Trips

5 Hiking Destinations to Try in Portugal

Source: lonelyplanet.com
Written by Leo Klod

Portugal is one of Europe’s most beautiful countries, giving you plenty of stunning places to explore on a hike. Some of the best hikes in Portugal will take you to gorgeous seaside villages, passing through beautiful beaches. You’ll also find trails leading you into deep ravines and the country’s highest mountains. Regardless of your hiking abilities, you will find many great hiking trails to walk on in Portugal.

Here are some hiking destinations to try in Portugal.

1. Vale de Parra

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Vale de Parra is a small resort town located in the more tranquil area of the Algarve, with the vibrant Albufeira about six miles away. What’s great about hiking in Vale de Parra is you will come across some of the Algarve’s quietest beaches. You may even pass some hidden coves where you can swim in utmost privacy.

One of the most beautiful beaches you should visit in Vale de Parra is Praia da Gale, which stretches west towards Armacao de Pera, recognised for its arches and caves jutting out of the cliffs. Walk towards the eastern end, where you’ll find a rocky outcrop with small rock pools to take a refreshing dip. As you head in the same direction, you will reach Sao Rafael Beach, with stunning arched rocks dominating the sands.

When going around Vale de Parra, it’s worth checking out the small shops and bustling markets where you can shop for almost everything. Hike to the top of the hill, and you’ll find the Calicos Market, where you can shop for fresh produce and locally made wine. Walk around town, and you’ll find cute souvenirs to bring home, such as the locally made woven baskets.

2. Guia

Source: northshoreecotours.com

Guia is a small village near Albufeira, about five km from the coast. It lies on the central coastline of the Algarve, famous for its peri-peri chicken dishes. If you’re looking for a quiet place to explore on foot, Guia would be the perfect place to visit.

As you stroll through the village, visit its bustling markets, and check out the stalls selling locally grown produce. Unlike the many other resorts in the Algarve, Guia maintains its Portuguese charm. You’ll discover many great places on your walk around the village, including fantastic restaurants lining its picturesque narrow streets. Its laidback and relaxing atmosphere makes it a wonderful place to explore away from Albufeira’s hustle and bustle.

You can hike towards the coast, where you’ll find gorgeous and idyllic beaches, where fishermen mend their nets for the day’s catch. Guia is also a great place to visit with kids. It has many Blue Flag beaches, safe for little kids to swim, play, and relax. Walk along the shore to soak up the views and check out the many great restaurants at the beachfront.

3. Santa Eulalia

Source: komoot.com

Santa Eulalia is a tranquil neighbourhood in the Algarve, a great place to enjoy relaxing walks. It’s a charming coastal village lying on the eastern side of Albufeira. Most tourists would come here for the beach or to find Portugals most stunning holiday rentals, but if you’re here to hike, you definitely will not be disappointed.

With beautifully landscaped gardens, rows of palm trees interspersing with exotic plants and meticulously trimmed grassy lawn, Santa Eulalia is a fun place to explore on foot. From the centre of the town, you will find many trails taking you to its famous beach, featuring a long stretch of golden sands and flanked by cliffs blanketed with pine trees. Make a stop at the beach to relax or swim in its crystal-clear waters. The beach also offers opportunities for fun water sports, such as windsurfing, water-skiing, and paddle boats. As you go on your hike, you can come across secluded coves and a handful of bars and restaurants.

Santa Eulalia Beach is a Blue Flag Beach with child-friendly amenities and facilities. In the summer, there is a lifeguard in the area, although it’s generally safe to swim here since the water is calm on most days. For your convenience, there are toilets and showers available at the beach.

4. Pera

Source: moonhoneytravel.com

Pera, also called Armacao de Pera, is a lovely resort town situated on a beautiful beach with a decent selection of resorts, bars, and restaurants. It’s a fun place to walk around, as it’s much quieter than its more famous neighbours in the Algarve region.

One of the best places to enjoy a hike in Pera is its lovely promenade, where you can enjoy a pleasant breeze and incredible ocean views. It stretches to the cliffs above the beach and has a row of restaurants and bars set back from the edge. Most areas are intended only for pedestrians, making it a safe place to walk around. You will find palm trees and beautiful plants between seating areas, where you can rest and marvel at the incredible views of the ocean.

From the promenade, you can hike towards Fortaleza de Armaçao de Péra, a lovely fort built around the 16th century to protect the town from the invading pirates. Get inside the fort to find a 17th-century chapel called Capela de Santo Antonio. You can also walk towards a pretty little plaza with a church built around the 1950s.

5. Portimao

Source: becooltravel.com

Located at the bank of the Arade River, Portimao is a picturesque town famous for its fishing industry. It’s an international port of call for cruise ships and offers many fun things to do for visitors, including hiking.

When hiking in Portimao, visit Praia da Rocha, one of the Algarve’s most popular beaches. It’s right in the heart of the town, so getting here is easy. The rocky beach stretches for more than 1 kilometre and is a popular spot for enjoying water sports. Another place you shouldn’t miss on your hike of Portimao is the Museo de Portimao, where you’ll learn about the town’s canning industry.

For a taste of the local life, visit the Mercado Municipal de Portimao, a bustling market where you can shop for fresh produce, from freshly picked peppers to the day’s seafood catch. Come early in the morning, when it’s busy with local shoppers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leo Klod

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