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Fitness
Hiking trail

Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe

Hiking trail · Portugal
Responsible for this content
Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Fisherman on the Fishermen Coast
    / Fisherman on the Fishermen Coast
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Beautiful Beaches
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Praia do Brejão (Amália Beach)
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Winding Sandy Path
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Odeceixe Beach
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
m 300 200 100 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Odeceixe Beach (River Seixe)

Today’s walk from Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe strikes a perfect balance between clambering atop high cliffs and dipping down to meet pristine beaches. There’s a little more climbing involved, but the views compensate adequately!

moderate
18.3 km
6:00 h
267 m
288 m

Motivation can be hard to find on today’s walk. Not because it’s unimpressive, but on the contrary, because of the number of heavenly beaches you’ll pass along the way, each inviting you to pull over and rest a while. Beaches where you’re surrounded by an amphitheatre of cliffs on one side and an endless horizon of ocean on the other. Beaches where the waves slide across the golden sand in slow-motion. Two beaches even have waterfalls that cascade from a nearby fresh-water stream and meander lazily into the sea.

Undoubtedly the best viewpoint and beach is saved for last. From atop the high rocky headland of Ponta em Branco, you can admire the serpentine River Seixe which winds through the valley to meet the sea. A sand bar covers 4/5ths of the river-mouth to form Odeceixe Beach. You’re only 100 metres away. It feels like you could reach out and grab it… But in a cruel twist of fate it is still an 8 kilometre walk to get there via the nearest bridge!

Author’s recommendation

Take advantage of the funky, beach-side, surfer café after 3.5 kilometres, and then enjoy lunch in the delightful seafood restaurant in Azenha do Mar after 10 kilometres.

outdooractive.com User
Author
Macs Adventure
Updated: May 18, 2020

Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
63 m
Lowest point
2 m

Rest Stop

Carvahal Beach Nature Surfer Cafe
Azenha do Mar Restaurant

Safety information

There are many exposed and unfenced edges throughout the walk. Additionally, some of the cliff-edges may be unstable; be careful and remain on the path.

There are several stretches where you must walk on the road as there is no pavement. Walk on the left side facing the oncoming traffic unless there is a sharp left bend, in which case you should cross to the outside edge to allow drivers the maximum time to see you.

Some of the path is along rocky steps; be careful as these may be slippery, especially when wet.

Tips, hints and links

Points of Interest

White Storks’ Nests

Another stretch of Portugal’s Coast that is famous for its white storks - or rather, the crazy positioning of their nests. These large nests cling precipitously to the cliffs, sometimes with a hundred-metre drop to the tumultuous ocean on all sides. Not a great location for a newborn stork to take its first flight! If you are visiting in spring (April/May) you are in luck as the nests may have chicks in, whereas towards the end of summer they migrate south to Africa.

 

River Seixe

The River Seixe forms the boundary between Alentejo and the Algarve. A sand-bar has formed across the mouth of the river which constitutes Odeceixe Beach, considered to be one of the Fishermen Coast’s most beautiful.

 

Odeceixe Windmill

The dazzling blue-and-white windmill (Moinho) occupies a prominent position on one of the most elevated parts of Odeceixe, allowing it to catch as much wind as possible. It was constructed at the end of the 19th century and is still in full working order to mill corn and wheat, though is seldom used. From here there is a beautiful viewpoint to the lower part of the village, and through the River Seixe Valley.

 

Praia do Brejão

Praia do Brejão is an idyllic beach, with a waterfall that cascades down to meet the swathe of golden sand. Most locals know it as Amália Beach, for it was the favoured holiday spot for Amália Rodrigues, possibly Portugal’s most famous and well-loved Fado singer. Some of the houses in nearby Brejão Village, just a kilometre inland, bear enormous mural paintings of the singer.

 

Food and Drink

You will pass a beachside café after 3.6 kilometres and a restaurant in Azenha do Mar after 10 kilometres.

Start

Our Lady of the Sea Church, Zambujeira do Mar (19 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
37.524517, -8.787007
UTM
29S 518820 4153082

Destination

Village Square, Odeceixe

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km - Start with your back to the sea, facing the entrance to Our Lady of the Sea Church. BEAR RIGHT to walk downhill beside the paved road, keeping the sea on your right.

0.30km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON at the crossroads, and then after 50 metres TURN RIGHT to cross over the bridge, following the sign to Praia dos Alteirinhos.

0.45km – Having passed the car park on your left, TURN RIGHT onto the uphill, rocky trail, passing a faded information board. After 50m BEAR RIGHT to continue heading uphill.

0.57km - As the path forks, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON ignoring the right fork which heads towards cottages. At the crossroads after 50 metres, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON along the path bordered by wooden posts.

0.90km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON heading down the wooden steps. After 50 metres, just before the steps descend onto the beach, TURN LEFT to follow the mud path that contours around the cliffs, following the green and blue markings. This path forks several times; keep following the established and waymarked path.

1.90km – TURN RIGHT at the crossroads on the edge of the pine forest, and then as the path splits after 200 metres, TURN LEFT to continue walking through the forest and following the blue and green markings. Ignore the main track that continues ahead.

2.30km - As the path splits in an area where there may be cars parked, TURN LEFT to walk along the sandy track. As the sandy road bends left after 100 metres, TURN RIGHT and onto the narrow footpath. There are striped markings at each junction. This path continues through overgrown woodland.

2.80km – At the T-junction with sandy vehicle tracks, TURN RIGHT. After 50 metres, with a view to white houses ahead, TURN RIGHT. This path will shortly lead onto a wooden boardwalk.

3.10km – BEAR RIGHT from the boardwalk just before the handrail begins, to follow the rocky path along the clifftops.

3.50km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to pass through the car park and then TURN RIGHT at the paved road to cross over the bridge.

3.60km - Once over the bridge, BEAR RIGHT onto the narrow footpath that climbs steeply beside the café.

3.90km - At the T-junction beside a wire fence, TURN RIGHT. Keep walking beside the fence ignoring all side paths. It may sound like I was suffering from the heat, but I saw emus and bison in this enclosure – so keep your eyes peeled!

4.40km - As the wire fence bends 90° left, and with a beach on your right, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to head away from the wire enclosure, walking above the beach on your right and following the striped markings.

5.20km – Upon reaching a headland with views up and down the coast, BEAR LEFT onto the sandy path. Just before entering woodland after 200 metres, TURN RIGHT onto a narrow path. This path descends steeply downhill, keeping the coast on your right.

5.50km - As you reach a crossroads in the bottom of the dip TURN LEFT to head slowly uphill. BEAR LEFT to continue heading uphill as the path forks after 50 metres.

5.60km – After reaching a clearing, BEAR RIGHT to continue on the undulating path along the cliffs.

5.90km – TURN LEFT as you reach a barbed-wire fence to head into the pine forest. After 50m, BEAR RIGHT as path forks to keep the wire fence on your right.

6.50km – TURN RIGHT as you reach a sandy road beside greenhouses. In the car parking after 200 metres, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON following the footpath sign to Odeceixe. Again, there is some low vegetation that you may have to limbo under.

7.10km - As the path forks above a beach, BEAR LEFT to contour along the cliffs. After 200 metres, in a rocky clearing at the top of the climb, BEAR RIGHT. This path will continue along the clifftops for 2.1 kilometres.

9.40km – BEAR LEFT as the path forks in the woodland, and then after 50 metres, TURN RIGHT towards the paved road. 9.50km – TURN RIGHT as you reach the paved road on the edge of Azenha do Mar. After 50 metres, BEAR LEFT to remain on the paved road, with the village on your left and the sea on your right.

9.80km - At the junction beside a restaurant and car park, BEAR RIGHT to cross over the road and descend the wooden steps towards the beach. As the wooden steps emerge onto a paved road TURN RIGHT to head downhill towards the sea. After 100 metres, just as the road bends right through ‘No Entry’ sign BEAR LEFT.

10.00km - As the road becomes a slipway into the harbour and the wall ends on your left, TURN LEFT onto the rocky footpath. This section is steep and loose, so hold the fixed rope for added support. This path descends to a wooden bridge and then begins climbing again.

11.20km - As the wide sandy tracks begin bending left and heading uphill, BEAR RIGHT onto a narrow sandy footpath. This turning is easy to miss so check the map as you approach it.

12.10km – TURN RIGHT at the T-junction in front of a barbed wire fence. Once in the pine forest after 100 metres, TURN RIGHT to head onto the sandy track, away from the barbed-wire fence and towards the sea.

12.30km – In a clearing with the sea ahead, TURN LEFT onto the sandy footpath that winds through bushes and atop the cliffs.

12.70km - As you reach Ponta em Branco, with its fantastic views of Odeceixe Beach and the River Seixe, TURN LEFT. As this path splits beside pine trees after 400 metres, TURN RIGHT.

13.50km - As the path splits in the open fields, TURN RIGHT sharply following the striped markings. After 100 metres, this sandy track will bend left.

14.10km - As you reach the wide sandy road that runs beside the river, TURN LEFT. Remain on this road for 3.5 kilometres.

17.60km – TURN RIGHT at the T-junction to cross the bridge and follow the sign to Lagos. Once across the bridge after 300 metres, TURN RIGHT following the sign to Odeceixe.

18.10km - As the paved road bends right beside an information board for Rota Vicentina, TURN LEFT onto the flat, cobbled road.

18.30km - Finish in the Village Square beside a stone fountain. Why not celebrate with a drink in one of the nearby cafes?

Note


all notes on protected areas

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Sturdy hiking boots and a waterproof/wind-break layer are required.

Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.

Make sure you bring enough water. It is recommended to drink 0.75 litres per 1 hour of hiking in hot weather.

Be sure to bring plenty of sun-cream and a healthy respect for the sun.


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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
18.3 km
Duration
6:00h
Ascent
267 m
Descent
288 m

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