Aljezur » Arrifana

17.5 Km

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

Aljezur
In the municipal market, then follow the Historical Way for about 3 km.

Arrifana
At the top of Arrifana beach.

Datasheet

Degree of Difficulty: Average

Extension: 17.5KM
Approximate duration: 6 h

Accumulated ascent: 400m
Accumulated descent: 350m

Maximum ALTITUDE: 120m
Minimum ALTITUDE: 10m

Recommended Season: September till June

Rules and Recommendations

THE CIRCULATION OF MOTOR VEHICLES PUTS WALKERS AT RISK

AVOID DOING THE HISTORICAL WAY ON A MOTOR CYCLE OR IN A JEEP, LOOK INTO OTHER OPTIONS

DO NOT LIGHT FIRES

SEVERAL FARMS AND CATTLE HERDS ARE PROTECTED BY GUARD DOGS. PROCEED WITH CAUTION

BE CAUTIOUS WITH CATTLE. ALTHOUGH GENTLE, THEY DO NOT LIKE STRANGERS APPROACHING THEIR CALVES

THESE TRAILS PASS BY PRIVATE PROPERTY. RESPECT IT AND CLOSE GATES AND FENCES YOU WILL FIND ON THE WAY

THERE ARE VERY FEW SUPPORT SERVICES ALONG THE TRAILS. BRING WATER AND FOOD SUPPLIES WITH YOU.

IN SOME PARTS OF THE TRAILS YOU WILL HAVE TO CROSS PAVED ROADS. BE CAREFUL!

YOU WILL FIND SEVERAL LOCATIONS IDEAL FOR PICNICS. DO NOT, IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, LEAVE TRASH BEHIND

BE FRIENDLY WITH THE LOCALS, TELL THEM WHY YOU’RE THERE AND SHARE EXPERIENCES.

Tips

Supplies during the Route
After about 10 km, at the beach of Monte Clérigo.

Warnings

The first part of this step (3 km) corresponds to the Historic Path, marked only in white and red.

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