats. The harmony in which man and nature have lived since prehistoric times is reflected in this diversity. In April the temperatures are generally cool and pleasant. The vibrant landscape, wildflowers with their intense colors and the scents of native plants make spring one of the best seasons to visit. Our luggage will be transferred for us daily so we can enjoy our walks with just a day pack. Our lodging will be small rural inns and our meals will be traditional local offerings. The wild coast linked with authentic rural villages is truly genuine. Let the discovery begin!
Included Airport transfer on Day 1, daily luggage transfer; 8 nights lodging, 8 breakfasts (local continental type), 2 dinners, one guide book and one map per room; private transfers while hiking per itinerary; transfer from trail to Lisbon on Day 8, all gratuities.
Not Included
  • Airfare to the meeting place
  • 7 trail lunches (average cost 10Euros from grocery or restaurant)
  • 6 dinners (average cost 18Euros)
  • Drinks
  • Airport transfer on Day 9
  • Trip insurance.
Payment Policy A Deposit of $ _500.00_ is due with the Application forms to register for the trip.
Must have at least __10   registered by September 1st, 2017 for the trip to go.
The Balance of $ 715.00 is due no later than November 1st 2017.
Cancellation Policy
  • If registrant cancels prior to November 1st, 2017 all payments received by ADK minus $100.00 will be refunded.
  • After November 1st, 2017, a refund will only be made if the vacancy can be filled from a waiting list maintained by the leader, if any, and then all but $100.00 will be refunded.
  • Note that there is a $100 registration fee included in the trip deposit which is not refundable if you have to cancel for any reason whatsoever.
  • If the leader decides that this trip is not for you, or the trip is canceled by ADK, all payments received by ADK will be refunded.
What to Bring  Luggage to be transferred is limited to one piece, soft sided, not weighing more than 23 kg/50 pounds. When walking, choose clothing that is light and comfortable and easy to dress in layers depending on the weather. A daypack that will hold extra clothes, hat, glasses, sunscreen, lunch, snacks, water and rain gear. Always wear broken in hiking shoes or light hiking boots which are adjusted to your feet, to avoid blisters and sore joints. Sandals or light running shoes are not suitable for hiking, since they do not give any ankle support or protection from rocks, sand or vegetation. On rainy days you should carry a waterproof jacket and a change of clothes in case you get wet. A hiking stick can also be useful, as it reduces the impact of the walk on theknees and joints and facilitates the steep climbs and descents. You might consider bringing a swimming suit and a small towel…there are beaches, dams, lakes, pools and ponds that may be warm enough to swim in.
Trip Insurance Trip insurance is not included in the trip price and is very strongly recommended that all participants have trip or travel insurance that will cover trip cancellation by the participant, travel delays, medical expenses and medical evacuation. ADK does not provide this insurance and does not cover medical expenses or evacuation in the event you are injured or become ill during the trip. Note that if you have to cancel after the date indicated above, and cannot be replaced from the leader’s waiting list (if any) you could be out the entire amount you paid for the trip.
Daily Itinerary

Day One: Wednesday, April 11th

Meet at Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport at 12:00 at an airport place to be determined.

Our private transfer will be waiting to drive us the two and half hours to Cercal do Alentejo. We’ll get together for a welcome briefing at our hotel and then go out as a group for dinner (included) at a local Portuguese restaurant.

Overnight: Cercal do Alentejo.

Day Two: Thursday, April 12th

Cercal do Alentejo to Porto Covo: 17 km/10.6 miles – 5 hours.

It’s time to get close to the sea! As we leave the village, we will go through a dry area with the smell of eucalyptus in the air. Past this, we will come to a natural forest where we will find more than 150 different species of plants and enjoy the perfume of wild herbs. Along our walk today, we will find two fortresses: one on the island and one on the shore. These coastal fortifications were the result of the need to defend the coast from pirate attacks. We’ll know the sea’s getting closer as soon as we find some flat cereal fields, with the blue already on the horizon.

Overnight: Porto Covo.

Day Three: Friday, April 13th

Porto Covo to Vila Nova de Milfontes: 19 km/11.8 miles – 6 hours.

A wonderful walk along the coastline always with an amazing sea view. We begin in the very small picturesque historical village of Porto Côvo. We pass an Island called “Ilha do Pessegueiro” with the option to go by the beach taking the hard sand or going a little bit more inland by the dunes path. We will find some stunning beaches, some of them deserted. After that, almost at the end, we will reach a fishing harbor in the north area of the village…our home for the night.

Overnight: Vila Nova de Milfontes.

Day Four: Saturday, April 14th

Vila Nova de Milfontes to Almograve: 15 km/9 miles – 4 hours

This is a day to purify your soul thanks to the overwhelming views over Vila Nova de Milfontes and the Mira River that meets the ocean here. It is a short and accessible hiking day so that you may enjoy the area to its fullest extent. Easy walking along the coast with paths that wind through pinewoods, sand dunes and along cliff tops. We will find some deserted beaches and after that reach a tiny fishing village called Almograve. From there we can have a rest and try local seafood for lunch. After lunch there is a 10 minute transfer back to Vila Nova de Milfontes.

Overnight: Vila Nova de Milfontes.

Day Five: Sunday, April 15th

Almograve Beach to Zambujeira do Mar: 21 km/13 miles – 5 hours

We will have a short transfer to Almograve Beach and then leaving the villages of Almograve behind us, we will be, once again, exploring landscapes along the unspoiled coastal Alentejo. Passing by the fishing harbor Entrada da Barca.. We will walk along the cliffs with panoramic sceneries and the possibility of watching cliff-nesting storks. We can use the little village of Cavaleiro to have a rest and enjoy a good homemade local dish before heading west to the beautiful lighthouse of Cabo Sardão. We will finish our day near one of the most amazing urban beaches in Portugal.

Overnight: Zambujeira do Mar

Day Six: Monday, April 16th

Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe: 18 km/11 miles – 6 hours

This may be one of the most popular hiking routes historically used by the fishermen going south, heading to Odeceixe, the first village in the Algarve region. While we’re on today’s walk, we will find plenty to explore, feel and smell. We will pass by Carvalhal Beach, the residence of the famous “fado” singer Amália Rodrigues. We’ll also go through the locally famous harbor of Azenha do Mar. After recharging our stomachs at an Azenha do Mar seafood restaurant, we will have the energy to continue our journey to Odeceixe, where the bridge over the river sets the border between the Alentejo and Algarve regions.

Overnight: Odeceixe

Day Seven: Tuesday, April 17th

Odeceixe to Aljezur: 22 km/13.6 miles – 6 hours

From Odeceixe we keep walking south near the coast, passing through the small agricultural village of Rogil, where we’ll be able to try their famous sweet potato. This walk through the coastal upland crosses farmland growing sweet potatoes, maize, peanuts and tomatoes, interspersed with areas of pine and eucalyptus trees. Close to the villages and houses there are smallholdings and orchards of olives, lemons, oranges, loquats and figs. Then, in the lee of the sea breeze, the Moorish village of Aljezur emerges, overlooking the valley.

Day Eight: Wednesday, April 18th

Aljezur to Arriifana Beach: 18 km/11 miles – 5 hours

We can’t leave Aljezur before climbing to the castle and enjoying the surrounding views of the village, lowlands and various creeks. We begin walking and when the sea appears on the horizon, in a landscape swept by salty winds, we can already glimpse the incomparable Bay of Arrifana. We can spend a little time at the beach before our transport arrives at 2:00 to drive us the three hours to Lisbon and directly to our hotel. We will meet and go out as a group for our farewell dinner (included) at a recommended restaurant near our hotel. Our hotel will be within 5 miles of the airport.

Overnight: Lisbon

Day Nine: Thursday, April 19th

After breakfast at our hotel, depart Lisbon with unforgettable memories of having discovered the Rota Vincentina!


The following hiking grades are meant to help both ADK volunteer trip leaders and their participants better understand the hiking difficulty of any ADK Adventure Travel scheduled trip. Hiking times are dedicated hiking times and do not include rest or lunch stops

  1. EASY:  A hike of 3 to 4 hours and 4 to 6 miles or less on generally gentle terrain with elevation gains or losses of 250 to 1500 feet.
  2. MODERATE:  A hike of 4 to 5 hours and 5 to 8 miles on varied terrain with elevation gains and losses of 1000 to 2500 feet.
  3. STRENUOUS:  A hike of 5 to 7 hours and 6 to 13 miles on varied terrain with consistent ascents and descents of 2 to 3 hours or more with elevation gains and losses of 2500 to 4000 feet. There may be sections that include steep uphill and downhill’s including scree and boulders and may also include short distances of exposure.
  4. STRENUOUS PLUS: A hike of 5 to 9 hours and 6 to 15 miles partly on rocky, challenging terrain with consistent steep ascents and descents of 2 to 3 or more hours with elevation gains of 3000 to 5000 feet. The terrain may also include scree, boulders, snow fields or a combination of all. There also may be several sections of extensive exposure.

This trip is rated “moderate” based on the “Activity Descriptions and Hiking Grade Definitions” chart above. This is due to the daily mileage and number of hours hiking rather than any significant elevation gain or loss. The Rota Vicentina is a route accessible to almost anyone, as most of the trails do not present a high degree of difficulty. There will be some miles of walking in beach sand which can be both challenging and tiring. With pre-trip preparation and physical conditioning walking the number of daily miles we will be walking on this trip, it should prove to be a very enjoyable experience.

Notes PASSPORT: A valid passport with an expiration date of at least six months from the trip ending date is required.

VISA’S: Not required.

IMMUNIZATIONS: Not required.

WI-FI AND CELL SERVICE: These are not always available in all areas.

ATM’s: You will find bank machines in almost all of the places we will be visiting in which to get Euros. Plan on paying in cash rather than relying on credit cards in these small villages.

ELECTRICITY: You will need a power plug adapter and voltage converter in Portugal.

FLIGHT RESERVATIONS: Do not make your flight arrangements until Trip Leader advises this trip has the minimum participants for the trip to proceed.

ITINERARY CHANGES: Planned activities are subject to change due to weather, trail conditions or other unforeseen circumstances, at the sole discretion of the Leader.

TRIP PRICES/ARRANGEMENTS: Subject to change due to circumstances beyond ADK’s and Trip Leader’s control.

TOUR OPERATOR: Trip Leader is working with a small locally based tour operator for lodging reservations, luggage transfers and private transport arrangements. Ricardo Estêvão was born and raised locally in the town of Santiago do Cacém. In 2009, he started a small tour business in the SW Portugal Costa Vicentina Natural Park, focusing on adventure and self-guided holidays. Ricardo has been running his adventure and nature business as an incoming agent based in Vila Nova de Milfontes, all year round. He is a senior product developer for  multi-activities such as hiking and cycling holidays in the Alentejo and Algarve Atlantic Coast. He also guides many adventure activities with more than 10 years of professional experience.

Registration Procedure Please carefully read the above detailed trip description and itinerary, and contact Trip Leader if you have any questions. Then, if you decide to join this adventure, please contact Trip Leader by email and the registration paperwork, consisting of the Registration form, the Health and Physical Condition Questionnaire and Release of Liability form will be sent. Complete these forms and send them to Trip Leader by U.S, Postal Service with the deposit (check payable to “ADK” or the Credit Card Authorization) to reserve a spot. Please note that original signatures are required on all forms. Spaces are reserved in the order that complete and acceptable registration forms and deposit payments are received, so don’t delay.
Trip Leader Mary Chayka-Crawford
P.O. Box 501 Lake Orion, MI 48361