Besides the implementation of the path, the project also foresees its integration into the region’s tourist offering and local community and its exposure at national and international level.
Conceived as a public structure, the Rota Vicentina intends to establish itself as a defining characteristic of the region, becoming viable via the most natural of human practices – walking – and contributing unequivocally towards to the sustainability of rural areas through the promotion of economic activity, stimulation of existing activities and services, maintenance and enhancement of local culture and traditions, encouraging new business creation and promoting the destination out of season.
The beauty of the landscape, the natural, historical and cultural heritage, tourist resources and the public nature of the paths, were the main criteria followed in the choice of the planned route, comprising of existing paths and formed by the Historical Way,the Fishermen’s Trail, and several Circular Routes, tineraries which complement each other, revealing the true essence of the Sw of Portugal.
Philosophy, mission and objectives
Aware that this region is one of the last wildernesses of the southern coast of Europe, entrepreneurs, institutions and local people fear for its destruction and are determined to preserve that which makes it so special.
Developing, using the existing natural assets and cultural values, is the right way forward, which will sustain small businesses throughout the year and allow people from all over the world to be in contact with something authentic and full of personality.
This project aims to be conscientious and serve the public interest, but at the same time competitive, dynamic, proactive and market-oriented.
• Establish Sw Portugal as an international nature tourism destination, raising awareness of the environmental and cultural significance of the region
• Regulate the passage of walkers through environmentally sensitive areas
• Consolidate development network (companies, institutions, population)
• Present the region with a public infrastructure for the enjoyment of nature, getting tourists close to the local population
• Stimulate the existing offering during the medium/low season and to create new business opportunities
Partners and promoters
Rota Vicentina – Association for the Promotion of Nature Tourism in the Alentejo and Vicentina Coast, was officially founded in June 2013 and it’s responsible for the project Rota Vicentina. The association Casas Brancas was the coordinator of the project, in its implementation phase, in partnership with the association Almargem, the local municipalities and parish councils, local and regional entities, companies and individuals that have supported the project at various levels and made it a viable proposition.
This is the most significant network of public and private partners, united in a joint initiative in the interests of tourism and development of the region.
Rota Vicentina Management and Coordination of the project
Rota Vicentina – Association for the Promotion of Nature Tourism in the Alentejo and Vicentina Coast, is a non-profit association, officially founded on 05th June 2013, to manage, maintain, integrate, empower and promote the “touristic product” that Rota Vicentina represents.
Casas Brancas Conception and project Implementation
Casas Brancas is a network of small local businesses which complement each other forming an integrated proposition. Regulated by stringent quality criteria and striving for the full respect and satisfaction of its clients and for the promotion of quality tourism in the region, Casas Brancas – Associação de Turismo de Qualidade do Litoral Alentejo e Costa Vicentina – came into being in 2002 and today has 58 partners, including accommodations, restaurants and outdoor tourist activities. The sustainable development of the region is the ultimate goal of this non-profit association, the Rota Vicentina project being the result of this vision and commitment to the Sw of Portugal.
Almargem Co-promoter for the Algarve region (Conception)
Almargem - a non-governmental regional environment organization – was responsible for the operational implementation of the Rota Vicentina in the Algarve in 2012/2013, and is the entity responsible for the implementation and management of the Via Algarviana, project, a long distance path (GR 13) of 300 km, between Alcoutim and Cape St. Vincent.
Since the beginning, the Municipalities have been giving an important contribution at a technical and financial level, helping promoting and maintaining the route.
Santiago do Cacém, União das Freguesias de S. Domingos e Vale de Água , Cercal do Alentejo, Sines, Porto Covo, Vila Nova de Milfontes, S. Luís, Longueira/Almograve, Odemira (S. Salvador e Santa Maria), Boavista dos Pinheiros, S. Teotónio, Sabóia, Santa Clara-a-Velha, Odeceixe, Rogil, Aljezur, Bordeira, Vila do Bispo/Raposeira e Sagres.
The Parish Councils undertake an important role in the maintenance of the trails and route markers and dialogue with the local population.
The Regional Tourist Office of the Alentejo
A financial contribution and support with national promotion initiatives
The Regional Tourist Office of the Coastal Alentejo
A financial contribution and support with international promotion initiaves
Support with international promotion initiatives
Algarve Tourism Association
Support with international promotion initiaves
The Regional Tourist Office of the Algarve
Support with national promotion initiatives
ICNF – Institute for Nature Conservation and Forestry
Collaboration in the selection and feasibility of sections of the route within the Natural Park
CIMAL – Inter-municipal Community of the Coastal Alentejo
Partnership in the project
Polis Litoral Sudoeste
Link with the Ecovia project
FCMP – Camping and Mountaineering Federation of Portugal
Certification of the Historical Way as GR 11/E9
ERA – European Ramblers Association
International certification of the Historical Way as "Leading Quality Trails - Best of Europe."
World network for the sustainable tourism development
The Ethics & Social Responsibility Programme of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), a specialised agency of the United Nations, tasked with the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism
Route with 180 km crossing all the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Cooperation protocol signed in 7th November, that among several goals, settles a close cooperation and sharing of know-how between the two projects.
Honored with 6 awards since its launch in May 2012, the Rota Vicentina project, designed to promote local economy sustainability by promoting low season tourism in SW Portugal, has been recognized as an asset to the region.
Adding to these awards, the promotional film has also won since its release, in 2012, 11 awards in national and international festivals, having stayed among the 10 finalists of the Grand Prix CIFFT 2013, selected by the International Committee of Tourism Film Festivals, which evaluates all the awards won throughout the year.
AWARDS GRANTED TO THE PROJECT:
The Historical Way of the Rota Vicentina was certified by the European wide label “Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe”, a certification from ERA – European Ramblers Association – joining the exclusive group of the best walking destinations in Europe.
European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2014 - national award on a competition promoted by the European Commission, to reward the most imaginative and successful initiatives from EU public bodies and public-private partnerships which support entrepreneurship.
2nd national Award in the category "Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency" – 25 June, Lisbon, Portugal
Mais Alentejo Awards – awards given by the Portuguese Magazine Mais Alentejo to companies, entities and personalities related to the Alentejo region, in different areas such as tourism, literature, sports, cinema, photography or even gastronomy.
"Mais Inovação" (More innovation) Award – November 2013, Évora, Portugal
Green Project Awards Portugal - International project, with editions in Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Angola, jointly promoted between local Governments and several representatives of the main economic activity sectors, and whose objective is to empower society towards sustainable development.
Honorable Mention, category ‘Agriculture, Sea and Tourism’ - October 2013, Lisbon, Portugal
Portugal Trade Awards 2013 – an initiative by the prestigious Portuguese Magazine Publituris, dedicated to the tourism sector, that annually awards the best initiatives of tourism companies and entities.
Innovation Award - February 2013, BTL Lisbon, Portugal
British Guild of Travel Writers - that annually awards the best tourism initiatives around the world.
Merit Award – November 2012, London, England
LIDE Tourism and Gastronomy – award given by the Portuguese Business Association LIDE.
‘Welcome to Portugal’ Award – September 2012
AWARDS GRANTED TO THE FILM:
Baku International Tourism Film Festival - non-profit cultural event taking place in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, aiming to distinguish films that promote tourism.
1st prize (Golden Award), on the category ‘Ecotourism’ - November 2013, Baku, Azerbaijan
Grand Prix CIFFT 2013 – Award given by the International Committee of Tourism Film Festivals, an international platform encouraging global tourism through the audio-visual media, that annually, at the “Festival of Festivals”, awards the best tourism film of the year, to the most awarded film in several festivals in different countries.
Nominee for the ‘Grand Prix’ – November, Vienna, Austria
Art&Tur – International Tourism Film Festival - worldwide well-known Festival, member of the International Committee of Tourism Film Festivals (CIFFT), that integrates a network of 16 international film festivals that annually co-organize the “Festival of the Festivals” in Vienna, distinguishing the world’s best tourism film.
Best Film – ‘Grand Prix’
Best Promotional Film
Best Portuguese Tourism Film
1st prize, on the ‘Expeditions and Travel’ category
1st prize, on the ‘Rural Tourism’ category
November 2013, Barcelos, Portugal
Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards - Awarding annually the best corporate films and TV documentaries all over the world, in one of the most emblematic places for the cinema worldwide: Cannes, France.
Silver Dolphin, on the category ‘Tourism Films’ - October 2013, Cannes, France
TOURFILM – International Film Festival On Tourism Films - Festival that has for mission promoting and awarding the films that can better contribute – by its quality and artistic content – for the development of national and international tourism.
1st prize, on the category ‘videos and films up to 30 minutes presenting countries, institutions, regions, cities, commercial tourism’ – October 2013, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
IFFEST Document.Art - International Film Festival, awarding productions dedicated to Art, Ecology and Tourism.
1st prize, on the category ‘Ecotourism Film’, in the section ‘tourism films’ - September 2013, Bucharest, Romania
Deauville Green Awards 2013 – The International Film Festival For Sustainable Development and Ecology - International festival of corporate film and TV programs, on ecology and sustainable development, offering a platform for cultural exchange to communication and ecology specialists.
Finalist, on the category ‘Ecotourism and Biodiversity’ - June 2013, Deauville, France
US International Film & Video Festival - in operation since 1967, this festival awards productions in 5 different sections: Corporate, Education, Entertainment, Documentary and Student productions
Winner of the Certificate for Creative Excellence, in the Tourism Films category - June 2013, Los Angeles, EUA
Tourfilm Riga – International Tourism Film Festival - awarding since 2008 films that promote cities, regions and countries as touristic destinations and touristic products.
2nd prize, on the category “Commercial Tourism and Commercials”- April 2013, Riga, Latvia
New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards - Festival dedicated to the television and film industries, that brings into competition, films of more than 50 countries.
Bronze World Medal, on the category ‘Film and Video’ - April 2013, Las Vegas, USA
The Golden City Gate – International Tourism Film & Multimedia Competition - annual international tourism marketing competition, that since 2001 takes place at ITB Berlin, the biggest Tourism Fair in the world, offering a platform for stakeholders in tourism, to present their corporate videos, online and print advertising and other promotions to an international audience.
3rd prize, on the category ‘Regions’ - March 2013, ITB Berlim, Germany
Projectos co-financiados pela UE
Conta também com o apoio dos seis Municípios que a Rota Vicentina atravessa, ou seja, Sines, Santiago do Cacém, Odemira, Aljezur, Vila do Bispo e Lagos, assim como do Turismo de Portugal, da Região de Turismo do Algarve (ERT Algarve), da Região de Turismo do Alentejo (ERT Alentejo) e da Agência Regional de Promoção Turística do Alentejo (ARPTA).
Actuais projectos em curso: