Think Portugal and what comes to mind? Of course the vibrant capital of Lisbon, swaths of sandy beaches, rich port wines, fortified hilltop towns, and ruins from Roman and megalithic periods. What about hiking? Probably not. But your next trip to Portugal should include hiking, thanks to a brand new trail, the longest in Portugal. Whether for a day or a week, you'll find that this trail, the Rota Vicentina, is all about authenticity in that the people who created it teamed up with rural accommodations that are locally owned to highlight a part of the country that sees little outside travelers. (And they did it without building a waterfront resort or yet another golf course.)
I recently wrote about my hike along the Rota Vicentina for National Geographic Traveler - Intelligent Travel.