Self-guided walking holiday in Alentejo, Portugal
Description of Self-guided walking holiday in Alentejo, Portugal
Our trips run from the 1st Feb to 30th June and 13th Sept to 15th Nov, to avoid the hottest part of the summer and the worst of the rainy season
TRAVELLING BY TRAIN:
We provide information about the routes and tickets for train travel to Lisbon from the major European cities. In addition, we will provide all the details of the express bus connection from Lisbon train station to the starting point of this holiday.
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetTrain travel can be used to reach the holiday destination. See above for more details. This is a walking holiday which is a low carbon form of travelling.
We always sub-contract any services to local partners. Local produce is used as much as possible. We use accommodation that uses solar panels.
We encourage our clients always to consider their carbon footprint when making their travel arrangements. Flying may be more convenient and less time consuming, but there are good rails connections from most major European cities to Lisbon. For instance, it's easy to reach Portugal by train from London, by early morning Eurostar from London to Paris, a high-speed TGV from Paris to Irun on the Spanish frontier, then the famous Sud Express overnight to Lisbon with sleeping-cars, restaurant & bar, the civilised eco-friendly way to reach Portugal.
Within Portugal, there is an extensive network of express coaches which connect with all the start and finish points of our programmes. We provide clients with comprehensive information sheets detailing the various public transport options ,so that you can plan your whole journey so that the international segments can connect with in country options. Long distance private minibus or taxi transfers should not be needed.
Since 2014, we have been an active partner of Rota Vicentina Association which has been carrying out several studies on the region about the impact of walkers on these trails. As a result, they attempt to spread awareness on how human activity is leading to the extinction of endangered species and habitats hence, proving the need to protect these animal habitats. Our walk information pack describes this vital work and details the different flora and fauna that may be encountered on each stage of the programme.
To protect this fragile coast, the Natural Park authority recommends a limit of 25 walkers in a group. We go one step further and place a limit of 12, because the trails are very narrow in places. At such places, encountering walkers from the opposite direction can lead to damage to adjacent plant life as not everybody is prepared to wait patiently while 20 plus people pass them.
Whilst many of the accommodations are located within the villages, a number are more rural and have been able to make a greater contribution to the environment, particularly at Monte da Galrixa in São Teotónio, which has a large solar panel array to provide for most of its own needs and also feed excess energy back into the public network. The restaurant, "Quintal dos Sabores", linked to two of our favoured guest houses in Odeceixe, prides itself in mainly using organic produce from the family farm and orange grove.
PeopleWe are "godparents" of a small section of trail and often assist in the maintenance of the trails in the region to ensure that the highest levels of quality and enjoyment for visitors using the trails.
Accommodation and meals:
On this tour, the nights are spent in various family owned hotels and guest houses that employ local staff and purchase local produce whenever possible. This ensures that we directly contribute to the local community. Our clients are given a list of recommended local restaurants and cafes where they can try regional delicacies. Grilled sea bream or sea bass, line caught by locals, should not be missed.
Local culture and artisans:
Although this tour is mainly focused on the incredible scenery and rich biodiversity there are several opportunities for clients to visit small souvenir shops, art galleries, carpenters and basket makers to support local artisans in the villages that they will be staying in throughout this trip. The information pack gives recoomendations in different locations along the route.