Day 6 - Rota Vicentina to Arrifana

On Day 6 I combined the short Aljezur to Arrifana stretch along the Historical Route with Ponta da Atalaia element of the Fishermen's Trail to generate a varied 26km walk.  
Leaving Aljezur

From Aljezur to Arrifana is just 12km and it's possible then to take a clockwise or anticlockwise path around a headland to the north and stay in Val De Telha. Arrifana is a surfing destination and with a famous off shore rock stack, very beautiful.  Val de Telha sits inside the headland and is a large and apparently not very successful villa development with little to recommend it.  Completing most of the circuit of the headland involves another 14km of walking.
Well dating back to the Moors just outside Aljezur
After climbing up through the old part of Aljezur the route heads through a surprisingly quiet and attractive valley.  It then climbs a ridge and enters a forest of eucalyptus, planted for its contribution to the paper making industry but now recognised locally as an environmental hazard. It then crosses a wide sandy heath with dwarf pine and rosemary which, when I was there, was being grazed by goats and sheep pushed on by huge dogs similar to the slightly intimidating animals I had last seen in Spain.
Surfing beach at Arrifana
Without the brilliant sunshine of recent days the stunning stretch of coastline below Arrifana perhaps wasn't at its best. The weather didn't put off the surfers and there were dozens of tiny black figures enjoying the waves below. To complete the scene a line of VW camper vans sat on top of the cliffs, the chariot of choice for any serious surf addict.
Tiny daffodils

The first part of the Ponta do Atalaia element of Fisherman's Trail involved a path through a dense shrubbery of Rosemary, Thyme, Myrtle, Lavender interspersed with what to my untrained eye looked like part of the cactus family.  It was very colourful with miniature daffodils and snapdragons.
Retreating fishermen

Back to the cliffs but today it was cold and windy and even the Fishermen were leaving the beach. Apparently this stretch of the coast is famous for a particular sort of barnacle (goose barnacle) and locals harvest them at great personal risk.

After 3km of cliff top walking the route turns inland and follows a road into Val De Telha. It's a depressing place, a half completed suburb of half completed villas with poor signage rendering the Hotel Val De Telha invisible.  When I eventually found it, it was nice and fortunately has its own restaurant so no need to roam the empty streets looking for food.


  1. Hi John. Thanks for the nice pictures of another walking trail in Portugal specially on the atlantic coast which is so wanderful as is on the north of Spain.
    Next week I pretend to continue the spanish GR10 (Valencia-Lisboa) which in Portugal is named GR12 E7, on a strech from Entroncament to Lisbon. A month ago I walked that GR12 E7 from the spanish fontier to Catelo Branco inside Portugal.
    Will hear from you when in Castellon a few days from now.

  2. Did you see anyone else on this stretch? I am currently walking this route, starting in Porto Covo and I see NO ONE on this trail! Absolutely alone on this. Was that your experience? It is rather unnerving I find as a single female.

    1. Hi Coleen

      It is much quieter at the southern end (not as nice as well) but when I was there I met a few people. Are you enjoying the walk?


    2. Hi Coleen, I am planning on doing the walk soon and am also a single female. Would you suggest doing the whole 9 days or just the first 4 or 5 days with the continuous Fishermen's Trail. Any suggestions or problems you had? Thanks!