A very difficult level route that goes completely around the perimeter of Santa Clara Reservoir.
Very demanding on the physical level, it can be summed up as a permanent climb and descent from the first to the last kilometre, with some sections approaching 20%.
It doesn’t have any real single tracks, but it has numerous sections which are almost equivalent. Although the route includes several small ford water crossings these are very rarely impassable.
In terms of the landscape, the course takes place through preserved and exuberant natural surroundings, and offers sumptuous panoramic views either to the reservoir, to the Alentejo mountain range or to the Serra de Monchique.
This route passes through the villages of Monte da Ribeira, Santana da Serra, Castro da Cola, Corte Malhão and Cortes Pereiras.
Remember that there is a shorter version of this route (see Tips!)
There is a shorter version of this route (Black 36). The two routes pass along the same track until 35 km so you so you can wait until this point to decide which one to take.
If you have difficulty completing this surprisingly demanding route, at 71 km, beyond Cortes Pereiras, you can opt to continue on the tarmac until the end.
6 km – Fluvial beach bar (only in summer)
18 km – Monte da Ribeira
29 km – Santana da Serra
44 km – Castro da Cola (proximity)
54 km – Corte Malhão
65 km – Cortes Pereiras
In addition to the roads and lanes open to traffic, the route crosses and occasionally runs a few kilometres along several quiet municipal roads that can sometimes have traffic.
We also recommend that you are attentive to possible encounters with hikers, as the route is shared at various points with two Rota Vicentina circular walks.
There may be a need to open livestock protection gates which should always be closed again after passing through.
The majority of this route takes passes through areas in the open with little shade, so, on days when the sun is strong, we recommend special care.