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Discover Portugal’s Atlantic Coast on the Fishermen's Trail

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Discover Portugal’s Atlantic Coast on the Fishermen's Trail

Hiking Collection by Nadine

3-6

days

3-6 h

/ day

48.5 mi

2,200 ft

2,275 ft

The Fishermen’s Trail is brimming with varied landscapes: You hike through desert and pine groves, discover stork nests on craggy cliffs, admire dreamlike blossoms in spring and watch waterfalls cascade into the sea. The wild ocean is your constant companion as it rolls gently across a flat beach or thunders suddenly against the rocks. Here, the air tastes of salt, the wind tousles your hair, and the sunsets over the Atlantic create the perfect photo opportunities. The Fishermen’s Trail is a varied four-day hike along Portugal’s Atlantic Coast.

The 80 kilometres (50 miles) of the Fishermen’s Trail make up part of the Rota Vicentina, a long-distance hiking trail network in the southwest of Portugal that totals around 400 kilometres (248 miles). The Fishermen’s Trail consists of four stages along the coast in the Alentejo region. You discover the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park (Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina) en route too.

You will be amazed by both the flora and fauna and also the wildlife here. Look out for otters and the white stork which builds its nest in a special way on the steep cliffs. The best time to hike the Trail is between September and June. July and August are too hot for walking. Portugal is a great winter escape – in January and February, it’s around 15 degrees and sunny.

The trail conditions vary from coastal paths to beach hiking. Trudging through the deep sand can be quite strenuous so wear choose that don’t let sand in at the top. Otherwise, you’ll spend more time shovelling sand out of your shoes than hiking. Gaiters may also be helpful.

In addition to good footwear, sun protection like a hat and sunscreen is essential. You should also pack a windbreaker and rain jacket as it can be very windy. On some narrow stretches of beach, you should be aware of the changing tides. You may also encounter stray dogs, but most of them are friendly. Places to stop for refreshments along the route are limited so you should always stock up on supplies and at least two litres of water.

At the end of each section, you reach a village where you can find accommodation such as small guesthouses, hostels or holiday rentals. There are also campsites in the stage destinations. I recommend reserving in advance, especially in the high season, when the coast can get very busy. Wild camping is prohibited and enforced in some areas.

You can easily travel from Lisbon to Porto Covo with public transport – take the Rede Expressos bus from the Rodoviaria de Sete Rios bus terminal to Porto Covo. You can get a map of the trail and ask any questions at the tourist information in Porto Covo. The route is well signposted. From Odeceixe, your destination, you can catch a bus to Lisbon or any other major town in Portugal.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Difficult
    05:30
    13.0 mi
    2.4 mph
    450 ft
    450 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    If you have already arrived the day before, you have probably stayed at the Costa do Vizir campsite - or in one of the accommodations in town. After a good breakfast we start. A short detour to the historic old town is definitely worth it. You can also buy food on the way here. To recommend: Pasteis de Nata, very …

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  • Difficult
    04:20
    10.2 mi
    2.4 mph
    425 ft
    450 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Your goal for the day for the second stage is Almograve. But you can also summarize this stage with stage three and continue hiking directly to Zambujeira do Mar. That would be a total of 37 kilometers. Not bad considering you are mostly stomping through sand again. If you have enough time and the desire to enjoy the nature around you in a more relaxed way, then leave it to the four stages suggested here.

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  • Difficult
    05:46
    13.6 mi
    2.3 mph
    600 ft
    525 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The third stage is undoubtedly one of the most varied sections of the Fischerweg. Dunes, pine forests, cliffs and stork nests: you can discover all of this on the 22 kilometers. The path often runs spectacularly along the precipices of the cliffs. People with fear of heights should better keep a respectful distance, as well as everyone else, because the …

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  • Difficult
    05:06
    11.8 mi
    2.3 mph
    725 ft
    850 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On the last stage of the Fischerweg it gets really promising again. One dream beach after the other lines up on your way. Whether it's a typical steep coast with foaming surf or a pure sandy beach that invites you to take a refreshing swim with its shallow access - the coast once again has everything for you! Every now and then you move into the hinterland on this stage to protect nature that is particularly worthy of protection.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    4
  • Distance
    48.5 mi
  • Duration
    20:41 h
  • Elevation
    2,200 ft2,275 ft

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Discover Portugal’s Atlantic Coast on the Fishermen's Trail

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