If the whole of the Fisherman's Trail is as good as Day 1 then we are in for a real treat, it's been a fantastic introduction to walking in Portugal.
|Kick off at Porto Covo
Today's walk started at Porto Covo, a pretty village with lots of accommodation. We arrived by taxi after spending our first Portuguese night in Sines, the birthplace of Vasco de Gama, a cliff top town neatly surrounded by a massive oil refinery and container terminal. It's not nearly as bad as it sounds, but we might have been better off staying at Porto Covo.
|Keeping out the English Pirates
The walk followed a fairly level cliff top path and was a lot tougher than the 19km suggests. Soft, dry sand made for slow going, but the scenery was a great compensation for the hard work. We were particularly lucky with the weather with sun, blue skies and a blustery wind providing perfect visibility.
Especially surprising was the wonderful range of
from flowers that, even in March, provided a real show. Apparently the displays continue to improve for the next 10 weeks or so, but they were already pretty impressive. colour
|Rubbish at the high water mark
Also impressive were the birds. We saw storks nesting on top of huge rock stacks, sand pipers playing in the surf and cormorants flying in formation above the waves.
|A pebbly beach
Generally speaking the path was well defined and clearly marked with distinct blue and green
. waymarks going on the wet sand on the wide open beaches providing a tempting alternative route on the first part of the route, although it is possible to get stuck below the cliffs as the route heads inland. Although hardly needed the GPS trail provided the route website was occasionally helpful. The easier
The scenery was wonderful from start to finish, but got better as the route progressed south and the cliffs got higher. It's a classic coastal walk with every headland
new views and new photo opportunities. passed generating
An early highlight was the 16th Century Pesseguerio Fortress built to an Italian design to keep English pirates at bay. After the fort, reached after 7 km there is nowhere to stop for refreshments until just a couple of
before the final destination. kilometres
|A classic B & B landlady
Vila Nova de Milfontes is a substantial little town with a big choice of accommodation and places to eat. We had reserved accommodation at a bed and breakfast, the
Caso Adro, but we could have easily found somewhere without booking. do
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