The coast, villages and countryside of the Eastern Algarve and then explore the treasures of this most westerly corner of Europe.
The trails of south west Portugal’s Rota Vicentina offers 70 miles of wild Atlantic coastline and inland vistas of deep valleys, mountain ridges and forests of pine and oak.
Special Selection Hotels
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 26130
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain.
Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well.
Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.
Offering 70 miles of wild Atlantic coastline and inland vistas of deep valleys, mountain ridges and forests of pine and oak, this is a region for nature lovers. The trails of south west Portugal’s Rota Vicentina support diverse habitats, alive with endemic plant life and numerous animal and bird species.
From our hotel, situated on the edge of the Rota Vicentina Natural Park, we follow carefully chosen sections of the path, starting with the Historical Way, which takes us on trails between villages, through Portugal’s agricultural heartland, past forests of cork and oak, green meadows and valleys. By comparison, the coastal Fisherman’s Trail, which forms most of the holiday, wends its way along the dramatic Atlantic coastline, offering cooling breezes, superb seascape views and majestic cliffs. One walk is a circular route directly from our hotel offering wonderful hill top views out over the distant ocean.
Flower filled meadows, wild oregano and asparagus, crystal clear streams and rivers and farmland with sweet potatoes, maize and tomatoes accompany us as we discover this authentic region of Portugal. We’ll have time to explore small villages and Moorish towns, stop at deserted beaches and marvel at the crashing Atlantic waves.
Each day's walk offers a carefully planned opt out point, which allows for a shorter walking day if you prefer.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
After arrival into Faro airport, we make the transfer by coach to our hotel, in a rural setting close to the village of Sao Teotonio in Portugal's Alentejo region. Our time spent walking the highlights of the Rota Vicentina trail, on the Historical Way and Fisherman's Trail, take us on inland paths, to Moorish villages, along coastal trails and seeing rural Portuguese life. This is a wild landscape with a dramatic coastline and seascapes, deserted beaches, breath-taking views and pristine natural surroundings.
Transfer Time = 2h
Odemira to Sao Teotonio: We follow wide tracks with easy ascents and descents with the River Mira for company as we walk between the azure sea and rolling green hills. We cross crystal clear streams and hope to see otters, birds and dragonflies. Opt out point is at 8km/5 miles.
Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar walk: We follow Artisan fishing harbours, red sand dunes and pine woodland along the dramatic Atlantic coast. We may even be lucky enough to spot stork nests in the rugged cliffs! Opt out point is at 8.5km/5.5 miles.
Circular Walk: Our hotel is located next to the Historical trail so today we follow a less used path directly from our hotel in countryside that has a wide variety of native vegetation. Opt out point is at 11km/7 miles.
Alternatively, you may wish to take today as a free day and enjoy the facilities of the hotel spa and swimming pools.
Zambujeira to Odeceixe: The wonderful coastal walk starts in a small colourful sea-side village and passes many quiet secluded golden beaches on the way to the natural fishing harbour of Azenha do Mar. Outstanding panoramic views are our companions today, particularly over Odeceixe beach, before we follow the southern bank of the River Seixe to the village of Baiona for well-earned refreshments. Opt out point is at 6.5km/4 miles.
Ribeira de Seixe: We follow the glorious River Seixe as it meanders past gardens and green meadows, reaching the small town of Odeceixe, where we discover wetlands and their varied habitats. From here, we head to the crystal clear sea and follow a picturesque coastal trail before turning inland through peaceful farmland. Opt out point is at 6km/4.5 miles.
Aljezur: Our walk crosses agricultural pastures and farmland, allowing us unobstructed views of the steep mountains to the east and the dramatic coast to the west. After Carriagem beach, which makes a lovely lunch stop, we follow the coast south to the dramatic mouth of the River Aljezur, ending in the Moorish town of Aljezur, with time to explore this charming ancient town. Opt out point is at 6.5km/4 miles.
We bid farewell to Portugal's undisturbed south west Portugal’s Rota Vicentina. We transfer back to Faro airport for our return flight to the UK.
Departure dates for your selected tour
20th May 2021 - 27th May 2021 (7 Nights)
14th Oct 2021 - 21st Oct 2021 (7 Nights)
4th Nov 2021 - 11th Nov 2021 (7 Nights)
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
The Enigma - Nature & Water Hotel is located close to the Vicentine Coast natural park. The hotel offers the perfect location to make the most of the surrounding trails and for a relaxing way to wind down at the end of the day. It is not located in a town or village. The four-star hotel features a spa, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, an onsite restaurant called Enigma Flavours, a bar and a relaxing garden. The rooms are bright , all with private bathroom, a balcony, free WiFi and air conditioning. You will also find a minibar, hairdyer and safety deposit box in the rooms. There is a lift at the hotel.
In order to be able to use the spa facilities, you are required to wear a swimming cap. You can bring one with you or the hotel has them available to purchase locally.
This is a grade 4 walking holiday taking in highlights of the long distance Rota Vicentina path that travels through Portugal's south west countryside and along the Atlantic coast. This area is relatively undiscovered by tourism and large groups, so we are lucky to be able to explore this undisturbed area of Portugal. The length of the walks, depending on the weather, could make it feel top of the grade. The walks are generally between 7-12 miles each day, with carefully chosen opt out points along the way, on undulating terrain with gentle ascents and descents between 100m and 300m. We follow inland tracks as well as coastal paths. Quiet beaches and Moorish villages are just some of the highlights of our days. The maximum altitude reached on this holiday is under 500m.
FLEXI-Walking We are able to offer opt out points on most of the walks on this holiday, giving you the flexibility of walking the entire day's route or opting out if you wish, catching up with the group later in the day. See the Itinerary section for more information.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Currency in Portugal
The currency in Portugal is the euro. You may wish to take some euro cash with you until you reach an ATM. Credit cards may not be accepted in smaller towns and rural areas.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
We fly from London to Faro Airport and return. Some holiday dates offer regional flights from Manchester. On arrival into Faro, our coach transfer to the hotel is approximately 2 hours. Some holiday dates offer regional flight options on this holiday but due to the travelling time to our resort we will operate only one transfer vehicle. This may mean a wait at the destination airport in one or both directions.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.
Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Regional Flights (R2). We offer regional flight options on this holiday but due to the location and travelling time to our resort we operate just one transfer vehicle between the airport and hotel. This may mean that there is a wait at the overseas airport in one or both directions.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Brexit Passport Advice
You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.
If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance.
UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.
The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
Breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday price. The in-house Enigma Flavours restaurant serves a variety of Portuguese delicacies and you will also find a bar at the hotel. We will eat at the hotel on most nights where dinner is usually a buffet with wine and water included. We eat out at local restaurants on two nights where wine is also included. Dining in local restaurants allow us to enjoy an authentic experience and sometimes lively atmosphere in a traditional Portuguese restaurant along with local diners. Portuguese dishes in hotels and local restaurants are usually created using locally sourced fresh ingredients, and usually consist of soup, meat or fish, vegetables and potatoes. Portugal is famous for its fresh fish and usually it is caught, cooked and eaten the same day! Lunches are not included and these can be take as picnics or in a local cafe.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Electricity in Portugal
Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & More
Apart from any books available in local libraries, the internet is now an excellent resource for information about holidays in Sicily. You may find the below websites and books useful.
Lonely Planet Portugal - by Lonely Planet
Bradt Travel Guide to Alentejo - by Alex Robinson
Portugal Official Tourism Website: www.visitportugal.com
Portugal National Tourist office: www.portugaloffice.org.uk
Rota Vicentina: http://en.rotavicentina.com/
The Map Shop
Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for Portugal
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Portugal.
You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.
You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus.
Dengue fever exists in Portugal; please take normal precautions against mosquito bites.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
From January 1st, 2021 UK travellers can continue to use their European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC) – which can last up to five years, until its expiry date, to gain access to medical assistance during your holiday. However, you will no longer be covered in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Travellers without a valid EHIC can apply for a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replaces the EHIC once it has been phased out. Please note however that the EHIC/GHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk/ehic
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
Visas and Passports
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