This will be a memorable trekking day, where you will walk along inhospitable trails covered with well preserved native vegetation, climb down steep valleys and back up again to the top of the hills, while enjoying the view over Odeceixe and the ocean. At the end, Algarve will be within sight as well as the connection with the Fishermen’s Trail.
Despite its year-round beauty, the best time of year to walk this section is undoubtedly the spring after a good winter’s worth of rain when nature explodes in all its glory. Both along the streams and throughout the countryside the biodiversity is just amazing. Genista tridentata, Oregano, Stevia, Myrtle, Portuguese heather, Gorse, Mayflower, Lithraea molleoides and Thymelaea villosa are just some of the shrubs that abound along the route and one is rarely out of sight or hearing of the many birds that make this countryside their home.
The lower-lying areas with richer soils are cultivated in a low-intensity manner promoting even greater bio-diversity.
Especially fertile, beautiful and interesting are the banks of the many streams rushing down from the hills inland. There’s Ash, Alder, Portuguese Oak, Willow and Tamarisk amongst others and many are deciduous, bare in winter – so letting the abundant sunlight keep the water below warm – fully clothed with leaves in summer offering welcome shade. Along the banks of these streams you may notice holes dug in the banks; these can belong to Water Voles, Signal Crayfish or even Kingfishers.
It’s worth making friends with the locals and maybe buying some fruit off them; with so little pesticide, herbicide or fertilizer used in the area, the fruits around here are full of natural flavour and interaction with the friendly local people is always worthwhile.
Refreshments along the way
At km 14, in the village of S. Miguel.
Coming from S. Teotónio, when reaching the detour informatio board, take the path to the right. From Odeceixe, when reaching the warning sign on the side of the road, before Vale de Alhos, climb to your left. (follow the red arrows)
In the church square (Quintalão) heading towards the cemetery, where you will find a sign post.
In the village square, heading towards the national road and continuing parallel to the river on the south bank, without crossing the road bridge.
Alternative route marking leaving S. Teotónio
Leaving S. Teotónio (or as you arrive, if coming from south), the way between the detour close to the cemetery and the end of the woods at the top of the hill has an alternative marking, in order to respect the interests of the landlords and the project. The route is linear and the main crossroads are marked with cairns. Once in the plateau you’ll find the classic route markers again. (bring a map or the GPS track)
During the winter and periods of heavy rain
1. The path between Vale de Fecho and Vale de Alhos (from km 2.8 to km 11.5 N-S) can get pretty waterlogged due to the increased flow of the Cerrado river. On these occasions, pay attention to the signs and choose the alternate path, avoiding the section in question.
Coming from S. Teotónio, when reaching the detour information board, take the path to the right and ahead, left. From Odeceixe, when reaching the warning sign on the side of the road, before Vale de Alhos, climb to your left.
2. The path between S. Miguel and Odeceixe can get pretty waterlogged close to the wooden bridge over Seixe river, due to its increased flow. On these occasions finish your walk at S. Miguel village, or continue along the road till Odeceixe.