This section between Aljezur and Arrifana, passes by Monte Clérigo beach and the mythical Ponta da Atalaia. In a land where legends from the time of Portugal’s conquest from the Moors hang in the air, this walk is an authentic journey through time.
On the narrow path along the coast, it is worth noticing the dune vegetation, which includes aromatic shrubs (such as thyme, shrubby everlasting, rosemary, myrtle and lavender), medicinal and edible plants (such as wild asparagus, pink rockroses, vampirecups, Portuguese crowberry, Pterospartum tridentatum) and endemic and rare plants (such as Cistus palhinhae, Thymus camphoratusorLinaria ficalhoana).
Nature on this coast has always provided abundant resources for man. On this coast, you can see traces of Prehistoric human life. The occupants of this region are extensive and include Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and Arabs. This routes passes through the Ribat of Arrifana, an Islamic fortress-convent, occupied by warrior monks in the 12thcentury. This is the only know Ribat in Portugal, founded by Ibn Qasî, a political leader and spiritual guide of Islam’s mystical practice, Sufism. It was a fortress convent, dedicated to prayer and watching over the coast.
One of the primordial inhabitants, and gastronomical delights of this coast, that can still be found today is the goose barnacle. For those who visit the Southwest coast, excluding the months between September to December, during the closed season, trying the goose barnacle is a must. The coast, rocky and beaten by the waves, provides the necessary habitat for this unique species. The goose barnacles live in the strip of coastline that is revealed during the lower, spring tides, in rocks that receive strong and direct surf. This means that being a goose barnacles harvester is quite a risky job.
Where to start
In the municipal market, then follow the Historical Way for about 3 km.
At the top of Arrifana beach.
Rules and Recommendations
Refreshments along the way:
After about 10 km, at the beach of Monte Clérigo.
The first part of this step (3 km) corresponds to the Historic Path, marked only in white and red.