Travel Guide

The Historic Means, Rota Vicentina – an in depth information

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The Historic Means is a 6-day inland route of the Rota Vicentina. It’s one of many two long-distance routes of the Vicentina networks. The route takes hikers via non-touristy areas of the Alentejo area within the south of Portugal. The Historic Means may be walked as a separate route or mixed with the Fisherman’s Path.

The Historic Means route overview

  • Distance – 120 km/74 mi
  • The required time – 6 days
  • Start line – Santiago do Cacém, Alentejo
  • Ending level – Odeceixe, Algarve
  • Whole ascent (over 6 days) – 2505 m
  • Whole descent (over 6 days) – 2629 m
  • Strolling floor – gravel highway, footpath
  • Route marking – white and pink markers
  • Common price – 30-40 Euro per particular person per day (together with transport, lodging, meals, and many others.)
  • Lodging – motels, guesthouses

To make your planning simpler we’ve created a downloadable PDF file that accommodates strolling phases and locations to remain on the Historic Means of the Rota Vicentina.

Countryside scenery on the Historical walking trail
Wheatfields on the Historic Means of the Rota Vicentina

Strolling the Historic Means vs the Coastal Route

The Historic Means is a 100% inland route. The closest it will get to the ocean is Odeceixe, which is about 2 km from the seaside. The Fishermen’s Path follows the shoreline more often than not. We’ve walked each multi-day routes of the Rota Vicentina and personally choose the Fishermen’s Path over the Historic Means.

Benefits of the Fishermen’s Path

  • To begin with, as a result of we take pleasure in strolling alongside the coast.
  • The surroundings on the coastal route was extra spectacular than on the inland route.
  • There are extra locations to remain on the Fishermen’s Path together with campsites and hostels.

Benefits of the Historic Means

  • The route is less-crowded even within the peak summer time season there are only a few folks on the path.
  • It could be a superb choice to stroll if strolling near the sting of steep cliffs provide you with vertigo.

Each routes are stunning all of it depends upon what surroundings you favor the coast or fields/forest. If you’d like you’ll be able to mix each routes.

Choice 1. Begin strolling on the Historic Means from Santiago do Cacém to Odeceixe and from there proceed south following the Fishermen’s Path all the best way to Lagos or cease earlier. The route from Santiago do Cacém to Lagos is 274 km/170 mi. It takes 13 days to finish.

Choice 2. Begin in Santiago do Cacém stroll to Odeceixe and from there proceed north on the Fishermen’s Path in the direction of Porto Covo. The overall distance of this route is 196 km/121 mi. You want 10 days to finish it.

One of the best time for mountain climbing

Spring months between mid-March to Might is the perfect time for strolling the Historic Means of the Rota Vicentina. It’s our favourite time for mountain climbing in Portugal. We’ve executed a number of routes together with the Portuguese Camino within the spring. The climate is sweet, it’s heat and sunny however not as sizzling because it will get through the summer time. There usually are not too many individuals. It doesn’t matter if you happen to stroll solely the inland route however if you happen to resolve to mix it with the coastal route it’s fairly vital. In June it begins getting sizzling and busy nevertheless it’s nonetheless a superb month for strolling.

The height summer time season July to mid-September is the most popular time within the Alentejo area. It’s not the perfect time for mountain climbing particularly the inland route and not using a recent sea breeze it will get even hotter right here than by the coast. These months are the height touristy season it’s important to e-book lodging and plan your journey prematurely.

From mid-September to mid-November is an efficient time for mountain climbing. It’s nonetheless heat and normally sunny although in November you may get some rain and there usually are not many vacationers.

Winter months December to February are fantastic for strolling you simply need to be ready that it’d rain particularly in December. It will get fairly chilly, particularly within the mornings and at evening it’s higher to deliver hotter garments not only for mountain climbing however for carrying indoors as homes in Portugal usually are not nicely insulated typically it’s colder inside than outdoors.

The price of strolling the Historic Means

Right here is the entire breakdown of our spending on the Historic Means, 6 days, 2 folks. We didn’t camp or keep in hostels (there is just one campsite and one hostel on the route in Odeceixe) lodging was our primary expense. Half of the time we went out for lunch or dinner half of the time purchased meals in outlets and supermarkets. We weren’t on a really strict price range however tried not to spend so much.

Listed below are our spending;

  • Lodging – 230 Euro
  • Consuming out – 82 Euro
  • Procuring – 50 Euro
  • Espresso, beer, desserts – 18 Euro
  • Transport – 65 Euro; bus Lisbon – Santiago do Cacém, 14 Euro per particular person, bus Odeceixe – Lisbon, 18,5 Euro pp.

Whole: 445 Euro 2 folks/6 days or 37 Euro per particular person per day.

How one can get to Santiago do Cacém?

Santiago do Cacém, the start line of the Historic Means may be reached by bus from Lisbon and plenty of different cities and cities in Portugal. There are 7-Eight each day buses from Lisbon Sete Rios Bus station to Santiago do Cacém. Buses depart all through the day. The journey takes 2 hours. The ticket prices 14€.

After ending the hike in Odeceixe you will get again to Lisbon by bus. There are 3-Four direct each day buses. The journey takes 3h30min. The ticket prices 18,5€. You may examine the up-to-date itinerary and purchase tickets on-line on the Rede Expressos web site.

YouTube video thumbnail for the Rota Vicentina trail
Our detailed video on strolling the Rota Vicentina in Portugal

Lodging on the Historic Means

Each city on the route has a few motels/guesthouses. The path goes via off-the-beaten-path areas of the Alentejo area consequently there are fewer lodging choices than on the Fishermen’s Path (the coastal route). Some locations may be booked on-line some solely through e-mail or over the telephone.

There is just one campsite and one hostel on the Historic Means each are in Odeceixe. In case you’re planning to stroll this route it’s not price carrying a tent and tenting gear except you don’t thoughts wild tenting.

The Historic Means strolling itinerary

Day 1. Santiago de Cacém – Vale Seco, 18,5 km/11,Four mi

  • Distance – 18,5 km/11,5 mi
  • Time – 4h.
  • Ascent – 496 m
  • Descent – 434 m
  • Issue degree – Three out of 5
Elevation graph day 1 of the trail
Elevation profile of the primary day of the Historic Means

Word! For today we’d extremely advocate reserving lodging beforehand.

The path begins on the Parish Church (Igreja Matriz) of Santiago do Cacém on the prime of the hill, subsequent to the fort, it’s about 500 m uphill from the data workplace. On the church, you’ll see the space indicators and route markers – pink and white stripes which might be painted on small picket poles, timber, and rocks all alongside the route. From the church, the route goes right down to the valley and continues via the fields and hills with a number of ascents and descents within the first half of the stroll, after about 7 km the route turns into flatter and simpler.

Be sure that to hold sufficient water with there will probably be no place alongside the best way to get extra water and with all of the ups and downs you get fairly thirsty.

Highlights

  • Spectacular fort and church of Santiago do Cacém crowning the highest of the hill – the start line of the route.
  • Peaceable pastoral surroundings on the second half of the route.

Challenges

  • A number of ascents and descents firstly of the day.
  • No locations to cease for meals or water alongside the best way.
  • A few unfriendly canine although all of them have been chained or behind the fence in order that they couldn’t do any hurt to us.
A walking route from Santiago do Cacem to Vale Seco
A route map of the stroll from Santiago do Cacem to Vale Seco

Vale Seco

  • Resort – sure
  • Hostel – no
  • Campsite – no
  • ATM – no
  • Restaurant – sure
  • Grocery store/store – sure
  • Pharmacy – no
  • Seaside – no

This place was our primary concern we couldn’t discover a lot details about the world and only a few lodging choices. We went to the data workplace in Santiago do Cacém they phoned a few locations however the whole lot appeared totally booked. Fortunately we received a telephone variety of a visitor home from our good friend from Porto Covo.

Vale Seco will not be a city or village, it’s a few farms and a bar/store within the center. On the bar you will get espresso, sandwiches, snacks, beer, the bar store could be very small with restricted choices; bread, cheese, ham, drinks, some greens, and fruit. Convey money with you’ll be able to’t draw cash right here or pay by card.

Casinhas da Aldeia visitor home

We have been fortunate to search out this place, our good friend Nicolau (the proprietor of Ahoy hostel in Porto Covo) gave us contact particulars of this place, we booked it over the telephone. It’s 600 m away from the bar proper on the route, you received’t miss it there are an enormous gate and a banner with the telephone quantity.

We liked this place, it’s a farm with a few small visitor homes, very tranquil and comfy. We received a double room with a rest room, the room is spacious, clear, comfy and has all you want. Value 40 Euro for 2 folks. The homeowners Fatima & Ludgero are very good folks, tremendous pleasant and welcome. In case you’re on the lookout for a peaceable place to remain for a day or two it is a excellent possibility. Cellphone +351-926-135-594, +351-962-284-363 Fatima.Krus@gmail.com

Services

  • Kitchen – sure, a small kitchenette with a microwave, kettle, fridge, cups, and plates
  • Sizzling bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – sure
  • Energy sockets within the room – sure
  • Washer – sure
  • Additional – towels, TV, swimming pool, bottled water
A red & white route marker on the Historical Way
A route marker on the Historic Means of the Rota Vicentina

Day 2. Vale Seco – Cercal do Alentejo, 22 km/13,6 mi

  • Distance – 22 km/13,6 mi
  • Time – 4h30min.
  • Ascent – 374 m
  • Descent – 409 m
  • Issue degree – Three out of 5
Elevation graph of the second day on the Historical Way
Elevation profile of the second day of the Historic Means

It was a quiet strolling day principally via the fields, the route was well-marked and simple to observe. In reality, the day went so shortly we didn’t even discover it. We stopped twice to drink espresso at Vale de Éguas and to relaxation on the lake.

Highlights

  • Very peaceable surroundings; pasture fields with cows and sheep, patches of eucalyptus forest, and farms in between.
  • Albufeira de Campilhas – a pleasant and fairly large lake on a pleasant day it’s an excellent spot to cease for relaxation.

Challenges

The stroll was fairly straightforward our primary problem for the day was the final little bit of strolling to Cercal do Alentejo – a whole lot of flies got here from nowhere and we walked within the fly cloud for about 1 km.

Stops on the route

  • At Eight km a tiny village Vale de Éguas with two eating places.
A trail map of the Historical Way from Vale Seco to Cercal do Alentejo
A route map of the path from Vale Seco to Cercal do Alentejo

Cercal do Alentejo

  • Resort – sure
  • Hostel – no
  • Campsite – no
  • ATM – sure
  • Restaurant – sure
  • Grocery store/store – sure
  • Pharmacy – sure
  • Seaside – no

It’s fairly an enormous and never very touristy place, there are a number of lodging choices, many bars and eating places and a few outlets. There’s a self-service laundry as nicely nevertheless it’s fairly costly, 4,5 Euro for laundry and 1,5 Euro for drying.

From Cercal do Alentejo you have got two route choices; go to Sao Luis (19 km) which suggests persevering with inland on the Historic Means or go to the coast to Porto Covo (18 km) and stroll the Fishermen’s Path.

Casazul M&B Resort

Casazul M&B Resort – the one place on the route with out wi-fi, they’d wi-fi on the reception however not within the rooms. The place was fantastic; spacious rooms, good bathe, good mattress, new bedding, and many others. The placement is sweet, near the grocery store, eating places, and the path. I’d say it was our least favourite place on the route.

Services

  • Kitchen – no
  • Sizzling bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – sure, solely on the reception
  • Energy sockets within the room – sure
  • Washer – no
  • Additional – towels, AC, balcony

Day 3. Cercal do Alentejo – S.Luís, 19 km/12 mi

  • Distance – 19 km/12 mi
  • Time – 4h15min.
  • Ascent – 550 m
  • Descent – 542 m
  • Issue degree – Three out of 5 it was most likely one of the crucial difficult days on the route on account of many ascents and descents and no shade to cover and nowhere to cease for meals or water.
Elevation graph of the third day of the Historical Way
Elevation profile of the stroll from Cercal do Alentejo to S.Luis

The stroll was fairly good, the primary Eight km from Cercal weren’t too tiring, the surroundings was stunning; lush inexperienced hills, a bit little bit of forest. The second half was tougher over the hills with many ascends and descends and gorgeous views over the world.

Highlights

Nice views within the second a part of the stroll from the highest of the mountains you’ll be able to see the ocean, valleys, small villages, and many others.

A viewpoint at 17 km (2 km earlier than Sao Luis), it’s about 1,5 km additional to stroll there and again and numerous up and down. The view is nice however not a lot totally different from what you see on the final 7 km so if you happen to don’t really feel like strolling additional don’t fear about it.

Challenges

  • After first Eight km, the path goes up and down all the best way until Sao Luis
  • No place to cease for meals or water
A map of the route from Cercal do Alentejo to S.Luis
A map of the part of the Historic Means from Cercal do Alentejo to S.Luis

S.Luís

  • Resort – sure
  • Hostel – no
  • Campsite – no
  • ATM – sure
  • Restaurant – sure
  • Grocery store/store – sure
  • Pharmacy – sure
  • Seaside – no

We arrived right here on Sunday consequently outlets have been closed and we needed to eat in a neighborhood bar. One of the best place we might discover was Restaurante O Pinguim their omelets with French fries are fairly large and filling. Not like in different places, no one right here might communicate any English it was a bit difficult to clarify what we would like in Spanish.

Locations to remain in S.Luis

A forest scenery on the Historical Way
A lush inexperienced forest on the Historic Means of the Rota Vicentina

Day 4. S.Luis – Odemira, 24 km/15 mi

  • Distance – 24 km/15 mi
  • Time – 5h.
  • Ascent – 379 m
  • Descent – 536 m
  • Issue degree – Three out of 5
Elevation profile day 4 of the Historical Way
Elevation profile of the fourth strolling day on the Historic Means

The entire day may be divided into two elements; the primary half with typical for the route surroundings; fields and hills and the second half is thru the attractive lush forest. Once more very solitary stroll in the entire day we noticed one different hiker and never even a bicycle owner on the route. In Might once we walked the Rota the world was lined in flowers from far it seemed like a colourful carpet.

Highlights

Lovely forest stroll within the second half of the day, after first 12 km; large timber, lush vegetation, small rivers, many birds and butterflies round.

Challenges

  • No place to cease for meals or water for 24 km be sure to take at the least 1,5l of water per particular person
  • All day slight ascents and descents

Stops on the route

  • At about 14 km a picnic spot with a desk and two benches however not meals or water there.
A trail map of the walk from S.Luis to Odemira
A route map of the path from S.Luis to Odemira

Odemira

  • Resort – sure
  • Hostel – sure
  • Campsite – no
  • ATM – sure
  • Restaurant – sure
  • Grocery store/store – sure
  • Pharmacy – sure
  • Seaside – no

One other off-the-beaten-path city on the route I suppose individuals who stroll the Historic Means are the one vacationers right here.

Resort Residencial Rita

Resort Residencial Rita was the most suitable choice we might discover within the city, there are solely three or 4 locations to remain. The lodge was fantastic, a typical lodge within the countryside.

Services

  • Kitchen – no
  • Sizzling bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – sure
  • Energy sockets within the room – sure
  • Washer – sure
  • Additional – towels, breakfast

Day 5. Odemira – S.Teotónio, 19,5 km/12 mi

  • Distance – 19,5 km/12 mi
  • Time – 4h.
  • Ascent – 437 m
  • Descent – 288 m
  • Issue degree – 2 out of 5
Elevation profile Day 5 of the Historical Way trail
Elevation profile of the strolling route from Odemira to S.Teotonio

The route from Odemira continues over the bridge and alongside the highway for about 1 km after which turns into the fields providing some peaceable countryside surroundings; inexperienced hills and the Eucalyptus forest. The day went fairly shortly for us we noticed three different hikers on the picnic spot and no one else in the entire day.

Highlights

  • A really quiet strolling day via the fields and forest stunning surroundings

Challenges

  • A few steep however brief ascents

Stops on the route

  • At 13 km there’s a picnic spot you will get cool drinks, espresso and a few snacks right here (it’s extra like a stall undecided if it’s at all times opened).
A map of the walking trail from Odemira to S.Teotonio
A map of the path from Odemira to S.Teotonio

S.Teotónio

  • Resort – sure
  • Hostel – sure
  • Campsite – no
  • ATM – sure
  • Restaurant – sure
  • Grocery store/store – sure
  • Pharmacy – sure
  • Seaside – no

Not likely a vacationer vacation spot extra of a neighborhood city with not a lot to see or to do. The central sq. in entrance of the church is a pleasant place to return for beer or espresso however we stayed about 700 m away from there so we went for espresso and lunch to the close by grocery store. There’s a restaurant inside the place you will get a set menu with salad, primary dish, drink, bread, and occasional for six,5 Euro, it’s an excellent worth for cash.

Locations to remain in São Teotónio

Wheat fields is a typical scenery on the Historical Way
Rolling wheat fields on the Historic Means in Portugal

Day 6. S.Teotónio – Odeceixe, 17 km/10,5 mi

  • Distance – 17 km/10,5 mi
  • Time – 3h40min.
  • Ascent – 269 m
  • Descent – 420 m
  • Issue degree – 2 out of 5, a brief strolling day with a few brief ascents and descents on the best way
Elevation profile of the route from S.Teotonio to Odeceixe on the Historical Way
Elevation profile of the route from S.Teotonio to Odeceixe

As we speak is the final day of strolling inland from tomorrow on there will probably be route choices that take hikers to the coast. At Three km there’s a cut up each routes undergo the forest and fields to Odeceixe one is 15 km one other one is 17 km. We took the 17 km route the day is fairly brief anyway we didn’t really feel like reducing 2 km from it nevertheless it’s completely as much as you I don’t assume if you happen to take a shorter route you’ll miss out loads.

The stroll was very good and quiet the entire day we noticed solely a gaggle of cyclists and one mountain climbing couple strolling in the wrong way. From Odeceixe, you’ll be able to proceed strolling to Cabo de S.Vicente and Lagos following the Fishermen’s Path itinerary of the Rota Vicentina.

Highlights

  • Inexperienced hills, pine forest, fields lined in wildflowers – very peaceable surroundings.

Challenges

  • A steep descent at 9 km
  • No place to cease for meals or water for about 15 km from S.Teotonio to S.Miguel.

Stops on the route

  • At 15 km S.Miguel – a small city with a few eating places, a grocery retailer, and a campsite
A route map of the walk from S.Teotonio to Odeceixe
A path map of a bit of the Historic Means from S.Teotonio to Odeceixe

Odeceixe

  • Resort – sure
  • Hostel – sure
  • Campsite – sure, Three km earlier than the city on the route
  • ATM – sure
  • Restaurant – sure
  • Grocery store/store – sure
  • Pharmacy – sure
  • Seaside – sure, Three km away

A picturesque city on the foot of the hill, surrounded by the pasture fields, about Three km away from the seaside. From Odeceixe you’ll begin seeing extra folks on the path the Historic Means and the Fishermen’s Path be part of right here, many individuals come from the Fishermen’s route and proceed to Cabo de S.Vicente following the Historic Means.

In case you’re planning to camp remember the fact that the closest campsite is about Three km earlier than Odeceixe, in S.Miguel, don’t miss it.

If you wish to keep on the seaside you’ll be able to stroll Three km to Praia de Odeceixe simply remember the fact that lodging choices there are restricted and dearer and there’s no grocery store solely two or three eating places. The seaside is on the best way if you happen to take the coastal route from Odeceixe if you happen to proceed inland then it’s fully off route.

Hostal Seixe

We stayed at two totally different locations in Odeceixe (we have been in Odeceixe twice). The primary time we stayed at Hostal Seixe, it’s a pleasant place with personal rooms and dormitories.

Services

  • Kitchen – sure
  • Sizzling bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – sure
  • Energy sockets within the room – sure
  • Washer – no
  • Additional – towels, washing traces



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Hey! A bit about us - we’re John & Maria and we're a couple that loves to travel the world and document our adventures! We enjoy writing, blogging, exploring and sharing our adventures. We’re always embarking on new journeys and here you’ll find articles covering many travel destinations, and topics, such as culture, history, art and cuisine. Our goal and mission is to present compelling stories, photography and personal opinions, as well as serve as an online resource for anyone who wishes to plan their own trips and visit the destinations we've been to. We genuinely love meeting new people, mingling with locals, listening to their amazing stories and trying new travel experiences.

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