What is the difficulty level of the hiking trails?
Most people who embark on guided tours usually worry about the difficulty level of hiking trails and whether they will be able to move along with the rest of the group or they’ll be the element slowing everyone else down. You shouldn’t worry.
The walking pace is moderate and should allow you to appreciate the landscape, take photographs and enjoy the surroundings. These walks should progress slowly because that is their very essence. Please note, however, that it is not possible to have too many stops, not only because there are schedules that have to be met, but mainly because it is not advisable to let your muscles cool down as that will make start walking again a lot more painful.
It is also recommended that some sense of discipline and understanding can be reached within the group, because if each participant decides he wishes to stop in a different place, the group will find it very difficult to move along. The guide will be looking out for spots that are considered particularly interesting and will suggest locations where the group can take a break.
What do the difficulty levels mean?
Difficulty levels, which vary from 1 to 4, try to mirror the effort that is requested of you to participate in a trip.
To help you choose the trip that is suitable for you, please check the description of the difficulty levels.
Level 1 (Green): Easy – Recommended for people in regular physical condition. It is also the ideal level if you are just now starting this type of activity.
Level 2 (Yellow): Mild – Recommended for people who are used to hiking or people who exercise on a regular basis.
Level 3 (Orange): Moderate – Recommended for people in good physical shape and used to steep terrain.
Level 4 (Red): Hard – Recommended for athletes, with difficult, and sometimes inexistent, trails and very steep terrain.
What kind of preparation is required for hiking?
It is assumed that you are healthy. Preferably, you should be in good physical condition, so a few months before your trip, you should practise some exercise to improve your resistance. A good starting point is to walk those daily routes where you usually travel by car, or climb the stairs instead of using the lift. If you are not in good physical condition, that does not mean you won’t be able to take the trip, it just means it will be harder for you to do so, and if you are indeed in good physical condition, you’ll enjoy the trip a lot more. However, don’t forget that psychological motivation very often beats physical effort.
Do hiking activities depend on the weather?
Our trips have been thought in order to take advantage of the best season of the year; however, it is not up to us the ability to control the weather. Rain, wind, snow or hail might happen unexpectedly. If that is the case, the guide will assess at the scene the appropriate solution and if he decides not to proceed with the hiking, he’ll suggest alternative options.
What are safety conditions like in Portugal?
The UNICRI, ONU’s agency responsible for doing research in the field of Crime and Security, has published a report in 2007 about safety in numerous cities. Among all European cities, Lisbon had the lowest rate in terms of crimes (it was the city where less people had been victims of any kind of crime).
In the rest of the country, it is very much the same.
However, as in every other major city, we advise you to take care of your belongings.
Why should I travel with 09ºWest?
09ºWest is a brand of Papa-Léguas. Our vast experience in the organization of adventure trips all over the world has led us to believe that we have just the right conditions to show you the best about our own country.
We are a young, dynamic and motivated team, and we want to show you all the best sites in Portugal.
What does 09ºWest have to offer?
- Trips with small groups;
- Specialized Guides;
- Different types of programmes for travellers with distinct hobbies and interests, such as trekking, cultural activities, photography, bird watching, surfing, gastronomy, traditional events or multi-activities.
For us at 09ºWest, travelling is all about the journey in itself, about the people you’ll meet and the incredible discoveries you’ll make along the way. Our guides will take you beyond tourist routes and sites. We know just where to go and what to do.
Do I need a visa to travel to Portugal?
Citizens of the European Union, Switzerland, Andorra and Liechtenstein only need an ID card to travel to Portugal.
Citizens from the following countries must have a valid passport but they do not need visa for trips up to 90 days: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, United States, Uruguay, Vatican, Venezuela, Honk Kong and Zimbabwe.
Citizens from all other countries should obtain a valid visa at the Portuguese consulate.
How much luggage can I take with me?
Luggage will be transported inside vehicles, so please, do not bring more than an average suitcase or backpack (maximum 20kg). Small hand luggage can also be carried inside the vehicle.
What luggage should I bring?
Before travelling, we will send you an email with all the information you need, including suggestions of a few items that you might want to bring.
Do I have to pay the total amount of the trip when I make a reservation?
No. Upon reservation, you’ll pay only 30% of the total amount. Up to eight weeks before the date scheduled for departure, you’ll have to pay the rest.
Will the group be accompanied by a 09ºWest Guide?
Yes. All 09ºWest trips are guided. The only exception is self-guided trips.
What is the minimum and maximum age required to participate in one of your trips?
It is hard to define a minimum age because that depends on a lot of factors. As a reference, we would suggest 10 to 12 years old. You should, however, be aware of the child’s abilities and energy and, most of all, his/her motivation.
Motivation is probably the most important element to consider. We wouldn’t think it was a good idea to make a child participate in one of our programmes if he/she didn’t have some motivation and enthusiasm.
As well, there is no maximum age.
Some 40 years old people can barely move, while some people over 80 have a lot more energy and enthusiasm than many young people...
No matter how old you are, you should always check with your doctor if you think there is something wrong with your health.
What is the group of travellers like?
Our groups are usually small and nice, between 4 to 16 people from different nationalities.
What happens if I cannot go on a trip that I have already paid?
If you cancel your trip, you’ll have to pay all costs and expenses related to your enrolment and withdrawal, plus an amount of up to 15% of the price of your trip. The Client will get a refund of the difference between the above mentioned costs and the amount already paid. Check our booking terms.
How can I enrol in one of your trips?
You should fill in the enrolment form online or on paper and send it to us, along with the payment of 30% of the total amount of your trip. You should also check the information in «Booking a trip».
When should I enrol?
As soon as you choose the trip you want, you should enrol immediately to make sure there is a place available for you
Do I have to make the whole trip?
Yes. These trips are sold as a whole.
Can I book one extra night for the date immediately before or after my trip?
We can book additional nights at the beginning or end of your trip. We ask you to make this request when you make a reservation for one of our trips, so that we can guarantee you the extra nights in the same hotels.
If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to contact us.
If you cancel a hotel just weeks before the date scheduled for departure, you will not get a refund.
Can I make an extension to the programme of the trip and stay a few more days at my destination?
Of course you can. If you choose to do so, try to let us know as soon as possible so we can check the hotels’ availability and offer you the best price.
Where do 09ºWest trips start and end?
It depends on the trip, but usually they start and end at the hotel where you’re staying.
The last day of the programme (in a city with an international airport) usually ends in the late afternoon/early evening, and a hotel for that night is included, so you should have your flight booked for the following day.
Where do we stay?
Depending on the trip, there are different categories of accommodation, but within options available, it is imperative that it is always a clean and simple place, with a friendly atmosphere and local features.
Are accommodations always comfortable?
When the availability of accommodation is limited, we still try, within the available options, to have a clean and simple place, with a friendly atmosphere and local features.
The comfort levels, divided from 1 to 4, try to indicate the level of comfort you should expect at the accommodation that is included in each one of our programmes. To help you choose the trip that is more adequate to your needs and interests, please read the description of comfort levels:
Level 1 (Red): sleeping in a bivouac sack (outdoors) without tent;
Level 2 (Orange): sleeping in hostels and dorms;
Level 3 (Yellow): sleeping in 3 and 4 stars hotels;
Level 4 (Green): sleeping in 4 and 5 stars hotels.
What transport will we use?
Depending on the programme of your trip, we will use a private van and/or public transport.
What is not included in the price?
- International flights;
- Transfers to and from the airport, in some trips;
- Personal equipment;
- Tips and other personal expenses;
- Travel insurance;
- Meals that are not described in the programme.
Check the detailed programme of each trip.
What is included in the price?
- Transfers to and from the airport, in some trips;
- The service of a 09ºWest Guide throughout the duration of the trip (except self-guided trips);
- Transport throughout the trip;
- Some meals.
Check the detailed programme of each trip.
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes, to join one of our programmes you must have valid travel insurance. This should cover personal accidents (including repatriation costs and air rescue services if necessary). We also recommend that you have cancellation insurance, since deposits paid are non-refundable. Check with your insurance company that it is aware of your 09ºWest itinerary and agrees to cover all necessary activities.
Do you provide special meals, such as diets?
We provide vegetarian meals, but we cannot provide special diets. We suggest you contact us to discuss your food needs. You should be aware that in some places we can provide for special diet needs, but in others it is not possible. You should understand that we cannot provide separate menus and we cannot be held accountable for occasional problems that might arise from special diet needs or food intolerance.
If I enrol on my own, do I need to pay a supplement?
You don’t have to pay it immediately. We group people in pairs, by gender and order of enrolment. If your reservation is the last one and we do not have a pair for you, then we will ask you to pay an individual supplement.
Can I enrol in more than one programme in a single trip?
Of course you can, as long as the dates allow it. Please contact us with your suggestions and we’ll be happy to help you.
What is a photo tour like?
Photo tours are at all times accompanied by professional photographer Joel Santos, who will help you improve your photography skills, giving you the best advice so you can take in your suitcase some really unforgettable images.
What kind of equipment do I need for a photo tour?
Recommended photographic equipment
- Reflex Camera;
- Smaller backup camera (optional);
- Extra batteries;
- Tripod (indispensable);
- Camera cable release;
- Lenses: Wide-angle (17-28mm); Intermediate Zoom (28-105mm); Telephoto lens (70-200). These lenses can be replaced by an 18-200 zoom, although it is not very bright;
- Graduated neutral density filters and filter holder;
- UV Filter or Polarizer;
- Micro-fibre cloths (several) and soft suede;
- Bags of silica to put inside the camera’s bag;
- Plastic bathing cap (to protect the equipment from the rain and water drops from waterfalls);
- Fingerless gloves;
- Mini flashlight;
- Memory cards.
What is a self-guided trip?
A self-guided trip is a trip with no guide on location, allowing travellers to manage their own time and pace.
The agency sends Clients all detailed information (including maps and vouchers) and handles accommodation.
The Client arrives at the destination with the voucher sent by the agency and starts his programme.
Do you have any doubt or question you would like to ask us?
If you have a question about one of our trips, please send us an email to email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help you.