Portugal’s Wild Side: Along the Rota Vicentina

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

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For two days we hiked along the Rota Vicentina, the old fisherman’s trail along the cliff tops overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in southwest 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.

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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.

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The 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.

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Words 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)


Don_Mankin_headshotDon Mankin is a travel writer, business author, psychologist, organizational consultant and executive coach. He is the author of “Riding the Hulahula to the Arctic Ocean: A Guide to 50 Extraordinary Adventures for the Seasoned Traveler.” To check out his blog, visit http://www.adventuretransformations.com/wordpress/

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