The seventh section of the Fishermen’s Trail from Aljezur to Arrifana is one of my favorites. The landscape is gorgeous! Read more about it in this trail diary.
What is the Fishermen’s Trail?
The Fishermen’s Trail (Trilho dos Pescadores in Portuguese) is a long-distance trail in the southwestern part of Portugal. The path runs from São Torpes near Sines (Alentejo) to Lagos (Algarve) and follows the coastline. It is part of Rota Vicentina, a collection of hiking and cycling trails in this region.
The Fishermen’s Trail is 226.5 kilometers long in total and includes a total of 13 sections. In this trail journal, I’ll tell you all about my hike on the seventh stage from Arrifana to Aljezur.
Hiking from Arrifana to Aljezur
Officially, the Fishermen’s Trail runs from north to south, but I chose to hike from south to north. This way, I’ll have the sun on my back and I expect to have better views. So I don’t hike from Aljezur to Arrifana, but from Arrifana to Aljezur.
Quick detour in Arrifana
I’ve had a good night’s sleep in my beautiful hotel room and I wake up excited for today. I’m ready to go! Since no cafes are open before ten o’clock in Praia da Arrifana, my breakfast is an oatmeal bar. I always have it with me in case of emergencies and now it comes in very handy.
I set off just after half past eight. First I walk the last 500 meters of section 8 (my hotel was just before the end). At the end (and beginning) of each section, there is always a sign with information about the trail, and it’s often located in a beautiful place. This is also the case today. The sign is on a viewpoint, where I have a good view of Praia da Arrifana and the steep cliffs towards the south. It is still early in the morning, so it looks like there is some kind of fog (from the waves) hanging along the coast).
Then I go for a short detour. I walk all to the end of the street because there is a ruin of a fortress. From here you have a beautiful view of the cliffs. When I walk back, I come across a whole group of goats at one of the houses. It looks a bit weird, but also very funny.
This trail just keeps getting better!
All in all I have already walked about 2.5 kilometers before I really start with the trail. At the start, the path almost immediately goes over a dirt road through the dry meadows.
After more than a kilometer I hesitate for a moment at the exit. If I turn right, I can pass a supermarket to get lunch, but this is another three kilometers extra. But if all goes well I’ll pass a village with a few restaurants around lunchtime, and I hope at least one of them is open.
So I keep walking and soon walk on a sandy path between the pine trees. There is also some blooming purple heather, how beautiful!
When I arrive at the coastline I stop for a short break. With a big smile on my face, I’m enjoying the view. In my opinion, hiking is the ultimate way to enjoy nature and discover a country.
Following the coastline
The path follows the coastline through the dunes and the views amaze me. At a certain point, I arrive at a parking lot and I walk past a number of ruins. This is called Ponta da Atalaia and the view of the cliffs and the beach is breathtakingly beautiful in both directions.
The path remains following the coastline. Due to the different vegetation and the cliffs, it always looks different. I meet a Portuguese man who is walking his dog. He barely speaks English and I barely speak Portuguese, but we both agree that this piece of Portugal is “bonita”.
Praia de Monte Clérigo
Not much later I arrive at the most picturesque village of the Fishermen’s Trail I’ve seen so far: Praia de Monte Clérigo. It has beautiful colored houses and they are located in the dunes on a large sandy beach. Wow!
To my luck, two restaurants are open and I choose fusion restaurant O Sargo to have my lunch. A great idea, because the poke bowl tastes fantastic and the view couldn’t be better.
I’m taking a 1.5-hour break here. It is so beautiful! After my long lunch break, I walk uphill via an asphalt road, out of the village. On my left, I see several wooden boardwalks, as I have seen more in recent days. They almost all lead to a beautiful viewpoint.
A little further I turn the bend and I see the Ribeira de Aljezur flowing into the sea. Another beautiful place, where you can admire the view for a long time.
Off to Aljezur
Via a sandy path, I arrive at some sort of holiday resort. I see dozens of villas and apartments, but almost everything seems to be empty. There are also several large parking lots with lots of weeds. Bit creepy!
This is followed by the most boring part of this section (yes, there are some boring parts as well). I walk for almost an hour along an asphalt road, where fast cars pass me on a regular basis. Not that much fun.
Fortunately, just before Aljezur, I can get back on a dirt road and from here it is not far anymore. After about fifteen minutes I am back in the picturesque streets of Aljezur (I was here last week with my sister). Fishermen’s Trail section 7 is complete!
Luckily my hostel is on the trail, so I can check in quickly and take a shower. After a visit to the supermarket, I plop on a couch in the hostel, and that’s where I stay the rest of the night. I exchange some experiences with fellow hikers and at nine o’clock I am already in bed. Looking forward to tomorrow!
Section 7 of the Fisherman’s Trail runs from Aljezur to Arrifana and is 17.5 kilometers long. This section takes about five to six hours to hike. This section is classified as “average” and that’s correct. There are few steep climbs (only at Praia de Monte Clérigo).
On this page, you can find more information about this section and download the GPX file.
Food & drinks
Halfway through this section you pass through the village of Praia de Monte Clérigo. Here are a few restaurants. Please note the opening hours, in winter they are limited. In any case, always take a few extra snacks with you for the road.
- Praia de Arrifana – Tasca d’Arrifana: typical Portuguese, mostly fish. One of the few restaurants that are open in winter.
- Praia de Monte Clérigo – O Sargo: fusion restaurant with many fish dishes (including pasta and pokébowl). Delicious food and open all winter from 12 noon to 6 pm (longer in summer).
- Aljezur – Cervejaria Mar: Nicely decorated restaurant with a sea theme. Lots of fish and refreshing beers. Check the opening hours here as well. In Aljezur many restaurants are closed in winter.
Best time to hike this section
The best time to do the hike from Aljezur to Arrifana is between September and June. In July and August, it can get very hot and there is hardly any shade on the way. I myself did this hike in November and it was perfect.
On weekdays there is a bus from Arrifana to Aljezur several times a day. Aljezur has connections with, among others, Lagos and Lisbon. However, the buses are very limited, at most they go a few times a day.
Check the Eva website for routes and times of the local buses and Busbudfor the long-distance buses (to Lisbon, among others). With the local buses, you can get a bus ticket from the driver, make sure you have cash (small amounts, they have little change). You can buy a ticket online for the long-distance buses.
Where to stay
There are several nice places to spend the night in both Aljezur and Arrifana. I mainly use Booking.com to make (last minute) reservations. These are a few recommendations:
- Praia de Arrifana – HI Arrifana Destination Hostel – the cheapest option, a bed in a dorm. The common areas are nice, but – from what I’ve heard – the beds and facilities aren’t great. But still fine for a night and it is right on the Fishermen’s Trail.
- Praia de Arrifana – Arrifana Destination Boutique – is right next to the hostel and is a more luxurious option. Nicely decorated rooms and fully equipped.
- Aljezur – Amazigh Design Hostel – is located along the route in the old part of Aljezur. Nice common areas. I didn’t really like the dorm, but private rooms are not expensive here either.
- Aljezur – Vicentina Hotel 4* – nice hotel in the newer part of Aljezur (about 5 minutes walk from the trail). Perfect if you want something a little more luxurious.
Read more about the Fishermen’s Trail
Would you like to read more hiking journals? I also wrote a hiking report on these sections of the Fishermen’s Trail:
- Section 6: Odeceixe to Aljezur
- Section 8: Arrifana to Carrapateira
- Section 9: Carrapateira to Vila do Bispo
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Read more about the Algarve & Portugal
Do you also feel like hiking (a section of) the Fishermen’s Trail after reading this article? Then it is useful to order this trail guide:
Portugal’s Rota Vicentina: Alentejo and Algarve Coastal Route
And order the Rother hiking guide Algarve if you want to explore more hiking trails in the Algarve.
Would you like to read more about the Algarve and Portugal? I spend several months in the Algarve almost every year, which is why you can read a lot about Portugal on this website. For example, check out these articles:
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