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      our holidays > Walking Holidays > Portugal & its Islands > Along the Costa Vicentina

Along the Costa Vicentina

Alentejo - golden sands & honey-coloured cliffs
Starting point:

You begin with two nights at Casa Vicentina, near the small town of Odeceixe.

Day 1
Circular walk via Odeceixe: 14km, 3hrs

Your first walk is a delightful introduction to the wonderful scenery of coastal Alentejo, initially taking you along quiet lanes and dusty tracks to reach the coast where you may possibly get your first glimpse of the region's famous cliff-nesting storks. You follow the sandy cliff path as it winds its way north through herb-scented scrub before dropping down to the beach of Praia de Odeceixe. Heading inland along the river, you soon reach the small town of Odeceixe, where you can relax over refreshments before heading back to your hotel via a narrow canal that winds through fields dotted with farms. 

Day 2
Odeceixe to Brejão: 15km, 5hrs

Featuring the estuary, clifftops, sea stacks and a traditional fishing hamlet, today's route is reasonably long but an excellent walk along the coast. After a short transfer to nearby Odeceixe, (you can choose to walk if you wish – add 1.5hrs) you walk through a cork-fringed river valley to reach the Atlantic. Paths and sandy tracks lead along the coast, past viewpoints overlooking precarious sea stacks which are often topped with nesting maritime storks if you come during the breeding season. You reach the authentic fishing hamlet of Azenha do Mar, with a pebble cove fronted by more sea stacks. Linger here, perhaps, to enjoy a tasty fish lunch accompanied by a refreshing glass of vinho verde, before continuing to the Praia da Amália, where a stream cascades down onto the beach, and heading inland to Brejão and the Cerca do Sul.

Day 3
Brejão to Touril: 18km, 5.5hrs

You start the day by retracing your pretty inland route back to the coast for new views of the waterfall-backed Praia da Amália. Then you continue northwards, emerging from farmland and woodland to discover a marvellous stretch of coast characterised by glorious sandy bays and dramatic headlands. You may wish to pause for refreshments – or a late lunch – in the laid-back resort of Zambujeira before a final stretch along a country road to the Herdade do Touril.

Day 4
Touril to Longueira: 21km, 6.5hrs
Shorter option with taxi from Almograve: 18km, 5.5hrs

The section of coast which you explore on this walk is famed for the storks which nest along the cliffs, and the bays of wet sand that reflect the sky. After ambling through the Herdade do Touril’s grounds, you pick up a track that leads to the lighthouse at Cabo Sardão, gaining better and better coastal views as you head north (we suggest several worthwhile detours to wonderful viewpoints in our walk notes). Having passed the lighthouse, you head inland briefly before rejoining the coastal path, which winds its way through pine woodland and then over an area of rolling sand dunes to reach a narrow coastal road and the golden beach of Almograve. Here, you turn inland once more (or call a taxi) to the Monte Novo da Longueira in the quintessentially Portuguese hamlet of Longueira.

Day 5
Longueira to Vila Nova de Milfontes, taking ferry over river: 15km, 4.5hrs
Longer option, walking via bridge: 18km, 5.5hrs

Leaving Longueira, you cross pastureland and rich agricultural estates to reach a pretty coastal track that is alternately fringed by dunes and open views to the sea. It is well worth making a detour to the Praia do Brejo Largo, whose long expanse of golden sand, backed by low cliffs, certainly lives up to its name. On reaching the broad estuary of the River Mira, enjoy a short ferry ride to the far bank – a very pleasant way to arrive the unhurried town of Vila Nova de Milfontes and Casa do Adro. Take time on arrival to stroll around the old quarter and harbour, which takes on an animated buzz when the fishing fleet lands its catch.

Day 6
Vila Nova de Milfontes to Porto Covo: 21km, 6hrs

Your journey along the Costa Vicentina ends with a glorious walk along clifftops and across sand dunes to the fishing harvour at Porto Covo, with chance to relax on the three-kilometre-long beach of Malhão. As you leave Vila Nova, the landscape becomes more rugged and remote, with sandy footpaths weaving amid the dunes. You pass isolated farms and quiet coves before reaching the fortress at Pessegueiro which overlooks Peachtree Island. On arrival in Porto Covo, enjoy a well-earned drink in one of the small bars before your taxi takes you a few miles inland to the delightfully tranquil Tres Marias, where you spend your final night. After visiting the owner's pet ostrich and donkeys, enjoy one last dinner on the terrace of this stylish hotel – a great spot at which to reflect on the rugged beauty of Alentejo’s coastline.

Add a stay in Lisbon

Discover monumental architecture from the Golden Age in Lisbon, and sample delicious Portuguese pastries while you soak up seductive fado, the melancholy melodies of the Portuguese people.

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 Grade 2 Walk
Local Map
 Walking Chart
Walking Chart:Along the Costa Vicentina This is an approximation only. If comparing holidays, please note the scale of the chart as this can differ.
A bird's eye view... of birds
"The biggest treat, though, is to be found along the Rota Vicentina, north of Zambujeira. Here storks make their nests on ledges on the cliff face, sometimes stacked one above the other. The chicks are white – often two to a nest – and they can be seen clearly from this excellent viewpoint."
Writer Rosie Gilligan proclaims her thrill at getting up close to the nesting storks of Alentejo >
The cliff fishermen of Alentejo
Don't be alarmed when you spot tiny figures seemingly marooned on sea stacks above foaming waves. These are the cliff fishermen of Alentejo hoping to catch something that you may end up having for dinner, as Inntravel's Peter Williamson found out. Read more >

In safe hands
When you arrive in Alentejo, you will no doubt be greeted by our lovely taxi driver  Silvia Novais. She knows her region very well and will make sure you and your luggage are always in the right place at the right time... Read more about Silvia >