Seven Hanging Valleys Walk

Type of walk: Linear
Distance: 11.4km (both ways)
Average duration: 6 hours (both ways)
Difficulty: Medium
Maximum altitude: 45.50m (Praia de Vale Centianes)
Minimum altitude: 7.50m (Praia de Benagil)
Recommended seasons: Spring and Autumn

 The details:

The local beaches to the east of Carvoeiro are stunning in themselves but if you want to take them all in and also discover some of the beaches that are not accessible from land, then the best way to do this is to walk either all or part of the Seven Hanging Valleys walk.

The walk follows the natural winding lines of the coastline and allows walkers to see some of the most spectacular views around.

The walk starts at Vale Centianes and continues all the way to Albandeira and is classed as being of a medium difficulty level.

You don't need to have walking boots but a sturdy pair of trainers (no flip flops!) is advised. It is also a good idea to take along plenty of water for the walk and to have a mobile phone with you in case of an emergency as during the quieter months you are unlikely to come across another person as you do this walk.

Essential for the walk has to be a camera, the secluded beaches, sea stacks and general coastlines amazing and must be captured if possible!

You also need to be careful of the strong winds at certain times of the year as well as loose stones and large waves during the winter.

Along the route there are also several sink holes which have been fenced off for safety – don´t try to get any closer than this!

Basically you can walk wherever you like along the cliffs but if you follow the little red and yellow markers you will be along the right route here.

There is very little health and safety in place which makes this quite an adventure in many parts (probably the bits where I got lost were the most fun) but you do have to be careful and keep back from the edges of the cliffs.

Some of the highlights along the route include getting up close to the lighthouse, seeing the beaches that can only be accessed by boat and finding the little beach between Marinha and Albandeira that can be accessed only by foot (no cars in sight and very few people too!).

If you are wanting to see a good example of the Algarve coastal wildlife then this is a great way to do it with many species flora and fauna and a fair share of coastal birds easy to spot en route.

This is a great day out in the local area and one for walkers of almost all abilities.

If you don't fancy completing the entire route then you can do between just one or two of the beaches – the route between Marinha and Albandeira takes around 40 mins each way.