The successive panoramic views that you get from the top of the hills, of the beaches of Amado and Bordeira, the villages of Carrapateira and Vilarinha, as well as all the surrounding area as far as the top of Monchique mountains, make this a spectacular route for those who appreciate great views.
The most SW section of this Circular Route, closest to the sea, leads you through pastures, fallow land, scrub land and open spaces. The southern gorse predominates, in the spring covering the hills in a glorious yellow. But, alongside it are many other species, such as camphoric thyme and cistus-de-Sagres (a species that can only be found on the SW coast of Portugal), lentiscus, flax leaf Daphne, Drimia Maritima, wild asparagus or restharrow.
In the pine forests, there is frequently the silver billed gorse (Ulex argenteurs), a species endemic to Portugal. The colour of its thorns is not as green as most gorse, but silver-grey, as its name implies.
Towards the eastern side of the trail, there are magnificent areas of cork oak forest with thickets of arbutus, but also poorer communities where once there were oak trees. This impoverishment of the habitat resulted from fire and the planting of pine and euculyptus trees.
The shrub cover here is poorer, dominated by cistus. The invasive species (acacia and others) take advantage of the disturbance to impose themselves. Enjoy, therefore, the descent to Vilarinha to appreciate the oak forests, habitat to numerous species of fauna. Predominant amongst the bird life are chaffinches, serins, wrens, warblers and nightingales.
The old or even dead cork oak trees provide the natural cavities necessary for cave dwelling species such as bats and different bird species. Owls, woodpeckers, wryneck, tits or tree creepers. Also common in this habitat are reptiles like the ocellated lizard, the gecko, the ground snake and the ladder snake.
Refreshments along the way
Only in the village of Carrapateira.
Various combinations possible!
This route creates a series of possible combinations, for various days of walking in the region. Study the map and make the most of the existing route network, combining the Circular Route with the Carrapateira » Vila do Bispo section of the Historical Way and the Pontal da Carrapateira Circuit of the Fishermen’s Trail.
In the Town square of Carrapateira, following the main road to Vila do Bispo and entering on the right, in the direction of the beach of Amado.
The Circular Routes are marked with the colours yellow and red. When the route coincides with the Historical Way, the sign posts of the “right way” change to three colours - white, yellow and red – whilst sign posts for change of direction keep the colours of the Historical Way - white and red.