It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what has changed since yesterday, but today’s hike feels a little different from previous days. Perhaps it is because the cliffs are a little higher and steeper. Or maybe it’s because the dunes are wider and roll a little further. A combination of these factors, among others, gives you fresh eyes with which to admire today’s beautiful scenery.
The coastal views climax as you walk out onto the exposed cape of Cabo Sardão and let the Atlantic Ocean envelope you. When the weather’s nice, a huge sky balloons above you and it feels like you’re standing upon a blue orb with a flat sea stretching to the horizon. Yachts glide past on the wind’s breath and birds playfully skip between the cliffs. When the weather’s bad however, foaming waves tear at the foot of the cliffs and gusts of wind scour the earth and sea. Only the stalwart lighthouse remains still, warding ships away.
You will be staying in either Herdade do Touril or Zambujeira do Mar tonight. There are 5 kilometres apart, so be sure to check your accommodation notes before arrival so you can follow the route notes and map to the correct accommodation!
A Barca Restaurant
Snack Bar Adelia
There are many exposed and unfenced edges throughout the walk. Additionally, some of the cliff-edges may be unstable; be careful and remain on the path.
There are several stretches where you must walk on the road as there is no pavement. Walk on the left side facing the oncoming traffic unless there is a sharp left bend, in which case you should cross to the outside edge to allow drivers the maximum time to see you.
Some of the path is along rocky steps; be careful as these may be slippery, especially when wet.
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Points of Interest
Cabo Sardão + Lighthouse
Cabo Sardão is the most prominent point along a nearly 100km stretch of coastline between Cape Sines and Cape St. Vincent. From here you can enjoy far-reaching views along the coast, to the cliffs that plunge vertically into the sea, and the daring storks that nest atop them. The Lighthouse at Cape Sardão became operational in 1915.
Lapa de Pombas Harbour
The natural alignment of the rocks and cliffs provides this cove with excellent shelter from the Ocean’s wrath, and also with a narrow channel to guide boats in and out through. Local fishermen know this channel instinctively and have a name for each rock.
White Storks’ Nests
This stretch of Portugal’s Coast is famous for its white storks - or rather, the crazy positioning of their nests. These large nests cling precipitously to the cliffs, sometimes with a hundred-metre drop to the tumultuous ocean on all sides. Not a great location for a newborn stork to take its first flight! If you are visiting in spring (April/May) you are in luck as the nests may have chicks in, whereas towards the end of summer they migrate south to Africa.
Entrada da Barca
Entrada da Barca refers to both the small, natural harbour which overflows with fishing paraphernalia, and the collection of wooden huts where some of the hardcore fishermen live. The port is gritty and photogenic and displays Portuguese fishing at its realest. There are two restaurants nearby where you can sample seafood as fresh at it gets(!), or you may even be lucky to see the fishermen selling their catch in a fish auction directly at the harbour.
Food and Drink
You will pass a café after 10.5 kilometres in the village of Cavaleiro, and two restaurants near the Entrada da Barca Harbour after 19.5 kilometres. There are few opportunities to buy food or drink so be sure to bring sufficient provisions with you.
Sturdy hiking boots and a waterproof/wind-break layer are required.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.
Make sure you bring enough water. It is recommended to drink 0.75 litres per 1 hour of hiking in hot weather.
Be sure to bring plenty of sun-cream and a healthy respect for the sun.