This is a short day, but one that can be extended by going along the Fishermen’s Trail towards Arrifana or continuing to the south, towards the villages of Bordeira and Carrapateira. You will cross scented valleys and small farms as you approach the coast, already guessing where the route will take you in the following days.
From the top of the legendary Castle of Aljezur, one of seven that are represented on the flag of Portugal, contemplate the fertile lowlands, where the famous and incomparable sweet potatoes of Aljezur are grown. The creeks wind along these fields with magnificent galleries of poplars, alders, ash trees, willows and tamarisks.
Man has been living in harmony and with a respect for this nature, which is strongly marked by the effect of the seasons. As a result, we find an agricultural landscape rich in diversity, especially with regard to plants, insects, birds, amphibians and mammals. The butterflies are vying with the colourful flowers that explode in the spring.
The exit of the village allows you to admire the valley of the Aljezur river which extends to the Amoreira beach and to imagine what it would have been like in Aljezur in the 15th century, when the whole valley was navigable, forming the only safe haven of the rugged coastline between Vila Nova de Milfontes and Sagres. Here boats arrived from Lisbon, Flanders and Castile.
Moving closer to the coast, you will cross the sierra with a predominance of eucalyptus trees, whose progressive plantation, due to the growing need for paper, has altered the character of the region’s forest. The eucalyptus forests reduce biodiversity both above and below the ground. They consume great quantities of water, contribute to soil erosion and lead to the draining of mineral nutrients.
When the sea appears on the horizon, in a landscape swept by salty winds, where hardly devolved undergrowth predominates, you can already foresee your arrival at the incomparable Bay of Arrifana.
Refreshments along the way
- At km 5, at the junction with the N 1003 road, making a detour of 600 meters to the right, till Vales.
- If you choose to go along the Ponta da Atalaia Circuit, as you reach the coast, turn right to Monte Clérigo.
Extend this section with the Fishermen's Trail
Take advantage of the Ponta da Atalaia Circuit to extend this section.
- In the direction north-south, at km 4, 1.5 km before crossing with the asphalted road, follow the Fishermen’s Trail signs as far as Arrifana.
- Going south, start the walk in Arrifana following the Fishermen’s Trail, and when this crosses the Historical Way continue towards Aljezur.
In both directions, this route totals 18 km.
By the market of Aljezur, heading towards the village Museum, where you must turn left. Go around the Church on the right side, and down to the dirt track, turning to the left.
At the parking area on the top of the beach of Arrifana, heading along the road in the direction of Vale da Telha and Aljezur, until you enter on the dirt track on your right.
Be cautious !
At various times, throughout this section you will have to walk along and cross roads with some traffic. Proceed with the utmost caution and always on the left side of the road in order to be visible to traffic.