It has already been voted the Best Hiking Destination in Europe. The Sete Vale Suspensos trail deserves all the accolades.
It is another way to get to know the most touristic region in the country. The Sete Vales Suspensos trail has already been distinguished with the ‘Best Hiking Destination in Europe’ award and deserves all recognition. It’s about five and a half kilometers through an unknown Algarve.
Located in the parish of lagoon the route of the Seven Hanging Valleys is an ode to maritime nature.
There are 5.7 kilometers (one way) at the top of the typical Algarve cliffs with the view lost in the infinity of the sea. This is a linear routeunder the cliffs, only interrupted by lines of water that flow above sea level, giving rise to the so-called suspended valleys.
If you’re an inexperienced hiker, don’t be alarmed, the route is very well marked and, despite being of medium difficulty, you’ll be able to do it easily in about three hours (going back and forth, a total of about 12 kilometres).
Seven hanging valleys to Benagil
The starting point of the Sete Vale Suspensos is Praia da Marinha, thus starting the walk.
In this first stretch (which ends at Benagil beach) you’ll find yourself surrounded by juniper bushes and you’ll find the first two hanging valleys. You can also count on the beginning of the Aleppo Pine Forest that accompanies the entire route.
Upon reaching the Benagil beach arrives at the lowest point of the route and at one of the most special beaches in the Algarve. Benagil is associated with a strong fishing tradition and its coast is all cut out by caves, very suggestive of boat trips – such as the magnificent Benagil algar, with access to true paradisiacal and deserted beaches.
Incidentally, this is the first temptation to take you off the path of the seven hanging valleys, but it is well worth the break.
From Praia do Carvalho to Leixão do Ladrão
Praia do Carvalho is more or less halfway along the route. A small beach preceded by a ravine where you can see the dwarf palm tree, the only native palm tree in Europe, or the black-headed warbler, a small bird typical of this region.
Leixão do Ladrão is a rock formation that you will find just after Carvalho beach. Legend has it that a Moorish princess wept here for her lover and her tears formed the tracery of the rock. This is a particularly beautiful part of the route, take the opportunity to relax and take good pictures.
Cabo Carvoeiro and the Alfanzina Lighthouse
Until you reach the next point, the Alfanzina Lighthouse, you will pass by two more magnificent points: Carvoeiro beach, the Floating Boat (an incredible natural cave that you must visit) and the Gruta do Paraíso.
These last two points really deserve to be visited. Another one of those detours that will make your trail of the seven suspended valleys last longer than expected.
And so you will arrive at the Farol de Alfanzina. This lighthouse is 23 meters high and opened in 1920. It is open to the public for guided tours and the views are, of course, breathtaking.
From here you will enter the final stretch of the Sete Vales Suspensos route towards Praia Vale de Centeanes, the highest point of the entire path (about 45 meters). It’s time to sit on the small wooden benches and enjoy a well-deserved rest.
If you venture on this route, know that you will be in one of the most special places on the Portuguese coast, so don’t forget your camera, but also respect mother nature.
Whether you are an experienced and fearless hiker, or just a ‘walker’, know that the Seven Hanging Valleys are an adventure that deserves to be experienced.
In addition to the unobstructed views throughout the route, you will also find several points for birdwatching. Another Algarve awaits you, to enjoy with peace of mind.