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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.