The Wild Side of Portugal: Along the Rota Vicentina

If this wasn’t the best two days of hiking ever, it was damn close!P1090590

For two days we hiked along the Rota Vicentina, the old fishermans’ trail along the cliff tops overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in SW Portugal. For most of those two days it was one vertiginous view after another of rocky cliffs and empty crescent beaches pounded by foaming surf. P1090558 P1090526 P1090530 P1090570 P1090504 P1090508 The roar of the waves faded in and out as the sandy path wound along the cliffs, then ducked through pine forests and tunnels of vegetation formed by tall brush. P1090561P1090520The trail was flat most of the way, except for occasional steep, narrow, even hairy descents and ascents up and down the walls of rock. In places we waded through streams, soon to be waterfalls, as they rushed over the path toward the sea.

Quaint, white-washed fishing villages, plus the remote cliff top house of famed fado singer Amalia Rodrigues — break up the wild views every few miles and added a note of charming domesticity.P1090535 P1090551Words fail me – a helluva thing for a travel writer to admit. Look at the photos and imagine seeing little else for the better part of two days and you will see what I mean.

Next installment(s) – our last two days and a few words about our accommodations – a deserted village turned into a thriving hotel, bar and restaurant; an intimate guest house; and an attractive, rustic lodge on a lake.

(Don and Katherine’s trip is being hosted by Macs Adventure)

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