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Algarve Way

EdN

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
1 (2017)
Has anyone walked or considered walking the Algarve Way from the Spanish border to a town in Portugal called Cape of St. Vincent? I'm looking for a trek considerably less populated than the Camino Frances but with reasonable accommodations. The idea of a tent is nice for some but my tenting days have long since passed. The trek is considered "strenuous" with a few sections classified as "very difficult". My question to anyone who may know is...how difficult is the Algarve Way compared to the most difficult sections of Camino Frances? Thanks for your help. Stay safe!
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
It sounds like you're just looking for something less crowded than the CF but with pilgrim infrastructure. There are plenty of caminos that will serve that purpose just fine - the Primitivo, the Madrid, the Mozárabe, the Via de la Plata etc.

Or is there something specific that attracts you to the Algarve Way? Another better known walk in the same area of Portugal is the Rota Vicentina, one of whose paths also goes to Sagres (where the Cape of St Vincent is), if that's a key part of your thinking.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I walked the Rota Vicentina Fisherman's Trail, which mostly follws the southwest coast of Portugal, ending in Cape St. Vincent...stunning, and ample lodging available, although I reserved ahead. Not too busy if you avoid Holy Week and I had near perfect weather and flora/fauna in April.
 

EdN

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
1 (2017)
It sounds like you're just looking for something less crowded than the CF but with pilgrim infrastructure. There are plenty of caminos that will serve that purpose just fine - the Primitivo, the Madrid, the Mozárabe, the Via de la Plata etc.

Or is there something specific that attracts you to the Algarve Way? Another better known walk in the same area of Portugal is the Rota Vicentina, one of whose paths also goes to Sagres (where the Cape of St Vincent is), if that's a key part of your thinking.
Thank you for the reply. The Algarve Way appeared in a book I received from a friend and it sounded interesting. However, it's difficult to find detailed information that described why sections were rated as very difficult. I am blind in one eye so going down rocky mountain scrambles could be a bit of a challenge. Manageable but a challenge. The Rota Vicentina sounds like a nice trek. Thanks!
 

EdN

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
1 (2017)
I walked the Rota Vicentina Fisherman's Trail, which mostly follws the southwest coast of Portugal, ending in Cape St. Vincent...stunning, and ample lodging available, although I reserved ahead. Not too busy if you avoid Holy Week and I had near perfect weather and flora/fauna in April.
Thank you for the reply. The Rota Vicentina looks great. Why did you select the Fisherman's Trail vs the Historical Trail? How long did it take you? Thanks again!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
We started from Porto Covo (south of Lisbon), and ended in Sagres nine days later. I chose the Fisherman's route over the Historical route as I wanted to view the ocean from the high cliffs and it was gorgeous. I had already walked the Frances twice, the Norte/Primitivo, and the Le Puy route, so was looking for something different. It does not really have a "pilgrimage" feel to it, but walking every step in a one way direction with a bed at the end of each day still felt really good. I had watched a few youtube videos prior to going and it looked amazing...and it was!
Good luck with whatever choice you choose.
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
Has anyone walked or considered walking the Algarve Way from the Spanish border to a town in Portugal called Cape of St. Vincent? I'm looking for a trek considerably less populated than the Camino Frances but with reasonable accommodations. The idea of a tent is nice for some but my tenting days have long since passed. The trek is considered "strenuous" with a few sections classified as "very difficult". My question to anyone who may know is...how difficult is the Algarve Way compared to the most difficult sections of Camino Frances? Thanks for your help. Stay safe!
I spent this past winter in the Algarve with my dog and walked a lot of the southern coast. Unfortunately I’m still stranded in Europe not being able to fly with my dog home to Ottawa. Next February I hope to walk from Cape Vicente to Lisbon on the Rota Vicentina then continue to,Santiago. I loved the Algarve and Portugal.....inexpensive fresh Local fruits and Vegetables (the best oranges I have every tasted.....makes Florida and Valencia’s oranges seem like lemons in comparison), the Portuguese are amazingly welcoming, tolerant and patient with foreigners, I could understand 90% of their Portuguese with my Spanish plus so many wonderful places to see besides the gorgeous cliff hiking paths. Re difficulty.....it’s a different type of walking.....lots of rocky surfaces and beaches, nothing challenging like OCebreiro. I recommend it 100%. Attached photos are from FEBRUARY 2020 on the paths near my location Armação de Pera
 

Attachments

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte 10, Primitivo 13, Plata 14+15, Salvador 16, Torres 17, Portugues 18, Mozarabe 19
Hi, Colette, Chrissy and jungleboy!
Reading your posts I am becoming interested. When you say “difficult”, might that mean narrow paths next to sheer drops? Sheer drops I cannot handle.
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
There are some paths close to the cliff edge but where I walked it was well protected from any edge drop. Not all the paths are right beside the cliff edges. I used my hiking poles all the time. Weather this past January and February was amazing. But accommodation will run you minimum €25 per night in a “surfer’s” Albergue type accommodation.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Hi, Colette, Chrissy and jungleboy!
Reading your posts I am becoming interested. When you say “difficult”, might that mean narrow paths next to sheer drops? Sheer drops I cannot handle.
I have a fear of sheer drops and was concerned when I decided to do this route. I asked about it on this marvelous forum and was reassured. In the few spots I considered rather "scary" I would just look down at my shoes or to the opposite side and did fine...just don't ask me about the sand walking.:rolleyes: Thankfully it was just on and off for a few days.
I loved looking for the photos...many gorgeous flowers and great memories!
 

Attachments

Last edited:

ricrog

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (07), Ingles(09), VDLP (09/10/11), Portuguese (12/20), Del Sur (18), Algarve Way(14/17)
I did the Algarve Way in 2014 from Alcoutim to Silves, then from Silves to Vila do Bispo(the last town before Cabo de Sao Vicente, the Cabo is not a town but only a lighthouse, you have to get the one bus a day out of there to Sagres) in 2017. There are some difficult sections, Cachopo to Barranca do Velho and Silves to Monchique spring to mind, but no worse than the difficult parts on other Caminos. There were no Albergues as such and I had to camp out on 4 occasions, There were some websites with info, search for A Via Algarviana.
It's a beautiful walk and very quiet.
 

Martin.P

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Algarvinia (Sept 12)
Camino Frances (June 16)
Via de la Plata (May 19)
Finisterre (July 16)
Has anyone walked or considered walking the Algarve Way from the Spanish border to a town in Portugal called Cape of St. Vincent? I'm looking for a trek considerably less populated than the Camino Frances but with reasonable accommodations. The idea of a tent is nice for some but my tenting days have long since passed. The trek is considered "strenuous" with a few sections classified as "very difficult". My question to anyone who may know is...how difficult is the Algarve Way compared to the most difficult sections of Camino Frances? Thanks for your help. Stay safe!
Hi EdN,
I cycled via algarvinia in 2012, starting in Alcoutim on the Spanish Border & with a group, using MTB's we took 5 days to reach cape st vincent. I was not involved in the organising, but the accommodation was pre-booked & if I can remember correctly only one night was spent outside of a built up area/village. Terrain was not to difficult, at the beginning we had quite a few kilometers of sandy, lumpy terrain, there were beautiful forests & streams with only a couple of scenic mountains to get over, biggest being Monte Chorro (I think). It was hot, damned hot, but then it was early September. Agree with other posts, beautifully friendly people & very cheap. As I said it was 8 yrs ago & from what I've heard a lot of work has been done on the trail since, but at the time we may have run into trouble without a Garmin (trail markings sparse at times). I've since done the Frances & La Plata - although as beautiful, the algarvinia is much, much less commercialised. I'm sorry I cannot be more detailed, but I do believe there is a lot of information on this trail online. There are also your groups for this trail to organise your accommodation & forward bags. I would not recommend to an inexperienced hiker, If you choose to go be prepared for days where you won't meet a soul, but most of all enjoy & stay safe.
 

Martin.P

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Algarvinia (Sept 12)
Camino Frances (June 16)
Via de la Plata (May 19)
Finisterre (July 16)
Thank u ricrog - Monchique, not Monte Chorro. Some beautiful views.
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
I did the Algarve Way in 2014 from Alcoutim to Silves, then from Silves to Vila do Bispo(the last town before Cabo de Sao Vicente, the Cabo is not a town but only a lighthouse, you have to get the one bus a day out of there to Sagres) in 2017. There are some difficult sections, Cachopo to Barranca do Velho and Silves to Monchique spring to mind, but no worse than the difficult parts on other Caminos. There were no Albergues as such and I had to camp out on 4 occasions, There were some websites with info, search for A Via Algarviana.
It's a beautiful walk and very quiet.
Salges to the Cape was very doable and in Salges (in January 2020) I stayed at a very nice inexpensive apartment-hotel with private room, shared kitchen. I understood the OP was talking about walking the coast which is totally doable without going inland although my inland hikes (eg. Silves) We’re also nice.
 

EdN

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
1 (2017)
Hi EdN,
I cycled via algarvinia in 2012, starting in Alcoutim on the Spanish Border & with a group, using MTB's we took 5 days to reach cape st vincent. I was not involved in the organising, but the accommodation was pre-booked & if I can remember correctly only one night was spent outside of a built up area/village. Terrain was not to difficult, at the beginning we had quite a few kilometers of sandy, lumpy terrain, there were beautiful forests & streams with only a couple of scenic mountains to get over, biggest being Monte Chorro (I think). It was hot, damned hot, but then it was early September. Agree with other posts, beautifully friendly people & very cheap. As I said it was 8 yrs ago & from what I've heard a lot of work has been done on the trail since, but at the time we may have run into trouble without a Garmin (trail markings sparse at times). I've since done the Frances & La Plata - although as beautiful, the algarvinia is much, much less commercialised. I'm sorry I cannot be more detailed, but I do believe there is a lot of information on this trail online. There are also your groups for this trail to organise your accommodation & forward bags. I would not recommend to an inexperienced hiker, If you choose to go be prepared for days where you won't meet a soul, but most of all enjoy & stay safe.
Thanks for the info!!!
 

EdN

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
1 (2017)
Hi, Colette, Chrissy and jungleboy!
Reading your posts I am becoming interested. When you say “difficult”, might that mean narrow paths next to sheer drops? Sheer drops I cannot handle.
I lost vision in one eye as a result of a SCUBA accident in 2015 so my depth perception is at times a challenge. I'm fit and had zero problems on the CF. Steep downhills on rather large rock scrambles are tough for me. Narrow trails are manageable. Altitude doesn't bother me either. Thanks for your reply.
 

Chrisp

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: 2014
EPW: 2015
Portuguese Camino: 2016
TMB: 2016
Rota Vicentina: 2017
VF: 2018
I walked the Rota Vicentina Fisherman's Trail, which mostly follws the southwest coast of Portugal, ending in Cape St. Vincent...stunning, and ample lodging available, although I reserved ahead. Not too busy if you avoid Holy Week and I had near perfect weather and flora/fauna in April.
I have also walked the Rota Vicentina and agree with Camino Chrissy, it is stunning. Similar to the Caminos, you walk through towns with a range of accommodation. Although you walk along cliff faces, on the beach and through sand, It definitely is not difficult,
 

EdN

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
1 (2017)
Thanks for the info. From what I have heard both the Algarve and Rota Vicentina would be doable and good choices.
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte 10, Primitivo 13, Plata 14+15, Salvador 16, Torres 17, Portugues 18, Mozarabe 19
Thanks, EdN, for bringing this up! So I have now another walk on my planning list! Thank you all for such encouraging info!
 
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scowie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012
Part of Camino Portugues 2013
There are some paths close to the cliff edge but where I walked it was well protected from any edge drop. Not all the paths are right beside the cliff edges. I used my hiking poles all the time. Weather this past January and February was amazing. But accommodation will run you minimum €25 per night in a “surfer’s” Albergue type accommodation.
Sounds like the one I’ll do next
 


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