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5 Amazing Hikes to Explore in the Alentejo

With rolling plains, a long Atlantic coast and endless olive groves, wine fields and cork forests the Alentejo offers some of the best hiking in Portugal.  From mountains and waterfalls, to cliffs on the ocean, to plains, there are endless miles of trails to hike in Portugal’s cork country. and, all just an hour or so from Lisbon.

In the Northern Alentejo, explore the peaks of the São Mamede Mountains south, walking the Feel Nature route, that goes to the Portas de Ródão natural area, where two giant hills rise over the landscape, like a gate opening onto the Tejo River. 

Further south you can choose one of the 11 routes on the TransAlentejo trails that follow the Spanish-Portuguese border, called the Raia. Sweeping views over the hills of the Guadiana River, historic villages, ancient rock circles, centuries old castles, and the Great Alqueva Lake are some of the things you will discover. For an easy hike, follow the Montado Routes in the heart of the Alentejo. This allows you to explore the beautiful plains and see the local flora, fauna and traditional ways of life in the cork forest and olive groves. 
For hikes overlooking the Atlantic and with a cool sea breeze, Rota Vicentina is a perfect option. With around 280 miles of trails along the Southwestern Alentejo and Vicentina Coast Natural Park.

1. The Costa Vicentina offers one of the best hiking experiences in Europe. 

The Southwest Alentejo and Vicentina Coast Natural Park covers more than 60 miles of protected land and shoreline, stretching from São Torpes, near Sines, down to Cabo São Vincente, Europe’s most southwestern point. This protected coastline has 35 certified habitats housing more than 100 rare species of plants, and the cliffs hide nests of white storks. Formed by the Historic Way, Fishermen's Trail and several Circular Routes, the Rota Vicentina is an award winning network of pedestrian and cycling routes on the Alentejo’s Atlantic Coast, totaling 350 miles for walking and more than 400 miles for cycling, along one of the most beautiful coastal areas of Southern Europe.

2. Check out the beautiful trails through the Lagoas de Santo André and Melides.

Located in a lovely coastal area set between Santiago do Cacém and Sines. Explore different habitats that are between the ocean and beaches, between lagoons and meadows, and between streams and floodplains. The trails of the Santo André and Sancha Lagoons Natural Reserve are perfect for seeing all kinds of birds along the banks. The nearby Lagoa de Melides, a coastal lagoon, forms part of a system of inland lagoons, set along the Alentejo’s long coastline.

3. The village-museum of Mértola offers a network of signposted walking paths in the Vale do Guadiana Natural Park.

The Natural Park covers almost 70 thousand hectares between the towns of Mértola and Serpa. It follows the river from Pulo do Lobo, a waterfall, to the border between Alentejo and Algarve. The Guadiana Valley is an important corridor for migratory birds and an important habitat for large birds of prey, such as the Iberian imperial eagle, the Bonelli's eagle, the Egyptian vulture or the eagle owl, in addition to the common storks and the rare and elusive black storks. It is also here that the Iberian lynx reintroduction program in Portugal helps one of the peninsulas most endangered species.

4. The Alentejo is full of hiking gems like the Gameiro Ecological Park, set in the sweet town of Mora.

The Gameiro Walkway is one of the jewels of hiking in the Alentejo. The walkway begins at the River Beach of Gameiro and continues along the peaceful Raia Stream, bordered by beautiful Alentejo montado cork forests. The riverside landscapes are idyllic and, as the walkway goes through a wild area, every now and then you can see several birds characteristic of the region, such as herons, kingfishers and jays.

5. The town of Redondo, not far from Évora, check out the wooden walk ways of the Passadiços da Serra d’Ossa.

The Serra D’Ossa trail runs through lands formerly farmed by monks of the Order of São Paulo. The Serra d’Ossa Walkway, opened in April 2021, is an extensive staircase with approximately 300 steps. Here you can climb thought natural landscapes to an ancient chapel. Along the way you can discover a very different view of this region in the south of Portugal. The Serra d'Ossa Walkways run along the green valley of Ribeira do Monte Virgin, along high shale cliffs, between Aldeia da Serra and the towering Church of Nossa Senhora do Monte da Virgem.

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