An old water feature near Loulé


‘There was a hurricane heading our way. And because it originated on the other side of the Atlantic, it had a name. It was Monika’s mother who alerted her to this depressing news, and Monika shared the news with us.

Hurricane Joaquin first hit the Bahamas and east coast of America; however, now it was heading towards continental Europe, with the worst ravages of the extreme weather forecast for Algarve’s west coast – exactly where we were headed tomorrow. Harri warned me to expect rain – and plenty of it – over the next few days. It seemed our ‘precautionary’ measure of bringing lightweight waterproofs and full-length trousers might not have been precautionary enough.’

Six months after completing the 300km Via Algarviana trail, the author returns to the Algarve to explore more of Portugal’s southernmost region on foot.

Away from the popular sandy beaches, the couple tackle several Via Algarviana link routes before heading west to join the wild Atlantic coastline on the Rota Vicentina.

Frequently hiking through spectacular scenery where the only sounds are birdsong and the hum of bees, they encounter vertiginous footpaths, roaming bulls, ravines and rabbits. The real threat, however, is from the fast-approaching Hurricane Joaquin.

Never too old to backpack: More Algarve hiking by Tracy Burton is available from Amazon and is priced at £1.99 (Kindle edition) and £3.99 (paperback)


The Via Algarviana (‘Algarve Way’) is a fully waymarked, long-distance trail from the Spanish border in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west. For more information about walking the Via Algarviana visit the official website. A printed guide with individual maps of each section, plus all the link routes are available free of charge (postage is payable).


Feeling the effect of Hurricane Joaquin