Seven Hanging Valleys Trail

This trail takes you on a stunningly beautiful hike along the Algarve’s coastline, skimming the cliff-edge the entire way, treating your eyes to views for more or less a four hour adventure – just short of 8 miles.  


We decided to lengthen our trail slightly by starting at Algar Seco (usually the walk would begin or end at Centeanes). Walking towards the cliff edge you’ll spot the walking path inviting you to the cliff, with wooden fences dotted along the plummeting edge for your safety. It’s a long way down if you dare to venture to the edge. (Of course I managed a quick snap, but only managed it sitting down before my head started to spin). 

There are lots of prime picnic spots that overlook the cliffside here – if you’re one for scenic sunsets then I’d recommend coming back with a blanket, nestling on the quiet cliff edge for your evening light show- perhaps a romantic glass of bubbles or two. 

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Along your eastward adventure, you’ll come across the Alfanzina Lighthouse – more of a visual delight than an experience (the lighthouse was closed for access when I arrived) but certainly makes the walk even more picturesque. 


Continue walking along the rugged coastline, you’ll be glad you wore your trainers as there are a few steep rocks to hoist yourself up and down. Wooden posts are dotted along the way, helpfully marked with arrows, which help guide the way through the meandering paths. I found myself at a few dead ends, standing at the edge of a cliff every time I decided to deviate from the route – but all the more to take in the beautiful shapes and colours of the rock.


Praia de Benagil is the next stop on your journey and you’ll spot the sandy shores of this mini-beach as you draw closer. The beach is a perfect strip of sand, framed perfectly by the cliff edges.


The famous caves of Algar de Benagil can be visited via boat on a short excursion from the beach, but to answer the calls of our rumbling tummies, we decided to settle in one of the cute restaurants for a seafood lunch fix. 


img_1321The final stretch of our hike treated us to more fantastic sea-scapes, beautifully carved arch ways and bays, before we reached the golden finale, Praia da Marinha, deservingly dubbed the most beautiful beach in Portugal. 


Surrounded by cliffs you can take the winding path down to sea-level and sink your toes in the soft golden sands, go for a dip in the glimmering waters or why not opt for a well-deserved nap in the sunshine after all that footwork! 

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