Fisherman's Trail

Fishermen’s Trail

Trail specs

Distance (mi.) Stages Elevation Gain Best Time Difficulty

Sept - Jun


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Trail description

It was obvious that the Fishermen’s Trail would end up quite high on our list of Top Trails. After all, who doesn’t dream of journeys of which the name alone already makes you fantasize about muscular sailors?

Fisherman's Trail
Edited photo by Marlis Börger

The reason that this beautiful Portuguese route is named after fishermen has everything to do with the fact that the trail takes you along the west coast of Europe. For almost 80 miles (125km) you’ll be flirting with the Atlantic Ocean while walking over sharp granite cliffs. Fierce waves crash against the Portuguese mainland, but now and then they make way for lovely beaches and god-forgotten fishing villages.

Fisherman's Trail
Photo by Björn Gross

The Fishermen’s Trail is part of the extensive hiking network called Rota Vicentina. The Rota Vicentina bundles no less than 280 miles (450km) of trails in southwestern Portugal. They are divided into three main trails: the Fishermen’s Trail, the Historical Way and a few shorter circular routes. The Historical Route allows you to discover the inland of Portugal, while the Fishermen’s Trail always sticks close to the Atlantic Ocean.

Well-maintained hiking trails, which are signposted with blue and green trail markings, ensure that you will never loose your way. The route is relatively easy to walk. There are never large differences in elevation and the path is never really dangerous or technically difficult. Occasionally you will be confronted with somewhat higher cliffs, where people with a fear of heights may gasp for air sometime. But furthermore it is wonderful to stroll along the rolling coast. You hike on narrow paths, sometimes on rocks and stones, and then again through loose sand.

Fisherman's trail
Edited photo by Hugo Gamelas

Did you know that the sun shines on average no less than three hundred days a year in this region? The route can therefore be hiked almost year-round. In springtime you will witness the budding nature that will show itself in all its splendor of colors, during the summer months you will be simmering in the sun and in the autumn you can enjoy the marvellous ocean water that has been brought to temperature just perfectly.

Fisherman's Trail
Photo by Björn Gross

The Fishermen’s Trail is still relatively young. In 2012 it was brought to life by small independent business owners, who wanted to put the region on the map for active nature lovers. It was mainly the owners of the so-called “casas brancas” who joined forces to shape the hiking network. Casas brancas is Portuguese for white houses. It is the term given to old country houses and farms that have been converted into authentic places to stay for any tourist looking for the real Portugal. Because it is the owners of these country houses who mapped out the Fishermen’s Trail, hikers can now count on attractive rooms to spend the night, scattered along the route. Both the budget-friendly hiker and the more luxurious walker will be in their element hiking the Fishermen’s Trail.

Fisherman's Trail
Photo by Guillén Pérez

More information

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