Trekking In Portugal: 5 Incredible Trails To Cross The Country
In Portugal, you will find countless amazing walking routes, both on the continent and in the archipelagos of Madeira and Azores. There are trails for all times of the year where you can go trekking and others that are only recommended in some seasons. Some demand more, others are easier.
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5 Trekking Routes To Do In Portugal
Trilho da Frecha da Mizarela, Serra da Freita
In the heart of Serra da Freita, trekking through Frecha da Mizarela is hidden. It belongs to the Arouca Geopark, with the designation of PR7, and promises the incredible landscape of a waterfall from the Caima River.
With a height of 75 meters it is one of the highest waterfalls in Europe. The trail is circular, for a total of 8 km, starting at the Parque de Campismo do Merujal, which belongs to the parish of Albergaria da Serra, in the village of Mizarela.
Alternatively, you can start trekking near the viewpoint of Frecha da Mizarela, although here you will find fewer places to leave your car. In this place it is mandatory to stop to observe, take a deep breath and take a few photographs.
Continue to the village of Ribeira, from where you can have wonderful views of Frecha. Here you are about halfway. From this point the path follows steep slopes and care is needed, especially for those with vertigo.
In certain parts of the trail there are currents in the rocks to assist hikers. Almost at the top of the slope, after crossing a small wooden bridge, you get a total view of the mountain. Upon reaching the summit, the view is panoramic over the valley, which extends to the Ria de Aveiro.
The high level of difficulty is due to the unevenness involved, which is considerable. It is not recommended to take this route on rainy and windy days, due to the ice and water that make the rocks very slippery.
In addition, in the winter, part of the mountain range is subject to low temperatures and unpredictable weather conditions that can make orientation difficult and jeopardize your safety. So, you know, this is one of those routes to do in the spring or summer.
Trilho dos Pescadores, Rota Vicentina
In 2012 the great pedestrian route that crosses the Southwest of Portugal with the Costa Vicentina was inaugurated, in a total of 350 km. Then the Rota Vicentina was born. This is divided into two major routes: Historical Trail and Fishermen’s Trail.
The Historical Trail contemplates the main towns and villages between the city of Santiago do Cacém and Cabo de S. Vicente, consisting of 12 stages of 25 km each, for a total of 230 km. You can do it on foot or by mountain bike.
The Fishermen’s Trail, on the other hand, always follows the sea, following paths that locals, especially fishermen, use to access the beaches and cliffs. This trekking includes four stages of a day, with a maximum of 22 km each, and also 5 complementary circuits, in a total of 120 km.
If you only have one day to do this trekking, we suggest you choose the route between Zambujeira do Mar and Odeceixe. The degree of difficulty is medium and the path can become somewhat difficult with high temperatures.
You can start your journey in the Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Mar and descend towards Zambujeira beach. Follow the cliff and you will come across several impressive coves and cliffs.
There is a succession of rock and stone beaches. Among them are Praia do Carvalhal and Praia da Amália, the refuge of the iconic Portuguese fado singer. In the middle of the trekking you will find the village of Azenha do Mar, where you can rest and recover your energy.
You can follow your path next to the natural fishing port of Azenha do Mar. Arriving at Ponta em Branco, a cliff that has earned its name for the colors that form its crown, you will find an exceptional view.
With Odeceixe in the background, the cliff has to go down to the river and the last 4 km of asphalt road left, to the bridge that connects to the village of Odeceixe.
Trilho de São Cristóvão do Douro, Pinhão
This is a trekking practically always going down, to do in tranquility and excellent for the whole family. Liga Provesende and Pinhão, crossing the Douro wine region.
With this trekking you can also visit the wine village of Provesende and its church, where the route begins. Although small, this trail offers countless scenarios for excellent photographs.
From the center of the village, after visiting the church, the square, the fountain and the stately buildings, just go straight ahead, as indicated by the arrows on the route.
In half an hour a cut appears on the left, not very well identified. Following it, you will go to the village of S. Cristóvão do Douro. Trekking crosses the national road for a few meters, returning right afterwards to the trail, until Pinhão. Along the way you will cross several wine estates.
The trail ends at the Roman bridge of Pinhão, but you can still go to the riverside. This trekking in the Douro valley is recommended even for children.
Vereda da Atalaia, Madeira
Do Paúl do Mar até à Vereda da Atalaia, com regresso pela Vereda dos Zimbreiros, é certo que o cenário paisagístico será imenso. Seguido ao longo da Levada da Fajã vais chegar ao encontro da Vereda do Lombinho e de imensas plantações de bananeiras.
No Paúl do Mar podes aproveitar para apreciar o mar e até para dar uns mergulhos. O regresso pela Vereda dos Zimbreiros vai permitir-te assistir a um pôr do sol fantástico.
O piso por toda a Vereda dos Zimbreiros é mais estável que pela Vereda da Atalaia mas, ainda assim, todo o percurso é considerado de dificuldade média. Podes inclusive fazer este trekking em modo caminhada/corrida.
A Vereda da Atalaia é um de muitos exemplos dos caminhos costeiros que as arribas do concelho da Calheta oferecem. Este trekking permite o contacto direto com a tradição de terras agrícolas e gado, num cenário rural envolvente.
Mistérios Negros, Açores
Com início nas imediações da Lagos do Negro e da Gruta do Natal, o caminho deste trekking é de terra batida até cerca de 550 metros, onde dás por ti numa pastagem. Seguindo o caminho, rapidamente encontras três pequenas lagoas, em Vale Fundo.
Contornando as lagoas pela direita, segues por um bosque, num terreno algo irregular. Depois de atravessada a mata e algumas pastagens, chegas à estrada de asfalto até subires ao Pico Gaspar.
Daqui podes desfrutar das vistas panorâmicas, antes de percorreres o último quilómetro até à Gruta do Natal e à Lagoa do Negro, voltando ao início do percurso.
O trekking integra a Reserva Natural da Serra de Santa Bárbara e dos Mistérios Negros. Ao longo do percurso é possível observar a diversa vegetação endémica. A atitude máxima é de 649 metros e podes chegar ao ponto de partida através da Estrada Regional 3-1, no entroncamento com o Caminho Florestal 24.
Everything You Need To Do Your Favorite Trekking
- Footwear suitable for hiking
- Suitable pants
- Reusable water bottle
- Waist bag
- Beach towel
- Action cam
- Selfie stick
- Smartwach with GPS
- Multifunction bracelet
The extra accessories you may need will vary depending on your traveler’s profile, the chosen trekking, its difficulty, distance and duration, and the time of year.