Join a group of NOLS grads, friends and instructors for a week of spectacular autumn hiking along southwest Portugal’s dramatic coast as we walk between small fishing villages.
Portugal’s Fishermen’s Trail stretches from Sao Torpes’ western-facing beaches to Lagos along the south coast. The trail’s name is no coincidence, it literally stitches together informal fishing trails, beach and surf access, Roman roads, country lanes, sandy 4WD paths and farm tracks. The trail through Southwest Alentejo and Vicenti Coast Natural Park is continually expanding, with new legs added in the spring of 2019—it’s now recognized as one of the great trails of Europe.
The coast is striking—dramatic cliffs, sea stacks, pounding surf and seemingly endless golden beaches are around every corner. The area’s chilly seas are renowned for their breakers; surfers travel from across the globe to challenge the Algarve’s epic waves. The well-marked, sandy trail mostly traverses cliffs and ridges above the beach, but occasional side drainages cut across the grain to provide short ups and downs. Shrubs, small pine forests, bamboo, cork trees, and astonishingly-colored Ice Plants frame the trail. Although this pilot trip’s daily hikes average about eleven miles, elevation changes are slight.
The trip starts and ends in Lisbon with paired lodging and exploration included in the tuition. This trip is unique at NOLS: to keep packs truly small, a luggage shuttle is incorporated. Space is limited, but this challenging hike is suitable for non-grad guests.
*Long days on the trail are rewarded by comfortable inn lodging, great food, inviting culture and dramatic coastal scenery.