From the wild and undeveloped coast of Costa Vicentina to the ochre-colored limestone stacks of the Algarve, Portugal possesses one of the most varied and striking coasts in the world.

We think the best way to experience Portugal’s extensive coastline is by walking.

Whether you’re looking for an active day trip from Lisbon, a multi-day coastal trek, or a secret hiking path in the Algarve, you’ll find inspiration for your next trip to Portugal here.

Continue reading to discover the best hikes in Portugal. 

The Best Hikes in Portugal 

Trail of Headlands, Algarve, Portugal

Portugal Hiking Tips

  • When to Hike: Spring and Fall
  • Signage and Trail Markers: Consistent. Most trails we hiked were very well-signed and easy to follow.
  • Hiking Boots: It’s easy to underestimate hiking in Portugal because many of us assume that if trails are flat than they aren’t difficult. Even without dramatic ascents and descents, hiking with proper equipment ensures your safety and comfort. So, we urge you to bring your hiking shoes along and leave behind your flat-soled sneakers. Here’s a great lightweight boot for women: Hanwag Tatra Light Lady GTX
  • Recommended Hiking Guidebooks: Walking in Portugal and Walking in the Algarve

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Coastal Hikes in Portugal Map

1. Cabo da Roca to Azenhas do Mar Coastal Trail

Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, Lisboa

Best Hikes in Portugal - Sintra Coast Trail

If someone mentions Sintra, palaces are the first thing that comes to mind. Indeed, Sintra’s renown is forever interlinked with its architectural treasures.

However, most people don’t know that the Sintra Coastline is equally marvelous and worthy of exploration. 

We recommend starting this day hike in Cabo da Roca. We’ve explained how to get Cabo da Roca from Cascais and Lisbon in our Sintra coast trail guide

From Cabo da Roca, you’ll hike North to Praia da Ursa, one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal. Many people end their hike here, and we really can’t blame them.

With its offshore limestone formations shaped like Hershey kisses, Praia da Ursa is a whimsical place that feeds the imagination.

This hike continues to the pristine beaches of Praia da Adraga, Praia Grande, Praia das Maçãs, and ultimately ends in Azenhas do Mar. 

With its cluster of whitewashed homes hovering above the sea, Azenhas do Mar is an enchanting sight to behold. Atlantic waves batter the village’s seawall.

And, a natural saltwater pool collects at the foot of the village. 

There’s no direct bus from Azenhas do Mar to Cabo da Roca, or Cascais. So, we took an Uber (22 EUR) back to Cascais.

There is however a bus from Azenhas do Mar to Sintra (Portela de Sintra Station). If you’re heading to Sintra, take Bus 440 or 441 (22 minutes). 

Learn More: Cabo da Roca to Azenhas do Mar Day Hike

2. Seven Hanging Valleys Trail


Seven Hanging Valleys Trail - Hiking in Portugal - Best Coastal Hikes

The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail is the most popular day hike in Algarve and encapsulates some of the most impressive scenery in the region.

The 5.7 km trail stretches between Praia da Marinha and Praia de Vale Centianes. Though you can start at either end, we recommend starting at Praia da Marinha. 

Highlights of the trail include Benagil Beach, Corredoura Beach, and Carvalho Beach. If you want to see Benagil Cave, you can rent a paddleboard, or kayak at Benagil Beach and paddle out to the cave.

Alternatively, you can join one of these guided tours:

The cave is only accessible from the sea. The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail ends at Praia de Vale Centianes. Grab lunch at the beach restaurant O Stop, before making the return journey. 

We recommend hiking this trail out-and-back, but if you decide to hike it one-way, you can return to the starting point with a taxi/Uber.

Learn More: Seven Hanging Valleys Trail

3. Trail of Headlands 


Trail of Headlands, Algarve - Best Hikes in Portugal

The trail of the headlands is a 6 km coastal trail in the Algarve. This is an excellent alternative to the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail. It’s not as well known, and as a result, there are far fewer walkers along this route. 

You can start this stunning hike at Praia dos Caneiros in Ferragudo, or Praia do Carvoeiro in Carvoeiro. We started at Praia dos Caneiros beach because we were staying at Caneiros Luxury House & Suites, which is only a 5-minute walk to the beach.

Starting at the parking lot at Praia dos Caneiros, the trail leads East. Follow the yellow and red trail markers along the headlands. The trail affords you wondrous views of sheer cliffs and hidden coves.

Unlike the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail, there aren’t many opportunities to access these coves by foot. So, this walk is all about savoring the views.

Shortly before arriving at Carvoeiro, you’ll pass Praia do Paraiso. This tiny beach is accessible by a steep staircase.  

Carvoeiro is a beach town that manages to balance its development with its natural beauty. Grab lunch here and enjoy the town’s idyllic beach, Praia do Carvoeiro. For a healthy lunch and delicious smoothies, head to Earth Café.

We recommend hiking this trail out-and-back, but if you decide to hike it one-way, you can return to the starting point with a taxi/Uber.

Read: Where to Stay in the Algarve

4. Fisherman’s Trail

Costa Vicentina, Alentejo, and Algarve

Hiking in Portugal - Rota Vicentina Fisherman's Trail
  • Trailhead: Porto Covo
  • Distance: 75 km point-to-point
  • Time Needed: 4 days 
  • Difficulty: Moderate

The Rota Vicentina Fisherman’s Trail is a 4-day trek along the Vicentina Coast. The trail starts in Porto Covo in the Alentejo region and ends in Odeceixe in the Algarve.

Clinging to the coast almost the whole time, this exhilarating multi-day hike in Portugal gives you access to remote beaches and secret coves.

Without a question, this is our favorite Portugal hiking destination. The coast is rugged and wild. The air is heavy with salt and wild herbs. And, it looks like the coast is collapsing into the Atlantic in a perpetual effort to join the sea.

Fisherman’s Trail Route

Day 1: Porto Covo to Vila Nova de Milfontes (20 km, 6:30 hrs)

Day 2: Vila Nova de Milfontes to Almograve (15 km, 5:30 hrs)

Day 3: Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar (22 km, 6 hrs)

Day 4: Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe (18 km, 5:30 hrs)

Fisherman’s Trail Accommodations

You’ll overnight in guesthouses, or hostels along the way.

Note: wild camping isn’t allowed.

Make reservations a few weeks before you start the trek. We recommend staying in the following accommodations along the route:

Day 1: Raminhos Guest House (budget), VILLA EIRA Boutique Houses(midrange), or Guarda Rios (luxury) in Vila Nova de Milfontes

Day 2: Almograve Beach Hostel (budget), AL Casa das Andorinhas (budget), or Casa Azul (midrange) in Almograve

Day 3: Hostel Nature (budget), Azul (midrange), or Alojamento White Rose Boutique (luxury) in Zambujeira do Mar

Day 4: Bohemian Antique Guesthouse (budget), Casa Luar (midrange), or Casas Do Moinho (luxury) in Odeceixe

Learn More: Fisherman’s Trail Hiking Guide

When to Hike in Portugal

Best Hikes in Portugal - Rota Vicentina Fisherman's Trail
Fisherman’s Trail

The best time to hike in Portugal is in Fall and Spring. If you want to hike in Summer, we suggest getting a very early start (7 am latest). 

Portugal Hiking & Travel Essentials

Getting Around Portugal

By Transit

You can embark on many hiking trails in Portugal without a car. Use this 2 week Portugal Itinerary (no car needed) to inspire your trip.

By Car

Use our Algarve road trip itinerary to plan a trip to Southern Portugal.

We recommend using the car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals in Portugal. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.

Tip: If you can only drive automatic transmission cars, as opposed to manual transmission cars (stick shift), book your can rental as early as possible.

Check car rental rates here

Portugal Guidebooks

Day Hiking Packing List

Multi-Day Hiking Packing List

Outdoor Photography Gear

More Portugal Travel & Hiking Guides

Algarve, Portugal:

Hiking Southern Europe:

Hiking in the European Alps:

Trekking Europe:

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