5. Cliff-top trail Seven Hanging Valleys
Exuberant walk with a landscape of cliffs and sinkholes in the Lagoa region. The "Seven Hanging Valley Trail" is a popular coastal hiking route located in the Algarve region of southern Portugal. The trail stretches along the stunning cliffs between the beaches of Praia da Marinha and Praia Vale Centeanes. It offers hikers an opportunity to experience some of the most breathtaking and dramatic coastal landscapes in Portugal. Route: Marinha Beach – Mesquita Beach – Mesquita Beach (West) – Dog Raivoso Beach – Corredoura Beach – Benagil Beach – Carvalho Beach – Vale Espinhaço Beach – Vale de Centeanes Beach Here's a description of the trail: Starting Point: The trail begins at Praia da Marinha viewpoint, one of the most iconic and picturesque beaches in Portugal. The beach is easily accessible by car and offers ample parking. From here, you'll find the trailhead that leads you to the first of the seven hanging valleys. Cliff-top Path: The trail follows a well-marked and well-maintained cliff-top path that winds its way along the coastline. The views from the path are simply stunning, with rugged limestone cliffs dropping steeply into the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Seven Hanging Valleys: As the name suggests, the trail takes you through seven hanging valleys, which are deep and narrow ravines that descend from the cliffs down to secluded sandy beaches below. Each valley offers its own unique charm and distinct views of the coastal scenery. Breathtaking Scenery: Throughout the hike, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of the dramatic cliffs, hidden coves, ssinkholes, and rock formations that have been shaped by the relentless power of the ocean over millions of years. The contrasting colors of the golden cliffs, green vegetation, and blue sea create a mesmerizing and colorful tapestry of nature. Photography Opportunities: The Seven Hanging Valleys trail is a paradise for photographers. There are numerous spots along the way to capture postcard-worthy images of the coastline, cliffs, and crystal-clear waters. Difficulty Level: While the trail is relatively well-maintained and accessible, it does involve some hiking on uneven terrain and can be moderately challenging in certain sections. It's essential to wear suitable footwear and take caution while walking along the cliff edges. Duration: The full hike can take around 3h45 min, depending on your pace and the time spent at various viewpoints and beaches. This is a linear route and includes transportation to the starting point. As with any outdoor activity, it's important to consider safety precautions, carry enough water, wear sunscreen, suitable footwear for hiking, and be aware of weather conditions. Also, remember to respect the natural environment and follow any posted signs or guidelines to help preserve this beautiful area for future visitors. Distance: 6km (1 way) Estimated departure: 08:30 am Estimated arrival: 12:15 am Average duration: 3h 45 min Degree of Difficulty: Medium Departure: Marinha beach viewpoint Transportation: your own vehicle, rented, taxi or UBER How to get there: Go to Praia da Marinha and the meeting point is at the glass viewpoint.