Rota Vicentina

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

vicentina6We 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.

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8 thoughts on “Rota Vicentina

  1. That looks great! I lived in the Algarve for a while and met my husband there, so when this route was promoted we really wanted to do it. It is still part of a very long plan involving Lisbon, Porto and Santiago … Enjoy your planning and preparation, and of course the walk – can’t wait to see the pics!

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    • One of my original thoughts was that I could start at the lighthouse and walk north to Lisbon and then to Santiago and on to Muxia… that would be rather fabulous! And still on the wish list 😀

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        • I just had a look on Gronze… that looks like a great trip! Mind you, I’d expect nothing less from you 🙂 I would love to do another really long trek but Gerry is not at all keen… 4 weeks is the most at the moment… so I’m thinking maybe the Portugues in spring 2018. There are just so many to choose! I think also one day I might try to be as brave as you and walk alone on one of the quiet routes.

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    • We’ve gone through each daily end point and looked on Booking.com and Airbnb and found a mix of mainly small B&B type accommodation. It’s pretty reasonable price wise; maybe an average of 45€ but fine as there are two of us to split this between. There was only one night where we paid proper hotel prices but it’s Gerry’s birthday so not so bad 😉 There were usually a few accommodation choices but I was also surprised at how many places were already booked… I’m guessing because the route is popular? We got great prices on the Bordeaux-Lisbon flights too.

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