Do you want to discover the most beautiful part of the Algarve coast? Make sure to hike the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail! Read more about this epic trail.
About the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail
The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail (Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspenso in Portuguese) is a hiking trail in the Portuguese Algarve, between Praia do Vale de Centeanes and Praia da Marinha. This hiking trail is considered the most beautiful trail in the Algarve. And to be honest, it is really that beautiful.
You walk over the cliffs and visit several beaches (these are the “valleys”). The views of the cliffs are breathtakingly beautiful. You’ll see golden rocks, the blue sea, and have breathtaking views of the entire Algarve coastline.
Read more: 18 Best Algarve Hiking Trails
How long is the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail?
The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail is a one-way trail, and it’s 5.7 kilometers (3.5 miles) long. The entire trail is a round trip, which is 11.4 kilometers long (7 miles). The hike will take you about 4 to 6 hours to complete.
How difficult is the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail? Personally, I would qualify this trail as “average”. The path goes up and down and there are a few small climbs in it, but it is not too difficult. Be careful where you put your feet, there can be some loose rocks on the trail.
How do you get to the starting point of the trail?
Since it’s a one-way trail and you go back the same way, you can actually start wherever you want. For the best experience (and convenience), it’s best to start at the most eastern or the most western point, in Praia da Marinha or Praia do Vale de Centeanes. Please note: there is barely any public transportation in this area, so it is wise to go to the trailhead with a rental car, a scooter, or a taxi.
Praia da Marinha
Praia da Marinha is the easternmost point of the trail and the most convenient starting point for the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail. At this beach, there is a fairly large parking lot where you can park for free. When you are in the parking lot facing the sea, you will see a trail on the right, which is the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail.
Would you also like to check out the beach? You can get there by going down the stairs in the left corner.
Why do you want to start at Praia da Marinha? This has the largest parking lot, so you have the best chance of getting a spot. In addition, the sun will be behind you if you start in the morning. When you come back at the end of your hike, this is a great place to relax and enjoy some ice cream.
Please note that during the summer months and on weekends it can get very busy at Praia da Marinha. The earlier you get here, the greater the chance of a parking space.
Praia do Vale de Centeanes
You can of course also choose to start at Praia do Vale de Centeanes. This is the westernmost point of the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail. You can park for free along the road on the Estrada do Vale de Centeanes.
If you walk down this street towards the beach, you will see a sign for the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail on your left and you will also see the marking.
When is the best time to hike this trail?
You can hike the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail all year round. However, it can be very hot In the summer months. Then it will a tough hike because there is little shade. It can also get very crowded in the summer. It is therefore recommended to hike the trail in spring, autumn, or winter.
Are dogs allowed?
Yes, hiking the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail with a dog is allowed.
How to navigate on the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail
Is it difficult to navigate the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail? No, the trail is well marked with yellow-red markings and there are regular information signs along the trail. You can see the marking mostly on rocks and stones, so pay attention. Going the wrong way is certainly possible, but if you keep following the coastline, you’ll be fine.
Would you like to know where you’re going? On this website, you can download a pdf and gpx file of the trail.
Trail report: what can you expect?
Do you want to know what the trail looks like? Here’s a short trail report of the hike I did in December 2020.
Praia da Marinha to Benagil
Praia da Marinha is one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, so make sure you take a check out this beach at the beginning or at the end of your hike. Steep golden rocks on all sides and a beautiful blue sea. Because it is so sheltered, it is also a great place to enjoy the sun in winter.
From the parking lot at Praia da Marinha, walk west to Benagil. On the side of the coast, you have various viewpoints, so you can fully enjoy the incredible landscape.
Right before Benagil, you walk along a large hole, these are the famous caves of Benagil, which are only accessible by boat. Do not get too close, because the ground is not stable. The fences are there for a reason. In Benagil there are several restaurants where you can enjoy a drink with a beautiful view.
Tip! Do you have some extra time? Go kayaking to the caves of Benagil and Praia da Marinha. This is a great experience!
Benagil to Praia do Carvalho
From Benagil you climb up and walk over the rocks to the beautiful Praia do Carvalho. The views are spectacular, you see the famous golden cliffs everywhere you look.
At Praia do Carvalho you have to pay attention because you can only reach this beach through a tunnel through the rocks. Be sure to do this, because this is a beautiful hidden beach with very high cliffs.
Praia do Carvalho to Farol de Alfanzina
From Praia do Carvalho you climb up again via a staircase. The landscape here is slightly different, it’s a little greener and has more cacti, like the agave americana.
Along the trail you will also find a lovely wooden picnic area overlooking the beautiful coastline. A good place to take a break or have lunch. You also have a cool view of the impressive Farol de Alfazina, a lighthouse.
Farol de Alfanzina to Praia do Vale de Centeanes
From Farol de Alfazina it is not far to Praia do Vale de Centeanes. Near the lighthouse is a small pine forest, this is pretty much the only bit of shade on this trail.
You’ll also pass a number of sinkholes, large holes in the rocks that were created by (rain) water. Don’t get too close, because the ground can be very unstable near the edges.
The views of the coastline are again very beautiful on this stretch. Take your time and enjoy this beautiful landscape.
Just before Praia do Vale de Ceteanes you walk between the cacti, very cool! Before you know it, you’ll be descending the stairs to Praia do Vale de Centeanes, a beautiful beach where you can also relax. From here you can walk back the same way, or take a taxi back to Praia da Marinha.
What to bring on this hike?
Being well prepared when you go hiking is always a good idea. First things first, make sure to wear good hiking shoes. You don’t need big sturdy hiking boots, a good set of trail runners is also fine. What else do you bring with you?
- Sunscreen: there is little shade on the trail, so make sure to put on sunscreen, even in winter.
- Water: There are few places to refill a bottle, so make sure to bring enough water with you.
- Food: There are not many places to eat along the way (except in Benagil) and especially in winter not everything is open. So always bring some snacks or a nice lunch. There are plenty of beautiful places to take a break.
- A vest or windbreaker: the wind can be quite strong along the coast of the Algarve.
- Cash: would you like to buy something in one of the villages? Take some cash, you can’t always pay with a card.
- A little trash bag: there are not many trash cans along the way. Pack it in, pack it out and leave no trace.
More tips: Packing list for a day hike.
What is there to do in the area?
The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail is centrally located in the Algarve and you can do a lot of fun things and visit beautiful places in this area.
These places are some great places to visit:
- Albufeira: mainly known as a party and beach destination, but the old center of Albufeira is also beautiful to see!
- Portimão: the second largest city in the Algarve after Faro. Beautiful beaches with high cliffs, many nice restaurants, and pleasant shopping streets.
- Silves: the oldest city in the Algarve with a cool castle ruin on a hill.
Book a vacation to the Algarve
Would you like to discover the beautiful Algarve? These websites are useful for booking your trip:
- If you want to visit the Algarve, Faro is the most convenient airport to fly to. Check Skyscanner to find the cheapest tickets.
- Prefer sustainable travel? Traveling by train is of course also possible! You can reach Portugal by train from everywhere in Europe. It might take a while, but it’s a great and relaxing way to travel. Check Rail Europe for timetables and prices.
- A rental car gives you complete freedom during a vacation in the Algarve. Check Discover Cars and Rental Cars to find the best deals.
- You can find great hotels, hostels, or apartments via Booking.com.
- You can book a lot of fun tours in the Algarve. For example, jeep safaris, kayaking, or boat trips. Check Get Your Guide for all possibilities and prices.
Read more about the Algarve and Portugal
Do you want more information about the Algarve? Then there are a few handy travel guides.
I myself lived in the Algarve for more than seven months and discovered many beautiful places. You can therefore find a lot of information about a vacation in Portugal on this website.
For example, check out these articles:
- Fishermen’s Trail: the most beautiful coastal hike in Europe
- 10 fun things to do in Lagos .
- 15 things to do in Tavira, Algarve
In addition, I regularly share fun travel stories and tips for the most beautiful destinations in my monthly newsletter. Subscribe here.
Hi, and how nice of you to read this disclaimer! As you may understand, maintaining a website like this is not free. That is why some of the links in this article are affiliate links. If you use these links to book or buy anything, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you! Support this website.