This is the section connecting the Historical Way to the Fishermen’s Trail on Rota Vicentina’s northern region, allowing the hiker to feel this area’s strong connection to the ocean, as you approach the coast line and Porto Covo, a picturesque fishermen’s village
Near Cercal the path crosses small, self-sufficient farms surrounded by vegetable gardens and orchards, and the pace of life is slow, following the rhythms of planting, weeding and harvesting. As you leave these small farms you’ll go through a dry area with eucalyptus and once past this you’ll come again to the natural forest of the area, dominated by cork oaks.
Here, Strawberry Trees, grow as tall as trees, and along with this you’ll be able to find more than 150 different species of plant! As far as biodiversity is concerned this is a real goldmine, with approximately 25% of the species here endemic to the Iberian Peninsula. Some of them can only be found in Portugal’s Sw coast. Enjoy the perfume of wild herbs such as Lavender, Thyme, Calamintha or Rosemary.
On the coastal plateau, the scenery is dominated by fields of grain where Larks, Pipits, Corn Buntings and Zitting Cisticolas, seem to be everywhere. These birds are perfectly camouflaged, essential with the constant threat from predators, especially for the females during nesting. Usually the nests are like geometrically perfect bowls, scraped from the earth and lined with dry grasses and mosses. The camouflage of Lark nests is so perfect that you may be looking at one without seeing it. Birds of prey hovering above the fields searching for these birds and small mice include Common Kestrels and Black-winged Kites.
The air is rich with ozone from the nearby ocean even before reaching the coast at the Fort of Ilha do Pessegueiro.
Refreshments along the way
At km 14.5, on the beach of Ilha do Pessegueiro.
Two paths to choose from
Between Porto Covo and the Fort of the Ilha do Pessegueiro there are two paths to choose. The Historical Way follows the road, because it is a walking and cycling route as well. On foot, you can choose to make this part of the route along the Fishermen’s Trail, following along the beach and cliffs to the village of Porto Covo.
Cercal do Alentejo:
From the roundabout of Cercal, head towards the Church, where you will find the route markers.
From the market square head towards the fishing harbour.