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Fitness
Hiking trail

Vila do Bispo to Cabo de Sao Vicente.

Hiking trail · Portugal
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Leaving Vila do Bispo.
    / Leaving Vila do Bispo.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Fishermen’s Trail marker.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Admiring the view.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Heathland vegetation.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Down to the Cape.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Path to the beach,
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Telheiro beach.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Cabo de Sao Vicente.
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / The end!!
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / The lighthouse at Cabo Sao Vicente
    Photo: Laura Paterson, Macs Adventure
m 300 200 100 12 10 8 6 4 2 km

A gentle walk out of Vila do Bispo leads onto heathland and near to the viewpoint at Torre de Aspa. From here the route turns south along the coast with superb views of the magnificent cliffs, the sandy Talheiro Beach and Cape St.Vincent, where you finish the walk.

 

moderate
13.6 km
4:00 h
85 m
149 m

Enjoy a wonderful end to the walk today as you head towards the most south-western point of mainland Europe, Cabo Sao Vicente. Reaching Telheiro Beach and the Cape, enjoy fantastic views of the wild coastline as the wave’s crash below. If travelling in autumn look out for the soaring seabirds that migrate here, including booted eagles, black kites, sparrow hawks and black storks.

Arriving at Cabo Sao Vicente and the iconic lighthouse is a magical experience. Imagine yourself in the shoes of the pilgrims who used to finish their journey here at the burial place of St Vincent. Or in those of the fishermen who would have set sail from here into the unknown. After taking in the views, a transfer will collect you from the Cape and take you to your hotel in the thriving little coastal town of Sagres.

 

Author’s recommendation

There is a great sense of achievement as you head towards the Cape on today’s walk and the last stage of the Rota Vicentina. Make time to appreciate the stunning coastal views on this walk, as well as looking back inland towards the previous mountain sections. This is coastal walking at its best and this section is undoubtedly one of the most rugged.

 Trail finding on this section should be fairly straight forward. The Fishermen’s Trail is clearly way marked by green striped markers on posts and the stone cairns. This is a popular section of the Rota Vicentina and the paths and tracks are prominent.

 

 

 

Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
153 m
Lowest point
33 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

The only sections of the walk today where you might encounter traffic are leaving Vila do Bispo and arriving at the Cape. The few climbs and descents are not steep. The cliffs on this section are high and rugged so be careful near the edges, especially if it is windy.

 

 

 

Equipment

Sturdy footwear is essential as much of the route follows rough gravel tracks and paths. Walking poles may be desirable especially for the final section over the uneven limestone rocks to the Cape, 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.

 

Tips, hints and links

Points of Interest

Cabo de Sao Vicente

This is the most south westerly point on mainland Europe and home to its most powerful lighthouse. It was named after the body of St. Vincent was brought here to protect from invading Moors, and it has been a place of pilgrimage ever since.

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/portugal/sagres/attractions/cabo-de-sao-vicente/a/poi-sig/1374607/360374

Telheiro Beach

This is a sheltered bay protected by rugged cliffs. This secluded beach with a large sandy strip is rarely busy even at peak times. It is also a site of geological significance as it is one of the largest coastal unconformities in Western Europe.

http://www.algarve-tourist.com/Sagres-portugal/Praia-do-Telheiro-Sagres-Portugal.html

 

Food & Drink

There are a number of shops, cafes and bars in Vila do Bispo, where you can stock up with food and drink. Remember to take plenty of fluids, particularly if the weather is hot. There is also a bank, cash machine, post office and pharmacy in the town. This route is quite remote and there are no opportunities for refreshment on the way until you reach the Cape at the end.

 

This walk is part of the following itineraries: 

WPSTVA

WPSTWA

 

 

Start

Rota Vicente information Board, Main Square, Vila do Bispo. (82 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
37.082890, -8.909345
UTM
29S 508057 4104071

Destination

The lighthouse, Cabo de Sao Vicente.

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – Standing beside the Rota Vicente Information board and with your back to the square, continue STRAIGHT ON down the narrow street. Arriving at the road TURN RIGHT and walk to the roundabout

0.30 km – At the roundabout, TURN LEFT and continue STRAIGHT ON along the tarmac road, past the market and the school, heading out of town.

0.90 km – Where the road forks, BEAR LEFT and continue STRAIGHT ON along the tarmac road for approx 1 km.

2.00 km – At the end of the tarmac road BEAR LEFT, onto the dirt track signed to Cabo Sao Vicente. Continue STRAIGHT ON for approx 1.5 kms, with the wood on your right towards a white monument on the cliffs ahead. The path is marked with the familiar red and white striped markers. 

3.70 km – At the end of the track TURN LEFT, on the path signposted to Cabo Sao Vicente.( If you wish to go to the viewpoint at Torre de Aspa, turn right and walk towards the white monument.) Continue STRAIGHT ON for approx 2 kms, following the striped markers.

5.60 km – Where the track forks BEAR RIGHT, towards the coast and continue STRAIGHT ON.

6.40 km – At the track junction TURN RIGHT, onto the path signposted the Fishermen’s Trail, now following the green striped markers, and continue STRAIGHT ON.

7.40 km – Where the track forks BEAR RIGHT, following the green striped markers with great views along the coast.

9.20 km – As the track turns to the right, BEAR LEFT on the path towards the lighthouse and descend down towards Telheiro Beach and up the other side. (Still following the green striped markers. 

9.70 km – Reaching the point above Telheiro Beach TURN LEFT sharply up the hill to a small car park. Continue STRAIGHT ON over the other side onto the path descending into a small valley and up the other side. Continue STRAIGHT ON for approx 2.5 kms, along the cliff top path towards the lighthouse following the green striped markers and piles of stones (cairns.)

12.5 km – Just before arriving at the tarmac road TURN RIGHT onto the path back towards the cliffs, then BEAR LEFT towards the lighthouse and continue STRAIGHT ON over this rough rocky plateau.

13.1 km – At the main road TURN RIGHT and continue STRAIGHT ON towards the lighthouse.

13.6 km – Arriving at the lighthouse you have reached the end of your walk and the Rota Vicentina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
13.6 km
Duration
4:00h
Ascent
85 m
Descent
149 m
In and out Scenic Geological highlights Botanical highlights

Statistics

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 m
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Highest point
 m
Lowest point
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