The Algarve makes up the southernmost part of Portugal and benefits from a wide variety of spectacular landscapes. The Mediterranean forests, riverine woodlands and dune systems, as well as the lagoons, attract many walkers to the region who seek to experience the natural and cultural heritage within. The Algarve is rich in many forms of wildlife, including chameleons, wildcats and Bonelli’s eagles, which is drawing the nature enthusiasts to this area.
The Algarve appeals to many, making it an ideal location to invest in property overseas, for both second homes or the opportunity of rental income. Below we’ve listed some of our favourite walking trails near our Algarve villas for sale, so you and your guests can make the most of the location.
Before You Go
Prepare for the walk responsibly, ensuring you have the appropriate equipment such as a hat, sunglasses and sun cream. Take a light, breathable rucksack carrying basics such as enough water, energy-providing snacks, a map, a waterproof jacket, a torch, a basic first aid kit, a mobile phone and anything else that might enhance your experience, such as a camera or binoculars for birdwatchers. It is advisable to check the weather forecast before so you can adjust your clothing and equipment accordingly. Be sure to plan your departure and arrival times that ensure you finish the trail before nightfall.
Castelejo Environmental Trail
This route is located to the south of the Vicentine Coast and with a distance of 3.5km, the trail is appropriate for walkers of every ability. The circular walk starts and ends at a picnic area, the perfect spot for some food before or after you embark upon your journey. You will follow signposts to the Forest Ranger’s post, passing through pine forest and vegetation, which includes strawberry trees and Spanish Lavender amongst other species. The middle stretch descends a gully before levelling out alongside a small stream, offering plenty of opportunities to lookout for wildlife. As the path begins to return to your starting point, look out for wild boar, foxes, rabbits and an array of birdlife, particularly near to the water’s edge. The trail boasts views across the valley at various points.
Seven Hanging Valleys
There is an abundance of trails located in the Algarve’s south coast, one of them being Seven Hanging Valleys. This non-circular walk starts at Marinha Beach, where you can use the information panel to find out more about the area and marvel at the unusual geological forms along the cliff. The route is well signposted and will take you through a variety of shrubby vegetation that is a haven for local plants and wildlife. Other valleys host secluded coves, relaxing resting places and a pine wood which creates a significant amount of shade, before reaching the Alfanzina lighthouse. The last valley, before reaching your destination at Centeanes beach, offers extensive views across the coastline.
A Walk to the Spring
There are also several trails to choose from in the Barrocal region. A Walk to the Spring is a 9km circular trail, starting at the crossroads at Fonte Mesquita. The trail offers panoramic views and takes you through the typical rainfed orchards and olive trees which dominate the area. The end of this descent sees the Ribeira do Bengado, where you can look out for some interesting irrigation infrastructures before following the asphalt road through a cork oak forest. From here, keep an eye out for the wide variety of passerine birds that inhabit the area, whilst appreciating the views of the adjacent valley. The final section follows walled paths surrounded by trees, before arriving at the mill.
This circular trail in the Serra region stretches over 10km, which is well signposted throughout and takes you through an abundance of varying landscapes. Commencing near the fire station, there is an information panel that can tell you more about the area and what to look out for on your walk. It begins close to a river, providing natural foliage for the local wildlife. After crossing the river, you will come to a small reservoir flanked by pine and olive trees, before returning to follow the river through wooded areas and farmland. After passing through the Lagoão valley itself, you will arrive at the village of São Marcos da Serra, the host of an impressive mother church amongst other points of interest. This trail is ideal for wildlife enthusiasts as turtle doves, Iberian green frogs and kingfishers are just some animals you can expect to see during your journey.