The Fishermen's Trail is said to be one of the best coastal trails in the world. When I decided to go South, I also decided to walk parts of this trail. In total the Fishermen's Trail includes 226,5 kilometres. It starts in Sines and ends in Lagos. When I stayed at the Algarve last year I already did tiny parts of the trail. I walked from Lagos to Luz and I also did some hiking along the trail starting in Sagres.
My first hike started close to Porto Covo. I just walked for 1,5 hours and then turned around. The trail was always pretty close to the cliff, which was amazing!
My second hike started at Forte de Nossa Senhora da Queimada (these names!!!). I think the names/ places where I started the hikes are not really important. The coast is in all parts very beautiful, it doesn't really matter WHERE you start your hike.
When I was driving along the coast I had a few other stops on the way. To have breakfast, to go for a tiny walk, to lie in the campervan and read and so on. The names of these places are not important :)
My next "proper" hike started at Faro do Cabo Sardão.
My favourite part of the trail was the one starting in Praia de Odeceixe. Not because of the scenery - the coast was pretty similar in all parts of the trail - but because of the fact that almost the whole path was sandy, so I could walk barefoot. I really enjoyed that!
Furthermore there were so many storks on this part of the coast!
After a few days doing my tiny hikes I checked the weather forecast again and finally I felt like driving to the North might be a good idea.
The good thing about driving the same way back: I already had a few nice parkings in mind where I wanted to spend the night again. First on my list: Forte de Nosso Senhora da Quemeida. It was a nice parking very close to the coast and I spent there a quiet night with two other vans. One of the van owners was a German guy and we had a tiny chat. He has been staying on this parking for over one week with no problems. So I felt super safe!
So now I was back on this parking, did a tiny hike in the other direction (also very beautiful) and then went to bed in the van. There were three other campervans spending the night there.
And then it happened. One of my worst fears while travelling with the van came true. 1 am in the middle of the night. I hear a loud sirene right next to me, loud knocking on the door and I know what this means. The GNR is here. So this was the first time I almost let a policeman into my bedroom :) Luckily he was really friendly. He told me that I am not allowed to sleep here because it's a natural park. I asked him if he wanted me to leave the parking right away but he said I am okay to stay there for this one night. I told him I didn't know about the natural park (okay not totally true, but I was really not sure if this parking might be one of the legal ones...) and I promised him to not do this again (mostly true). I was really lucky and he didn't fine me. On Park4Night I read comments where campers had to pay up to 120 Euro because they were parking in the natural park.
So the rest of the night was quiet and I was even a little bit glad that this happened now. It's always good to face your fears :)
Waking up early in the morning I realised that the other campervans had left, which really surprised me. Maybe I was lucky because I am a solo female traveller and he had some sympathy with me!? I will never find out... For sure the next nights I only stayed on parkings that were out of the natural park to avoid another encounter with the Portuguese police!
My last stop before I started driving to Lisbon was in Comporta. I already stayed there before. There is a nice beach and a nice pine tree forest and there was loads and loads of rain :) And of course a nice legal parking away from the beach, which was totally fine for one night.