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Hiking route

Pedralva to Vila do Bispo.

Hiking route · Portugal
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  • Main square, Pedralva. View from Rota Vicentina Signpost
    Main square, Pedralva. View from Rota Vicentina Signpost
    Photo: Iain Grant, Macs Adventure

Leaving the sleepy village of Pedralva the route meanders gently through the countryside before descending to the coast and the remote sandy beach at Praia da Barriga. Climbing back inland, steeply at times you are treated to more coastal views before reaching Vila do Bispo.


Distance 20.1 km
5:30 h
577 m
537 m
139 m
-43 m

A short transfer (10mins) takes you to the village of Pedralva this morning, a picturesque little place lined with whitewashed houses featuring painted colourful doors.

Continue along peaceful forest tracks and through scented orchard areas. If you are travelling in spring, this area is home to an array of colour wildflowers including forget-me-nots, yellow narcissi, hyacinths and purple orchids.  After leaving the forest, head to the coast and a very worthwhile diversion off the Rota Vicentina trail to the rugged beach at Praia da Barriga, deep in the heart of the Costa Vicentina National Park. Continue into a lush forested area before catching a glimpse of the sea again as you arrive in Vila do Bispo.


Author’s recommendation

This is a pleasant walk through lovely countryside and wild areas. The remote beach at Praia da Barriga is superb and well worth spending some time exploring. There are good views down the coast to Cabo St. Vicente. The route does not follow the Rota Vicentina for the most part, so you cannot rely on the familiar striped markers today.




Profile picture of Iain Grant
Iain Grant
Update: October 03, 2018
Highest point
139 m
Lowest point
-43 m
Best time of year

Track types

Show elevation profile

Safety information

The climbs and descents on some of the hillsides are steep, and care is needed on the loose gravel. This is certainly the case on the final stretch up from the coast towards Vila do Bispo where you may be tired from the exertions of the day. The only section of the walk today where you might encounter traffic is arriving in Vila do Bispo.


Tips and hints

Points of Interest.


A remote rural village, once inhabited by over 100 people fell into decline and by 2006 only nine of the homes were lived in and the others largely derelict. Today though, the village is a thriving community having been restored as a project to preserve the rural heritage and history. 

Praia de Barriga

This is a remote, unspoilt, large sandy beach surrounded by high black cliffs found at the end of a long valley. It extends southwards to the beaches of Cordoama and Castelejo.

Vila do Bispo

A pleasant village clustered around the 16 th century church with a fine manueline door, a distinctive Portuguese late gothic style. It is also home to the Museum of Sacred Art. The village is twinned with Nishinoomote in Japan in recognition of the fact that the Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive in Japan in the 16 th century.


Food & Drink

Pedralva is a small village with a restaurant and a bar where you can stock up with food and drink depending on opening times. It may be wise to get your supplies before departure in Carrapateira. Remember to take plenty of fluids, particularly if the weather is hot. This route is quite remote and there are no opportunities for refreshment on the way.


This walk is part of the following itineraries: 




Rota Vicentina Information Board, village square, Pedralva. (51 m)
37.140578, -8.862363
37°08'26.1"N 8°51'44.5"W
29S 512223 4110476


Rota Vicentina signposts, Main Square, Vila do Bispo.

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – In the small village square, standing by the Rota Vicentina Information Board and facing a large white building, TURN LEFT and follow the track out of the village. Continue STRAIGHT ON along this dirt road following the red and white markers.

1.20 km – At a track junction BEAR RIGHT uphill, towards some wind turbines, and go past a small lake. Continue STRAIGHT ON for approx 2 kms, ascending steadily and following the striped marlers.

3.10 km – At a track junction BEAR LEFT along the edge of the trees, towards the wind turbines and the main road.

3.80 km – At the main road, cross over and BEAR RIGHT onto the narrow way marked path to Vila do Bispo. Continue STRAIGHT ON descending into and along the valley.

4.90 km – Just over a small stream TURN LEFT and head steeply uphill following the striped markers.

5.30 km – At a track junction TURN LEFT towards the wind turbines and continue STRAIGHT ON.

6.10 km – At a fork in the track TURN RIGHT and away from the wind turbines, following the striped markers until the next junction.

6.60 km – At a wide gravel road TURN RIGHT, leaving the Rota Vicentina, and continue STRAIGHT ON.

7.30 km – At a bend in the gravel road TURN LEFT by the last of a long row of concrete pylons. Then BEAR RIGHT onto the broader of the two tracks. (Do not go left down into the valley.) Continue STRAIGHT ON for approx 2 kms, around the bends, down into the valley and up the other side.

9.20 km – On reaching a gravel road TURN LEFT, then in 200 m BEAR RIGHT onto the second sandy coloured track, later turning to gravel. Continue STRAIGHT ON for approx 2 kms, along this winding track, down the valley and towards the coast.

11.6 km – On crossing the stream, TURN RIGHT for the beach at Barriga, or TURN LEFT on the road up the hillside with the valley on the left.

13.0 km – By a small stone post TURN RIGHT off the gravel road and onto a dirt track. Continue STRAIGHT ON descending steeply and up the other side.

13.3 km – At a track junction TURN RIGHT and continue STRAIGHT ON towards the sea.

13.6 km – Where the track divides, BEAR LEFT slightly uphill and continue STRAIGHT ON the ridge with good views of the coast.

14.0 km - At the gravel road TURN LEFT and continue STRAIGHT ON away from the coast, descending to a sharp bend.

14.9 km – Just around the bend and before a small lake BEAR LEFT up the dirt track, ascending gradually with good views of the bay.

15.2 km – On a sharp bend TURN RIGHT and descend steeply towards the road. On reaching the bottom, before the road TURN LEFT along the gravel track.

15.5 km – At a track junction BEAR LEFT, ascending steeply up the hillside to the top.

15.9 km – At the top of the hill TURN RIGHT, onto the track and descend steeply down to the stream and continue STRAIGHT ON up the other side to the road.

16.4 km – Arriving at the road and large car park, TURN LEFT and continue STRAIGHT ON around the bend and following the path parallel to the road. You are now back on the Rota Vicentina with the red and yellow markers.

16.9 km – At the car park BEAR RIGHT past the picnic area and continue STRAIGHT ON along the sandy path with the striped markers.

18.0 km – Arriving at a dirt road TURN LEFT then immediately BEAR LEFT onto the tarmac road, with good view of the coast. Continue STRAIGHT ON along the road towards Vila do Bispo.

19.1 km – At the road junction TURN RIGHT and continue STRAIGHT ON towards the town.

19.7 km – At the roundabout TURN RIGHT and then in 100 m just before the bus shelter TURN LEFT   up a narrow street. Continue STRAIGHT ON gradually up the hill.

20.1 km – Arriving in the main square by the Rota Vicentina signposts you have reached the end of the walk.



37.140578, -8.862363
37°08'26.1"N 8°51'44.5"W
29S 512223 4110476
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. 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.


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Photos from others

20.1 km
5:30 h
577 m
537 m
Highest point
139 m
Scenic Geological highlights Linear route Flora

Weather at the route's trailhead


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