A Sensational Walk, Vale Centianes to Carvoeiro

A Sensational Walk, Vale Centianes to Carvoeiro Photos and text by Phil Harbord This is a medium difficulty walk of about 1 hour, one way. For a circular route, you may choose to walk back via the road (another 45 minutes). This is the walk I dream of when I'm freezing in the middle of another Canadian winter. I especially look forward to the spring flowers and the smell of wild thyme and rosemary in March, April and May.

 Start from the O'Stop Restaurante/Café, at the beach at Vale Centianes (locate the restaurant on the FREEMAPS, Carvoeiro) and walk back towards the car park - about 100 meters. Just before the car park is where the easiest climb starts. Turn left and climb the rocks to the top of the hill.

 Trust me, this is the most tiring and challenging climb of the walk! At the top follow the edge of the cliff west towards Carvoeiro. On your right is the Hotel Baia Cristal and left, Vale Centianes beach and the ocean stretching out as far as you can see! There are lots of tracks through the cliff tops but, for the best views, don't wander too far inland. It's easy up and down most of the way, but watch out for loose gravel underfoot. After about a kilometer, you will turn a corner and see the Tivoli Hotel overlooking the beautiful inlet at Vale do Covo. Make your way past the sinkhole and left down to the walkway which crosses between the beach and hotel. Back up the otherside to the top of the cliff and continue another few hundred meters to the rock formation across from Algar Seco Parque. This view is one of the best in the Algarve! There's a coffee bar & Café down the steps, amongst the rocks and, beyond, a great photo opportunity where a natural cave affords framed views of the coastline. Proceeding west towards Carvoeiro, this is the start of a new wooden walkway which takes you with ease along the cliffs to the small Chapel of “Our Lady of the Incarnation” above the town. Now a short walk down to Praia do Carvoeiro, during which you will enjoy more iconic views which have graced many an Algarve poster.

 Carvoeiro is definitely worth a stop for lunch, so grab a Freemap from inside Hotel Carvoeiro Sol and choose from a host of restaurants and cafés to satisfy every taste. If you are doing a round trip, the fastest way is to turn right on Estrada do Farol. Follow the road for about 1.5km back to Vale Centianes which is easily spotted with the Colina Sol Hotel looking down on your starting point. Tired walkers may opt for a taxi from the rank in front of Smilers Bar .

 Phil Harbord [Check out Phil's website at]