The Rota Vicentina is a community of mountain climbing trails within the Alentejo and Algarve provinces in Southern Portugal. The community contains two long-distance routes the Fisherman’s Path and the Historic Method, and several other quick round routes a few of which could be included into one of many long-distance trails. We’ve walked each multi-day routes of the Rota Vicentina in addition to a few of the day hikes. On this submit, we describe totally different route choices, prices, transportation, and lodging on the Rota Vicentina.
What’s the Rota Vicentina in Portugal?
Rota Vicentina is a community of strolling routes within the Alentejo and Algarve provinces in Southern Portugal. The Rota contains two long-distance trails the Fishermen’s Path and the Historic Method and plenty of round day hikes. The coastal trails (Fishermen’s Path and a few day hikes) ranked as a few of the most scenic routes in Europe.
How lengthy does it take to hike the Rota Vicentina?
The time and distance of the Rota Vicentina depend upon the chosen route. For those who do the Fishermen’s Path it’ll take 12-13 days to finish the route. For those who hike the Historic Method you’ll want 6 days to finish it. You are able to do any part of the Rota Vicentina as an unbiased hike. For those who don’t have sufficient time to complete all the path you may select part of it.
The place does the Rota Vicentina begin?
The Fishermen’s Path of the Rota Vicentina begins at S.Torpes Seashore 10 km north of Porto Covo, Alentejo, and finishes in Lagos, Algarve.
The Historic Method of the Rota Vicentina begins in Santiago do Cacém, Alentejo, and finishes in Odeceixe, Algarve. From Odeceixe, you may proceed strolling south following the Fishermen’s Path.
Each trails could be walked in both path: north to south or south to north.
Day hikes begin in numerous areas all through the area.
What’s the finest a part of the Rota Vicentina?
For my part, the a part of the Fishermen’s Path from Sagres to Lagos and the stroll from Carrapateirs to Vila do Bispo are a few of the most lovely elements of the Rota Vicentina. Total all the route is spectacular; pristine seashores, rugged cliffs, charming cities, and untouched nature.
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Rota Vicentina guidebooks
The official guidebook is the most effective one to make use of for the Rota Vicentina. You should buy it on-line on the official web site or at one of many data places of work alongside the route. You may get one at Papelaria O Correiro, Vasco da Gama Road 7b in Porto Covo the beginning of the Fishermen’s Path and on the vacationer data workplace in Santiago do Cacém (the beginning of the Historic Method).
There’s a Cicerone guidebook on the Rota Vicentina that has lots of data on the path which you could purchase on Amazon.
Rota Vicentina’s routes
As I already talked about there are two long-distance trails and plenty of circuit routes/day hikes a lot of the quick routes could be included into one of many multi-day trails.
Totally different routes of the Rota Vicentina
The Historic Method
Whole distance – 120 km/74 mi
Variety of days – 6 days
Place to begin – Santiago do Cacém
Ending level – Odeceixe
Route marking – purple & white markers
The Historic Method has considerably fewer hikers than the coastal path. We noticed between 2 and 5 hikers a day on this route. Total the realm shouldn’t be touristy in comparison with the coast which is simply 20 km away. Consequently, lodging choices are fairly restricted. There are not any hostels or campsites on the Historic Method. The one campsite and hostel on the route are in Odeceixe. Lodging works out costlier right here than on the Fishermen’s Path. Most locations don’t have a kitchen so you may’t actually prepare dinner if you would like a correct meal, not only a sandwich you need to eat in a restaurant or bar.
Consuming out on this a part of the Rota Vicentina is cheaper than alongside the coast eating places cater to locals, to not vacationers. You may get a set menu for 7-8 Euros, a dish for 6-7 Euros, a cup of espresso for 0,60 Euro, and many others.
The surroundings on the Historic Method is good and peaceable with lots of strolling by way of the fields (for those who stroll it in April-Might it will likely be lined in flowers), a little bit of forest, and various hills. It’s the route with probably the most ascents and descents although nothing could be very steep or lengthy. Total the Historic Method is a pleasant path to stroll if you wish to see off-the-beaten-path areas in southern Portugal. In our opinion, the surroundings shouldn’t be as spectacular as on the coastal route.
For those who’re planning to stroll the Historic Method you may obtain our free PDF file with strolling phases and locations to remain on the route.
The Fishermen’s Path
Whole distance – 230 km/143 mi
Variety of days – 11-13 days
Place to begin – S.Torpes Seashore, Porto Covo
Ending level – Lagos
Route marking – blue & inexperienced markers
The Fishermen’s Path (the Coastal route) of the Rota Vicentina is a well-liked route with many day walkers and weekend teams. The path goes by way of the touristy elements of the Alentejo and Algarve areas. In addition to hikers within the season, there are various holidaymakers. For those who stroll this route throughout the summer season months you’ll see many individuals. It’s extremely really helpful to e book lodging on the route beforehand.
The Fishermen’s Path has extra lodging choices and campsites as a result of it’s a common summer season vacation vacation spot. It’s doable to search out funds locations to remain. Consuming out on this path is costlier in comparison with the Historic Method. For a set meal in a restaurant (Menu do Dia), you pay 25-30 Euro for 2 individuals vs 15-20 Euro on the Historic Method. You may cut back your meals bills for those who keep in locations with a kitchen and prepare dinner your self. Each city on the path has a grocery store or at the very least a grocery retailer.
The a part of the Fishermen’s Path from Odeceixe to Lagos shouldn’t be as busy because the half from Corto Covo to Odeceixe. Most individuals end strolling in Odeceixe most likely as a result of it was once the tip of the route earlier than it was prolonged first to Cabo de S. Vicente (Sagres) and later to Lagos.
The surroundings on this route is really spectacular; rugged cliffs, sandy seashores, turquoise water, picturesque bays, hidden caves, breathtaking lookout factors, and charming cities. For those who ask me I’d positively select the Fishermen‘s Path over the Historic Method.
For those who’re planning to stroll the Fishermen’s Path you may obtain our free PDF file that features strolling phases and locations to remain alongside the route.
Day hikes on the Rota Vicentina
There are 24 round day mountain climbing trails on the Rota Vicentina with a complete distance of 265 km/164 mi. Distances of the day hikes differ from quick 4-5-kilometer trails to 12-12-16-kilometer routes. All hikes are round routes. You don’t have to fret about getting again to your automobile or your resort after ending a hike. Many round routes are partly included in one of many lengthy trails. We haven’t walked any of the 24 trails but however now dwelling in Lagos we’re planning to begin mountain climbing them so as to put together for strolling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago with our 2-year-old daughter. The day mountain climbing trails are indicated with purple and yellow markers.
The round routes supply a mix of coastal and forest/subject surroundings. You may simply incorporate a few day hikes right into a street journey or a seashore vacation in southern Portugal.
The best way to mix the paths?
You may stroll all the Fishermen’s Path or the Historic Route individually, you may stroll solely elements of the routes, or mix them. The 2 routes merge in Odeceixe.
Possibility 1. Porto Covo – Odeceixe – Santiago do Cacém. You stroll on the Fishermen’s Path from Porto Covo to Odeceixe. From Odeceixe as an alternative of continuous alongside the coast, observe the Historic Method and stroll to Santiago do Cacém. This manner you mix each nation and seaside surroundings and get to see totally different elements of the Alentejo area. The overall distance of this route choice is 196 km/121 mi. To finish it you want 10 days. The route could be walked both approach beginning in Porto Covo or in Santiago do Cacém.
Possibility 2. Santiago do Cacém – Odeceixe – Lagos. You stroll the Historic Method from Santiago do Cacém to Odeceixe and from there proceed on the Fishermen’s Path by way of Cabo de S. Vicente to Lagos. The overall distance of this route is 274 km/170 mi. You want 13-14 days to finish it. It may be walked both approach. You may reduce it shorter for those who don’t have sufficient time to finish the route.
You may stroll any stage of the 2 routes individually as a day hike or you may select a few phases and do a 2 or 3-day hike.
There’s a nice choice for individuals who wish to mix two outside actions (mountain climbing and browsing) and benefit from the sea as a lot as doable. You can begin strolling in Porto Covo and end in Arrifana. The place you may keep in a surf hostel hire a board or take a few classes. Days wanted – 6, whole distance – 118 km.
The price of strolling the Rota Vicentina
The Algarve and Alentejo provinces are very fashionable summer season vacation locations which implies within the peak season, between June and September the coast will get very busy and lodging costs improve considerably. How a lot cash you’ll spend strolling Rota Vicentina depends upon once you go. For those who stroll throughout the low season, between November and March it will likely be the most affordable, the bordering season, October, April, and Might are costlier. The summer season months from June to September are the costliest interval. We walked the Rota Vicentina in Might and did discover lodging costs fairly excessive in some common touristy locations.
On common you’ll spend 35-40 Euro per particular person per day on the Rota Vicentina. It contains lodging (a room for 2 individuals or a dorm mattress in a hostel), meals, and transport. For those who’re going to make use of a baggage switch service you need to add 15 Euro per day further.
Lodging is the principle expense of the Rota Vicentina. Relying on the kind of place you’ll pay between 10 Euro (tenting) and 30 Euro (a room in a resort) per particular person.
Tenting is the most affordable choice although not each city on the route has a campsite. Even for those who like tenting you’ll have to remain typically indoors. Costs for tenting are between 10 and 12 Euro per particular person per day relying on the season. A downside of tenting is that you need to carry your tenting gear (tent, sleeping bag, pad, cooking stuff, and many others.) which provides important weight to your backpack.
Hostels are the most affordable indoor lodging choice on the Rota Vicentina. Similar to with tenting, not each city on the path has one. On the Fishermen’s Path, there are hostels however not on the Historic Method. A mattress in a dormitory prices between 15 and 20 Euros per particular person relying on the season. In July, August, and September the costs are at their highest. The bottom costs are throughout the offseason; from November to March.
Lodges/guesthouses are the most well-liked lodging sort on the path. Costs differ between 40 and 60 Euros for a double room. We had one or two locations the place we paid round 30 Euro per two individuals. Throughout the low season, you’ll discover extra locations providing rooms on this worth vary.
Consuming out on the eating places on the Rota Vicentina was fairly costly in comparison with another areas in Portugal the place we traveled. Even in the identical space, there was a major worth distinction between locations positioned inland and seashore cities. Put together to pay 10 Euros for a dish, plus 2-4 Euros further for those who order drinks, bread, espresso, and many others. Our common invoice was about 30 Euros for 2 individuals after we went out for dinner. For those who order a sandwich (Tosta Mista) and a espresso or a cool drink it’ll value round 3 Euros.
Portugal has one of many most cost-effective espresso in Europe; Espresso prices 0,70 Euro, and low with milk (Galao) – 1,2-1,5 Euros. For those who order Americano you’ll pay about 1 Euro.
The most cost effective meals choice is to purchase stuff in a store and make your individual meals. To have the ability to prepare dinner you need to keep in locations with a kitchen in any other case, you’ll be restricted to consuming sandwiches. Meals looking for 3 meals will value you round 10 Euros per particular person. Greater supermarkets (Lidl, InterMarche, Pingo Doce) have cafes or canteens the place you should buy a well-priced meal, a sandwich, or a pastry.
Virtually each city on the Rota Vicentina could be reached by public transport. A bus from Lisbon to one of many beginning factors (Porto Covo or Santiago do Cacém) prices between 15 and 20 Euros a technique. Getting from Lagos or Odeceixe to Lisbon will value you 20 Euros. On the RedeExpressos web site, you may usually discover bus tickets to Lisbon for 7 or 10 euros. We regularly journey between Lagos and Lisbon by bus and normally pay between 7 and 10 euros per ticket. Buses between the cities on the route value between 3 and seven Euros relying on the gap.
Primarily based on all these I’d recommend an estimated funds of 25 Euros per particular person per day for those who’re planning to camp (when doable) and make your individual meals; 35-45 Euros per particular person if staying indoors (hostels and funds rooms) and cooking for your self more often than not. And 50+ Euros to remain in inns and eat out at the very least as soon as a day.
When is the most effective time for strolling the Rota Vicentina?
Summer time on the whole (July and August specifically) is the busiest season in Southern Portugal with the most individuals and the very best costs. It will get extremely popular within the south of Portugal day temperatures go over 30°C. For those who determine to stroll the route in the summertime months it’s really helpful to begin strolling early within the morning so as to be completed earlier than it will get too sizzling. Reserving lodging on the Rota Vicentina upfront is a must-do in the summertime.
Border season (April-Might and October) is an ideal time for strolling the Rota Vicentina; there are considerably fewer individuals than in the summertime. It’s heat however not too sizzling, lodging is cheaper, and also you don’t must e book it months upfront. We actually like mountain climbing in Portugal within the spring the surroundings could be very lovely this time of the 12 months.
Low season (November-March) is nice if you wish to have a solitary and quiet stroll with only a few vacationers. Climate-wise it doesn’t get actually chilly on the Vicentina Coast and within the Algarve. The common temperatures in winter are between 13°C and 16°C however it would possibly rain fairly a bit in November and December. The wind is usually a drawback as properly. As for lodging costs, they’re at their lowest (excluding Christmas and New 12 months) so you will get a very nice place for not costly.
Baggage switch service (Vicentina Transfers)
It’s doable to rearrange a backpack supply on the Rota Vicentina. For those who don’t wish to stroll carrying a giant backpack with all of your stuff it may be transferred daily between your lodging locations. You may stroll with a small day pack carrying solely valuables, water, and snacks.
Vicentina Transfers is the corporate that gives baggage supply service on the paths. The value is 15€ per baggage merchandise per stage, and ech further piece of bags prices 5 euros. The burden restrict is 20 kg per baggage. It’s a door-to-door service your backpack is picked up within the morning (round 9 am) on the reception and delivered to the subsequent place.
What’s the lodging like on the route?
Each city on the Rota Vicentina has inns and guesthouses, some extra common touristy locations have hostels. Many of the locations could be booked on-line by way of reserving websites. Some areas have extra lodging choices some much less. On the Historic Method, there usually are not many locations to remain. The route goes by way of not touristy areas of the Alentejo area. On the Fishermen’s Path, there are extra lodging choices together with hostels and campsites, particularly in some cities akin to Sagres, Vilanova de Milsfontes, or Lagos. Throughout the peak summer season season, it’s extremely really helpful to e book your lodging on the Rota Vicentina a few months upfront.
If you wish to make your individual meals it’s higher to remain in hostels or hire flats to have entry to the kitchen. For those who keep in inns/visitor homes you’ll have to purchase ready-made meals or eat at eating places.
On the Fishermen’s Path campsites could be present in Porto Covo, Zambujeira do Mar, Vila Nova de Milfontes, Odeceixe, Aljezur, Sagres, Salema, and Lagos. All campsites usually are not removed from the route. On the Historic Method, there is just one campsite in Odeceixe. On the stretch between Santiago do Cacém and S.Teotónio there are not any locations to camp solely indoor lodging choices.
The best way to get to the Rota Vicentina?
Most cities on the Rota Vicentina have direct buses to Lisbon. It’s very straightforward to get from the capital to the path and again.
Getting from Lisbon to Santiago do Cacém, the Historic Method
There are 9 each day buses from Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station to Santiago do Cacém, the journey takes 2 hours, and the worth is 14 Euros. For those who’re planning to begin strolling on the identical day it’s higher to take the earliest bus. You should buy tickets and ensure the departure time on the Rede Expressos web site.
Getting from Lisbon to Porto Covo, the Fishermen’s Path
As of April 2023, there are 6 each day buses from Lisbon to Porto Covo. 5 buses depart from Sete Rios Bus Station and 1 from Oriente Station. The journey takes between 2 and three hours. The value is 16,5 Euros.
Getting again to Lisbon from Odeceixe and Lagos
There are buses from Odeceixe (the tip of the Historic Method) and Lagos (the tip of the Fishermen’s Path) to Lisbon. There are 4 buses from Odeceixe to Lisbon (3 to Sete Rios and 1 to Oriente), the journey takes 3h30min., the worth is nineteen Euros.
From Lagos, there are various buses to each bus stations in Lisbon: Sete Rios and Oriente. The usual worth is 20 Euro. Generally you will get a ticket with a reduction of seven or 10 euros. We regularly go to Lisbon from Lagos by bus and more often than not pay 10 euros per ticket. The journey takes 4 hours. You may verify the itinerary and purchase tickets on-line.
There are trains from Lagos to Lisbon with one connection in Tunte. The connection is normally 5-10 minutes. You may verify departure occasions and costs on the official web site.
Strolling the Rota Vicentina vs the Camino de Santiago
We met many individuals on the Camino de Santiago that wish to do the Rota Vicentina. I made a decision to check each walks primarily based on our expertise. We’ve walked 9 totally different routes of the Camino de Santiago; French Camino, Portuguese Camino, Camino Primitivo, Camino del Norte, Vía de la Plata, Camino Finisterre, Camino Inglés, Camino del Salvador, and Camino Gran Canaria and two routes of the Rota Vicentina; the Fishermen’s Path and the Historic Method. Beneath I’m evaluating the surroundings, the fee, and the amenities on the Camino de Santiago and on the Rota Vicentina.
It’s a tricky selection however we’re each fingers for the Fishermen’s Path we each love the ocean it’s not usually when all the route follows the shoreline; dramatic cliffs, pristine seashores, hidden bays – all these sound like an ideal vacation path. You do get sea surroundings on the Coastal Route of the Portuguese Camino and on the Northern Camino as properly.
If you wish to hike a spectacular coastal route within the Algarve area and don’t have time to finish a long-distance path then the Seven Hanging Valleys Path is an ideal choice for you. It’s a one-day hike that provides among the best sceneries within the area.
The Rota Vicentina is certainly costlier than the Camino de Santiago. The primary cause is lodging there are not any albergues for pilgrims on the route solely hostels and inns (some cities have campsites). You pay for lodging between 20 and 40 Euros pp. relying on the season and sort of lodging you select. Tenting will value you between 10 and 12 Euro pp. The season is a crucial issue and also you’ll have to hold tenting gear with you.
Like every other common vacation vacation spot, the realm is kind of costly in comparison with the remainder of Portugal. On the Camino, you will get Menu del Dia for 7-10 Euro on the Fishermen’s Path you pay the identical for one dish. On the Historic Method consuming out is cheaper you will get a menu for 7-8 Euros or a sandwich for two Euros.
Each the Rota Vicentina and the Camino are well-marked you don’t actually need GPS or a map to observe the route. As I already talked about there are not any albergues on the Rota Vicentina however there’s lodging in each city on the route in addition to ATMs, eating places, and retailers.
In contrast to on some Camino routes on the Rota Vicentina you hardly stroll on the tar street, more often than not it’s a footpath or a gravel street which is significantly better for strolling because it’s not as laborious in your ft as asphalt. Some phases of the Fishermen’s Path are on the seashore or dunes which makes strolling harder and slower.
I might say the Rota Vicentina, particularly the Fishermen’s Path is extra of a vacation trek. It has nothing to do with the pilgrimage. If you wish to hike for a few days or per week and mix the stroll with a seashore vacation the Rota Vicentina is the right choice. For those who’re in search of a non secular or cultural expertise (structure, historic cities, and many others.) somewhat stroll one of many Camino de Santiago routes.
Rota Vicentina planning sources
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The beautiful half of Stingy Nomads, accountable for all our land adventures (mountain climbing, climbing, strolling the Camino) and following them write-ups. Alya loves strolling since she was a toddler, she prefers to stroll 1000 km with a backpack somewhat than to do a ten 000 km street journey (really any street journey). Alya is a giant fan of Latin America, the Spanish language, and dancing. Each time we go away she desperately misses our canine Chile.