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Palmilhar Portugal – The 3K-Kilometre Circular Route that will Solve Overtourism in Portugal’s Popular Hotspot Destinations

portugal popular spotsPortugal is about to open the world’s longest circular route called Palmilhar Portugal a.k.a. Walking Portugal that covers 3,000 kilometres of off-the-beaten track that winds up and down through hundreds of lesser known tourist spots across the country. Portugal’s goal is to alleviate overtoursim in the country’s tourist-packed hotspots like those in Lisbon and the Algarve.

At the same time, doing so will enable tourists to discover and explore new routes that are still relatively unknown, which in the long run help boost the economy of other regions.

Initial Sections of the Circular Route will Open this Year

Although it might take three years to complete the full circular route that will cover around 90 up to a hundred districts, the initial part of the trail, which is in Alenquer, will be open and available to hikers and bikers by the end of July. The next section will pass through coastal Alentejo in South Portugal, This will be followed by a trail in the north via the mountainous Trás-os-Montes. The immediate plan is to open an additional 15 routes by the end of 2024.

What Exactly is a Circular Route?

portugal's hike trailsAlthough Canada holds the record for having the world’s longest network of trails known as The Great Trail, it’s a non-circular trail. It stands in contrast to Portugal’s 3K-km circular Palmilhar Portugal hiking trail because here, travellers follow a loop route that ends at the same point where the trail begins. Travellers therefore whether hiking or riding a bike do not have to travel the same route twice just to return to their point of origin.