Our Portugal Adventure Day 5: Hiking Rota Vicentina

Morning broke on Tuesday and we were ready to hike! The weather looked overcast, which was perfect, as I didn’t have much sunscreen! Day 4 of our Portugal adventure had been pretty low key, so I was ready for more exploring. We set out with our gear, packs and water looking for coffee and pastries. Passing a few cafes, we choose one closest to the end of town, ordered two Americanos, two croissants (which weren’t very good, nothing compared to Sintra’s Gregorio’s!) and headed to start a section of the Rota  Vicentina.

Noted as being one of the best coastal hikes in the world, I was more than excited – like a kid on Christmas!

The small section we would hike boasted the most spectacular views of the entire circuit, which wound throughout south western Portugal. It would only be 5.6 miles on the Rota Vicentina and about 3 on the historical trails, following aqua ducts, past small farms and Portuguese houses. But first, the coastal section.

Although I didn’t have an international phone plan, WIFI at our Airbnbs had been spot on, and I was able to pull up AllTrails to get the map so we could know the general where abouts while hiking. It’s crazy how much I rely on technology, then to suddenly not have 100% access. Well, it’s primitive, but kinda nice. The trail was only steps away from the end of town, marked every hundred feet by green, blue, yellow and red markers. Super convenient, especially as we were initially walking through what seemed to be a pasture, which shot back onto the road.

The Tagus River runs through the edge of town, so while we were on the road for about a mile and a half, views looking back into Odeceixe and the river were truly beautiful.

Round the bend, we hit the most breathtaking view of Portugal we had seen thus far. The Western Atlantic coast, with jagged rocks, plummeting cliffs and ferocious waves. We were able to walk right up to the edge (and of course Mike had to do so) gazing down onto the rocky shores. There was a beach you could walk down to, but we vowed to come back for sunset, not wanting to get all sandy before our hike.

For the next two miles or so, the path wound through Sony cliffs, huge overlooks with sheer drops and grey, blue ocean. Colorado has my heart, but there is something that happens to my soul when I am near water – and Portugal was no exception.

The remainder of the hike was relatively mild, weaving through sandy wetlands, then curving back on the road, and finally meandering on the old part of the trail. We walked through pastures until we came to the top of the town, to the old wind mill.

We truly walked the whole town, up and down. Completely ravished, we went to Luna cafe where the chalkboard had our mouths watering with the advertisement of vegan burgers. I had definitely not been eating all plants here (I had dove into the the fresh fish and local cheese) so was much looking forward to the veggies. It was delightful!

After lunch (a 2pm lunch) we headed back to the house to rest, shower & drink some wine on our balcony. We decided to head back to Odeceixe beach for sunset, so grabbed the vino and headed in our Fiat to the beach. Oh am I glad we did – sunset was spectacular! Having made it just in time to see the sun tuck itself away, we bathed in the arrange glow that lingers after sunset. An absolute amazing night.

 

 

After having some wine, enjoying the evening, the glowing light and beautiful ocean sounds, we headed back into town for a small dinner at Odeceixe Cafe – soccer games were on and Sagres was poured. It was a good day in Portugal.

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