This guidebook follows the Rota Vicentina, a 220km walking route along the marvellous Atlantic coastline in the Alentejo and Algarve regions of Portugal. The 12-stage trek combines two well-marked routes, the Caminho Histórico (the Historical Way) and the Trilho dos Pescadores (the Fishermen's Trail), to create a hike starting in Santiago do Cacém and ending at Cabo de São Vicente. The guide also describes an alternative circular route for those who would prefer an 11-stage loop, moving inland from Odeceixe and back up to Santiago de Cacém.
Whichever route is chosen, the Rota Vicentina is ideal for a two-week holiday in spring or late summer to autumn, offering walkers a remarkable range of landscapes from coastal fishing villages to wooded river valleys. The guidebook includes advice about accommodation options along the route, information about the surrounding area, and a glossary of Portuguese terms to aid with reading signs and maps.
Along the Rota Vicentina are many delights for walkers. This stunning coastal region is home to a variety of rare birdlife, including white storks that nest precariously on sea stacks. Another treat is the mouth-watering Portuguese cuisine, whether the famous custard tarts or less well-known goose barnacles. With its vibrant cultural traditions and rich history displayed in Arab-era castles and 15th-century Age of Discovery sites, this route offers pleasant surprises at every stage along the Portuguese Atlantic coast.