This is the water section, where a different, green and vibrant Alentejo reveals itself before your eyes, with refreshing water streams and ponds – Ribeira do Torgal being the protagonist – where forests of valuable species such as ash, willow and alder trees covering the water streams banks abound.
The first part of this section crosses farmland, cork oak forest and scrubland, a mosaic of habitats essential for the birds and mammals abundant in the area. You may well find evidence of Wild Boar, a species quite common in this region.
Insect-eating birds such as Tits, Nuthatches, Warblers and Short-toed Treecreepers fly restlessly from tree to tree fighting the forest’s plagues efficiently and free of charge. There are years when weather conditions are anything but helpful to these efficient insectivores and the forests suffer as a result.
The second half of this walk takes one along part of the very beautiful river Torgal, a major tributary of the river Mira that empties into the Atlantic at Vila Nova de Milfontes. Pego das Pias is a uniquely beautiful spot where you’ll just want to stay a while, whether in the water or on land. It is a constant battle to keep this special place pristine so please don’t litter. On the banks and amongst the undergrowth there are hundreds of scented and medicinal plants, such as Genista tridentata found during spring, Oregano during summer and Wild Asparagus during autumn.
When you get to Odemira, you’ll meet the river Mira, still tidal here, even with over 20 km of its course to run.
If you want to shorten the walk we give two suggestions:
From S. Luís
Take a taxi to the village of Zambujeira/Castelão, 5 km south along the EN120. From here, head initially along an asphalt road and then on to a dirt track until it intersects with the Rota Vicentina (4 km) on a concrete bridge over the river of Torgal. You will be 14 km from Odemira. Total: 18 km. (note that this route is not marked. Download the GPX or KMZ track.)
Take a taxi to Ponte do Sol Posto (5 km) and ask to be dropped off at where the dirt track crosses on the right-hand side, 400 m before the bridge. Follow the path until you find the markers. It is 19 km from S. Luís. You can also combine both suggestions and shorten the walk even more.
Next to the bus stop on the N120 which crosses S. Luís, heading towards Garatuja and Cova da Zorra.
Next to the petrol station and the roundabout with the iron sculpture of an oak tree, near the river, towards the Health Centre.