Alentejo & Algarve self guided walking holiday, Portugal

“Enjoy six days of self-guided walking amongst the pine groves, sand dunes and fishing harbours of southern Portugal at an average daily distance of 20kms.”


Vila Nova de Milfontes | Alentejo coastline | Mira Estuary | Porto Covo | Ilha do Pessegueiro | Rota Vicentina | Almograve | Zambujeira | Cabo Sardao lighthouse | Carvalhal Bay | Azenha do Mar | Praia de Odeceixe | inland Algarve | Aljezur | River Seixe | Choice of departure airports: Faro or Lisbon |

Description of Alentejo & Algarve self guided walking holiday, Portugal

If you’re looking for self guided walking holidays in Portugal that will take you far from the madding hordes and tourist resorts then you have most definitely come to the right place.

The Alentejo region, just north of the Algarve, is swathed in gently rolling hillsides studded with cork trees, olive groves and vineyards with shimmering fields of wheat providing oceans of gold against clear blue skies and a mild year round climate.

Contrasting coastal trails lead self guided walking holidays in Portugal to sand dunes, cliff tops and secret beaches where fishermen present the catch of the day and seafood grills at sunset provide the perfect end to a good day spent exploring outdoors.

As this eight day itinerary also includes Algarve walking holidays you’ll find numerous opportunities to compare both regions with the swells of the Atlantic the only consistent feature against a backdrop of rural trails, rugged valleys and meandering rivers leading to the coast.

This is a great chance to walk in an area of rural Portugal that’s sparsely populated, where local people will be happy to make your acquaintance or just nod and smile as you admire the surrounding landscapes and decide where to stop for a bite to eat and to take it all in.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Welcome to the charming parish of Vila Nova de Milfontes situated on the west of the Alentejo coastline overlooking the Mira Estuary and the swells of the Atlantic Ocean. Settle in and explore the town and the beautiful area surrounding your small hotel accommodation and find out more about the proximity to the walking trails of the Rota Vicentina.
Day 2:Today’s walking distance: 21kms over four hours. Slip into your hiking boots after breakfast in order to start your first full day in Portugal as you mean to go on. Beginning at the historic village of Porto Covo we’ll pass the island of Ilha do Pessegueiro with hard sand beaches and inland sand dunes marking our tracks en-route to a fishing harbour within the northern part of Vila Nova de Milfontes. (Overnight bed and breakfast accommodation.)
Day 3:Today’s walking distance: 16kms over four hours. A lovely coastal stroll signals the start of day three with pine groves, sand dunes and deserted beaches overlooked by cliff-top trails painting an easy-going picture of the Alentejo coast as we walk to the small fishing community of Almograve. (Overnight rural tourism accommodation with swimming pool.)
Day 4:Today’s walking distance: 21kms over five - six hours. Today’s walk takes you south from Almograve along the beach with panoramic views over the dunes and stork nesting grounds providing a couple of talking points en-route to Zambujeira by way of the traditional Portuguese lighthouse, Cabo Sardao. (Overnight bed and breakfast small hotel accommodation.)
Day 5:Today’s walking distance: 21kms over five hours. Follow the coastal path towards Carvalhal Bay which leads past the natural fishing harbour of Azenha do Mar where a delicious seafood restaurant provides the views and the sustenance prior to heading to Praia de Odeceixe and across the natural border into the Algarve. (Overnight bed and breakfast small hotel accommodation.)
Day 6:Today’s walking distance: 21kms over five hours. This morning we’ll continue walking along the coast and cross over the River Seixe and further into the Algarve en-route to the village of Aljezur which is well-known for its Moorish heritage and the medieval castle overlooking the town. (Overnight small hostel accommodation with double bedroom and private bathroom.)
Day 7:Today’s walking distance: 16kms over five hours. Your penultimate day of self-guided walking in the Algarve and Alentejo finds you exploring Aljezur’s old town cobbles before heading up to the castle or tackling a circular walk that returns you back to base by way of a picturesque stream. (Overnight small hostel accommodation with double bedroom and private bathroom.)
Day 8:If you haven’t opted to extend your tour of southwest Portugal further then today signals the end of the tour as you head back to either Faro or Lisbon airports to meet your scheduled flight home.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Departure information

This independent holiday is available any day of the year except August and the last two weeks of July.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

We are based locally on the Alentejo Coast and Vicentina Region in a small village called Vila Nova de Milfontes. We are well aware of the important impact of tourism on this unspoiled region situated on the Southwestern Europe.. This Alentejo Coast & VICENTINA region is known for its tranquility: deserted beaches, surrounded by beautiful steep cliffs. Inland you will find dales dams and cork oaks, undulating and rural scenery, the magnificent serpent-shaped River Mira, temperate weather all year long.
This is an opportunity to live together with homely and hospitable people, in a rural surrounding dominated by little white villages and traditional agriculture (we use small guest houses owned locally and open all the year). The local gastronomy (local restaurants are recommended during the briefing) based on fresh fish and seafood, and a menu full of tasty meals it’s also a highlight of this unique place.
Now all the route as markers during the all way (Saint Vicent’s Route), giving you more time to appreciate the landscape and helping to minimize the “footprint “impact. We apply to re-use the maps, to repair instead of buying new, reduce and recycle separating all the waste and using the eco points near the villages, the philosophy is to Recycle whatever you can while traveling. We strongly recommend the consumption of fruits and vegetables in season, grown on the area and we also clarify that people can drink from the tap and refill their own bottles.
Some of the accommodations did an upgrade on their energy consumption installing some solar panels and using aero generators. Some of them have adopted the policy to minimize the laundry (for towels and sheets) and putting signs in the bathroom explaining ways to save energy.
By following some of these easy steps people that visit us are contributing actively to a strong and sustainable relation with locals and their region.

The Impacts of this Trip

We respect local people and their customs, because they are the more important part of this region and they love to share our knowledge of Vicentina & Alentejo Coast Region with our clients.
We take our clients to a fantastic journey, walking trough desert beaches, stunning cliffs and amazing dunes and Rivers. Always using the accommodations owned locally and recommending the typical restaurants that serve traditional dishes focus on our local gastronomy.
We also provide people with contents about the main areas that they will discover during their adventure.
This walking holiday is much more than a ordinary walk from “a” to “b” is a unique experience to interact with local people and nature and taste/smell the original flavors of our region.
Because of all that e like to transmit people that hiking is the best way to discover every single thing with the correct detail. And that is what does this a unique experience, all together is a perfect mix of heritage, with nature, excellent food and very friendly people that have proud in their region and products.


18 Reviews of Alentejo & Algarve self guided walking holiday, Portugal

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 04 Oct 2019 by

Wonderful variety inland and coastal walking. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Apr 2019 by

The most memorable parts of our holidays were seeing the unbelievably gorgeous coastline, the profusion of spring wildflowers and tasting the excellent Altejo-style cooking available in every village inexpensively. Read full review

Reviewed on 31 Mar 2019 by

10/10 - we would go back and do it again! the operator and Ricardo were really great! Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Jun 2018 by

Excellent....we had great weather and met some really nice people. Ricardo is a lovely well rounded person and very attentive to his business concerns in an area that he truly loves. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Apr 2018 by

The highlight was the scenery and wildflowers. Excellent. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Mar 2018 by

The enormous seas on our first day. Flowers just coming into bloom. The storks nesting on sea stacks. Good food. Good accommodation. Friendly walkers and locals. Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Apr 2018 by

The wild flowers were particularly spectacular, especially the lupins. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Sep 2017 by

Stunning coastal scenery which changes along the route. Very remote & unspoilt coastline. The organisation was fantastic and all accommodation was lovely. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Sep 2017 by

We walked from Porto Covo to Arrifana over 6 days and we had an absolute ball. Throughout the entire week, it was some of the best scenery we have ever seen and the trails were so easy to follow. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Sep 2017 by

Scenery along route was amazing. Excellent well organised trip, very professional and very quick to respond to any needs we had while on route. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 May 2017 by

The track is one of the most beautiful coastal walks. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Oct 2017 by

Breathtaking cliff top walking with the Atlantic breakers smashing into rocks below. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 May 2017 by

The most memorable was the beautiful wild flowers, storks nesting on sea stacks and swallows nesting everywhere in the little villages. The people were lovely and all very proud of their country, countryside is beautiful... Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Jun 2016 by

It was a heavenly walking experience. A feast for the senses and easy on the feet! Read full review

Reviewed on 13 May 2016 by

Absolutely wonderful. We enjoyed every moment of it and will treasure all the memories we have been getting. We are already discussing when we can come back and do other trails along the coast. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Jan 2014 by

Wonderful holiday! More Canadians (North Americans) should know about Portugal and it’s walking tours. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Nov 2013 by

The self-guided walking tour of the Rota Vincentina was overall a great experience. We would gladly return to walk some of the other routes of Southwest Portugal...The trail was incredible. The coastal scenery was breathtaking and access to isolated beaches provided great natural experiences. Read full review

Reviewed on 09 Apr 2013 by

Seeing and feeling the beautiful energy from the ocean as spring broke over Portugal was the most memorable part of my holiday. My every need was considered and prepared for, and the scenery and fresh air was spectacular. Read full review

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