Just when you think all of your ducks are in line and sorted, something comes along and changes everything. Namely my plan to walk the Camino Portuguese this autumn fell apart when just one of our dates changed. I thought that maybe I could sneak in four weeks of walking but it seems that I was being a more than a little optimistic.
My four weeks have dropped back to two weeks and so I’ve spent a few days researching alternative routes. We had a few limitations. Gerry wants to walk with me (YEAH) but he has to fit in the walking around his work and other commitments, so we narrowed our dates down to 15 days in October
We wanted a walk where the weather would be nice; we’ve tried to optimise our chances of warm and dry rather than cold and wet. Of course there are no guarantees but our thinking is that the more south the better.
And we wanted a walk where transport would be relatively easy for us and as Bordeaux is our nearest biggest airport we looked at suitable destinations from here with the lo-cost airlines.
With our criteria defined there were a few routes that were possible but we’ve opted for the Rota Vicentina:
- It’s south of Lisbon and we will be walking south to the Algarve, so the weather (we hope) should be reasonable.
- Lisbon has daily flights from Bordeaux
- The entire route has 12 stages, over a mix of terrain, which fits perfectly into our 2 week timescale.
The Rota Vicentina is a network of walking trails in South West Portugal, along the most beautiful and best preserved coastline of Southern Europe. All in all, this walk seems to tick all of our boxes… so we took the plunge and booked our flights and accommodation… it would seem we are committed!
In February 2016, the Historical Way of the Rota Vicentina was certified by the European wide label “Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe”, a certification from ERA – European Ramblers Association – joining the exclusive group of the best walking destinations in Europe.
We’re going to start our walk in Santiago de Cacem and walk south to the most southerly point of Portugal, Cabo de San Vicente. We’ll follow the stages recommended the Rota Vicentina website. This website is great and holds loads of great information, along with fact sheets of each stage.
This is a beautiful walk and offers countryside, history, clifftops and beaches… I’m more than a little excited.