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Portugal's Rota Vicentina

The Historical Way and Fishermen's Trail

Guidebook to walking Portugal's Rota Vicentina, a stunning yet remarkably little-visited 220km route down the south-western Atlantic coast, through the Alentejo and Algarve districts. The route, which is suitable for all fit walkers and is not technically difficult, is described across 12 stages, making it perfect for a 2-week holiday.


The perfect time to go is spring (March to May/early June) then late summer to autumn (September to November). September to June is fine although the winter can be wet. Midsummer can be stiflingly hot and not recommended.


Santiago do Cacém, Cercal do Alentejo, Porto Covo, Vila Nova de Milfontes, Almograve, Zambujeira do Mar, Odeceixe, Aljezur, Arrifana, Carrapateira, Vila do Bispo, Cabo de São Vicente, Sagres, Odemira.


The stages are on mostly level ground and are straightforward, with no special difficulty involved (Grade 1 and 2). This hike is suitable for all fit walkers who are capable of walking around 20km per day.

Must See

Dramatic cliff scenery along the Fisherman's Trail; vast sandy beaches; white storks nesting on sea stacks; 15th-century Age of Discovery sites and history of Henry the Navigator; Arab-era castles; welcoming fishing villages and Portuguese hospitality; Europe's most southwestern point of Cabo de São Vicente.
21 Nov 2022
17.20 x 11.60 x .60cm

A guidebook to trekking Portugal’s Rota Vicentina, a 224km (139 mile) trail comprised of the Historial Way (Caminho Histórico) and the Fishermen’s Trail (Trilho dos Pescadores). With the central stages hugging the Atlantic seaboard, the route stretches from Santiago do Cacém to the southwestern tip of mainland Europe at Cabo de São Vicente. The trail is suitable for most walkers, with stages graded easy or moderate.

The main route is presented in 12 stages of between 12 and 24km (7–15 miles). Also included in the guidebook is a four-stage inland variant running north from Odeceixe to form a circuit with the northern half of the main route.

  • Route description illustrated with 1:100,000 mapping
  • GPX files available for download
  • Refreshment and accommodation information provided for each trek stage
  • Accommodation listings
  • Advice on planning and preparation

Gillian Price Cicerone author PRICE

By Gillian Price

Gillian Price has trekked throughout Asia and the Himalayas, but now lives in Venice. Gillian has steadily explored the mountain ranges of Italy, and Corsica, and brought them to life for visitors in a series of outstanding guides for Cicerone. She is an active member of the Italian Alpine Club (CAI) and Mountain Wilderness.

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