Preparing for the Grand Route
Prepare your expedition in time. Check the suggested stages. Print the stages info sheets or take them in a digital format in your gadget. You can also plan your own stage, making use of the information you find in the interactive map. There you can find the location of all the accommodations and places where to find food (restaurants, cafes, bars, grocery stores). Check the downloads page to find the Route files in .kml and .gpx.
ON THE GO
Avoid to walk alone. Always inform a friend or a local entity about your intentions to cover a certain area on a certain time period. Always take with you mountain footwear, waterproof clothes, an head cover and a map of the way.
Avoid to walk during days of rain, thunderstorms or fog. There are many slippery features, irregular surfaces, river crossings and boggy areas. Check the Route webpage for the latest updates. During bad-weather, the access to some parts of the tracks may be affected.
During the season with an higher fire risk (july to october), on days of declared high fire risk, the access to some parts of the tracks may be affected.
Photo by Suzan Klein Gebbink
CHECK THE GRANDE ROUTE CODE OF CONDUCT.
In some places, you will have to cross private gates. You are asked to respect private property and to leave all the gates closed after passing.
In some places, the Grand Route crosses with other routes. Pay special attention to the Route identification markings in these crossings to avoid being mislead by other markings. READ MORE ABOUT MARKINGS.
You are advised to book your accommodation in due time. In some locations, there are no formal accommodation services. In these cases, you can stay overnight in a assigned building from the local Parish office (generally a former primary school or a cultural pavilion). Some of these places are not equipped with hot water, and for all of them you should take with you a sleeping bag and camping mattress. You have to contact the local person-in-charge in order to appoint the access to the place and to get more information about it (contacts of the available spaces from the local Parishes can be found either in the interactive map or in each stage sheet in this website).
Some accommodation services offer a transfer service. More information about this in the accommodations page.
In some stages, there are no grocery stores. Make sure you supply yourself with the necessary food in the villages where you pass before (check the stage sheets or the interactive map). In the cases where there are only cafés, contact them in advance if you want them to provide you with some meal or other specific food items (interactive map).
If you need a taxi to be able to reach a food-providing place, check the nearest taxi location in the stage sheets.
Always take water with you. Expect to cross long distances without having a potable-water point. The quality of the water from the village fountains is not controlled.
DO NOT LEAVE TRACES
Leave Nature untouched. Avoid making noise. Along the Route tracks there are no garbage bins. Take with you all the garbage you produce. If you smoke, take with you the butts from your cigarettes. Be aware that in Portugal you are not allowed to smoke in forest areas. Do not pollute water courses nor puddles. Use biodegradable hygiene products.
Do not take plants or animals with you. Avoid getting close to nests. Do not feed wildlife nor cattle.