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Arrifana to Carrapateira

Hiking route · Algarve
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  • The anchor at the start of the walk.
    The anchor at the start of the walk.
    Photo: Iain Grant, Macs Adventure

Leaving Arrifana the route crosses through wood and heath land before arriving at the coast for splendid views of the beach of Vale Figueiras. Heading inland and passing the small hamlet of Monte Novo, path descends to the Bordeira valley and follows the river to the village of Bordeira. From here there is a final ascent up to Cerro da Cunca for great views of your final destination in Carrapateira.


Distance 23.2 km
6:00 h
377 m
443 m
154 m
7 m

Today is a wonderfully varied day of walking. Begin by walking out of Arrifana with the ocean on one side and mountains on the other. Enjoy breath-taking views of the coast from rugged cliff-top paths before heading away from the coast into an area of peaceful forests and meadows filled with wildflowers during the springtime. Arrive at the delightful little village of Bordeira, where life moves at a wonderfully slow pace and rural traditions such as goat herding are very much alive. From here the path ascends to the Cerro da Cunca with splendid views to the coast and the village of Carrapateira.


Author’s recommendation

Make time to appreciate the stunning views on this walk. The coastal section leaving Arrifana affords a superb panorama of the coast and the beach of Vale Figueiras. Also passing over the Cerro da Cunca there are great views of the sand dunes and beach at Carrapateira.

Trail finding on this section should be fairly straight forward. The Rota Vicentina is clearly way marked by red and white striped markers on posts, trees and signposts complete with distances.


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Adventure Macs
Update: August 09, 2023
Highest point
154 m
Lowest point
7 m
Best time of year

Track types

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Safety information

The only sections of the walk today where you might encounter traffic is leaving Arrifana and arriving in Carrapateira. Use the footpath or keep to the left side of the road to be visible to oncoming traffic. Some the climbs and descents through the woods and on hill sides are steep, and care is needed on the loose gravel. 

There are a number of streams to cross on this section and they can become quite deep after heavy rain. Look for an alternative crossing or paddle across if it is safe.


Tips and hints

Points of Interest

 Vale Figueiras Beach

This is an extensive but remote sandy beach to the south of Arrifana. There are spectacular cliffs and sea stacks as well as it being an area of outstanding natural beauty. It is one of the few habitats in Portugal for the Osprey and the Iberian Lynx.


 Carrapateira is a tranquil, pretty village on the coast with great beaches nearby. It is surrounded by the Alentejo and Vicente Coast National Parks. The coastal headland of Pontal do Carrapateira is noted for its rugged limestone cliffs and caves.,_Aljezur


 The quaint white washed buildings are edged in bright vibrant colours. With its cobbled streets, a natural spring and citrus fruit groves it resembles a traditional village from times gone by. The chapel constructed after the 1755 earthquake has a heavily carved and guilded interior. 


Food & Drink

Arrifana is a small place with few facilities. There is a shop and a couple of cafes and bars where you can stock up with food and drink. Remember to take plenty of fluids, particularly if the weather is hot. 1.5 litres is recommended for this stage. This route is quite remote and there are no opportunities for refreshment on the way. There is a bar in Bordeira but opening times vary.



The Rota Vincentina signposts and Anchor, Arrifana. (73 m)
37.295952, -8.864055
37°17'45.4"N 8°51'50.6"W
29S 512048 4127712


Main cross road on the outskirts of Carrapateira.

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – Standing with your back to the anchor and facing Arrifana bay, TURN LEFT up the main road and continue STRAIGHT ON for approx 1 km following the red and white striped markers. 

1.20 km – Just before a bend in the road, BEAR RIGHT up the gravel track, signposted to Carrapateira. Continue STRAIGHT ON for approx 2.5 kms, through pine woods with view of the sea on the right.

3.90 km – After a steep descent down to the coast, cross the river and continue STRAIGHT ON up the gravel track on the other side. There are superb views of the coast and the beach of Vale Figueras. NB; if the stream is too deep, bear right onto the small headland and scramble carefully down to the beach, crossing the water on the boulders by the shore. Carry on for approx 3.5 kms on this prominent path well marked with the familiar red and white stripes.

 7.40 km – At a track crossroads with wind turbines visible ahead, BEAR RIGHT following the striped way markers and continue STRAIGHT ON for approx another 1 km.

8.60 km – Arriving at a tarmac and gravel road BEAR RIGHT past some buildings and continue STRAIGHT ON.

9.30 km – On a bend with a route signpost to Carrapateira TURN LEFT off the road and onto a gravel track. Continue STRAIGHT ON towards the wind turbines in the distance ahead.

10.6 km – Around a sharp bend, BEAR LEFT downhill following the striped markers then BEAR LEFT again past some semi derelict buildings. Continue STRAIGHT ON for approx 2 kms into the valley, over a stream and up the other side.

12.4 km – At the main road, with the bus shelter, cross over and continue STRAIGHT ON up the road signposted to Carrapateira. Pass by several houses and a scrap yard.

13.4 km – Just past the scrap yard where the road bends off to the right, continue STRAIGHT ON up the dirt track then descend downhill through eucalyptus wooded slopes.

15.0 km – At the valley bottom TURN RIGHT onto the track signposted to Bordeira and continue STRAIGHT ON with the river on your left.

15.9 km – At a track junction by some derelict buildings, BEAR RIGHT on the track signposted to Bordeira and Carrapateira. Crosing the river, continue STRAIGHT ON for approx 2.5 kms into Bordeira.

18.6 km – Arriving in the centre of Bordiera at the small square, TURN LEFT then BEAR LEFT up the narrow Rua do Teresa Matias. Continue STRAIGHT ON up the hill and around the bends.

19.2 km – At the top of the hill at a track junction TURN LEFT uphill and continue STRAIGHT ON past a small lake on the left. 

20.1 km – At the river continue STRAIGHT ON, crossing it again then climbing steadily uphill.

21.2 km – At the track junction at the top of the hill TURN RIGHT up to the ridge with views of the coast. Continue STRAIGHT ON downhill to the main road.

22.5 km – At the main road TURN LEFT, towards Carrapateira, crossing the river this time by bridge.

23.3 km – At a main cross road on the outskirts of Carrapateira, you have reached the end of the walk. Continue straight on for Carrapateira, turn right for the beach or turn left for the Casa Fajara.







37.295952, -8.864055
37°17'45.4"N 8°51'50.6"W
29S 512048 4127712
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Sturdy footwear is essential as much of the route follows rough gravel tracks and paths. Walking poles may be desirable for the steep climbs and descents, if preferred. Headgear and sun screen are also advisable as shade is limited on the mountain top. Remember to carry plenty of fluids to rehydrate on the walk. One and a half litres per person is recommended on this stage. Insect repellent should be carried if you are susceptible to bites. While the weather is almost always sunny it is worth taking a waterproof just in case.

Sandals and/or a small towel might be useful if you have to paddle across some of the streams.


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Photos from others

23.2 km
6:00 h
377 m
443 m
Highest point
154 m
Lowest point
7 m
Scenic Geological highlights Flora Linear route

Weather at the route's trailhead


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