Saturday, 31 March 2012

July/ Sept: 7 Days/ 6 Nights/ 5 Days donkey Hiking

Higlights

1. Hiking along the coast and backland
2. Unspoiled nature
3. The wild beauty of Costa Vicentina National Park
4. Stunning coastline
5. Traditional rural backlands
6. Moorish convent ruins 12th century
7. Beautiful beaches and cliff sceneries
8. Tasty Portuguese fresh fish and wines
9. The limpid and clear water of the Atlantic
10. Cosy charming ****-Guest Houses


Begin: Aljezur. End: Odeceixe.

Overall difficulty level: Intermediate. You must be in shape. Distance: 55km (34mi)

From the typical small town Aljezur reigned over by a 10th century fortress we will head off towards the fantastic Atlantic coast through a vast, fertile river valley. In the Vicentine Coast Natural Park fishermen trails lead our way northwards along the impressive coastline with cliffs, unspoilt beaches (vast or nestled) and sand dunes. Another singular beauty especially in spring - the endemic and Mediterranean vegetation.

Fascinating the adventurous placed stork nests, right upon the steepest cliffs - unique worldwide! An archaeological treasure, Ribat de Arrifana, the 2nd on whole Iberian Peninsula, welcomes us on the third day. This 12th century convent fortress was placed on a headland, right on top of the cliffs, metres high over the sea. Once perfect strategic location, the Ribat offers us again an endless, stunning coastline view.

When we surpass one and another gorge, we donkey hike through valleys or on plain land, mainly still traditionally cultivated with cattle pastures, cereals, potatoes and peanuts fields. We will walk through the alleys of historic Aljezur, the white washed farmer village Rogil – sweet potato capital - and pass single farmhouses here and there with the scenery we love: chickens running around, coloured flour pots, charmingly crooked fences and sheds, friendly owners, often asking whether we sell the donkey. And whoosh! Plenty of stories rise up around the animal they once had.

Yes, that is it, the beautiful effect of donkey trekking: our long eared travel companion opens hearts and souls in us and the people we meet. Deeply touching!

Our coastal donkey hike finds its end in little town Odeceixe in the shadow of an old, still working windmill placed like a castle on top of a hill.

Donkey handling
After the first practical instruction on the day of arrival, we will have a daily routine with our long eared companion which means every morning packing our luggage in the special bags, preparing the donkey (feeding & grooming) for the tour and, finally loading him. During the tour we give him (and us) some rest. While we picnic its his time to graze and, at the end of the day we will groom and feed him again, after his mobile paddock is prepared.



Day by Day
Day 1  
Arrival - Welcome at LISBON airport. 3H30 drive to Aljezur followed by dinner. Lodging in a modern and cosy Hostel in the old town of Aljezur.
Day 2  
From fertile riverbed to spectacular coast line view – 11km (6.8mi), level 4, medium elevation gain along 1.5km (0,9mi). Lodging in a charming rural Guest House
Day 3  
Cliff line hike, archaeological dig Ribat de Arrifana (arab convent fortress, 12th century) - 9km/ (5.9 mi). Level 3. Partially narrow bush path, humid section (spring), low elevation gain. We walk on a narrow bush trek till the cliffs which we then follow heading North the rest of the day. In the middle on a spit the Ribat de Arrifana, the 2nd on the Iberian Peninsula. Once the cliffs end, we arrive at a picturesque ensemble of holiday beach houses, Monte Clerigo. Now just a bit uphill to our lodging, a pleasant modern Guest House.
Day 4  
On the trace of former times. 8.5km (5.3 mi) - Level 4, 1km medium elevation. We pass an ancient cattle farm, pasture land, semi-wild valley, Aljezur riverbed and through the alleys of historical Aljezur crowned by a fortress (10th century) with majestic view to the Monchique Mountains. Lodging in the Hostel of Day 1.
Day 5  
Plain land, dune beach, cliff dunes, rural village Rogil, sheltered beach, pine wood. Level 5. 6-7h; partially sandy tracks. Lodging in familiar rural Guest house.
Day 6  
Cliff hiking switching with rural back lands. Famous sweet potato and some peanuts fields, herds of cattle, abandoned farms, modern agriculture. Visit Odeceixe upper village. Level: 4. some humid areas (spring). Lodging in Guest House, in village, near old, traditional windmill.
Day 7  
Departure - Farewell at Lisbon airport. 3H00 drive to airport.

Dates & Prices


Date Guided
07/Jul/2013 € 1850.00
08/Sep/2013 € 1800.00

THE PRICE INCLUDES
  • 7 days with burros&artes
    - Guided Hiking Tour (languages: deutsch, português, english. français, español)
    - Equipped Donkeys
    - Transfers from and to Lisbon Airport
    - Accommodations (charming Guest Houses and B&B, double bedroom occupancy)
    - 6 Breakfasts
    - 5 nourishing and energetic picnics
    - 6 Dinners (including our famous wines, our amazing cheeses and lovely desserts)
    - Daily Fruits, cookies and water
    - Luggage transport from Inn to Inn by the donkeys
    - Car connections at some stages (when necessary)
    - Documentation about burros & artes tour
    - Liability Insurance - Personal Accident Insurance
    - First-Aid assistance on location

    Notes
  1. If you wish a different date, ask us for prices and availability.
  2. Prices per Person, double bedroom occupancy, usually 4* quality hotel.
  3. Groups: Discount for groups of 6 or more people.

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