Rota Vicentina – the begining

Rota Vicentina
Rota Vicentina is a network of walking trails in Sw Portugal, totalling 450 Km. The route is fully marked in both directions and it comprises the Historical Way, the Fishermen’s Trail and several Circular Routes. The recommended season to do these trails is from September till June, in order to avoid the high temperatures and the crowd of tourists that usually visit the Vicentina Coast in July and August.

Running along the coastline, the Fishermen’s Trail follows the trails used by locals to get to the beaches and hot fishing spots. It totalizes 120 Km along the cliffs, with plenty of sand, which can only be done on foot.

The Historical Way is a classic Grand Route (GR) that runs through the main towns and villages in a rural itinerary with several centuries of history. It totalizes 230 Km fully accessible to hikers and mountain bikers.

In February 2016, the Historical Way was certified by the European wide label “Leading Quality Trails – Best Europe”.

Rota Vicentina website has detailed information about the trails, accommodation, everything. There’s even a trip planner!

 

Aveiro to Porto Covo
Our adventure began on 29th September 2015. On that day, we travelled from Aveiro to Porto Covo, where we began our 9 days walk along the Vicentina Coast.

We caught the train to Lisbon at about 7:30 and we arrived at our final destination almost 10 hours later. At Lisboa Oriente train station we had to catch another train to Sete Rios, where the bus station for Rede Expressos buses is located (it’s also possible to go by metro).
During the waiting time (about 1:30), we had lunch and I felt annoyed to find that we had now to pay to use the toilet at the station. In my opinion, those who have a ticket for long-distance buses should be allowed to use the toilet for free.

View from the Castle of Sines

As there was no direct transport from Lisbon to Porto Covo, we had to travel to Sines and to catch another bus in there to Porto Covo.

We had about 2 hours to visit Sines, the birthplace of Vasco da Gama. We walked to the Historic Center, visited the Castle, saw the monument to Vasco da Gama and the parish church of Sines, also known as Igreja Matriz de São Salvador (Mother Church of São Salvador).

I also would like to have visited the Capela de Nossa Senhora das Salvas (Chapel of Our Lady of Salvas), also known as Capela da Nossa Senhora das Salas. However, it was hot and JB was already feeling tired (and we had not yet started our walk…), so we went to the bus stop.

We met there an Indian couple who was waiting for the bus, too. Curiously, they were also going to walk the Rota Vicentina.

T0 – Camping Porto Covo

Porto Covo
We checked in at Camping Porto Covo, where we had a reservation for one night at an apartment T0. The apartment was small but cosy. It was composed of kitchenette, a living room, a very small bathroom and two rooms.

We left the camping and went exploring the village of Porto Covo, especially the beautiful beaches. It was our first excursion to the cliffs of Costa Vicentina. The scenery is incredible! I was anxious to start the walk.

We would be following the Fishermen’s Trail during the first 4 days (Porto Covo to Odeceixe), then we would walk to Cabo de S. Vicente through the Historical Way.

DAY 1: Journey to Porto Covo (29/09/2015)
Transports:
– Intercity train Aveiro – Lisboa Oriente (7:31 – 9:50): 12.50€
– Urban train Lisboa Oriente – Sete Rios (13 minutes): 0.8€ (special discount)
– Bus (Rede Expressos) Sete Rios – Sines (12:00 – 14:35): 13.05€
– Bus (Rodoviária Alentejo) Sines – Porto Covo (16:30 – 17:00): 3.20€

Accommodation:
Camping Porto Covo: 40€/2 pax (T0 apartment)

DAY 2: Porto Covo – Vila Nova de Milfontes (30/09/2015)
Trail: 20 Km / 8 hours Trail on Wikiloc

Accommodation:
Camping Milfontes: 22€/2 pax (Teepee)

Restaurants:
Pátio Alentejano: 14.50€/pax
Mabi: 2 balls ice cream (1.45€)

DAY 3: Vila Nova de Milfontes – Almograve (01/10/2015)
Trail: 15 Km / 6 hours Trail on Wikiloc

Accommodation:
Pousada da Juventude de Almograve: 24€/2 pax (Double room without WC)

DAY 4: Almograve – Zambujeira do Mar (02/10/2015)
Trail: 22 Km / 8 hours Trail on Wikiloc

Accommodation:
Casa da Praia: 27€/2 pax

Restaurant:
O Martinho: 13.20€/pax

DAY 5: Zambujeira do Mar – Odeceixe (03/10/2015)
Trail: 18 Km / 8 hours Trail on Wikiloc

Accommodation:
Casa Morais: 30€/2 pax

Restaurant:
O Chaparro: 13€/pax

DAY 6: Odeceixe – Aljezur (04/10/2015)
Trail: 18 Km / 5 hours Trail on Wikiloc

Accommodation:
Amazigh Design Hostel: 39€/2 pax

DAY 7: Aljezur – Arrifana (05/10/2015)
Trail: 16 Km / 6 hours Trail on Wikiloc

Accommodation:
Pousada da Juventude da Arrifana: 26€/2 pax (double room, without WC)

Restaurant:
O Paulo: 14.70€/pax

DAY 8: Arrifana – Carrapateira (06/10/2015)
Trail: 18 Km / 7 hours Trail on Wikiloc

Accommodation:
Carrapateira Lodge: 50€/2 pax

Restaurant:
O Cabrita: 14.75€/pax

DAY 9: Pontal da Carrapateira (07/10/2015)
Trail: 12 Km / 5:30 hours Trail on Wikiloc

Accommodation:
Casa Mestre Guesthouse: 32€/2 pax

DAY 10: Vila do Bispo – Cabo S. Vicente (08/10/2015)
Trail: 14 Km / 4:30 hours Trail on Wikiloc

Transports:
– Bus (EVA transportes) Cabo de S. Vicente – Lagos (15:05 – 16:04): 4.20€

Accommodation:
Messe Militar de Lagos: 17.25€/2 pax

Restaurant:
Alquibir (Lagos): 10€/pax

DAY 11: Lagos (09/10/2015)
Accommodation:
Messe Militar de Lagos: 17.25€/2 paxRestaurant:
O Meu Limão (Lagos): 7.95€/pax
DAY 12: Journey back home (10/10/2015)
Transports:
– Regional train Lagos – Tunes (11:14 – 12:11): 2.75€ (special discount)
– Alfa Pendular train Tunes – Aveiro (15:35 – 20:10): 28€

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