Adventure Ultra Marathon

The Route: Running 120km Along One Of The World’s Best Coastal Trails

I head to Southwest Portugal to run along the beautiful Rota Vicentina.

It’s been claimed as one of the best coastal trails in the world – The Fisherman’s Trail – a 120km stretch of sandy Portuguese track with 4,000m of ascent/descent, winding its way through the Vicentina Coast Natural Park. The Fisherman’s Trail forms part of the Rota Vicentina, a comprehensive 450km network of walking trails in Southwest Portugal, winding its way between rural and coastal settings.

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Part of the Rota Vicentina, with the green (Historic Trail, in total 230km) and blue (Fisherman’s Trail, in total 120km) blazes, marked clearly the entire way along the path.

I’ve been eyeing up the Fisherman’s Trail for around 6 months now, and finally the perfect window of opportunity has presented itself. So tomorrow I fly to Lisbon accompanied by videographer James Hustler  who will be documenting this mini-adventure in moving and still images. We will be camping our way along the route, and the plan is to cover the 120km in 3 days (so around a marathon a day).

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A typical scene from the route along the Fisherman’s Trail which hugs the southwest coast of Portugal.

Starting in a small town called Porto Covo, a couple of hours drive south from Lisbon, the Fishermans’s Trail then hugs the silhouette and contours of the coastline all the way down to Europe’s most westerly point; Sagres.

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This maps shows the route of the Rota Vicentina; the Fisherman’s Trail highlighted in blue, and the Historic Way highlighted in green.

I have visited this stretch of coastline numerous times in the past on surf trips (and I really recommend it for this by the way!). But this time it’s different; a change of discipline and a change of pace. Running along this beautiful coastline offers up the chance to observe and soak it all up at a steady jogging speed – the atmosphere, nature, people, old fortifications, beaches, cliffs, pine forests, estuaries, villages and much, much more. I’m really looking forward to this challenge, and would you believe the weather is smiling on us too with sun and 25 degrees looking likely all week!

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The finishing point of the 120km Fisherman’s Trail and also Europe’s most westerly point; Sagres.

So it’s claimed as ‘probably one of the best coastal trails in the world’ .. let’s see what it’s really like …


The Fisherman’s Trail forms part of the Rota Vicentina, a network of pathways which let you tap into around 450km of marked footpaths in SW Portugal, meandering between rural villages and landscapes to wild coastline.

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