Portuguese town moves walking festival to summer

Photo: Municipality of Alcoutim

The municipality of Alcoutim in Portugal has announced a new format for the IX Hiking Festival of Alcoutim and Sanlúcar de Guadiana, which this year will be called “Walkers – Experiences on the Frontier.”

Normally a winter event, the festival will take place from August 17 to 19 and September 21 to 23.

Alcoutim, with a population of around 3,000, sits on the Guadiana River, which forms the border between Portugal and Spain. It is in the south of the country, around 40 miles from the Mediterranean. Sanlúcar de Guadiana is the small Spanish community on the other side of the river, although no bridge connects the communities.

The event, now known as Hikers – Experiences on the Frontier, is inviting participants to explore the charms of the region, while enjoying “breathtaking walks associated with good food, the charms of the landscape, agro-pastoral activities, astronomy, traditional arts and by simply letting yourself go.”

Alcoutim and Sanlúcar de Guadiana, located on the banks of the Guadiana River and with the Serra do Caldeirão as a backdrop, offer a variety of trails and picturesque paths that lead visitors through an authentic and enriching experience.

With an abundance of natural, cultural, historical, gastronomic and ethnographic heritage, the region is a treasure to be discovered, the local council said.

The new format focuses on promoting sustainability and integration with the local community. The festival will feature themed walks that explore the local products such as cheese, honey and aromatic herbs. Participants will have the opportunity to connect with local producers, learn about traditional techniques and taste the unique flavors of the region.

“Our intention is to create a hiking festival that goes beyond simple physical exploration. We want to provide participants with a complete experience, which connects them with nature, local culture and products from the region,” said the vice president of the Chamber Municipality of Alcoutim, Paulo Paulino.