Circular Routes Stage
The successive panoramic sceneries that you get from the top of the hills of the beaches of Amado and Bordeira, the villages of Carrapateira and Vilarinha, as well as all the surrounding area as far as the top of Monchique mountains, make this a spectacular route for those who appreciate great views.
The most Southwestern section of this Circular Route, which is also the closest to the sea, leads you through pastures, fallow land, scrub land, and open spaces. The southern gorse predominates, in the spring covering the hills in a glorious yellow. However, alongside it, there are many other species, such as camphoric thyme and cistus-de-Sagres (a species that can only be found on the SW coast of Portugal), lentiscus, flax leaf daphne, Drimia Maritima, wild asparagus or restharrow. In the pine forests, the silver billed gorse (Ulex argenteurs) can be frequently observed– a species endemic to Portugal. The colour of its thorns is not as green as most gorse, but silver-grey, as its name implies.
Towards the eastern side of the trail, there are magnificent areas of cork oak forest with thickets of arbutus, but also poorer communities where once there were oak trees. This impoverishment of the habitat resulted from fire and the planting of pine and euculyptus trees. The shrub cover here is poorer, dominated by cistus. The invasive species (acacia and others) take advantage of the disturbance to impose themselves. Enjoy, therefore, the descent to Vilarinha to appreciate the oak forests, habitat to numerous species of fauna. Predominant amongst the birds are chaffinches, serins, wrens, warblers, and nightingales. The old or even dead cork oak trees provide the natural cavities necessary for cave dwelling species, such as bats and different bird species – owls, woodpeckers, wryneck, tits or tree creepers. Also common in this habitat are reptiles like the ocellated lizard, the gecko, the ground snake and the ladder snake.
Where to start
In the Town square of Carrapateira, following the main road to Vila do Bispo and entering on the right, in the direction of the Amado Beach.
Rules and Recommendations
Refreshments along the way
Only in the village of Carrapateira.
Various combinations possible
This route creates a series of possible combinations for several days of walking in the region. Study the map and make the most of the existing route network, combining the Circular Route with the Carrapateira » Vila do Bispo section of the Historical Way and the Circular Route Carrapateira Cliffs.
Pay attention to the signs marked in white, red and yellow on the Circular Routes that overlap with the Historical Way. The signs marked with yellow and red are for the Circular Routes.