Portugal Set to Have the Longest Circular Pedestrian Route in the World

Written By Manuel Poças

Get your hiking boots ready as Portugal is close to launching the first section of the longest circular pedestrian route in the world next month. The project is called “Palmilhar Portugal” (Walking Portugal) and will be made of 3,000 kilometers of trails that will cross a hundred municipalities.

According to Ricardo Bernardes, the founder of the initiative, the route will pass through the coast and along frontier lines, from north to south. It intends to promote sustainablility and wellness tourism and also aims to attract tourists by showing the best Portugal has to offer, from a different perspective.

Given its scope, the project has been being prepared for the last two years, with all municipalities involved, in order to guarantee the necessary degree of collaboration and the possibility of implementation. It is important to note that this project is intended to help spread tourists around the country throughout the year, rather than only having them mainly concentrated in Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve.

The goal is to promote a variety of experiences in different regions as tourists hike in the area. This is why Ricardo Bernardes is working on partnering with other entities related to hospitality, culture, and sports. His goal is to offer, not just the opportunity to hike around the country but also have the option to take part in tour packages exclusive for each region and adaptable to every taste. He also intends to build an app that includes all of the necessary information, and where travelers may track their way through a digital passport.

The first part of the path is already being constructed and will open this July. It is located in Alenquer, just north of Lisbon, and will take walkers through beautiful rural landscapes surrounded by windmills and vineyards.

By the end of 2024, there should be a total of 15 trails throughout the country. Four of them will be in Alentejo, three in the center region, and two in the north, in Trás-os-Montes. According to what the projections suggest, all 3,000 kilometers shall be completely operational within the next 3 years.

Note that some sections of the 3,000 kilometers will be adapted for people with reduced mobility.

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