The tenth section of the Fishermen’s Trail runs from Vila do Bispo to Sagres. A scenic landscape, rugged cliffs, and you pass the southwesternmost point of mainland Europe.
What is the Fishermen’s Trail?
The Fishermen’s Trail (Trilho dos Pescadores in Portuguese) is a long-distance tail in Portugal that runs along the coast from Lagos (Algarve) to São Torpes near Sines (Alentejo). The trail is part of Rota Vicentina, a collection of hiking and cycling trails in the southwest of Portugal.
The Fishermen’s Trail has a total length of 226.5 kilometers and has 13 sections. In this article, I’ll tell you everything about the 10th section, which runs from Vila do Bispo to Sagres.
Hiking from Vila do Bispo to Sagres
On a beautiful sunny day in January, I and a friend decide to hike the section from Vila do Bispo to Sagres.
Hiking in the countryside
Before we set off, we get some food at the local market in Vila do Bispo. Vila do Bispo is a small village in the Portuguese countryside. There are hardly any tourists here, and it has a very local feeling. After hiking for about ten minutes, we’ve left the village and we’re hiking in the countryside. We follow a paved road, occasionally see a house, and see the village getting smaller behind us.
We soon leave the paved road and continue on an unpaved dirt road. To our right, we see a small forest. There’s a herd of cows walking through. They all have bells on, so we hear a lot of ringing.
The further we walk, the emptier and quieter the landscape becomes. It’s so beautiful here!
Along the cliffs
At one point we have reached the “end of Portugal” and we are at the coast. The steep cliffs are an impressive sight and the waves hit the coast with great force. We take a break to eat our lunch with a fantastic view of the Atlantic Ocean.
The further we walk south along the coast, the better the views. This part of Portugal is really rough and spectacular to see. In contrast to the south coast of the Algarve, there are hardly any buildings here, which makes it even more beautiful.
One of the most beautiful places in Praia do Telheiro beach, where a number of people are surfing. Impressive, because to get there you have to walk down a very steep path (with your surfboard).
Cape St. Vincent
After Praia do Telheiro we seem to walk a bit inland again and it is almost impossible to follow the path. The landscape here is strewn with stones! Fortunately, there are stacks of stones that you can follow.
The southwesternmost point of mainland Europe is now coming into view. The contours of the lighthouse at Cape St. Vincent are becoming more and more clear.
I went here before (then by car), but once again I’m impressed by this place. The lighthouse on this cliff is really a sight to see! It feels a bit like you’re standing at the end of the world.
Unfortunately for us, the lighthouse (with toilet and café) is closed, so we continue our way to Sagres.
We first follow the main road, but at Fortaleza do Beliche, there’s a trail again, so we can hike along the coast via smaller paths. That is a lot more fun! There are a few parts of the coast closed off with fences (military terrain), but fortunately, we can easily walk around them. Every now and then we stop to enjoy the view, the coastline is so beautiful!
As we approach Sagres, we find ourselves in another landscape filled with stones. It seems like we are on Mars! Fortunately, the trail is easy to follow, because there are many blue arrows on the stones.
After hiking for more than five hours, we arrive in Sagres, where we settle down at the bus stop. Our legs are pretty tired after 22 kilometers of hiking. This was another amazingly beautiful section of the Fishermen’s Trail, maybe even my favorite so far.
Unfortunately, I will have to wait until I can continue with this long-distance trail because Portugal will go into lockdown from this week. I am curious to know if I’m able to continue hiking this trail anytime soon. But for now, I will read up on the next nine stages.
The tenth section of the Fisherman’s Trail runs from Vila do Bispo to Sagres and has a length of 20.5 kilometers. It takes five to seven hours to hike this section. It is a fairly easy section, as the path is generally quite flat. Only just before Cape St. Vincent, you have to climb and descend a few times. The organization classifies the difficulty of this section as “average”.
During this section, you will not pass through any villages and there are no facilities along the way. So make to bring enough food and drinks with you. If you are lucky you can use the bathroom at Cape St. Vincent and visit the cafe for some food and drinks, but this is not always open.
The best time to take this walk from Vila do Bispo to Sagres is between September and June. In July and August, it can get very hot and there is hardly any shade on the trail.
On this page, you can find more information about this section and download the GPX file.
Where to stay
The Algarve is a popular tourist destination, so there are many places to stay, including in Vila do Bispo and Sagres. Sagres is a pleasant town full of restaurants and beautiful beaches. Vila do Bispo is a bit more “local”.
I always use Booking.com if I want to book something for 1 or 2 nights and Airbnb if I need accommodation for a longer period of time.
Several buses (number 47) run daily between Lagos and Sagres and this bus also stops in Vila do Bispo. Note: This bus runs more often on weekdays than on Saturdays and Sundays, keep that in mind. Check Google Maps for the nearest bus stop and route times. You can buy a bus ticket from the driver, but make sure to bring cash (preferably a small amount).
Read more about the Fishermen’s Trail
I also wrote a hiking report on these sections of the Fishermen’s Trail:
- Section 9: Carrapateira to Vila do Bispo
- Section 11: Sagres to Salema
- Section 12: Salema to Praia da Luz
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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:
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 Portugal? Check out one of these articles:
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