A Breathtaking Clifftop Walk in Porto de Mos

We love to explore, get off the beaten track and spend time in the outdoors. As we settle into our new life here in Portugal we will share stories of the interesting walks, natural areas and other discoveries that we uncover. We’ll compile these posts on the Exploring Portugal pages which we hope over time will be a helpful resource for ideas and inspiration. The first is a short post on a stunning clifftop walk in the western Algarve.

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Praia do Porto de Mos

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The smoke from wildfires to the north create a shimmering sunrise over Porto de Mos

This walk takes you from Praia do Porto de Mos to Luz along 5 kms of breathtaking clifftop vistas. We have been staying with friends in Porto de Mos so have started at Praia do Porto de Mos and continued to the Marco Geodesico da Atalaia (which is part of Portugal’s geodetic network) 4 km along the trails. Another 1 km downhill will bring you to the beachside town of Luz.

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Geodetic landmark on the hill above Luz

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Sagres can be seen in the far distance

The path is well trodden and easy to follow. In the summer it is dry and dusty and there are some areas of loose gravel, but overall has good footing for walking. You begin with a steep incline but the first views from the sandstone cliffs are spectacular and well worth the effort. You can easily see from Ponta da Piedade to the east, all the way to Sagres near the far western end of the Algarve.

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The middle section of the trail has moderate grades and is quite easy. There is generally a breeze to cool you down but after mid-morning, the summer heat is intense and there is no shade anywhere along the way. After climbing the final hill, the last section into Luz is a steep downhill grade.

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Approaching the last climb which overlooks Luz

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A large stand of pines stretches inland from the trail

There are signs posted all along the route reminding people of the instability of the sandstone cliffs. However judging by the number of worn paths to the edge, many people tend to take the warning for granted.

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It is now the height of the tourist season but on an early morning walk you will encounter few people, mostly runners who seem to favour this trail. On the weekends there will also be mountain bikers and later in the day many profusely sweating casual walkers making the ascent in flip flops.

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A stark (basalt?) cliff juts out from the sandstone

The views seaward are breathtaking and on a morning walk you will see many fishing boats, often surrounded by flocks of gulls. Sailboats and smaller pleasure boats also dot the azure ocean with splashes of white. Gulls, swifts, swallows and hawks soar along the cliff face while doves, magpies and hoopoes are common among the bushes and stunted trees along the path. Looking inland you can see the hills rising in the distance, many of their peaks crested with windmills.

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Small hawks like this kestrel are quite common along the trail

In the cool of the morning or late afternoon the pastel colours created by the low sun are stunning. When you reach the final crest and see the dazzling white of the buildings of Luz, you will catch your breath and be thankful that you are on this special piece of coastline.

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Luz from the top of the cliffs

 

About Tim & Anne Hall

We sold almost all of our belongings and left our home in Nova Scotia in April 2016 to experience as much of the world as we could. We spent over a year slow traveling in Latin America and Europe, and are now living happily in the Portuguese Algarve, Portimao to be specific. We are gradually chnging the focus of our site to feature images of Portugal. Stay tuned - its a work in progress.
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12 Responses to A Breathtaking Clifftop Walk in Porto de Mos

  1. So glad you two love this walk as it’s my favorite way to start the day in Lagos. Loved your photo of the sun reflecting off the surf through the smokey haze from the wildfires and the many pics along the trail. Looking forward to some serious hikes with you when the weather gets cooler! Anita

    Liked by 1 person

    • timannehall says:

      Thanks for introducing us to this marvellous walk. It is truly a wonderful way to start the day. The air was pretty thick the morning when the smoke rolled in from the north but it sure produced some brilliant reds. It has been a great way to get in shape for some longer hikes when the weather cools.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gilda Baxter says:

    My husband and I rented an Airbnb in Lagos for a week last year. We absolutely loved this area, the costline is beautiful. We particularly liked Ponta da Piedade, we will definitely go back to see more of the Algarve in the future. Sounds like you are enjoying your new home?

    Liked by 1 person

    • timannehall says:

      After we spent 6 weeks here last fall we knew that it was somewhere that we would enjoy living in. That was in November/December when it was much quieter but even with the few thousand more people around it still feels great. Ponta da Piedade was spectacular and next time you will have to get out to Cabo de Sao Vicente if you have the chance. We are staying with Dick & Anita until the end of the month and then get our own place. It feels very good to be back.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marguerite Beaubien-MacLean says:

    Hi Tim. Just became aware of your blog a few weeks ago (via Les Burke). My husband and I spent three weeks in Portugal in October 2015, and loved it. So, when I found out you were emigrating there, i signed up to follow your blog, as we intend to go back there sometime (to visit, not emigrate). We did a lot of hiking when we were there and your recent post just brought back wonderful memories. I assume you are familiar with the Rota Vincentina, but just in case you aren’t here’s the link http://en.rotavicentina.com/go.html. We hiked a good section of the Fisherman’s trail. Looking forward to more of your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • timannehall says:

      Hi Marguerite. We saw your name come up last week, thanks for following along and it’s great to hear from you. We are actually quite close to the Rota and are already starting to think about when we are going to do it. We’ll likely end up doing it in pieces. Their site is excellent and we have also watched several videos from others who have done it. So much to see and do – so little time! All the best.

      Like

  4. Beautiful photos. This walk looks so lovely. Maybe one day we’ll get to do it in real life!
    Alison

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jean Pulley says:

    Hi Anne & Tim,
    Your pictures are becoming more and more enjoyable!!!
    I especially enjoyed the one where along the cliff you took a pic of the way to Sagres near the far western end of the Algarve.
    Reason I liked it was each of your shadows!!! It is not often that you get someone other than the photographer’s shadow!!!
    Tim don’t forget to veg!!!
    Cheers!
    Jean

    Liked by 1 person

    • timannehall says:

      Hi there Jean. So glad that you are enjoying the pictures. In the morning along the top of the cliffs the sun is behind us and casts great shadows. Take care of yourself and yes, there is plenty of time for relaxation.

      Like

  6. I have read …or savored…only two of your posts so far. I really appreciate the style of the pieces…too many travel posts have uninteresting photos that do not give the reader the feel of being there. Yours do not do that…you do not have to tell me that it gets dry and dusty in the summer, I can see that…and feel that…from your photos. Your blog deserves many more followers than you have.

    Liked by 1 person

    • timannehall says:

      Thanks so much for the positive comment. We have put the blog together mainly as an illustrated journal of our travels and experiences, as well as potentially providing information and ideas to others. When we began we found that there were very few blogs that providing the type of information we were looking for. Glad that you enjoyed it. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

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