Compared to others in the Vicentine Coast Natural Park, this short but enjoyable trail is not the most scenic or the most dramatic – indeed, at Amoreira you won’t find towering cliffs or deeply sculpted ravines. However, this trail certainly borders one of the most iconic and pleasant beaches along the park’s blessed shoreline – edged by a small river rich in crustaceans and juvenile fish, Praia da Amoreira is a spacious beach that always embraces a shallow lagoon at high tide.

Praia da Amoreira Trail Main

Location: Aljezur, Praia da Amoreira; Aljezur municipality; GPS Coordinates : 37°21’6.66″N; 8°50’33.28″W; Grade: moderate/medium difficulty; some stretches can be more difficult for elderly or very young visitors; Type: circuit (circular) trail; this trail is signposted; Length: 7.000 meters/ 4.35 miles; Average Completion Time: up to 2.5 hours; Best Time to Visit: all year round; may not be advisable on stormy or windy days; Activities: nature walks and hikes; birdwatching; swimming in summer.

Inland from the lagoon, there is a relatively long and narrow marshland populated by otters and birds such as the kingfisher, the nightingale and the grey heron, as well as the bee-eater between March and early September. To the south, the beach is delimited by the green slopes of a large fossilized dune that shelters a variety of unique plant species; to the north, the sands are slowly replaced by extensive dunes and by dark, very jagged cliffs. The trailhead is located at the end of the paved road crossing these sand dunes. There is a car park at this location. From there, the pathway offers a gradual sloping incline by which you can ascend towards the plateau that forms the cliffs on the left-hand side. This first segment along the top of the cliff offers beautiful views over the ocean. Not only that, this segment also coincides with a ‘Biodiversity Station’ promoted by an NGO dedicated to the preservation of butterflies’ natural habitats.

Topographic Profile - Amoreira Beach TrailDepending on the season, among others, here you’ll be able to see butterflies such as Spanish Marbled White, Mazarine Blue, Green-striped White and two species of Zygaena. The best month to observe the butterflies is probably April, when a variety of rare and endemic plants (like the Camphor Thyme) is in bloom. The trail then veers to the right, a few hundred meters before Praia da Carriagem.

You’ll then enter a sparsely wooded area populated by pines that serve as the first line of protection against the winds and salty spray coming from the ocean. Indeed, these pinewoods are a crucial defence both for people and for their crops. Here you’ll find a healthy population of a plant (Teucrium vicentinum) that only exists along these rough shores. Several species of wild orchids can be observed in the clearings between February and April. You’ll then descend again towards the paved road, always with beautiful Amoreira on the horizon.

Further Tips
Praia da Amoreira is easily reached from the town of Aljezur. The trail can be walked in either direction using the markings (see here) painted on posts and rocks along the way. As this trail superimposes Rota Vicentina’s Historical Way, please do not confuse the markings: the correct ones are only painted in red and yellow. Sturdy footwear is necessary for a comfortable walk. The main path is a bit steep and rough in a few places. Visitors should keep a safe distance from the cliffs’ edges at all times (most notably when accompanied by children). In summer, do not forget a hat and sunscreen, and always carry enough water with you. Rare, endemic or notable plants present along the trail include Linaria ficalhoana, Biscutella vicentina, Diplotaxis vicentina, Thymus camphoratus, Armeria pungens, Teucrium vicentinum, Stauracanthus spectabilis and Ophrys tenthredinifera. Enjoy!
Butterflies - Praia da Amoreira Beach Trail