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The Fishermen’s Trail walking itinerary 2022/23 season

The Fishermen’s Trail in the Algarve region, in the south of Portugal is a part of the Rota Vicentina hiking routes. The trail follows the coastline and offers breathtaking scenery; rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and crystal clear water, it’s a perfect route for those who like the sea and outdoor activities. The route can be walked as a separate trek or combined with the Historical Way of the Rota Vicentina.

To help you with planning your walk we created a free downloadable PDF file with the Fishermen’s Trail itinerary. The file contains walking stages and a list of accommodation options on the Fishermen’s Trail of the Rota Vicentina.

For more details on the trail including the cost of walking, route options, packing list, transportation options, and luggage delivery service read our detailed guide to the Fisherman’s Trail.

The Fishermen’s Trail route overview 

  • Distance – 230 km/143 mi
  • The required time – 12 days or less; any section of the trail can be walked as a separate hike
  • Starting point – Porto Covo or S.Torpez Beach
  • Finishing point – Lagos
  • Walking surface – a mix of soft sand (dunes, beaches) and footpath with short parts on the gravel road.
  • Route marking – blue & green markers
  • Average cost – from 30 Euro per person per day 
  • Accommodation – campsites, hostels, guesthouses
Alya walking on a trail near Lagos
Alya walking on a boardwalk at Ponta da Piedade in Lagos

The Fishermen’s Trail is not the only long-distance walking route near Lisbon. If after walking along the coast you’d like to hike through a totally different area you can walk one of the pilgrimage routes that start in Santiago e.g. the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon.

Travel insurance. It’s recommended to have travel insurance when you go on holiday to another country. The Fishermen’s Trail is not a high-altitude wild trek through remote areas but it’s still a physically challenging experience. Anything from small injuries like blisters to knee or shin split issues can happen along the way. Make sure you will be able to get medical assistance any time you need it. Get your instant quote right now!

Our YouTube video on the Fishermen’s Trail

Porto Covo, the beginning of the Fishermen’s Trail

The Fishermen’s Trail was extended now its official beginning is at S.Torpes Beach, 10 km north of Porto Covo. We haven’t walked that stretch but we did drive there to check it out. I, personally don’t see much of a point in this route extension. Now the trail starts in the middle of nowhere at a thermal power station, halfway between Sines and Porto Covo. It’s not the most picturesque part of the trail. Most of the route goes along the road it’s not very busy though. For us stating in Porto Covo logistically worked much better. If you want you can start from the official beginning at Kalux Bar, S.Topres Beach.

Porto Covo is a really nice town, one of our favorite towns on the Fishermen’s Trail. It’s quite small and cozy;  cobblestone streets, two-story houses with red roofs, the main square with many restaurants and bars, and a great holiday vibe.

If you arrive with a morning bus you can start walking the same day but we’d recommend stopping at Porto Covo for a night, to walk around, drink a beer on the square, watch the sunset, etc.

  • Hotel/guesthouse – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – yes
  • ATM – yes
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Beach – yes

Ahoy Porto Covo Hostel

Ahoy Porto Covo Hostel is a great place to stay for trekkers, Nicolau, the owner,  knows everything about the route, he is much better informed than people at the information office. We got some useful tips, recommendations, and a map of the trail with some marks on it. The hostel was fully booked so it’s better to book it in advance, it’s one of the few budget accommodation options in the town.

More places to stay in Porto Covo

The Fishermen’s Trail – a 12-day itinerary

Day 1. Porto Covo – Vila Nova de Milfontes, 19 km/11,8 mi

  • Distance – 19 km/11,8 mi
  • Time – 5h10min.
  • Ascent – 278 m
  • Descent – 292 m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5 it was a short walking day but most of the time you walk on sand dunes sometimes ankle-deep in the sand.
Porto Covo to Vila Nova de Milfontes elevation profile
Elevation profile of the trail first day on the Fishermen’s Trail. The walk from Porto Covo to Vila Nova de Milfontes. As you can see it’s very flat with barely any hills on the route

It was an incredible walking day on the Fishermen’s Trail. The route goes along the shore or on the beach with some stunning views from the cliffs. The water temperature was about 17 °C a bit cold to go for a swim but nice to walk barefoot ankle-deep in water. Make sure to take enough water, especially in the summer walking on sand makes you tired and thirsty you’ll need at least 1,5l of water per person. There were a couple of amazing beaches on the way the route sometimes takes you away from the sea but it’s possible to walk along the coast all the way.

A map of the Fishermen's Trail from Porto Covo to Vila Nova de Milfontes
A route map of the trail from Porto Covo to Vila Nova de Milfontes

Highlights

  • A couple of long sandy beaches; Praia da Ilha do Pessegueiro, Praia dos Aivados, Praia do Saltinho, Praia dos Nascedios, Praia do Malhao. Every time we got a chance we took off the shoes and walked barefoot on the beach, basically first 10 km you can walk on the beach.
  • Wildflowers along the trail (we walked the Fishermen’s trail in May).
  • A couple of stork nests at the edge of the cliffs.

In fact, the entire walk was one big highlight we absolutely loved it despite the tough part of walking on the sand dunes.

Challenges

  • As I already mentioned walking on sand was quite difficult, our shoes were full of it for most of the day, it doesn’t help to shake it out because it gets in immediately.
  • No place to stop for food or water for 16 km after the restaurant at Praia da Ilha do Pessegueiro.

Stops on the route

  • At 3,5 km at Forte do Pessegueiro, there is a restaurant

Vila Nova de Milfontes

This place is quite a bit bigger than Porto Covo. The center of the town is nice with traditional white houses with blue, red and yellow color doors and windows but the big part of the town is just hotels it wasn’t the season yet the place was very quiet. There are a nice fortress Forte de Sao Clemente and a couple of beaches in the town.

  • Hotel/guesthouse – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – yes
  • ATM – yes
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Beach – yes

Apartamentos Patio Victoria

Apartamentos Patio Victoria – a spacious double room with an attached bathroom. The only drawback of this place was its location, about 15 minutes walk to the center and 10 min. walk to the beach, but the room was clean and neat. 

Places to stay in Vila Nova de Milfontes

The center of Porto Covo, the beginning of the Fishermen's Trail
The main street of Porto Covo, the beginning of the Fishermen’s Trail

Day 2. Vila Nova de Milfontes – Almograve, 16 km/10 mi

  • Distance – 16 km/10 mi
  • Time – 4h15min.
  • Ascent – 204 m
  • Descent – 192 m
  • Difficulty level – 1 out of 5, a short and easy walking day on the footpath with some sandy parts.
Elevation graph of the trail from Vila Nova de Milfontes to Almograve on the Fishermen's Trail
Elevation profile of the route from Vila Nova de Milfontes to Almograve

The route goes through Vila Nova following Rua Custodio Bras Pacheco (the main street in the town) from your hotel you just can get to this street and continue following the signs on the left-hand side of the street. The first 4 km was not very scenic; out of the town, along the road, across the bridge to the other side and then through the bush back to the coast. You can easily skip it and take a boat.

Alternative! In Vila Nova de Milfontes you can take a boat to the other side of the river instead of walking across the bridge, it’ll make your walking day about 4 km shorter, but to be honest, you won’t miss out a lot, the first 4 km were through the town and along the road (we walked this part). I’d rather spend that time enjoying the beach Praia das Furnas. The boat leaves as soon as there are people willing to go, the pier is at the fortress in Vila Nova de Milfontes, and the price is 5 Euro pp. The boat drops you at the beach on the opposite side you don’t have to look for the route just continue walking along the beach to Ocean Drive Beach restaurant.

Praia das Furnas is a great place to stop, the route goes past the beach but we’d recommend going down and walking on the beach. After Praia das Furna the trail goes on and off the coast through forest and fields. At about 3,5 km before Almograve, there is a split; the left route continues inland, the right route goes back to the coast, and both routes join in Almograve.

We’d recommend taking the coastal route it’s more scenic and takes you past three beautiful beaches, though we missed the split and took the inland route. We walked a part of the coastal route from Almograve later without backpacks.

A map of one of the walking stages of the Fishermen's Trail
A route map of the section of the Fishermen’s Trail from Vila Nova de Milfontes to Almograve

Highlights

  • Several great beaches along the route; Praia das Furnas, Praia dos Picos, Praia da Angra.
  • Stunning views from the cliffs, rugged coastline, and fields of flowers.

Challenges

  • 1,5 km of walking on the road in the beginning from Vila Nova de Milfontes across the bridge to the other side of the river. You can skip this part by taking a boat.
  • No places in between to stop for food and water make sure to have enough water and some snack. There was a bar at Praia das Furnas at about 5 km but it was closed (maybe because it was Monday).

Stops on the route

  • At 5 km (if walk across the bridge) at Praia da Furnas, there is a restaurant.

Almograve

  • Hotel/guesthouse – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – no
  • ATM – yes
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Beach – yes, about 500 m away

A very small town much smaller than Vila Nova, about 500 km away from the beach. There are a couple of restaurants on the main square and several guesthouses.

Places to stay in Almograve

Ferry across the river from Vila Nova de Milfontes, the Fishermen's Trail
Campbell on the beach close to Vila Nova de Milfontes

Day 3. Almograve – Zambujeira do Mar, 22,5 km/14 mi

  • Distance – 22,5 km/14 mi
  • Time – 5h45min.
  • Ascent – 293 m
  • Descent – 274 m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5
Ascents and descents on the trail from Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar
Elevation profile of the trail from Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar

There are two options to walk out of the town; the first route goes back to the beach the second one continues inland. Both routes join after about 1 km. We took the beach option, this route goes past the church and left through the bush to the beach. After about 1 km at the parking spot, the official route goes inland but it’s possible to walk on the beach Praia da Longueirinha for about 500 m and then go upstairs back to the trail. It’s the only place on the route for the whole day where you can actually get to the beach so don’t miss this opportunity. For the rest of the day, you can enjoy the stunning sea scenery but have no chance to get close to the water.

For the first 10 km, the route goes through the dunes again walking in deep sand. After the small town of Cavaleiro most of the time, you walk on the gravel road.

A map of the walking route from Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar
A map of the walking trail from Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar

Highlights

  • Breathtaking views from the trail; sea, small beaches, rugged coast, cliffs, etc.
  • Cabo Sardao – a beautiful cape and a lighthouse.
  • Many stork nests at the edges of the cliffs. The best area for spotting storks was at 18 km just before Entrada do Barca, there were some nests with babies that you could come pretty close to.
  • Stunning views from the cliffs just before Zambujeira.

Challenges

  • First 10 km on the sand dunes
  • A short stretch of boring walking along the road past Entrada do Braca, for about 1,5 km.

Stops on the route

  • At 10 km Cavaleiro; two restaurants, a shop, hotels, and a bus stop
  • At 19 km Entrada do Barca; two restaurants

Zambujeira do Mar

  • Hotel/guesthouse – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – yes
  • ATM – yes
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Beach – yes

Another small town, a bit bigger than the previous one, with many restaurants and guesthouses. There are a couple of nice beaches around the town.

Hotel Hakuna Matata

Hostel Hakuna Matata – an awesome place, very close to the sea, good facilities, clean and comfortable. We stayed in a dormitory but with only 2 beds so basically we got a private room. All dorms are quite small; 2-4 beds, and there are one or two private rooms as well. 

More places to stay in Zambujeira do Mar

Cabo Sardao lighthouse, Fishermen's Trail
The lighthouse at Cabo Sardao on the way to Zambujeira do Mar

Day 4. Zambujeira do Mar – Odeceixe, 19 km/11,8 mi

  • Distance – 19 km/11,8 mi
  • Time – 4h50min.
  • Ascent – 403 m
  • Descent – 423 m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5, a couple of short ascends and descends, here and there some sandy parts.
Elevation graph of the Fishermen's Trail from Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe
Ascents and descents on the Fishermen’s Trail from Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe

From the beginning till about 4 km before the end, the route goes next to the ocean so incredible views are guaranteed. Today’s walk had a bit more ascends and descends than the previous days but nothing really tough. The last 4 km to Odeceixe is along the road with the river on one side and green hills on the other side, not as stunning as the rest of the day but still beautiful. Just before Odeceixe, the Fishermen’s Trail crosses from the Alentejo region to the Algarve.

A map of the trail from Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe
A map of the walking stage of the Fishermen’s Trail from Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe

Highlights

  • Praia dos Alterinhos – an unspoiled beach right after Zambujeira with a cave (at the end of the beach) and interesting rock formations, the only beach on the route for the day.
  • Breathtaking views on the way; rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, pine forest, fields of flowers
  • Praia de Odeceixe-Mar – stunning view over the beach with a couple of houses on the opposite side and a river.

Challenges

  • Walking in deep sand from time to time
  • A couple of steep but short ascents

Stops on the route

  • At 3 km Praia do Carvalhal there is a coffee shop but we wouldn’t recommend stopping here, everything is very expensive.
  • At 10 km Azenha do Mar – a tiny village with a restaurant

Odeceixe

  • Hotel/guesthouse – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – yes
  • ATM – yes
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Beach – yes, about 3 km away at Praia de Odeceixe

The first town on the route that is not by the sea, the beach is about 3 km away. Odeceixe is the place where both Rota Vicentina routes; the Fishermen’s Trail and the Historical Way join.

If you prefer to stay closer to the beach you can walk 3,5 km extra to Praia de Odeceixe, a tiny place with a couple of hotels and restaurants located right at the beach, you’ll see it from the cliff on the way. It’s on the opposite side of the river, at low tide it’s possible to walk across the river close to the sea, it still might be about knee-deep. If the crossing is impossible you’ll have to walk first to Odeceixe where you can cross the river over the bridge and then back to the beach, it’s a 6 km loop. 

Hostal Ceixe

Hostal Ceixe – a nice place, very clean, cozy, with good facilities. We stayed in a double room with a shared bathroom. The room was quite big with a small balcony.

More places to stay in Odeceixe

Day 5. Odeceixe – Aljezur, 23 km/14,2 mi

  • Distance – 23 km/14,2 mi*
  • Time – 5h30min.
  • Ascent – 288 m
  • Descent – 280 m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5

*if you don’t do the Odeceixe beach circuit and follow the inland route total distance is 18 km/11 mi

Ascents and descents on the trail from Odeceixe to Aljezur
Elevation graph of the Fishermen’s Trail from Odeceixe to Aljezur

From Odeceixe there are two route options on the Fishermen’s Trail; one to continue inland, this route is 5 km shorter; another option is to walk past Odeceixe beach to the coast. This route is a bit longer but you get to see the sea and beautiful beach Praia do Odeceixe.

A route map of the walk from Odeceixe to Aljezur
A route map of the walking trail from Odeceixe to Aljezur

Highlights

  • Incredible scenery on the coastal route.

Challenges

  • Occasional walking on the road, here and there but not for long and the road is not busy at all.

Stops on the route

  • At 3,5 km Praia de Odeceixe; restaurants, hotels
  • At 14,5 km Rogil (11 km if walking inland); a supermarket, restaurants, hotels, ATMs

Aljezur

  • Hotel – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – yes, 3 km before the town on the route
  • ATM – yes
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Beach – no

A nice town, bigger than Odeceixe with several accommodation options, many restaurants, and bars, about 5 km away from the sea. If you’re planning to camp the campsite is about 3 km before the town, on the trail.

Places to stay in Aljezur

Odeceixe beach in the morning on the Fishermen's Trail
Praia de Odeceixe is one of the most spectacular beaches on the Fishermen’s Trail

Day 6. Aljezur – Praia da Arrifana, 19 km/12 mi

  • Distance – 19 km/12 mi or 12 km/7,4 mi*
  • Time – 4h35min.
  • Ascent – 418 m
  • Descent – 362 m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5 with a couple of steep ups, in the beginning, 4-5 km of walking through the sand in the second half

*At 4,5 km/2,7 mi there is a split; one route is shorter with a total distance of 12 km/7,4 mi, and it continues inland. The second route goes to the coast, which offers great scenery but it’s longer, the total distance 19 km/12 mi.

Elevation graph for the route from Aljezur to Arrifana
Elevation profile of the trail from Aljezur to Arrifana

Note! You can skip Arrifana and walk directly from Aljezur to Carrapateira it’s a long walk, about 31 km/19,2 mi.

We thought it was going to be a short walking day but it wasn’t because we decided to take the coastal route which was 6 km/3,7 mi longer but the scenery along the coast was stunning. The very beginning of the route for about 3 km/1,8 mi after the split is not that spectacular you walk on the gravel road past houses but once you reach the coast it gets much better. If you have time go down to the beach, enjoy the swim, drink a cup of coffee, and then continue. It’s the only place to stop for food or drinks on the way.

The last 3 km/1,8 mi to Arrifana is through the pine forest on a sandy footpath the scenery is not as impressive as along the coast but still quite nice.

A route map of the trail from Aljezur to Arrifana
A map of the walking trail from Aljezur to Arrifana

Highlights

  • Praia de Monte Clerigo – a beautiful beach with a couple of restaurants and cafes
  • On the coastal route stunning views from the cliffs, rugged coastline, and several pristine beaches
  • Praia da Arrifana

Challenges

  • In the beginning, a couple of steep ascents and descents
  • On the coastal route 4-5 km of walking on the sand

Stops on the route

  • At 11 km (coastal route) Praia de Monte Clerigo; a restaurant, coffee shop, hotel

Praia da Arrifana

  • Hotel – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – no
  • ATM – no
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes 2-3 km away
  • Pharmacy – no
  • Beach – yes

When you book a place in Arrifana make sure it’s located in the town, the place is very small, there are many accommodations around but some of them are located 3 km away from the beach and the trail. We had to walk 3 km extra to get to our hotel.

Aljezur Villas

Aljezur Villas – the place is really nice with a swimming pool, garden, BBQ, etc. but it’s located about 3 km from the beach and the trail so if you want to stay here be ready for that.

More places to stay in Praia da Arrifana

Arrifana beach is one of the best surfing beaches on the Fishermen's Trail
Sunset from the cliffs at Arrifana Beach

Day 7. Arrifana – Carrapateira, 20 km/12,4 mi

  • Distance – 20 km/12,4 mi
  • Time – 4h30min.
  • Ascent – 555 m
  • Descent – 619 m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5 many ascents and descents
Elevation profile of the route from Arrifana to Carrapateira
Elevation profile of the Fishermen’s Trail Arrifana to Carrapateira sections

It was a nice walking day though in the afternoon it got quite hot, make sure to refill your water at every stop and put on sunscreen you are exposed to the sun for the whole day. After about 2 km you get to the coast it’s the only time today when the route comes that close to the sea till the end of the day you walk inland from time to time you can see the ocean from far.

If you have time you can do a detour and walk to the beach before heading to Carrapateira, the town is about 3 km/1,7 mi away from the sea.

A map of the Fishermen's Trail the part from Arrifana to Carrapateira
A map of the walking trail from Arrifana to Carrapateira, Fishermen’s Trail

Highlights

  • Praia do Canal, is a small beach at 2 km with beautiful views from the cliffs.
  • Green hills, vineyards, and flower fields for most of the day.
  • Many cork oaks along the road, this tree is Portugal’s national tree, we did see them before on the route but not as many as here.
  • Praia da Bordeira is a long sandy beach about 3 km before Carrapateira. It’s one of our favorite beaches on the Fishermen’s Trail.

Challenges

  • A couple of quite steep ascents and descents, and no shade to hide if it’s hot and sunny

Stops on the route

  • At 8 km a guest house/restaurant (was closed when we were there on Saturday afternoon).
  • At 9,5 km Nomad Surfers hostel and restaurant – a great place to stop.
  • At 18 km Bordeira is a small town with a couple of guest houses and restaurants.

Carrapateira

  • Hotel – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – no
  • ATM – no
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – no
  • Beach – yes, 3 km away

It’s a small town about 3 km away from the sea. If you want to go out for dinner there are not many options.

Casa da Estela

Casa da Estela is an amazing homestay with a great hostess. Spacious rooms, good facilities, nice and comfortable. You get free tea, coffee, snacks, and fruit. The location is great next to the trail, close to two bars and a shop. The owners are very friendly and welcome.

More places to stay in Carrapateira

Boardwalks at the Carrapateira Beach, Cosa Vicentina, Portugal
Boardwalks leading to a lookout point at the Carrapateira Beach

Day 8. Carrapateira – Vila do Bispo, 22 km/13,6 mi or 16 km/10 mi

  • Distance – 22 km/13,6 mi inland route, 16 km/10 mi coastal route.
  • Time – 4h20min.
  • Ascent – 418 m
  • Descent – 368 m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5, several ascends and descends
Ascents and descents on the Fishermen's Trail from Carrapateira to Vila do Bispo
Ascents and descents on the walking trail from Carrapateira to Vila do Bispo

From Carrapateira the route goes inland and for the rest of the day, it meanders between the hills, fields, and the forest. Today you won’t get to see the sea at all if you have time and really want to get to the beach do it in the morning from Carrapateira.

A route map from Carrapateira to Vila do Bispo, Fishermen's Trail
A route map of the walking trail from Carrapateira to Vila do Bispo

Highlights

  • It was quite a regular day of walking mostly through the fields, with no breathtaking cliffs or sea views and more pastoral countryside scenery.

Challenges

  • Several steep ascents and descents if you walk it in summer make sure you have enough water it gets very hot.

Stops on the route

  • At 10 km/6,2 mi Pedralva – a tiny town with a couple of restaurants and guesthouses.

Vila do Bispo

  • Hotel – yes
  • Hostel – no
  • Campsite – no
  • ATM – no
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Beach – no

A very quiet town with many new houses, a couple of restaurants along the main street, a big supermarket, it doesn’t look like a typical holiday town.

Lilas’ Private Accommodation

Lilas’ private accommodation – an apartment with three rooms, a big kitchen, and a living room. Located close to the supermarket and restaurants. A nice place with good facilities, comfortable, and clean.

More places to stay in Vila do Bispo

Day 9. Vila do Bispo – Sagres, 21 km/13 mi

  • Distance – 21 km/13 mi*
  • Time – 4h50min.
  • Ascent – 282 m
  • Descent – 313 m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5

*If you don’t feel like walking 6 km/3,7 mi from Cabo to Sagres you can take a shuttle bus.

Ups and downs on the trail from Vila do Bispo to Sagres
Elevation profile of the route from Vila do Bispo to Sagres, Fishermen’s Trail

From Vila do Bispo the Fishermen’s Trail goes past the market towards the sea, for the first 6 km/3,7 mi you walk through the fields, at about 6 km/3,7 mi there is a split; one route goes to the sea, another continues inland almost all the way to the cape. The coastal route is marked with green and blue, the inland route is marked with red and white. The distance on both routes is about the same, 14 km/8,6 mi. Be ready to see many tourists at Cape St.Vincente.

From the cape, you can walk to Sagres or take a bus. The walk is along the coast next to the road with not much traffic. The bus takes 10 min. You can check the up-to-date itinerary on the Vamus Algarve website. The bus makes a stop in Sagres and then continues to Lagos making stops at Vila do Bispo, Salema, and Burgau.

The Fishermen’s Trail used to finish in Sagres but it was extended to Lagos a couple of years ago.

Vila do Bispo to Sagres trail map
A map of the walking trail from Vila do Bispo to Sagres

Highlights

  • If you take the coastal route (the split is about 6 km from Vila do Bispo) there are some stunning views from the cliffs over the sea and the beaches. The scenery on this day reminded me of the scenery on the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail in Southern Algarve.
  • Cabo S.Vicente – a cape with a lighthouse and a fortress, impressive scenery, and the official end of the Rota Vicentina.

Challenges

  • The walk from Cabe S.Vicente to Sagres is mostly along the road though the scenery is still beautiful.

Stops on the way

  • At 14 km Cabo S.Vicente there are a couple of food stalls.

Sagres

  • Hotel – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – yes, 2 km outside the town
  • ATM – yes
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Beach – yes

A small beach town with a couple of nice beaches around, good surf spots, many hotels, and restaurants.

Sagres Sunny Room

Sagres Sunny Room – a nice place in the center of the town, comfortable room, clean and cozy. There are only two or three rooms in the season it’s usually fully booked.

More places to stay in Sagres

Cabo de S.Vicente, Fishermen's Trail, Portugal
The lighthouse at Cabo de São Vicente near Sagres

Day 10. Sagres – Salema, 20 km/12,4 mi

We haven’t walked this stretch of the Fishermen’s Trail from Sagres to Salema yet. I’ll update the post as soon as we complete it.

  • Distance – 20 km/12,4 mi
  • Time – 4 hours
  • Ascent – 550 m
  • Descent – 600 m
  • Difficulty level – 4 out of 5

Places to stay in Salema

Day 11. Salema – Praia da Luz, 12 km/7,4 mi

  • Distance – 12 km/7,4 mi
  • Time – 3-4 hours
  • Total ascent – 409 m
  • Total descent – 420 m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5
Elevation profile of the route from Salema to Praia da Luz
Elevation profile of the walk from Salema to Praia da Luz

Salema to Praia da Luz is a beautiful walk along the coast with some breathtaking views of unspoiled beaches from the cliffs. The first part from Salema to Burgau I enjoyed the most. There are not too many people on the trail, and the scenery is stunning. The second half from Salema to Praia da Luz is busier and more developed. There are houses and villas pretty much all the way from Salema to Luz. The scenery is still beautiful though.

For the entire 12 km, the route follows the coast you almost always can see the sea and the beaches. The water in this part of the Algarve is a bit warmer than on the West Coast. You can stop on the way for a quick swim and chill on the beach.

Salema to Praia da Luz route map
A map of the trail from Salema to Praia da Luz

Highlights

  • Boca do Rio Beach is a beautiful unspoiled beach
  • Almadena Fort – ruins of an old fort on the top of the cliffs with fantastic views
  • Almadena Beach is a long sandy beach surrounded by the cliffs
  • Praia das Cabanas Velhas is a small hidden beach with a restaurant
  • Burgau is a cozy white town with a picturesque beach
  • Praia da Luz is a small beach town crazy busy in the summer and very quiet outside of the season.

Challenges

Several short but sometimes steep ascents and descents

Stops on the way

At 6,5 km Burgau is a small beach town with several restaurants and cafes. Not many places are open before 9-10 am.

Praia da Luz

It’s a charming little town with many cafes and restaurants. We come here quite often especially outside of the summer months when the beach is completely empty.

  • Hotel – yes
  • Hostel – yes
  • Campsite – no
  • ATM – yes
  • Restaurant – yes
  • Supermarket/shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Beach – yes

Places to stay in Praia da Luz

A beautiful beach on the Fishermen's Trail in Portugal
Cabanas Velhas Beach, Fishermen’s Trail

The last two days of the Fishermen’s Trail are short you can walk them in one day as well. The total distance will be 22,5 km/14 mi. It’ll take 5-6 hours to complete the route.

Day 12. Praia da Luz to Lagos

  • Distance – 10,5 km/6,4 mi
  • Time – 2h30min. – 3 hours
  • Ascent – 251 m
  • Descent – 254 m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5
Elevation profile of the last stage of the Fishermen's Trail
Elevation profile of the last stage of the Fishermen’s Trail from Praia da Luz to Lagos

The walk from Praia da Luz to Lagos is one of our favorite parts of the Fishermen’s Trail. Probably because we live in Lagos and often walk it as a day hike. The route takes hikers to some of the highlights of the area such as Porto de Mos Beach, Ponta da Piedade, Camilo Beach, Done Ana Beach, etc.

The beginning of the trail is the most challenging part with a long and steep ascent to the top of the cliffs. It’s the part of the route with fewer people. The views from the top are spectacular. From Porto de Mos Beach the route goes through a quiet neighborhood of Lagos to Ponta da Piedade. I would recommend spending some time there and going to the lookout points some of them offer fantastic views.

If you have time stop at Camilo Beach. This hidden beach with a long staircase is one of the most picturesque beaches in Lagos. After Dona Ana Beach follow the trail on the top of the cliffs. The views from there are great.

The official end of the Fishermen’s Trail is at the train station in Lagos. You don’t have to walk all the way there and after Dona Ana Beach can head straight to your accommodation.

A route map of the walk from Praia da Luz to Lagos
A map of the walking route from Praia da Luz to Lagos

Highlights

  • Rocha Negra, a cliff with a lookout point
  • Porto de Mos Beach, one of the best beaches in Lagos
  • Ponta da Piedade, a picturesque cape with several lookout points and a lighthouse
  • Camilo Beach, a small hidden beach with a long staircase
  • Dona Ana Beach
  • Old Town of Lagos

Challenges

  • A long and steep ascent from Praia da Luz to the top of the cliff with a subsequent descent to Porto de Mos Beach.

Stops on the way

  • At 4 km Porto de Mos Beach with a couple of restaurants
  • At 8 km Camilo Beach with a restaurant
  • At 9 km Dona Ana Beach with a couple of restaurants

Places to stay in Lagos

If you decide to stay for a couple of days in Lagos to enjoy its beautiful beaches and relax after the hike send us a message so we can meet up for coffee or drinks. We live in Lagos and love meeting people who share our passion for hiking and the outdoors.

A view from a lookout point at Ponta da Piedade in Lagos
Stunning scenery at Ponta da Piedade at the end of the Fishermen’s Trail

Recommended books and guidebooks

Fishermen’s Trail planning resources

Questions or Comments?

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Sandie

Wednesday 28th of September 2022

Hey, thanks for all this great info. The one thing I am not finding is what you carried in your packs, specifically for sleeping? Lightweight sleeping bag or just a sheet sack for hostels? Every hostel and mountain hut seems to be different as to what is advised or allowed. I am planning on beginning of November and come from New England in the States so I'm used to cold and variable weather.

Also, trekking poles are a must for me, but that means I can never just do a carry-on bag on a flight. Is there any option in Lisbon or closer to the trail to rent poles? I doubt this, but thought I would ask.

Stingy Nomads

Wednesday 28th of September 2022

Hello Sandie. Thank you for the comment. Hostels, hotels, and guesthouses on the Fishermen's Trail have bedding, blankets/duvets. We never used sleeping bags or sheet sacks on the trail. I don't think you'll be able to rent poles but you can buy them in Lisbon. I would recommend looking for them in the Decathlon store. I don't know in what area of Lisbon you're going to stay but there is a store in the center of the city (here you can see the location https://www.decathlon.pt/store-view/loja-de-desporto-lisboa-centro-0070114401144) and they have poles in stock. The poles are not expensive you can buy them for 17 or 25 euros. After completing the trail you can leave them at one of the hostels. I'm sure they won't mind if you do so. Cheers

Maria

Thursday 28th of July 2022

Guys, what an awesome review!! I did one day trekking last year, almost accidentally and unprepared, but I'm planning on going the longer one in October this year, will definitely follow your hints!! Thanks a lot for your work and much success!

Cheers!

Maria

Monday 1st of August 2022

@Stingy Nomads,

No doubts there! Sure, i'll text you in FB once i'm in Lagos!

Cheers!

Stingy Nomads

Saturday 30th of July 2022

Hello Maria. Thank you for the feedback. October is a good time for hiking the Fishermen's Trai. I'm sure you'll enjoy the walk. We live in Lagos let us know if you're here we could meet up for coffee. Cheers

Sam

Thursday 26th of May 2022

Hello, we are from India. Your blog was extremely useful for us. We hiked the last 4 days. We will be in Lagos tonight and if you're free we would love to buy you a drink.

Stingy Nomads

Thursday 26th of May 2022

Hi. Thank you for the feedback. That would be great to meet up with you, guys. Send us a message on FB it'll be easier to communicate. https://www.facebook.com/stingynomads Cheers

James

Wednesday 20th of April 2022

Glad to see Nic at Ahoy Hostel is still in business. He's one of the best hosts I've ever encountered. He helped me find a fantastic meal--fresh sargo, cooked by a fisherman's wife. My trip through was in about 2015.

Andra

Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Hi guys, many thanks for your blog, it inspired me to walk Rota Vincentina! Just finished Fishermen Trail, now in Sagres. I enjoyed the hike very much. Just wanted to add about Carrapteira - there is good restaurant in the village center -Microbar, reasonably priced, and the food is excellent. I don't have time to do Sagres - Salema hike, hope to come back once again to this area. Congratulations with baby-stingy nomad! Have great trips in future, I hope to read about them here! Cheers, Andra (from Latvia)

Stingy Nomads

Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Hello, Andra. Thank you very much for the comment and for the restaurant recommendation. The Fishermen's Trail is a spectacular route. We're planning to start hiking/walking with our daughter soon. Hoping to walk the Portuguese Camino in May. If you decide to come to Lagos one day we'll be happy to meet up for coffee. All the best!

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