The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail is a scenic coastal path inAlgarveiPortugal.
Clinging to the coast the entire time, this spectacular walk stretches between Praia da Marinha beach and Praia de Vale Centianes beach.
As you wander over ocher cliffs jutting out of cerulean waters, you'll be convinced that southern Portugal is one of the most stunning coastal areas in the world.
In this guide you will find out when to start, where to start, where to eat and in which direction to hike this trail.
- Trailhead: Praia da Marinha and Praia de Vale Centianes
- Distance:12 km round trip
- Required time:4-5 hours there and back
- Height Profit/Loss:159 m
- Difficulty:Let's moderate
- Route:Praia da Marinha – Praia de Benagil – Alfanzina Fyrtårn – Carvalho Strand – Praia de Vale Centianes
- Where to stay in Ferragudo: One2Seven(middle tone), orCaneiros Luxury House & Suites(luxury)
- Where to stay in Carvoeiro: O Quintal Guesthouse (budget),Castle Guest House(middle tone), orTivoli Carvoeiro(luxury)
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Seven Hanging Valleys Trail Hike Kort
On this Seven Hanging Valleys Trail map, we've plotted all notable destinations along the trail in teal. And we've marked all suggested places to stay in black.
Where is the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail
The track is located in the western Algarve in the municipality of Lagoa.From nærmeste byer er Carvoeiro, Ferragudo or Armação de Pêra.
When to hike the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail
The best time to hike the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail is insideSpringorFall. The temperature is mild and the sky is generally clear.
It is also possible to hike in the Algarve in winter, but there is a greater chance of rain and cooler weather.
When we first visited the Algarve in early June, we attempted to hike the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail.
However, it was already far too hot (30°C / 86°F) and we quickly canceled our plans.
When we returned to the Algarve two years later in early November, it was absolutely perfect hiking weather.
When should you start hiking?
This depends on the season in which you are hiking.
In November, temperatures are mild throughout the day (18°C / 64.4°F).
So there is no need to get started early. Because November is firmly off-season, parking wasn't a problem either. We started the hike at 11.00 and returned at 4 p.m.
If you are hiking the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail in the summer (June - mid-September), you should start your hike no later than 8:00 a.m.
Depending on the heat, you may want to hike the trail in one direction and take a taxi back to your car.
Read next:Best hikes in Portugal
Seven Hanging Valleys Trail Difficulty
Moderate. The Seven Hanging Valleys walk is not a flat path. There are several ascending and descending passages along the route.
Hiking shoes are essential in my opinion. This is not a hike you want to take on in sandals.
Although there is nothing technically difficult about this hike, there are a few places where the terrain is slippery.
So hiking shoes (like theseHanwag Tatra Light Lady GTX), again, are extremely helpful.
Which direction should you walk in?
We recommendstarter i Praia da Marinhafor several reasons. There is ample free parking at Praia da Marinha.
Secondly, there is a lovely beach restaurant at Praia de Vale Centianes which makes for the perfect lunch break.
Third, by first hiking in the direction of Praia de Vale Centianes, you won't have the sun on your face when you return to Praia da Marinha in the late afternoon.
There is a beach cafe at Praia da Marinha, but it was already closed at the beginning of November.
Seven Hanging Valleys Trail Markers
This Algarve coastal path is marked with yellow and red road signs. The path is clearly defined and easy to follow.
Where to eat along the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail
There are a few restaurants clustered around Praia de Benagil. There is also a beach restaurant at Praia de Vale Centianes calledO Stop.
How busy it is on the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail
The path is moderately traveled. It only gets "crowded" in areas that are easily accessible by car.
When we hiked the trail in early November, we saw the most people between Praia da Marinha and Praia de Benagil.
Between Benagil and Praia de Vale Centianes there were only several other hikers on the route.
Seven Hanging Valleys Trail Description
From the parking lot atPraia da Marinha, the path goes west (just in case you face the sea). If you want to visit Marinha beach first, take the stairs down (on your left).
From the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail, there are many beautiful viewpoints where you can see limestone stacks and natural arches around Marinha Beach.
As you progress, you will come across wooden barriers. Please respect these restricted zones as they are in place to protect the cliffs and sinkholes from further erosion and for your safety.
From the start of the trail, it takes about an hour to reach Benagil Beach.
Before you reach Benagil, you will see the untouchedStrand runnerbeach, which can only be reached from the sea.
Benagil Strandis beautiful in itself, but it is popular because of its proximity to Benagil Cave (Algar de Benagil).
Note:Benagil cavecan only be accessed from the sea. On the path you can see the cave from above, but it is not remarkable. The barrier prevents you from getting too close, so there isn't really anything to see from the vantage point.
If you want to visit the Algarve's most famous cave, you can either rent a standup paddleboard or hop on a boat trip from the beach. You can also swim. Although with the number of boats entering the cave, you definitely want to be extra careful if you are swimming.
Alternatively, you can join one of these guided tours:
- Benagil Caves Kayaking Experiencestarting at Benagil Beach
- Kayak or SUP Coastline Caves Tourstarting at Benagil Beach
From Benagil Beach, the path continues on the other side of the small car park. You will need to walk across the outdoor terrace of Casa Lamy (café) to continue the walk.
Next, the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail continues toCarvalho Strand. This beautiful golden bay framed by limestone cliffs is accessible via a man-made tunnel.
The coastal path rises above Carvalho Beach and continues withAlfanzina lighthouse. The lighthouse is fenced so you will have to walk around it.
After the lighthouse you are on the last stretch to Praia de Vale Centianes.
You pass whitewashed homes and a massive apartment complex before descending another flight of stairsGoodbye centenarians.
We had breakfast atO Stop, directly on the beach. Our expectations were low, but we were actually quite happy with our food.
We were really pleased with our clam and shrimp pasta.
Where to stay in the Algarve for a hiking themed holiday
charcoal burnerandFerragudoare both good choices for a walking holiday in the Algarve.
Carvoeiro boasts one of the most scenic beaches in the entire Algarve. However, the atmosphere is distinctly touristic.
Budget|O Quintal Guesthouseis a lovely, light-filled B&B in the center of Carvoeiro. Guests have access to a shared kitchen, living room and terrace.
Middle tone|Castle Guest Houseoffers spotless rooms with fantastic sea views. The location is exceptional - close to the beach and the city center (restaurants). Excellent staff & service.
Luxury|Tivoli Carvoeirois a newly renovated hotel in Carvoeiro. There is no better option for travelers seeking comfort and convenience. As a guest, you can enjoy two swimming pools and a spa center. You'll also be treated to cliff and sea views from your room (choose sea view) and the hotel's various bars (there are three). And if you're looking for a hassle-free holiday, you can book half-board (breakfast and dinner included). Tivoli Carvoeiro has 3 restaurants on site.
More options:Quiet village(middle tone),Carvoeiro B&B or SPA(middle tone),Quinta Nova Vale Del Rey(middle tone), orQuinta do Ourives(luxury)
Search for accommodation in Carvoeiro.
If you are looking for a more authentic place to stay, we highly recommend Ferragudo. This whitewashed fishing village, located at the mouth of the Arade River, retains its Portuguese character.
Middle tone |The impeccably runningOne2Sevenoffers a range of bright and clean double rooms and apartments in the historic center of Ferragudo. The aparthotel's central location allows easy access to several restaurants, the Arade River, Praia da Angrinha and São João do Arade Fort. Guests love the swimming pool, fitness center and breakfast on the patio.
Luxury|We stayed atCaneiros Luxury House & Suites, which is outside the main village but within walking distance to Caneiros Beach. It is peaceful, beautifully designed and professionally staffed. It is a 20 minute drive toPraia da Marinha.If you plan to do more hiking, this hotel is also a 5-minute walk from the start of the Trail of Headlands, another excellent coastal walk in the Algarve.
More options:Rural Hotel Bricia Du Mar(middle tone), orVila Castelo Park(luxury)
Search for accommodation in Ferragudo.
Read next:Where to stay in the Algarve
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Portugal Walking Guides:
- Sintra Coastal Trail
- Rota Vicentina Fisherman's Trail
- Best hikes in Portugal
Portugal travel guides:
- Portugal 2 week itinerary
- Algarve travel guide
- Algarve i november
- 1 week Algarve Road Trip
More coastal walks:
- Seven Sisters Cliffs Hike, England
- Best coastal walks in Malta