Today you will be walking along Mira’s watering channel, fed by the waters of Santa Clara’s dam. You can see for miles around you, with the mountains to the east and the ocean to the west. You’ll have a choice between two complementary circuits that will take you to the coastal cliffs and allow you to get to know Odeceixe and Amoreira beaches.
This walk through the coastal upland crosses farmland growing sweet potatoes, maize, peanuts and tomatoes, interspersed with areas of pine and eucalyptus trees. Close to the villages and houses or “montes” there are smallholdings and orchards of olives, lemons, oranges, loquats and figs.
Many birds live happily amongst the human population in these areas. The birdsong that stands out in the spring is that of the bee-eaters and cuckoos. Water is abundant, carried by the channels from the Santa Clara Reservoir (until recently the largest Portuguese Reservoir). The floodplain of the river Mira, which accompanies much of this route, comprises much of the Portuguese South-West coastal upland from Vila Nova de Milfontes to Rogil.
Herds of cows or sheep can be encountered along this route. Herdsmen are often accompanied by their faithful dogs, with whom they establish an interesting but complex form of communication. It is amazing how the sheepdogs understand a language comprising of short whistles and discrete gestures, herding the cattle so efficiently. At the end of this section, the water continues to dominate the landscape, this time in the beautiful valley of the Amoreira river, whose riparian vegetation gradually changes as it wends towards the sea.
Finally, in the lee of the sea breeze, Aljezur emerges, overlooking the valley, its soil made fertile whenever the river is swollen.
Refreshments along the way
- Around km 5, making a detour of about 600 meters from the irrigation channel, you arrive at Maria Vinagre
- At km 9 you’ll cross Rogil village
Extend this section with the Fishermen's Trail
Between Odeceixe and Aljezur there are two complementary circuits of the Fishermen’s Trail available: Odeceixe Beach and Amoreira Beach. Choose between doing both or just one of them and make this section longer, getting close to the coast and cliffs.
Odeceixe – Aljezur: 23 km (with the Odeceixe Beach or the Amoreira Beach circuit ); 28 km (with two circuits).
After the bridge on the river Seixe, entering the village and climbing towards the windmill.
At the market of Aljezur, heading towards the Museum, where you must turn right and go down the street Dr. Viriato França, leaving town.
Along the irrigation channel
Between Odeceixe and Rogil, the route follows along the irrigation channel, where you can find some banks obstructed by vegetation. Be careful and watch where you are walking, following the markers which will guide you to where you need to cross to the other bank to continue on your way.
To all mountain bikers
If you are doing this route by mountain bike, at the exit of the town of Odeceixe, choose to climb up to the windmill along Rua 25 de Abril, as the route goes up some steps. By the irrigation channel be careful, the trail is narrow and requires skill and balance on the part of the rider, in order to avoid a fall.