Walking in an anytime wonderland
The 2013 opening of the 350km Rota Vicentina gave Portugal one of the world's finest walks. 120km hugs the Atlantic on the Fishermen's Trail, while the Historical Way crosses tranquil wildflower valleys, cork forests and Alentejo uplands still paced by shepherds. This old pilgrims' trail is stamped with history churches, old country houses, time-warp villages where locals delight to chat about their lives and your journey.
Inland from the Algarve beaches, the Serra de Monchique's ancient paths track through orange and almond groves, and woods scented with eucalyptus and arbutus. Long valley views provide ready-made pauses. For geo-drama, the Serra de Estrela constitute Portugal's highest mountains, a north-east national park mixing limestone peaks, mossy waterfalls, granite caves and rippling rivers. In winter, this is also ski country though luxury retreats offer relaxation amid beauty year-round.