Rota Vicentina, Portugal (5/18)

My family and I are big backpackers. One of our favorites is the Fisherman’s Way on the Rota Vicentina which follows the coast of southwestern Portugal along a rugged, Atlantic coast through fishing villages. It’s doable as either a trekking or backpacking experience, as there are both campgrounds and B&Bs along the way.

The trail alternates between groves of cork trees, edge-of-cliff paths, beach walking, and detours through tiny towns. We did the trip in June and had perfect, sparkling days and cool, comfortable nights. While we backpacked and slept in a tent, we were able to enjoy local cooking and great wines in the evenings. Afterward, we often took sundown walks along the beach or caught a World Cup game at a local pub before retiring to our tent.

Contributor: Jeff Wilson, host of Real Rail Adventures on PBS at

Written by James Metcalfe

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