Friday, April 07, 2017

Hiking in the Algarve from Lagos

From Tavira we took the train west to base ourselves in Lagos for two days of fabulous hikes. On the first day we took the bus to the Praia da Rocha, Portimao and walked to Alvor. The second day we took the bus to Sagres, then walked by Cabo de Sao Vicente (most southeast of mainland Europe) to Vila do Bispo following the Rota Vincentina walking trail. I am beginning to get the idea of the Algarve.

The coast is very scenic with varying landscape, cliff formations, sandy beaches of all sizes, wetlands, and surfable waves.... Understandably all this natural beauty of the area and temperate climate brings on tourism and development. From what I see in late March in the places we were, the level of development is tolerable. For entirely selfish reasons I am grateful for the development -- we can get around on public transport and find reasonable prices on accommodation.

There is still much to see and places to hike, especial for one who is the lie-on-the-beach type. The Algarve is high on the our to-return list.

While Lagos has some nice beaches, ...
Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

... Praia da Rocha at Portimao is both more scenic and more developed. It's also very walkable with folks strolling both on the beach and on the promenade on the cliffs above. We walked 15 kms from Praia da Rocha to the sandy, western tip of Alvor.
Praia da Rocha - Portimao, Portugal

Praia da Rocha - Portimao, Portugal

Praia da Rocha - Portimao, Portugal

Praia da Rocha - Portimao, Portugal

Praia da Rocha - Portimao, Portugal

Praia da Rocha - Portimao, Portugal

Walking from Praia da Rocha to Alvor, Portugal

Between Portimao and Alvor there is a park with pine trees, nesting sea birds, and not much development.
Walking from Praia da Rocha to Alvor, Portugal

Walking from Praia da Rocha to Alvor, Portugal

Walking from Praia da Rocha to Alvor, Portugal

Walking from Praia da Rocha to Alvor, Portugal

Alvor is less developed, flat, and has tremendously long boardwalk along the dunes and through the tidal estuary.
Alvor, Portugal

Alvor, Portugal

Alvor, Portugal

Alvor, Portugal

Alvor, Portugal

Alvor, Portugal

And a rip-rap seawall at the point, that is stronger than a Roman road!
Alvor, Portugal

Alvor, Portugal

The center of Alvor has everything a tourist wants. ;-)
Alvor, Portugal

Day two: Bus to Sagres, then walk to Vila Bispo via to Cabo Vincente- about 21 kms walked.

The Fortress at Sagres.
Hiking near Sagres, Portugal

It should be a fast 7km walk from Sagres to Cabo Vincente along a paved road but we had to stop many times to enjoy the view.
Hiking near Sagres, Portugal

Hiking near Sagres, Portugal

Hiking near Sagres, Portugal

Hiking near Sagres, Portugal

The light of the Cabo Vincente lighthouse is said to be the strongest in Europe.
Hiking near Sagres, Portugal

If you look closely in the middle of this photo, you'll see a man fishing.
Hiking near Sagres, Portugal

Great views back to Sagres with the surf crashing into the cliffs.
Hiking near Sagres, Portugal

After Cabo Vicente we headed NORTH on the Rota Vincentina towards Vila do Bispo. The first 5 to 6 kms was right along the coastal cliffs.
Hiking the Rota Vicentina near Sagres, Portugal

Hiking the Rota Vicentina near Sagres, Portugal

Hiking the Rota Vicentina near Sagres, Portugal

Hiking the Rota Vicentina near Sagres, Portugal

Wow!
Hiking the Rota Vicentina near Sagres, Portugal

Hiking the Rota Vicentina near Sagres, Portugal

Hiking the Rota Vicentina near Sagres, Portugal

We gradually headed inland, and the trees grew taller and the grass greener.
Hiking the Rota Vicentina near Sagres, Portugal

Hiking the Rota Vicentina near Sagres, Portugal

Finally we spotted the Vila do Bispo water tower and walked the last 3 kms into town with a couple of German women who were out hiking for 4 weeks.
Hiking the Rota Vicentina near Sagres, Portugal

Finally some pics of Lagos concluding with a shot out of our apartment window during dinner.
Mercado Municipal - Lagos, Portugal

Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

Dinner at Chez Sun-Ling - Lagos, Portugal

Dinner at Chez Sun-Ling - Lagos, Algarve, Portugal


























2 comments:

Kathy said...

Although I've been to Portugal several times I've always skipped the Algarve, thinking it was too touristy (and full of British ex-pats). But you may have convinced me to take a look.

john said...

@Kathy, Seemed to me, from reading your San Sebastian post, that Portimao may have what you expected to find in San Sebastian: walkable beach, views, good weather, cozy cafes, and great seafood. Plus Portimao has a longer shoulder season.