Solo in Portugal on the Via Algarviana Trail: Marmelete - Bensafrim - Cabo de São Vicente

In February I embarked on a three-week-long hike across Portugal. 300 km on the Via Algarviana trail took me through some remarkable landscapes and tested my body's abilities and mind's strength.

In this article, I invite you to read about the section from Marmelete, through the narrow streets of Barão de São João, all the way to the farthest point in Europe: the Lighthouse of Cabo de São Vicente.

The last days of my Via Algarviana adventure took me through some mighty rains, but also beautiful views. I left the big mountains behind me and could experience changing landscapes as I neared the Ocean.

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Unlock a Better Way to Shop for Hiking & Camping Gear: Quick & Easy Gear Shopping Is Here!

Are you tired of wasting hours upon hours browsing through Outdoors stores? Not sure what gear is worth your money?

When you are just starting your Outdoors escapades, the process of outfitting your trips can be confusing and time-consuming. The choices of gear and active attire are overwhelming. However, don't worry - I'm here to help!

Based on my own experience and knowledge collected over the years, as well as reviews from experts in the field, I've created a grouping of all the hiking and camping gear and clothing you need to be safe and comfortable in the wild.

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Solo in Portugal on the Via Algarviana Trail: Silves -Monchique - Marmelete

In February I embarked on a three-week-long hike across Portugal. 300 km on the Via Algarviana trail took me through some remarkable landscapes and tested my body's abilities and mind's strength.

In this article, I invite you to read about the section from Silves, through Monchique, to Marmelete. I can promise beautiful photography of some truly stunning mountain views!

I didn't plan it, but I ended up spending two days in Silves. It proved to be exactly what my body and mind needed - after the break (which was pretty active, sightseeing Silves and taking a trip to the Ocean) I felt refreshed and ready to climb the big mountains of Monchique.

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All You Need to Know About Hiking in the Spring

Spring is probably the best season for hiking. Gone are the shivering cold temperatures, in are crispy cold mornings, pleasantly warm days, and beautiful fresh flowers. The trails are generally pretty empty, and accommodations aren't in high season yet.

Some destinations are suitable for hiking only in Spring or Fall - like Spain, Portugal or Balkans in Europe. In these areas, Summer tends to be so hot, that hiking might be not only unpleasant but even dangerous.

I encourage you to go on Spring hikes – either shorter day-long ones or multiple-days treks. If you have the right gear, you can even enjoy Spring camping. I want you to have pleasant and safe hiking, so let me remind you about a few essential things.

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Solo in Portugal on the Via Algarviana Trail: From Barranco do Velho to Silves

Tune in to the next section of my hiking adventure on the Via Algarviana trail in Portugal: from Barranco do Velho, through Salir, Benafim, Alte and a rest day in Messines to Silves.

I left Barranco do Velho not only with a refreshed body but most importantly - with a much lighter soul and happier mind. When I went down for breakfast that morning, the manager told me that the puppy was gone. I didn't understand well if it was the owner who picked him up or if someone else took him home, but the most important thing was, that the dog was safe and not with me.

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Read Before You Buy: Katadyn BeFree Water Filtration System For Backpackers - Gear Review

Are you thinking about buying a water filter for your hiking adventures? Consider getting Katadyn BeFree Water Filtration System - but first, read my review!

The Katadyn BeFree filtration system is a pretty recent purchase for me, but it has already managed to steal my heart. I am delighted I got it, and I can recommend it to everyone.

But before I explain all the reasons why it's a great water filter, I want to clear a few things out.

Do I even need a water filtration system for my trip?

That depends on the length and style of your hike. For day hiking or multiple-day hiking from shelter to shelter it's not really necessary.

But even on a day hike, it can get pretty useful. If you know there are natural water sources on your way, you can limit the amount of water you carry and refill during the day. This way you can hike with a lighter backpack.

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Solo in Portugal on the Via Algarviana Trail: From Vaqueiros to Barranco do Velho

My solo hiking adventure on the Via Algarviana trail in Portugal continues! Here comes the second part: from Vaqueiros, through Cachopo and Feiteras all the way to Barranco do Velho. 55 km through stunning mountains and tiny villages, challenging trail with stunning landscapes, with added problem of a … dog who wanted to take a long hike.

I woke up to a very cloudy and chilly day in Vaqueiros. I had my breakfast waiting in the restaurant down the street, so I packed almost wholly and walked to see what they had for me.

The day before I explained my diet issues and showed a card in Portuguese on a gluten-free diet. It's not very popular around here, and I am happy I had that card.

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Solo in Portugal on the Via Algarviana Trail: From Alcoutim to Vaqueiros

First section of the Via Algarviana adventure: starting in Alcoutim on the Spanish border, and arriving four days later in Vaqueiros.

I arrived at Alcoutim after dark. There was only one bus reaching the town, so there wasn't much choice. On the bus, I met a fellow female hiker, who was also about to start her Via Algarviana adventure. We slept in the same hostel room, so we had a chance to chat a bit later on. Her style of hiking was a bit different: she had no tent nor a sleeping bag, and she decided to rely on established accommodation only. Thanks to it she could hike very light, with just the basics in her pack.

The bus stops right before a bridge you need to cross to find your way to the hostel. Later on, I found out that the trail's start was just meters away on the right. The walk to the hostel was uphill and at least 2 km, so the next day I decided not to be the purist and just continue on my way on the trail.

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Via Algarviana: All You Need to Know to Hike Across Portugal

If you are looking for a long-distance hike which provides beautiful views, cultural heritage sites, and safety - I have good news for you! Via Algarviana is a fantastic destination, and I am happy to explain why.

The Via Algarviana trail is a long-distance path stretching between the Eastern-most edge of southern Portugal, near the border with Spain, all the way to the Ocean on the other side. It crosses through the region of Algarve (hence the name) showing the interior side of this famous tourist destination.

The trail is about 300 km long and is divided into 14 official sections. Unless one is used to making long distances in a day, it takes about 3 weeks to complete. If you have more time, you can combine it with many local paths or continue along the Western shore north from Cabo de São Vicente.

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Are You Sure You Can Call Yourself a “Hiker”?

So you would like to call yourself a "hiker" but do you have the right to do so? Are you doing all that is required to be able to call yourself that? Not everyone has earned the right to talk about themselves as a hiker or trekker. Like with everything else, there are limitations and requirements one need to fulfill to have the right to use a particular term.

To make it easier for you, I have created a checklist.

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