Carrapateira » Vila do Bispo

16 Km

When this route reaches the coast, joining the road that leads to the Fishing Harbor (Porto de Pesca do Forno), it is well worth to see the Islamic village of Ponta do Castelo. Dated from the 12th to 13th centuries, the village had at least 15 dwellings, a drying terrace for fish and three ovens to bake bread, and would only have been used during the milder seasons of the year. It is located in a place so exposed to the wind and humidity of the sea, that it has also been suggested to have been an kind of observatory, perhaps for whaling. Whales were once abundant in the Algarve, with records of hunting up until at least the 14th century. In the archaeological excavations of this town, they found remains of ceramics, hooks, harpoons, weights of fishing net and vestiges of marine fauna, including a whale bone.

 

The large plateau that leads the hiker to Vila do Bispo contains deep ravines, excavated in the shale by the water lines. One of them, Barranco da Pena Furada, flows into a beautiful little beach of the same name. The beach is a small sandy cove facing northwest, whose rocks hold interesting shapes made by marine erosion.

 

The natural abundance of game, fish and shellfish has attracted human populations to this coastline since prehistory. South of Barrando da Pena Furada, the trail passes through an archaeological station, currently without surface traces, but where stone artifacts belonging to the Paleolithic were found. The artifacts showed signs of temporary camps that were set up during the milder, more temperate seasons.

 

During spring, take in the scents, watch the feast of pollinating insects and keep a look out for some rare and endemic plants of this coast: Biscutella vicentina, Diplotaxis vicentina, Hyacinthoides vicentina, Herniaria algarvica, Cistus palhinhae, Teucrium vicentinum, Thymus camphoratus andLinaria algarviana.

 

In the ravines, it is common to hear the common nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) and the Cetti’s warbler (Cettia cetti). The white stork (Ciconia ciconia), western jackdaw (Corvus monedula), rock dove (Columba livia) and the black redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros) nest on the cliffs. In the plateau there are partridges (Alectoris rufa), common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), common linnet (Carduelis canabina) and Iberian grey shrikes (Lanius meridionalis).

 

Where to start

Carrapateira:

 At Largo do Comércio

Vila do Bispo:

At Largo da Igreja

Datasheet

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: 4

Extension: 16KM
Approximate duration: 6hours

Accumulated ascent: 500M
Accumulated descent: 420M

Maximum ALTITUDE: 140M
Minimum ALTITUDE: 0M

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

Warnings

Pay attention to the sea conditions at Amado and Murração beaches. In case you cannot cross Murração Beach from south to north, take the Circular Route inland.

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