Rota Vicentina - the historic trail
Activity: Self guided mtb holiday
Bike type: Mountain bike
Duration: 7 nights, 5 days cycling
Activity Level: Experienced
Accommodation: 3 star hotels and rural guesthouses
Daily Average: 45 km
Price: From €759
This mtb holiday takes you along long distance route GR11/E9 from Santiago de Cacém to Cabo de São Vicente covering in total some 220 kms. The route is baptised the Historic Trail and together with the so called Fisherman's Trail, dedicated to walkers, it forms a part of Rota Vicentina. The Vicentina route takes travellers constantly in and out of the rough Vicentina Natural Park. (PNSACV - Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina) This is a protected area and with reason considered one of seven Portuguese natural wonders.
Day 1 Arrival at Santiago de Cacem
Upon your arrival in the Algarve, we will collect you and transport you to your accommodation in Santiago de Cacem, a small provincial town overlooked by a castle of Moorish origins.
Day 2 Santiago de Cacem to Cercal do Alentejo: (41km/elevation gain 531m)
Your first day's trail leads through undulating countryside and forests of cork oak, one of the main characteristics of this beautiful region, along with the local breeds of Black Pig, which you well may encounter en route. An interesting mosaic of bio diversity follows, featuring olive groves, orchards, small ponds, streams and some beautiful rocky outcrops. Your destination for today is a typical Alentejo small town, rich in traditional architecture. You can explore its historical centre via a network of narrow streets and alleys, sampling local products and enjoying the traditional arts and crafts.
Day 3 Cercal do Alentejo to Odemira: (46km/elevation gain 741m)
Today's route passes through low density farmland and onto more mountainous terrain, where spectacular views of the Atlantic ocean can be enjoyed. A cafe break in Sao Luis will no doubt be welcome before continuing on to Odemira, another quaint town with plenty of cafes and a few good restaurants. Odemira derives its name from its vicinity to the Mira river, once an important means of communication to the outside world. Now it is a significant commercial centre, but retains some of its old world charm with the steep narrow streets leading to the remains of the castle walls.
Day 4 Odemira to Odeceixe: (36km/elevation gain 589m)
Leaving Odemira along the river Mira, you will pass through picturesque countryside on the way to Sao Teotonio, where cafes can be found in the pretty square in the middle of the town. Today you will reach a significant landmark in your journey, the border between the Alentejo and the Algarve, marked by the pretty, small town of Odeceixe, With its whitewashed houses leading up to an old windmill, it is a sight for sore eyes after your day's cycling. It really is a fascinating place, where the river turns into the Atlantic and the meadows pave way to the rugged coastline. Keep your cameras handy!
Day 5 Odeceixe to Carrapateira: (54km/elevation gain 760m)
A sharp climb out of Odeceixe is followed by completely flat paths alongside the irrigation channels which take you to Aljezur (where the castle above the old town is well worth a visit). The trail becomes more undulating as it reaches the coast south of Aljezur, before heading inland via Bordeira to Carrapateira. Carrapateira is a village of fisherman and farmers alike. It lives and breathes authenticity and reveals the contrasts of this region.
Day 6 Rest Day in Carrapateira
This is an amazing place to take time out. For example to visit the local Museum of Sea & Land. And although having a rest day we recommend to take the bike or walk the Carrapateira's Pontal circuit, a part of the Fisherman's Trail. From the easily accessible peninsula at Pontal da Carrapateira, you can enjoy dramatic views of the cliffs and crags dropping to the Atlantic and, on a clear day, you should see the Sagres lighthouse in the distance (your final destination). Whilst to the North you will see the immense Bordeira beach and sand dunes. On the southern side of the Pontal circuit you will also encounter the archaeological site with ancient remains from early fisherman's settlements. This is right next to O Forno restaurant, overlooking Amado beach. An excellent opportunity to sample local sea food and from where you can observe the action-packed surfing, which is huge in this area. You may even want to join in. But be warned it is not for the faint hearted!
Day 7 Carrapateira to Cabo de S. Vicente: (36km/elevation gain 395m)
A short sharp climb out of Carrapateira, leading along the ridge top, offers more spectacular views of the coastline before leading down to the river valley, where a pleasant track leads along to the restored old village of Pedralva, a worthwhile refreshment stop along the way. Some undulating sandy trails amongst pine trees follows, as you head towards Vila do Bispo and, finally, the trail takes you down to the coast and the end of the route at Cabo de S. Vicente.
Day 8 Departure
We will transfer you from your accommodation for your journey home.
- GPS hire, GPS tracks and detailed maps
- Quality accommodation
- Route assistance where necessary
- Transfers to hotel or train/coach station
- Luggage transfer
- Bike hire
- Holiday insurance - recommended.
- Prices are per person, based upon two people sharing a twin/double bedded room on a B&B basis.
- There is no single supplement as we do not recommend you undertake this trip unaccompanied.
- Discounts are available for large groups, please contact us for details.
- Hire of good quality mountain bike with hydraulic disc breaks €18 per day
- Safety helmet, €12 euro per week (we suggest you bring your own)
- A choice of pedals, €18 euro per week (we suggest you bring your own)
- Guiding service by experienced mtb guide €100 per day
- Personal accident insurance €14 euro per week
- Extra overnight stays in Lagos, or Albufeira (price tbc)
Bookings and enquiries: email@example.com
In co-operation with Algarve Bike Holidays