There are two options to cross the river as you head south from Vila Nova de Milfontes; you can walk to the nearest bridge or ride the ferry. Walking via the bridge is 4 kilometres longer, much of it a plod along the main road but with the occasional, splendid view across the river and back to town. The ferry runs twice-hourly most of the year, costs a couple of euros, and is a short, pleasant journey that drops you directly on the trail on the far side.
Today’s trail continues hugging the exposed coastline and winding through a mosaic of flora with unbeatable coastal views on your right. The path is generally less sandy than yesterday, though there are still places where you will sink with every step. This section of the Portuguese Coast is gloriously undeveloped, and except for pockets of agriculture and the wonderfully-regular waymarking of the Rota Vicentina, there is scarce evidence of human presence. Many of the beaches and coves you pass are treasures reserved only for those who travel on foot.
Tip van de auteur
RuststopO7 Ocean Drive Beach Club
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.
Some fields may have cattle in them, though this generally poses no issues; take care not to startle them and to pass around them with a wide berth.
Tips en hints
Points of Interest
The estuary for the River Mira forms a salt-marsh, thanks to a never-ending supply of fresh sediment carried from the river, and shallow water that reduced the number of predators and supports algae and photosynthesis. This ecosystem plays a key role in the food chain with an estimated 70% of marine life important to the fishing industry spending part of their life-cycle here. It also supports bird-life, offering rich feeding and nesting opportunities.
Praia das Furnas
Praia das Furnas is the beach on the far side of the River Mira from Vila Nova de Milfontes. Half of the beach faces the river and is relaxed and tranquil, while the other half receives the full force of the Atlantic Ocean and is a great spot for surfing.
Food and Drink
You will pass a restaurant after 5 kilometres and after 15 kilometres you will arrive in Almograve where are plenty of options to grab something to eat. There is nowhere to buy food or drink in between and nowhere to refill water bottles, so be sure to bring sufficient provisions.
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.