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Visiting Rota Vicentina September 2021 - Some General Questions

JohnKilo

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Rota Vicentina
Hi All,

I'm new here and planning to walk some of the Fisherman's Trail/Rota Vicentina in the next week or two. I was hoping you might be able to help me with some questions I had, for which I very grateful! I'm walking from Porto Côvo to Odeceixe solo over the space of 4 days.
  1. I understand there is a lot of loose sand to wade through on the trip, so perhaps walking poles might be a good idea, however I'm wondering are hiking boots required or would trainers/runners/sneakers suffice?
  2. Is it possible and safe to stop at any of the beaches along the way and have a quick swim? Safe in terms of leaving my belongings on the beach and going into the water (I'll be solo) so I won't have any one to watch my stuff. Also safe as in no strong currents or riptides along those beaches?
  3. I'm doing a semi-organised trip between Porto Côvo to Odeceixe, but I have an extra day after finishing up in Odeceixe before getting the bus back to Lisbon and flying home. Would you be able to recommend another walk I could take leaving from Odeceixe the following day?
Thanks in advance, John!
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Hello John, and welcome to the forum!
I walked the Fisherman's Trail in April 2019 and it was beautiful!
1) Yes, there is quite a lot of rather deep loose sand the first few days out of Porto Covo. I wore trail runners and stomping through the 3-4" of mostly continuous sand I would not have wanted the additional weight of hiking boots. I used my hiking poles the first day or two at a recommendation, but I personally did not find them helpful so I put them away and preferred the additional freedom of movement without them.
2) Walking in April I had good weather but was never compelled to want to swim. I might add that the majority of beaches are far below as you are mostly walking and viewing the water from high cliffs, except in a couple of spots.
3) Once you are situated in Odeceixe, there is a circuit trail down to the beach area which may afford you the swimming opportunity you hope for and provide a relaxing final day before heading back to Lisbon...enjoy when your time comes in September; you will not be disappointed!
 
F

Former member 31048

Guest
Hello @JohnKilo

How wonderful. We loved the Rota Vicentina and weaved in and out to walk a combination of the Fisherman's Trail and Historical Route - walking south to north.

Just a couple of things to add to the comments from @Camino Chrissy -

Re the sand. We have only ever walked in hiking shoes (not boots) .We always have with us cheap pairs of short cotton gaitors - photo below. Here in Australia, we buy them from a hardware or garden store - about $5. They are sometimes called gardener's gaitors. They have proved to be excellent for keeping out pebbles and sand. They worked v well on the coastal areas of Rota Vicentina.

Re the poles. I think it's always good to have them in your pack - just in case! Sometimes I find them useful even on long flat sections just to give a nice momentum.

Enjoy the Rota Vicentina
J.
 

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rnwinters

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
Camino Portugese
Hi All,

I'm new here and planning to walk some of the Fisherman's Trail/Rota Vicentina in the next week or two. I was hoping you might be able to help me with some questions I had, for which I very grateful! I'm walking from Porto Côvo to Odeceixe solo over the space of 4 days.
  1. I understand there is a lot of loose sand to wade through on the trip, so perhaps walking poles might be a good idea, however I'm wondering are hiking boots required or would trainers/runners/sneakers suffice?
  2. Is it possible and safe to stop at any of the beaches along the way and have a quick swim? Safe in terms of leaving my belongings on the beach and going into the water (I'll be solo) so I won't have any one to watch my stuff. Also safe as in no strong currents or riptides along those beaches?
  3. I'm doing a semi-organised trip between Porto Côvo to Odeceixe, but I have an extra day after finishing up in Odeceixe before getting the bus back to Lisbon and flying home. Would you be able to recommend another walk I could take leaving from Odeceixe the following day?
Thanks in advance, John!
 

rnwinters

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
Camino Portugese
My wife and I walked the Rota from Sagres to Sines in September, 2019 ... fabulous weather. I walked in cross trainers with a 14# pack. I wouldn't have wanted boots but my shoes kept filling with sand. A good quality sandal might have been a better choice. I used poles and I was glad I did ... helped with my balance.

Most of the beaches were accessible, but only via a steep decent from the cliffs above. A few beaches were a bit easier. Most were sparsely populated, mainly families with kids, so I don't think security would be much of an issue.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Considering all the sand I walked in, I didn't think my shoes filled up much end of each day.
I was surprised that using my hiking poles seemed more of a hindrance while plodding through the sand.
 
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F

Former member 31048

Guest
Considering all the sand I walked in, I didn't think my shoes filled up much end of each day.
I was surprised that using my hiking poles seemed more of a hindrance while plodding through the sand.
😎 Agree re the poles. I don’t recall using mine while walking in the sand. Also our first few days (from south) were on the historical way so more like a ‘usual’ path including some climbing This thread prompted me to go back and read my blog from this walk and look at the photos. Great memories.

We made our way to the Rota Vicentina after the Mozarabe - and after the RV we made our way to Porto and walked the Camino Portuguese (mostly coastal route) to SdeC - so it was a lovely combination of Caminos!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Jenny, my son and I started from Porto Covo and headed south following the Fisherman's route the whole way. The sand did lessen considerably after the first few days (thankfully). We then took a bus from Sagres on up to Porto where we spent a couple of days before walking the Portuguese Camino on the central route for a change after spending ten days along the ocean.
This thread has given us a nice opportunity to recall our memories of a very beautiful section of Portugal.😃
 
F

Former member 31048

Guest
Jenny, my son and I started from Porto Covo and headed south following the Fisherman's route the whole way. The sand did lessen considerably after the first few days (thankfully). We then took a bus from Sagres on up to Porto where we spent a couple of days before walking the Portuguese Camino on the central route for a change after spending ten days along the ocean.
This thread has given us a nice opportunity to recall our memories of a very beautiful section of Portugal.😃
It sure has. Thank you @JohnKilo for starting this thread! And @Camino Chrissy what a great adventure with your son 🙏
 

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