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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.