Prepare by packing sunscreen, lots of water and snacks, and comfortable clothes for hiking. And don’t forget a picnic lunch.
Good to know
This trail is beautiful but can be dangerous. There are unprotected cliff edges and the wind can be strong. I would only take a small child if they can be transported in a hiking backpack and only take bigger kids if they have experience hiking.
Start early to ensure enough time to enjoy the beaches.
About This Day
This itinerary is for outdoor-loving families who want to experience Portugal’s best beaches. Spend a day hiking the Algarve’s Seven Hanging Valleys Trail. Discover exceptional beaches and the best place in the Algarve for families, Praia da Marinha (Marinha Beach). Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. In addition to great beaches, this Algarve hike boasts the most spectacular coastal views in southern Europe. The rock cliffs imposing over the crystal clear water will certainly leave an impression on the whole family. Start the trail at Praia do Vale Centeanes and make your way along the path until you reach Praia do Carvalho. This spectacular beach is accessible through a stone tunnel. Splash around and then walk further down the trail to reach the famed Praia da Marinha at the eastern end of the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail.
19 April, 2017 with 2 year old, 6 year old, 9 year old
Great photo opportunities
Praia do Vale Centeanes (trailhead to Seven Hanging Valleys Trail)
G32 Rua do Jardim das Palmeiras, Carvoeiro
The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail is a 7.6 mile (12.2 km) trail (round trip) that spans a portion of the gorgeous Algarve coastline. The trail is marked and easy to follow but it can be rough and steep in places. The western point begins at Praia do Vale Centeanes and winds east to the renowned Praia da Marinha. There are many breathtaking views along the way as well as interesting sites like the Alfanzina Lighthouse.
DIRECTIONS Map out directions to Praia do Vale Centeanes. Look carefully for signs to the beach. Parking can be found approximately a quarter of a mile (400 meters) from the trailhead. You'll need to walk up stairs that lead to the trailhead. Parking can be limited so get there early.
TIP Use great caution on the cliffs. We did pass through one town where it would be possible to find food but prepare in advance with lots of water and snacks. If you're not feeling up for a 7.6 mile hike, it is possible to park at different points along the way and start the trail from a midway point.
Praia do Carvalho
H15 Rua de Algarve Clube Atlântico, Carvoeiro
Praia do Carvalho is a stunning little beach accessible by tunnel off the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail. Surrounded by cliffs it offers nice sand, big waves and small caves to explore. For more adventurous children and their parents, there's a small cliff-face trail that leads to a lookout above on the west side of the beach. Or, alternatively, find a place in the shade of the cliffs to lay down your picnic blanket and enjoy the views. It’s a great lunch spot.
DIRECTIONS About halfway along the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail to Praia da Marinha (traveling west to east) you'll see the cove-shaped beach from above. Follow the trail down and on your left you'll see a small path splitting off with a stone tunnel leading to the beach.
At the east end of the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail, you'll be rewarded with a visit to Praia da Marinha, one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. After a long hike, relax on the sandy beach while you marvel at the dramatic rock formations and turquoise water. The beach may be a little too rough for swimming, but kids will definitely enjoy splashing in the waves
and climbing the rocks. Be sure to hike all the way down the beach to explore all the nooks and crannies.
TIP Check the tide schedule beforehand to make sure you're not trapped in a remote section of the beach when tide comes in. Use caution in the strong waves.