Leaving Aljezur, the route heads out through countryside and woodland along the Amoreira Valley. Picking up the Fishermen’s Trail the path goes through Vale da Telha before reaching the sea. Here it turns parallel with the coast towards Ponta da Atalaia. Returning through wild sand dune areas the route finally arrives at dramatic Bay of Arrifana.
Before setting out for the day it is worth taking a climb up to the Castle of Aljezur, famously represented on the flag of Portugal. Enjoy views over the fertile valley below rich in flora and fauna. Continue along the Amoreira Valley with spectacular views over the beach before heading toward Ponta da Atalaia on the coast.
Walk through sand dunes rich in lush vegetation and discover ruins dating back to prehistoric times. You may also spot fishermen harvesting goose barnacles, a must-try local delicacy. The wide sandy bay of Arrifana is wonderfully wild and rugged and a delightful place to end your walk.
The Fishermen’s trail out to the Ponta da Atalaia affords some spectacular views of this rugged coastline which catches the full force of the prevailing winds and Atlantic breakers. You will also see the fine beach at Monte Clerigo on the route as well. The path through the sand dune areas gives a close up view of this unique habitat, with its diverse plants and wildlife.
Trail finding on this section should be fairly straight forward. The Fishermen’s path to the coast on the Rota Vicentina is clearly way marked by green striped signage. The Historical way, leaving Aljezur for the first 4 kms is also marked by red and white striped markers.
There are only short sections of the walk today along main roads, but caution is needed with the traffic at busy times of the year, especially heading out towards the coast. There are no climbs or descents to speak of and the walking is generally easy. The coastal path towards the Ponta da Atalaia is spectacular but stay away from the cliff edges, especially if it is windy.
Tips, hints and links
Points of Interest
Ribat of Arrifana
This is a rare collection of archaeological structures unique in Portugal, on the Ponta da Atalaia peninsular. There is only one other similar site on the Iberian Peninsula. There are remnants of eight mosques, a madraza and a minaret.
Ponta da Atalaia
The Ponta da Atalaia takes its name from the old watchtower constructed on this rugged cape by the Romans in the first century. Other remains are believed to be from the Middle Ages but both have been eroded by the wind until very little survives. The enormous height of the cliffs and powerful Atlantic waves provide spectacular views.
Food & Drink
Aljezur is a small town and has plenty of shops, bars and cafes where you can obtain food and drink for the walk. There are supermarkets, pharmacies, banks with cash machines and a post office. There are no opportunities for refreshments on the route until you arrive in Arrifana.
Comfortable footwear is recommended as much of the route follows country lanes, gravel tracks and paths through sand dunes. Walking poles are not required. Headgear and sun screen are also advisable as shade is limited. Remember to carry plenty of fluids to rehydrate on the walk. 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.