Walking in Portugal
40 graded short and multi-day walks throughout the country
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Guidebook describing over 40 walks throughout Portugal. The mainly circular half-day and day routes cover most National and Nature Parks in Portugal including the country's highest peak in Serra da Estrela, as well as visiting traditional stone-built villages and sites of historical interest. Includes background information.
- With such a variety of micro-climates, it is possible to find pleasant walking weather at any time of the year.
- Peneda-Gerês National Park; Montesinho Nature Park; Alvão Nature Park; Douro International Nature Park; schist villages near Coimbra; Serra da Estrela Nature Park; Lisbon; Tajo and São Mamede Nature Parks; Monsaraz and Évora; the Algarve, Costa Vicentina and Guadiana
- The routes allow for differing levels of ability, and range from shorter walks suitable for a relaxing family stroll to strenuous mountain hikes and challenging multi-day long-distance paths.
- Must See
- Fantastic views from Candeeiros summit; historic Marvão; Odeceixe beach; the dramatic glacial scenery of the Zêzere Valley; solitude and nature in Peneda-Gerês National Park; waterfalls on Rota das Cascatas
Portugal is something of an undiscovered gem for hikers, offering beautiful, diverse landscapes and vast amounts of space. Thanks to its variety of micro-climates, it is possible to find pleasant walking conditions in all seasons, and the multitude of trails boast fantastic scenery and are rich in natural, historical and cultural interest.
This guide describes 40 graded walks, ranging from gentle family strolls to strenuous mountain hikes (including Portugal's highest peak) and multi-day routes. The walks are spread throughout Portugal, with a focus on the country's many natural and national parks, including Peneda-Gerês, Serra da Estrela and Costa Vicentina. Clear route description is illustrated with 1:50,000 mapping and a route summary table makes it easy to choose the right walk. As well as practical travel advice, there is information on Portugal's geology, history, plants, wildlife and agriculture and on numerous local points of interest.
From the rugged mountains of the north to the UNESCO-listed Rio Douro river valley, from traditional schist villages to the unique geology of the Algarve coast, the walks have been carefully selected to showcase some of the best Portugal has to offer. They take in granite peaks, wildflower meadows, woodland, waterfalls, castles, churches and archeological remains. With routes suitable for most ambitions and abilities, what further inspiration do you need to discover the myriad delights of this wonderful, yet frequently overlooked, destination?
Plants and flowers
When to go
Where to stay
Food and drink
Emergencies and safety
Using this guide
Peneda-Gerês National Park
Walk 1 Caminho dos Mortos, Real
Walk 2 Trilho Castrejo, Castro Laboreiro
Walk 3 Peneda circuit
Walk 4 Pertinho do Ceu, Gavieira
Walk 5 Bicos and Pedrada
Walk 6 Pitões das Júnias and Capela de São João da Fraga
Walk 7 Minas dos Carris, Portela de Homem
Walk 8 Gerês circuit
Walk 9 Águia do Sarilhão and Via Nova, Campo do Gerês
Walk 10 Trilho dos Currais, Vila do Gerês
Montesinho Nature Park
Walk 11 Trilho da Calçada, Moimenta
Walk 12 Montesinho summits
Around Alvão Nature Park
Walk 13 Senhora da Graça, Mondim de Basto
Walk 14 Marão summit
Douro International Nature Park
Walk 15 Azeite, Bruçó
Walk 16 Ribeira do Mosteiro
Central Portugal and Lisbon
Walk 17 Schist villages of Lousã
Walk 18 Caminho do Xisto das Aldeias de Góis and Lousã summit
Walk 19 Trilho do Vale do Ceira, Cabreira
Serra da Estrela Nature Park
Walk 20 Sol and Rota das Faias, Manteigas
Walk 21 Rota do Carvão, Manteigas
Walk 22 Javali and Poço do Inferno, Manteigas
Walk 23 Rota do Glaciar, Torre–Manteigas
Walk 24 Poios Brancos, Manteigas
Walk 25 Castelejo, Alvados
Walk 26 Chãos
Walk 27 Peninha, Sintra
Walk 28 Cabo Espichel, Arrábida
Tejo and São Mamede Nature Parks
Walk 29 Rota dos Abutres, Salvaterra do Extremo
Walk 30 GR29 Rota dos Veados
Walk 31 Marvão
Monsaraz and Évora
Walk 32 Évora aqueduct and Ecopista
Walk 33 Monsaraz
The Algarve, Costa Vicentina and Guadiana
Walk 34 Odeceixe beach circuit
Walk 35 Cabo de São Vicente
Walk 36 Rota das Cascatas, Monchique
Walk 37 Trilho da Fóia, Monchique
Walk 38 Pulo do Lobo, Guadiana
Walk 39 GR23
Walk 40 Serra do Caldeirão, Parizes
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Useful contacts
Appendix C Language
For other areas the best map is the Carta Militar de Portugal, published by Instituto Geográphico do Exército (www.igeoe.pt), but footpaths and rights of way are not included. The 1:25,000 version is only available online or direct from IGeoE. The 1:50,000 versions are available from retailers such as Stanfords.
There is reasonable coverage using [email protected] online (mapas.dgterritorio.pt) at ‘zoom level 8’, but it is significantly more dated than the Carta Militar. Opencycle (www.opencyclemap.org) is useful and has some but not all footpaths, however some footpaths on the map do not exist.
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Simon Whitmarsh is a keen walker, covering over 2000km a year. He has walked extensively in Britain, doing (at least part) of all the major trails, has hiked across England twice, and has walked in most countries in Europe. More recently his addiction to mountains has increased, with treks in the US (including many parts of the Appalachian trail), Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Nepal (Everest Base Camp).View Guidebooks by Simon Whitmarsh
Andrew Mok is a keen walker, covering over 2000km a year. He has walked extensively in Britain, doing (at least part) of all the major trails, has hiked across England twice, and has walked in most countries in Europe. More recently his addiction to mountains has increased, with treks in the US (including many parts of the Appalachian trail), Australia, New Zealand, Andrew’s native Hong Kong, and Nepal (Everest Base Camp).View Guidebooks by Andrew Mok
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