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Hiking trail

Aljezur to Arrifana

Hiking trail · Portugal
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  • Route out of Aljezur.
    / Route out of Aljezur.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Historic well below Aljezur Castle.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Coastline looking back to Monte Clérigo.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Waymarker along the coast.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Cliffs at Ponta da Atalaia.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / End of the route in Arrifana.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
m 300 200 100 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km

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.


18 km
4:30 h
314 m
259 m

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.


Author’s recommendation

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.


Highest point
125 m
Lowest point
2 m
Best time of year

Safety information

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. 



The river bridge, Aljezur. (16 m)
37.316682, -8.803602
37°19'00.1"N 8°48'13.0"W
29S 517402 4130022


Rota Vicentina signposts, Arrifana.

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – Standing with your back to the bridge and facing the castle hill TURN RIGHT and continue STRAIGHT ON up the Rua Joao Dias Mendes.

0.30 km – At the Municipal Museum TURN LEFT up towards the church, then BEAR RIGHT around the building, descending downhill following the red and white striped markers.( If you wish to go up to the castle, turn left at the church and follow the sign.) Continue STRAIGHT ON for approx 2 kms, past the old well , around the bend and uphill between the houses. There are views of the castle to the left and the coast on the right.

2.20 km - Just before reaching the road, TURN RIGHT onto the small path through the trees, then at the road BEAR RIGHT and continue STRAIGHT ON for a further 300 m.

2.80 km – By a small building and signpost to Arrifana TURN LEFT down through the trees and continue STRAIGHT ON to the valley bottom, following the striped markers.

3.30 km – At a track junction TURN RIGHT then BEAR LEFT over a small stream climbing steadily all the way uphill.

4.20 km – At the signposts, TURN RIGHT onto the Rota Vicentina to Arrifana and follow the green striped markers for approx 1 km.

5.30 km – At the track junction TURN LEFT towards the village and continue STRAIGHT ON.

6.00 km – At the road continue STRAIGHT ON to the roundabout, then BEAR RIGHT downhill.

6.50 km – At a track junction TURN LEFT and descend down to the edge of a large lake. BEAR RIGHT around the lake and continue STRAIGHT ON.

7.40 km – At the end of the lake BEAR RIGHT up the hill and around the bend passing some buildings.

7.80 km – At the top of the hill TURN RIGHT at a large road junction and then in 100m TURN RIGHT again.

8.10 km – At the cross roads, TURN RIGHT and continue STRAIGHT ON.

8.50 km – At the roundabout BEAR RIGHT downhill on the tarmac road and continue STRAIGHT ON for approx 2.5 kms towards the sand dunes following the green striped markers.

11.0 km – Arriving at the coastal viewpoint, TURN LEFT along the gravel road parallel to the coast. Continue STRAIGHT ON for approx 1 km with splendid views of the coastline.

11.9 km – At the end of the gravel road continue STRAIGHT ON along the path through the sand dunes marked by the green stripes for approx 2 kms.

14.0 km – At the ruins on the headland, TURN LEFT onto the gravel track through a parking area, then in 100 m TURN RIGHT at the marker post onto the path and continue STRAIGHT ON for approx 1 km.

15.0 km – At the marker post, BEAR LEFT on the path away from the cliffs and continue STRAIGHT ON through the sand dunes towards Arrifana .

16.6 km – Cross a small stream, then continue STRAIGHT ON up a gravel track for approx 1 km towards Arrifana .

17.8 km – Cross the river and TURN RIGHT up the tarmac road by the water works.

18.0 km – Arriving at the main road and Rota Vicentina signposts, you have reached the end of the walk.













all notes on protected areas


37.316682, -8.803602
37°19'00.1"N 8°48'13.0"W
29S 517402 4130022
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


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.


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18 km
314 m
259 m
Point-to-point Scenic Geological highlights Botanical highlights


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