Rota Vicentina is a «development path»

The first sign on the Algarve section of the Rota Vicentina is already in place. It was this morning that José Amarelinho, president of […]

The first sign on the Algarve section of the Rota Vicentina is already in place. It was this morning that José Amarelinho, mayor of Aljezur, and Ana Bela Martins, councilor of Vila do Bispo Council, placed the last shovels of cement to hold the plaque that, from now on, is placed next to the bridge over the Ribeira de Seixe, at the entrance to Odeceixe.

Anabela Santos, from the Almargem association, responsible for the Algarve section of this 340-kilometre pedestrian route that connects Santiago do Cacém to Cabo de S. Vicente, said that by the end of September, the remaining signs would be in place, as well as the completion of the paintings. that indicate the routes, in a work that began on August 9th.

“We will have everything ready in late September or early October, even at the beginning of the favorable season for these walks,” explained Anabela Santos.

In the small ceremony that marked the arrival of the Rota Vicentina to the Algarve, the mayor José Amarelinho made a point of stressing that this project promoted by the Casas Brancas association, with the collaboration of Almargem, «is exactly what was missing in the bet we have been making in another type of tourism to Aljezur». «When we started talking about the Rota Vicentina, we saw that the ideas we had fit into the work of associations, such as Casas Brancas and Almargem, hence our support for this project».

Stressing that the City Council of Aljezur wants to "put on the ground a healthy network of tourism in rural areas", José Amarelinho added that the Rota Vicentina is "a path of development". Because, he said, it is necessary to take into account «all the business that is generated in terms of environmental tourism, generating direct and indirect jobs».

This would be highlighted by Rudolf Muller, president of the Casas Brancas association, main promoter of the Rota Vicentina: «this project is not the salvation of everything, but it can make a difference», because «it will help small businessmen to improve their business» , working with many sectors, «from accommodation, to the restaurant, to the café, to entertainment, and to the taxi driver».

Rudolf Muller also expressed his pride «that we, small tourist entrepreneurs, have followed this path» and highlighted the support that the Casas Brancas association has received for this project from the Municipal Councils, both on the Alentejo section of the Rota Vicentina , as in the Algarve. «We have had the doors immediately opened in the Municipal Chambers».

«The goal is for the Alentejo and Vicentina Coast to become known as a nature tourism zone. There is a huge market ahead of us!” concluded Rudolf Muller.

Anabela Santos, from Almargem, said, for her part, that the placement of the first plaque of the Rota Vicentina in Odeceixe is "the culmination of many months of work." He also highlighted the importance of partnerships, namely «the challenge launched by the Casas Brancas association, so that we can also participate in this project».

Anabela Santos added that the paintings on the Historic Path are “practically finished”, with the ones on the Fishermen's Trail and the placing of the signs, in charge of the company Floema. And he hoped that the newly installed plates would not be vandalized, as unfortunately has already happened. All so that the Rota Vicentina, in its 340 kilometers from Santiago de Cacém to Cabo de S. Vicente, can be covered in its entirety, without problems, just following the indications present in the terrain.

José Amarelinho and Ana Bela Martins, well disposed, at the placement of the first plaque

Marta Cabral, from the Casas Brancas association told the Sul Informação that the paper field guide with all the information about this great route and its two trails should be completed and ready to be launched by the end of this year, together with the conclusion and updating of the website.

The site will then provide all the information not only about the routes themselves, but also about accommodation, restaurants, support, and other elements of interest to tourists who want to visit the Rota Vicentina.

Also at about the same time, the 1:50.000 scale map will be made available, which has been prepared in conjunction with the Army's Geographical Institute, and which will contain, for the first time, the two rails and other support points (accommodations , restoration).

While none of this is ready, the Route will be able to be covered on the ground from the beginning of October, when all the signs are in place. “There are already many people asking at tourist offices and contacting us directly to find out details about the Rota Vicentina. But only now, after the heat of summer has passed, will there be conditions for it to be truly launched», said Marta Cabral.

A Rota Vicentina it is divided into two routes – the Historical Way, inland, with 241 kilometers and thirteen stages, and the Fishermen's Trail, along the coast, with 115 kilometers.

The result of an application for community funds, which brings together Associação Casas Brancas, as promoter, Associação Almargem (co-promoter), municipalities, the Institute for Nature Conservation and Biodiversity and the Regional Tourism Authority of Alentejo, Rota Vicentina represents an investment of 540 thousand euros.