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Hiking Tips – Explore Locally

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Looking for a new hiking adventure? Osprey influencer and adventurer Fabiola Straub shares her top tips after her last adventure in Portugal.

Fabiola’s love for Portugal and Portuguese culture is deeply rooted. After living and working in Portugal for three months and spending several holidays in the beautiful country, it is now finally time to share her experiences with us and the outdoor community after her last 10-day road trip in February. Here you can find out more about Fabiola’s top tips for hiking in Portugal.

Tip 1: Travel in the low season

Portugal as a travel destination has (unfortunately) not been an insider tip for a very long time and in the high season you are only really alone in the more remote corners of the country. In spring, autumn or late winter, however, you almost feel like you have the country to yourself. Of course, one or the other tourist is out and about in Lisbon outside of the main season. However, as soon as you head south, you have nothing but empty streets in front of you and the beaches are mostly completely to yourself.

However, there are other reasons for a trip in the off-season: The climate in Portugal is pleasantly mild and sunny almost all year round. The Algarve even has around 300 days of sunshine a year, which makes it the sunniest region in Europe. Only from November to the end of January would I advise against a trip, since almost the entire precipitation of the year is concentrated on these three months and the temperatures are the lowest of the whole year.

Tip 2: Explore remote regions

When I worked in Portugal a few years ago, I lived on a small horse farm in the Alentejo, the region south of Lisbon but north of the Algarve. There is hardly any tourism there and people mainly live from agriculture. Especially in such regions, photographers and hikers get their money’s worth, because there you will find untouched nature, impressive cliffs and breathtakingly beautiful beaches. But also, the small fishing villages with their white and blue houses are absolutely worth seeing and invite you to take a walk.

Generally, in Portugal: Take a detour! Just turn off, follow an unknown road and you will be surprised how many beautiful places you will discover or how many small beaches that are signposted, but are not in your travel guide. Get out, take a walk and explore the area. In any case, I have never regretted a detour in Portugal.

Tip 3: Take a coastal hike on the Rota Vicentina

My last tip (especially for a hiking holiday) is dedicated to the Rota Vicentina hiking route, which covers a total of around 400 kilometres in southwestern Portugal. Part of the route, called the “Trilho dos Pescadores” (fishing path), leads from Porto Covo for 125 kilometres along the Atlantic past rugged cliffs, centuries-old cork oaks, through picturesque towns and fragrant pine forests to the impressive rock formations of the Algarve.

The coastal hike can be done in total over several days, optionally only individual stages can be walked. Above all, the end point of the route is a spot that must be seen. At the most south-western point of Europe, the cliffs fall down to 70 meters and you simply have to experience a sunset at the lighthouse of Cabo de São Vicente.

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