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A remarkable section of the route

This is virtually a step-by-step summary of what the Rota Vicentina has to offer: the power of the sea breaking over ancient cliffs or onto quiet sandy beaches, an extraordinary biodiversity of fauna, tranquil forests of cork oak and meadows cultivated by men at a leisurely pace

The view point of Arrifana Fortress

Before setting off, you must first go to the ruins of Arrifana fortress, from where the panoramic views over the Vicentina Coast are quite impressive. On clear days you’ll be able to spot in the horizon the Pontal da Carrapateira and the Cape St. Vincent, the final destination of the Rota Vicentina

Beach of Canal

Take extra care on the final part of the descent to the beach of Canal. Take a walking stick. This is a beach where you’ll find plenty of stones, rounded by the constant erosion from the waves and tides. They are bits of dark rock from the cliffs, often decorated with lines of white quartz.

Lentiscus

The undergrowth which populates much of this section is rich in cistus and lentiscus. The most valuable product extracted from the lentiscus is the mastic, a resin that oozes like tears from small cuts made in the bark of their trunks.

Village of Bordeira

Before arriving in Carrapateira and climbing to Cerro da Cunca, with great views over the valley and the beach of Bordeira, you’ll be passing the village of Bordeira, where time seems to move slower. Stop for a cafe and a chat with whoever comes by the window or the doorstep.

Historical Way


 

Arrifana » Carrapateira

24 km

 
 
 

Pedra da Agulha seen from Canal beach, Vale Figueira’s vast sand stretch revealed during low tide and a succession of hills and valleys, confirm the most aggressive and inaccessible side of this coastal area. Upon arrival, a privileged view over Bordeira beach’s sand dunes and the creek that meets the ocean here, in a setting that repeats itself over and over again and characterizes Vicentina Coast’s beaches.

 



 
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In this admirable section there is the con­stant and simultaneous presence of the hills and the sea, pristine nature and the unique presence of man.

It’s practically a step-by-step summary of what the Rota Vicentina has to offer: the power of the sea pouring over ancient cliffs or on quiet sandy beaches, undergrowths full of colour and aromas, an extraordinary biodiversity of fauna, tranquil woods of cork, wild ol­ive and oak trees, meadows cultivated by man at his leisure, visited at night by boars and badgers, a spring which erupts in flow­ers and colourful insects, a fall that has mushrooms and edible wild plants, points of contemplation at sea level, at the top of the cliff, in the intimacy of the woods or on top of a hill. It is worth while taking a longer look at the Canal beach and the village of Bordeira.

The undergrowth which populates much of this section is rich in cistus and lentiscus, the fruit of which is a delicacy for seed eating birds.

On the rocky beaches lashed by the sea it is common to find rocks, well rounded by constant erosion from waves and tides. These are pieces of dark rock from the cliffs, often decorated with white stripes of quartz, in geometric designs. Heading inland between spots of pine and eucalyptus on clay soils, cork oaks, straw­berry trees and farmland where cattle graze, the presence of small holdings an­nounce your arrival at a village. After pass­ing the village of Bordeira, the view over the valley of the Bordeira river and the estuary where it joins the Carrapateira river high­lights once again the beauty of the region.

 

 

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Tips


Refreshments along the way

At km 18.8, in the village of Bordeira.


Do not miss the Fishermen's Trail

Pontal da Carrapateira Circuit is a circular walk of 10 km with start and finish point at the village of Carrapateira. Stay another day in town and enjoy the beauty of the region, getting to know the place even better.

 
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Where to start

Arrifana:

At the parking area on the top of the beach of Arrifana, heading along the road in the direction of Vale da Telha and Aljezur, until you enter on the dirt track on your right.

Carrapateira:

In the village centre, heading along the road in the direction of Aljezur, till Monte da Cunca, where you should join the path to the right.

Fact Sheet

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: DIFFICULT
DISTANCE: 24 KM
APPROXIMATE DURATION: 7 HOURS
ACCUMULATED CLIMB: 413 M
ACCUMULATED DESCENT: 500 M
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE: 162 M
MINIMUM ALTITUDE: 13 M
RECOMMENDED SEASON:
SEPTEMBER TILL JUNE
 
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Warnings

Difficult descent

You will need to take extra care on the descent to the beach of Canal. Take a walking stick.

Bring water and supplies

This is a long section and one on which you will only be able to buy something almost at the very end, at km 18.8, in the village of Bordeira. You should stock up in Arrifana and take water (1.5 L minimum) and sufficient provisions with you.

 
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RULES AND RECOMMENDATIONS

THE CIRCULATION OF MOTOR VEHICLES PUTS WALKERS AT RISK
AVOID DOING THE HISTORICAL WAY ON A MOTOR CYCLE OR IN A JEEP, LOOK INTO OTHER OPTIONS
DO NOT LIGHT FIRES
SEVERAL FARMS AND CATTLE HERDS ARE PROTECTED BY GUARD DOGS. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
BE CAUTIOUS WITH CATTLE, ALTHOUGH GENTLE, THEY DO NOT LIKE STRANGERS APPROACHING THEIR CALVES.
THESE TRAILS PASS BY PRIVATE PROPERTY. RESPECT IT AND CLOSE GATES AND FENCES YOU WILL FIND ON THE WAY.
THERE ARE VERY FEW SUPPORT SERVICES ALONG THE TRAILS. BRING WATER AND FOOD SUPPLIES WITH YOU.
IN SOME PARTS OF THE TRAILS YOU WILL HAVE TO CROSS PAVED ROADS. BE CAREFUL!
YOU WILL FIND SEVERAL LOCATIONS IDEAL FOR PICNICS. DO NOT, IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, LEAVE TRASH BEHIND.
BE FRIENDLY WITH THE LOCALS, TELL THEM WHY YOU’RE THERE AND SHARE EXPERIENCES.
 




 

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SECTION CARRAPATEIRA » VILA DO BISPO >