An Unplanned Visit to the Costa Vicentina
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After finishing up our house sit in Algoz, we packed our bags and took the train to Lagos on the coast. This will be our next spot, having rented an apartment for 3 weeks. However, someone screwed up (OK, maybe it was me…) and somehow booked the apartment for 6 days after our house sit ended.
So, what were we to do for 6 days? We rented a car, booked a super cute studio apartment and headed out to the the Vicentine National Park in the Alentejo region Portugal! My original plan included renting a VW camper and wild camping along the cliffs but Terry thought he might want hot, running water. As it turns out the car + apartment option is cheaper but I still get a little jealous every time we pass a parking lot filled with camper vans.
Hiking the Alentejo Region
Until researching this area (somewhat belatedly) I had no idea the Rota Vicentina existed. It turns out there is a hiking trail running over 230km north to south along the west coast of Southern Portugal. It has swiftly been added to our bucket list!
Luckily for us, there are also additional circular routes and additional fishermen’s trails that can easily be done as day hikes. We chose Carrapateira as our home base in part because it seemed like a cute traditional village with some amenities but also as it is the starting point for a number of hikes.
With four full days, I picked some interesting trails and we headed out each day with a new one in mind. These trails are incredibly well-marked and scenic. We did have a couple of days of rain. After getting soaked towards the end of one hike, the next day when the rain started we were high on a cliff’s edge with many kilometres left. For better or worse, we happened to be near a shortcut back to the car so we decided to cut our losses. This isn’t tropical rain here! The hike was supposed to take us past a beautiful beach and town so we cheated and drove there instead.
If you are heading to Portugal, put the Vicentina Coast on your list of must-sees and pack good hiking shoes. Why? I’m going to let the pictures explain.
There’s not much more to say about the week so let me just fill your screen with pictures. Eventually I’ll write about each hike, and the area, in more detail but until then, enjoy the scenery!
So, have you pulled out your notebook and added this area to your bucket list yet??
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