Portugal Coastal Hiking

Destination: Portugal

| Activities: Hiking and Culture

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

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

Departures and Prices

October 19 to October 27, 2024
$4150.00 - Available
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Inclusions

  • A local guide and an AGC guide (If there are 8 or fewer participants on the trip, there will not be an AGC guide)
  • 8 nights double occupancy lodging
  • All meals from lunch on the first day through breakfast on the day of departure
  • 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, trip insurance, alcoholic beverages and gratuities.

Trip Info

This trip is designed for women who enjoy hiking and want to explore Portugal on foot. Hiking is generally 4 - 8 hours with elevation changes on dirt trails, sand, rocky paths, and occasionally uneven footing. A rating of 4 requires some aerobic conditioning, such as walking vigorously up hills, jogging, cross country skiing or stair stepping for 40 - 60 minutes at least 4-5 times a week. The area of Portugal we will be exploring is hilly, we recommend that you include stairclimbing in your fitness routine. Rating: 1 2 3 [4] 5.

This trip is designed as a hiking exploration of the natural beauty and diversity of Portugal's landscape, while immersing ourselves in the raw beauty of Portugal's coastline, cuisine, and historical relevance. We will be hiking 4-8 hours a day along the cliffs, high sand dunes, beaches, and forests of eastern Portugal.

All accommodations are quality inns or guest houses.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

DAY 1
Our first meeting as a group will be at noon at our hotel in Lisbon, where we will also enjoy lunch on the patio. 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 Bairro Alto we walk down to Baixa-Chiado, the heart of the city center. We continue to Alfama, known for its warren of small winding streets as befits the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon. Last but not least on our tour we visit the ancient castle Castelo de Sao Jorge, recently restored to its former glory. We return to our hotel in time to clean up and relax before sharing our first dinner together.

Walking: approximately 5 miles. Overnight: Maxime Hotel, Lisbon (L,D)
DAY 2
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 hike from the Valley of the Lakes to the Chalet of the Countess of Edla, in the Pena Palace Park. We will then reach the High Cross, highest peak of the "Serra" and from here we walk through gardens that were inspired by the Romantic poets to the lovely grounds of Pena Palace and the palace itself, a multihued castle full of both quirks and history. We will go down to the town of Sintra through the Castelo Dos Mouros (Castle of the Moors), originally built as a defensive outlook when Portugal was part of the Moorish Empire. We will tour the castle before descending the hill to the town of Sintra, with time to wander through the town on your own before dinner.

Walking and hiking: approximately 5 miles. Elevation gain: 600 feet, Loss: 900 feet. Overnight: Nova Sintra (B, L, D)
DAY 3
Driving to the west coast of Sintra and Magoito beach, we start our hike on top of the cliffs. Passing through the crib-shaped village of Azenhas do Mar, we reach Praia das Maçãs beach known for its white sand and surfable waves. In the distance we see our destination, the lighthouse of Cabo da Roca (Cape Roca), the westernmost point of mainland Europe and 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. Depending on our desire and energy level we will head up and then down close to Ursa Beach, a much wilder and less visited beach with striking rock formations, along with very steep trails in both directions before we reach the Cape. There are several endemic species of plants here found nowhere else in Portugal. From Cape Roca we take a 30-minute ride back to Sintra for our second night there.

Hiking: approximately 10 miles. Elevation gain: 1570 feet, Loss: 1200 feet. Overnight: Nova Sintra (B, L, D)
DAY 4
Starting from Peninha, a former sanctuary and pilgrimage site with amazing views of the Nature Park and surrounding area, we descend through the forest until we reach the coast. The ground changes from a deep orange to a tinge of red as we get closer to Guincho Beach. Guincho Beach is internationally famous for surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing due to the steady and strong northern winds. After wave-watching we head south to the lovely town of Milfontes, our home for the next two nights.

Hiking: approximately 6 miles. Elevation gain: 266 feet, Loss: 1,700 feet. Overnight: Villa Eira, Vila Nova de Milfontes (B, L, D)
DAY 5
Today will be our first introduction to the Fisherman's trail or Rota Vicentina. The trail's charm derives from the sand dunes, a vast array of amazing colors, aromas, and shapes. The trail takes us to wild beaches, towering cliffs, and spectacular wildflowers. This area is known as the home of many Swifts: Alpine, Pallid and Common Swifts all nest along the coast. We should also see storks which love to make their nests in high remote spots along the trail. Does the ocean call you? There will be time to enjoy the beach and even take a dive if you feel like it.

Hiking: approximately 7.5 miles and elevation gain/loss ~300 feet. Overnight: Villa Eira, Vila Nova de Milfontes (B, L, D)
DAY 6
We will hike on top of high cliffs that are the nesting site for over twenty species of birds, admire small fishing harbors, cross 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: approximately 10 miles. Elevation gain: 660 feet, Loss: 650 feet. Overnight: Monte João Roupeiro, Odeceixe (B, L, D)
DAY 7
Our day will start south of Praia da Amália, named after the famous Portuguese Fado singer, Amália Rodrigues, who used to spend her holidays there. Continuing toward the natural fishing harbor of Azenha, we'll enjoy outstanding views at Ponta em Branco, the border between the regions of Algarve and Alentejo, until we cross the shallow Seixe River and reach the beach of Odeceixe for a picnic. We will continue on the coastline towards our “Monte”, a type of construction that has its origins at the beginning of the Iron Age, 7th century BC. We will need our water shoes today!

Hiking: approximately 7 miles. Elevation gain: 850 feet, Loss: 725 feet. Overnight: Monte João Roupeiro, Odeceixe (B, L, D)
DAY 8
This morning, we will walk from our accommodation across agricultural fields until we reach the coast for a last splendid hike. We will witness what is called “Barranco” (a kind of ravine that doesn't allow us to hike coastally anymore) and is very characteristic of this area. After a quick lunch, we will head back to Lisbon. The remainder of the day can be spent visiting one of the many museums in Lisbon, walking around Alfama, or along the river, shopping or relaxing.

Walking: 3 miles. Overnight:Maxime Hotel, Lisbon (B, L, D)
DAY 9
Sadly, we have to say goodbye today. You can plan to leave anytime today. The hotel can help book taxis to the airport.

(B)

4.7

(48 reviews)
4.3 Food
4.2 Lodging
4.5 Safety
5
(37)
4
(9)
3
(2)
2
(0)
1
(0)

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "What made this trip special for you?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

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Anita B.
0 months ago

Staying in a remote hotel in Portugal. Exploring the good and wine of Portugal

Pat E.
0 months ago

Maureen M.
0 months ago

The camaraderie of the group as amazing. I truly feel that our guides, Annabelle and Trisha made this trip. Wonderful trip. I recommend somehow seeing Belem as a group. I would recommend everyone getting in the night before- meeting early and then doing Belem and the castle. I did not think there was enough time in Lisbon and there seemed to be some wasted time on the first/last day.

Jessica B.
1 month ago

Portugal is a wonderful country to visit and I enjoyed seeing a new country. People I encountered were friendly and helpful. The Atlantic coast of Portugal is a beautiful place to hike - there are rugged cliffs and crashing waves, sandy trails, sandy beaches and small fishing harbors. I wish we had skipped the last half day of hiking on Saturday (3 miles) and returned to Lisbon earlier in the day so that I could have gone to a museum.

Christine G.
1 month ago

Hikes, group, itinerary

Nancy F.
5 months ago

The country, the hiking, the group, and the leaders.

Ellen R.
5 months ago

By far, the most special parts of the trip were the magnificent beauty of the coast of Portugal and the gracious and genuine warmth of the Portuguese people.

Carol B.
5 months ago

The women with whom I experienced Portugal. Hiking along the Fisherman's Trail.

Gail T.
5 months ago

Julie R.
11 months ago

It was a fantastic trip from start to finish. Highlights include the spectacular coastal scenery, pleasantly challenging hiking, the storks, wildflowers, delicious food and wine, meeting new people, and our two fantastic guides, Kaitlyn and Annabelle.

Peggy C.
1 year ago

Our guides, Kaitlyn (AGC) and Annabelle (BORK) were great. The overall group of women was very cohesive and enjoyed being together. Portugal was a beautiful country to visit.

Cynthia W.
1 year ago

Portugal was absolutely beautiful and the trip was great. I loved the food, the wine, the hiking, the castles, the coastal villages that we got to visit, the storks and their nests all over the coast and our fabulous guides - Annabelle and Kaitlyn!

Nancy T.
1 year ago

The guides, the location, and the comraderie of all of the women participants. Both our AGC guide, Kaitlyn, and our local guide, Annabelle, were terrific leaders.

Sherri R.
1 year ago

The beauty of Portugal and its people. The fantastic food and wine helps too!

Eileen S.
1 year ago

The guides - both local and from AGC were fantastic. It is also a lot of fun to meet other women from across the US who also enjoy adventurous days , bonding over the experience.

Esmeralda O.
1 year ago

The trip overall has exceeded my expectations. The accommodations were first class, the company was superb, the sceneries were beautiful and the guides were delightful!

Janet H.
1 year ago

I really enjoyed seeing the beauty of Portugal up-close and in "good company". It was great to see some castles and churches but hiking the coastline was phenomenal. The cliffs and storks will be cherished memories for as long as I can remember. Who knew Storks were shore birds? I thought they lived in chimneys in Denmark. The trip felt authentic, like I was seeing coastal Portugal in a unique way that I could not have done on my own. It was also nice to have everything arranged and feel like you were in good hands. It did frustrate me at times that we always had to be at full speed when there was no seeming reason to rush to our destination and we were hiking through gorgeous scenery or watching hilarious sailboat races sipping wine along the Tagus River. I am definitely signing up for another trip, it was one of the best vacations of my life. Despite my jet-lag everyone said I looked relaxed and happy when I got home.

Helen B.
1 year ago

Christine L.
1 year ago

Everything was perfect. Kaitlyn was super fun, the food was great and plentiful, I loved the hotels and the hiking was gorgeous.

Cheryl L.
2 years ago

The gorgeous scenery. Meeting some interesting women.

Peggy C.
2 years ago

The country of Portugal is beautiful! I LOVED the exercise and food. Very inspiring and exceeded my expectations.

Barbara T.
2 years ago

The Doulbe A's! Annabelle and Anne handled everything so well.....transportation, food, lodging. Exceptional

Leslie W.
2 years ago

Spectacular scenery, and two very special guides, Ann and Annabel.

Roxanne D.
2 years ago

The lodging was great and having wine with dinner was a great treat.

Deborah N.
2 years ago

The hiking trail was truly spectacular and the women I met on the trip were equally fun and interesting.

Patty B.
2 years ago

The scenery was spectacular, and the food and wine were delicious!

Tracy H.
2 years ago

Scenery

Deborah M.
2 years ago

excellent lodging throughout; the food was wonderful

Kathy W.
5 years ago

Fellow travelers

Anne S.
5 years ago

Guides and great women hikers!

Marie C.
5 years ago

Pat S.
5 years ago

Perfect itinerary, great accommodations, fabulous food and wine experiences, but mostly the fabulous guides and gals in our group.

Karen H.
5 years ago

Learning about Portugal, the hiking experience, sharing this experience with nice, interesting woman (participants and guides)

Teresa R.
5 years ago

Visiting a new country, the beauty of the landscape, exploring a new place on foot. The well organized details of lodging and meals, a true vacation in not having to make all the travel detail decisions. A good group of women to travel with-kind, energetic, progressive, interesting.

Jacqueline H.
5 years ago

Everything

Karen H.
5 years ago

The Portuguese people were all so generous and kind. Being in the small towns and restaurants was a highlight. The guides were also a highlight. And the fado was the best!

Diane M.
5 years ago

Well planned out...guides were excellent

Kelly M.
5 years ago

The Portuguese, the scenery, accommodations, food, friendliness, and a terrific local host, Annabelle

Lori M.
5 years ago

Portuguese people, vegetation and two wonderful guides

Deborah S.
5 years ago

The highlights for me were the beautiful views from the tops of the cliffs and how beautiful green Portugal was. The places we stayed were perfect with some exceptional views from balconies. This was my first trip with AGC and will surely do another trip with them.

Elizabeth R.
6 years ago

Hiking was great. Especially loved hiking in the gardens around the Pena Palace and walking in sand; along the coastal routes. Great guides; interesting history and culture; beautiful scenary; stork nests.

Anne K.
6 years ago

I appreciated the flexibility of our guides when requests were made or challenges arose. They made everything so seamless and enjoyable. I thought the varied scenery and experiences were fabulous.

Deanne L.
6 years ago

There were so many highlights, to name a few: The fisherman's trail in particular was so beautiful and very accessible hiking. I really liked hiking in the sand e.g. I also liked the mix of locations we visited. The hike to the palace etc.. in Sintra was hard at times but amazing. We all loved seeing the storks on the cliffs. You all did a great trip planning the itinerary because we never had to drive too much., We had some down time (which was really nice) but also challenging hikes. It was also a highlight to get to know other women from around the country as well.

Cathy M.
6 years ago

Ideal itinerary. Beautiful hiking. Accommodations were excellent.

Judy M.
6 years ago

Loved the scenery! Grateful for the beautiful weather we had. Nice not having to worry about coordinating anything - you guys took care of it all.

Sarah P.
6 years ago

It really was a great trip. I appreciated the guides, I loved, loved the accommodations, I enjoyed the little side trips I was able to take, I thought the food was quite good, and I liked the hiking.

Cynthia D.
6 years ago

I was expecting a bit more focus on bird activity.

Debra R.
6 years ago

My personal highlight was seeing the Storks on their nests and watching a pair greet each other. Walking the Fisherman;s trail was wonderful. The only thing I missed was a cork plantation - if there is such a thing. I would have liked to learn more about that industry, which is unique to Portugal. I wanted to feel the tree once the bark was stripped. I wanted to learn the numbering of said trees and more!

  1. Where do we eat?

    Your breakfasts will be buffets at the hotels where you are staying. Dinners are in restaurants with typically a choice of a first course and a fish or meat entree. Lunches may either be picnics or in restaurants.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    Vegetarian (and vegan) options for this trip are available but are more limited than you are used to. If you are concerned about having enough protein during your trip, please bring some plant-based protein sources such as nut butter, instant dried hummus, or high-protein energy bars. If you cannot eat gluten or if you have other dietary restrictions, you will need to bring some supplemental food with you. Please contact the office if this is a potential concern for you.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we’ll pair you up with someone and then switch roommates every time we switch lodging.
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