From: April 14 to April 22, 2018

Destination: Portugal

  • Portugal Coastal Hiking - FULL

    Portugal is the oldest nation-state in Europe, ancient in history and rich in maritime culture. We'll enjoy the view from the westernmost point of Europe, and soak in Portugal's diverse landscape by hiking along white sand beaches and through thick forests. We will explore fascinating historic sites including ancient castles, a lavish palace and abandoned monasteries. From there we head south to hike on the Fisherman's Trail of the Rota Vicentina, another of Portugals' jewels. The trail runs along the coastline where we will be awed by wild beaches, towering cliffs, speculator wildflowers and nesting storks. Along the way we'll experience Portugal's cuisine and have the opportunity to indulge in some Portuguese wine. Maximum group size: 12

    THIS TRIP IS FULL. To get on a waitlist, register for the trip (no deposit required).

    Download Trip Summary and Packing List

  • April 14, Saturday
    A group transfer from the airport will be offered at 10 AM and our first meeting as a group will be at noon at our hotel in Lisbon. After greetings, introducing ourselves, and having a brief orientation to the trip we will set out on a walking tour of the older and more interesting neighborhoods in Lisbon. Get ready for the stairs and hills. Starting in the Bairro Alto we will walk down to Baixa-Chiado and visit the heart of the city center where we will stop for lunch before continuing to Alfama, the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon known for its warren of small winding streets. Next we visit the Castelo de Sao Jorge. This ancient castle has recently been restored to its formal glory. We will return to our hotel in time to clean up and relax before sharing our first dinner together. Walking approximately 5 miles.

    April 15, Sunday
    After breakfast we head to Sintra, name of both the town and the Natural Park, and our home for the next three nights. It is one of Portugal's best known and most beloved sites, past and present, as evidenced by the castles and palaces built here over the centuries. We will start from the middle of town and wind our way up to the Castelo Dos Mouros (Castle of the Moors), originally built as a defensive outlook when Portugal was part of the Moorish Empire. From here we walk through gardens that were inspired by the Romantic poets. We will walk through the lovely grounds of Pena Palace to the palace itself, a multihued castle full of both quirks and history. We will tour the castle before descending the hill to the town of Sintra where there will be time to wander through the town on your own before dinner. Overnight, and the next two nights, at the Nova Sintra. Walking and hiking, approx 9 miles.

    April 16, Monday
    We will drive to the west coast of Sintra to Magoito beach where we will start our hike on top of the cliffs. We will discover the village of Azenhas do Mar which has the shape of a crib with several ledges up the hill. We will reach Praia das Macas, a beach known for its white sand and great waves for surfing. We will continue walking along sandy paths and cliff tops to Cabo da Roca (Cape Roca), the westernmost point of Europe, once thought to be the edge of the world. Along the way we descend to Adraga beach, where we can enjoy a bowl of traditional soup; and Ursa Beach, a much wilder and less visited beach with striking rock formations and crashing surf. There are several endemic species of plants here found nowhere else in Portugal. From here we take a 30 minute ride back to Sintra for our second night there. Hiking approx. 9 miles.

    April 17, Tuesday
    We will start from Peninha, a former sanctuary and pilgrimage site with amazing views of the Nature Park and surrounding area. We begin our descent to the coast by walking deep in the forest until we reach the coast. We will be amazed to watch the ground change from a deep orange to red tinged when we get closer to Guincho Beach. We will cross small villages on our way to Guincho, one of the most famous beaches for surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing due to the steady and strong northern winds. Hiking approx. 5 miles. In the afternoon, you will have some time to explore Sintra and its tiny streets.

    April 18, Wednesday
    Today we head south to the our first hiking on the Fisherman's trail or Rota Vicentina. We will begin at it's most northern point Porto Covo and discover the trail's charm by walking on the sand dunes with a vast array of amazing colours, aromas, and shapes until we reach the Pessegueiro Island. We will be awed at the cliffs we walk on, beaches we pass, and wildflowers we see. We will stop for lunch by the beach at IIha do Pessegueiro just outside of Porto Covo. After lunch we will continue on the trail admiring the raw beauty of the coast line - 2 1/2 hour driving Hiking approx. 5 miles (don't let the low mileage fool you, there are lots of ups and down and sand to hike on.)

    April 19, Thursday
    Today we start with a short boat ride across the Mira River. We will join the Fisherman's trail at the southern edge of Vila Nova de Milfontes and hike on top of the cliffs following along the coast. We will be treated to wild beaches, towering cliffs and spectacular wildflowers. We will be able to see many Swifts (similar to a swallow) as Alpine, Pallid and Common Swift all nest along the coast. We should also see storks which love to make their nests in high remote spots along the trail. We will have time to enjoy the beach and take a dive if you feel like it. Hiking approx. 7 miles

    April 20, Friday
    We will hike on top of high cliffs that are the nesting site for over twenty species of birds, admire small fishing harbors, reddish sand dunes and smell the scent of pine tree forests. At times large agricultural fields stretch right down to the ocean. We will also see plenty of recreational fishermen and small Stone Age quarries amongst the dunes, a reminder that humans have been shaping this coastline since time immemorial. Hiking approx: 11 miles

    April 21, Saturday
    Our hike will start in Zambujeira do Mar near the Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Mar, a white-washed simple nave temple dedicated to Our Lady of the Sea. We will walk on the beaches of Alteirinho, Carvalhal, Machados, and Amalia, named after the most famous Portuguese Fado Singer Amalia Rodrigues who used to spend her holidays there. We will continue towards the natural fishing harbor of Azenha and enjoy outstanding views at Ponta em Branco, the border between the regions of Algarve and Alentejo until we cross the shallow Seixe River (we will need our water shoes) and reach the beach of Odeceixe. Hiking approx. 9 miles

    April 22, Sunday
    Sadly, we have to say good bye today. We will have a 2 3/4 hr trip back to the airport. You can plan to leave at anytime after 2pm or stay and explore Portgual even more!
  • $2895  (Click here for travel discounts) $400 deposit. Single supplement (only required if you want a room to yourself) is $425. You can read our cancellation policies here

    Trip Includes

    • A local guide and an Adventures in Good Company guide
    • 8 nights double occupancy lodging
    • All meals from lunch on the first day through breakfast on the day of departure
    • Airport transfer to hotel at 10AM for those arriving on the first day of trip, 4/21
    • All transportation within Portugal
    • All entrance fees and activities as described in the itinerary

    Not included: Airfare to and from the Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS), transfers to and from the trip hotel except for the day the trip begins, trip insurance, alcoholic beverages, gratuities.
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  • Common Questions

    If you’ve never traveled with us before, you may have some questions about how we do things and what you can expect. We’ve answered the most common ones below and are always available by phone or email to answer any others.

    How do I pay for my trip?

    You can make the deposit by submitting a secure form with your credit card information after filling out the registration form or calling us with your card information. We will send you an invoice for the balance due with your Predeparture Information 4 months before an International trip and 3 months before a domestic trip. You can get a 3% discount for paying the balance by check.

    What if I’m coming alone?

    The majority of women who travel with us come by themselves. If you want to pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room, or if you want to share a room with someone with whom you are traveling, you can indicate that on the registration form. Otherwise we randomly assign roommates and rotate every time we change lodging – it’s a great way to get to know different women on the trip.

    Can you accommodate special diets?

    It depends on both the trip and on your specific needs. With advance notice, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions or allergies on our domestic trips, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten intolerant. This is not always true on international trips, so please contact us in advance if you have specific dietary needs. We've found that if you are willing to bring some of your own snacks and a couple of items to supplement what is on the menu (peanut butter is always good!) and possibly have less variety than you are used to at home, then dietary needs usually are no obstacle. If in doubt about your specific dietary needs, especially if you have Celiac disease, please give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email.

    What if I have to cancel my trip?

    The amount of your refund depends on how close to the trip you cancel and whether it is a domestic or an international trip. You can read our cancellation policies here. We highly recommend travel insurance because cancellations are always unexpected; we will send you additional information about insurance when you register.

    Will my family be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency?

    Yes, we always send out emergency contact information. On a few trips, because of limitations in communication, the best approach is to give them the office number and let us make the contact.

    What other information will you send me?

    When you register, we’ll send you a Trip Summary that includes the itinerary, travel information, and a packing list. Three to four months before your trip we’ll send you Pre-Departure information that includes detailed information on how to get to the trip starting point, pre- or post-trip lodging suggestions, suggested books and websites etc. Four to six weeks before the trip, we’ll send you a list of everyone who is registered along with their travel plans; and a Pre-Trip letter with the name of your guide(s) and how to contact them if your arrival is delayed as well as any other important updates.

    Do you help with pre-trip and/or post-trip hotel reservations?

    For international trips, if you want to stay at the hotel where we’re staying the first night before the trip, or at the hotel we’re staying the last night after the trip, we’re happy to make a reservation for you. Otherwise our PreDeparture Information will have hotel suggestions. Our travel agent is also happy to help you with this.

    How does the waitlist process work and how often do people cancel?

    If you are interested in a trip that is full, you should sign up here. If there is a cancellation, we send out an email to everyone who has expressed interest and ask them to respond within 24 hours. If more than one person is interested, we give the space to the person who has traveled with us before or in the order of being put on the waitlist. Frequently, even when we have a long wait list, it is the last person to sign up who is still available to go. Whether or not there will be a cancellation is completely unpredictable, although not uncommon.

    What is the role of the guide(s)?

    On every trip, the primary roles of the guide(s) are to ensure your safety and to make sure that, to the extent possible, you are having the trip you want. The guide(s) will also make sure that you know what is happening each day and what you need to bring to be prepared. On domestic trips the guide(s) will also likely be driving, preparing picnic lunches and sometimes other meals, providing skills instruction, and giving you information about the natural history of the area. On any trip where we partner with another company (which is most international trips and some trips that require special equipment), the AGC guide will work with the local guide to make sure that the trip is conducted in accordance with the AGC philosophy.

    What if I have more questions?

    Give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email. A Program Manager is assigned to each trip. Once you have registered, she will send you a registration confirmation letter that includes her name and email, and she will be your primary contact. Her job is to make sure that you get all your questions answered and that you feel completely prepared for your adventure.

    What if I'm the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape/only single woman/only mom on the trip?

    You might be. Someone has to be the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape person on the trip. And while the great majority of our trips have both single and non-single women, and moms and non-moms, sometimes they don't. But it doesn't matter if you're "different" in any of those ways - what you will share with everyone else is a desire to experience adventure in your life, and an appreciation of the joy and camaraderie of being in an all women's group.

Trip highlights

  • Hiking through a myriad of cinematic landscapes, from white sand beaches and thick forests, to limestone cliffs and rocky outcrops
  • Hiking along the rugged coastline on the Fisherman's Trail
  • Visiting historic castles, monasteries, and two sets of dinosaur tracks
  • Exploring the culture of the nation's capital with a walking tour of some of Lisbon's oldest and most interesting neighborhoods
  • Experiencing the unique maritime cuisine of Portugal

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