If you haven’t discovered the pleasure of hiking, don’t have much time, or look for a short, easy, accessible walk, then this circular route was created for you. You’ll get to know the gardens and back yards of S. Luís and pass through a magic cork oak forest, always with the Cercal do Alentejo » S. Luís section of the Historical Way close by.
Close to the village you will come across small farms, smallholdings and orchards, separated by laurel hedges, characteristic of S. Luís, which run along many of the paths of this route. Some of the laurels have broken free from the hedges and are now elegant trees. Take the opportunity to pick some branches, dry the leaves and use them in meat and fish dishes or in any kind of stew or casserole.
The arbutus bush is another constant presence on this route, both next to the smallholdings and on the path that runs along the cork oak plantations.
S. Luís was always a village rich in resources which were exploited by mining activities (in S. Domingos), cork extraction, commerce (from the fluvial harbour of Casa Branca), in the production of wood, the raising of cattle or quarrying. It was S. Luís that provided the agricultural products to the population of Vila Nova de Milfontes, which dedicated itself entirely to fishing.
These days S. Luís is also known for re-establishing an old tradition, building with earth, with some specialists in the technique of adobe, or “taipa” building, living in the village.
Refreshments along the way
Only in S. Luís village.
Combine the Historical Way with the Circular Route
Study the map and extend this short walk with the Cercal do Alentejo » S. Luís section of the Historical Way. Along the way take the opportunity to climb up to the Serra de S. Domingos, which adds 4 km to the route (round trip). At 329 m it is the highest point of the Rota Vicentina and is worth the effort.
By the church of S. Luís, going down to the public wash house through the “Travessa do Lavadouro” and continuing straight ahead on a dirt track (“Rua da Pedreira”).
Although the route is marked in both directions we suggest you walk it anticlockwise.