Cercal do Alentejo» Porto Covo

The Historical Way Stage

16.5 Km

Starting from Cercal, the first part of the route goes through small farms, with hedges, vegetable gardens and orchards. Here, life passes to the rhythm of the sowing, the weed pruning and the crops. From an arid area, populated with eucalyptus, one arrives at a cork oak forest, and can also spot the famous strawberry tree. Although it is a bush, the strawberry tree grows to in a tree-like in shape and size. A true biodiversity hotspot, there are more than 150 different species of plants that appear along the route! About a quarter of these plants are endemic to the Iberian Peninsula, and some only exist on the southwest coast of Portugal. Along the route, you will also catch the scent of aromatic plants, such as lavender, thyme, calamints or rosemary.

On the coastal plateau, wheat fields dominate, where the larks, pipits, corn buntings and warblers cheer up the landscape even in the summer heat. These birds have perfect camouflage essential to escape predators, especially the nesting females. The nest is a geometrically perfect cup, dug into the ground and lined with dried herbs and moss. The lark’s nest is so mimetic that we may be looking at it and we don’t realize that we see it. The kestrels, small birds of prey, fly over the wheat fields in search of these birds and mice as their prey. One feels the presence of the sea in the air along your walk as you breath and take in the blue in the horizon.

Where to start

Cercal do Alentejo
From Largo dos Caeiros (central roundabout), follow the road towards Milfontes.

Porto Covo
At the Market square, heading towards the fishing port.

Datasheet

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: 2

Extension: 16.5KM
Approximate duration: 5hours

Accumulated ascent: 200M
Accumulated descent: 300M

Maximum ALTITUDE: 230M
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

Refreshments along the way
At km 13, in the locality of Pouca Farinha

Warnings

Pay attention to the signage as there are intersections with several Circular Routes.

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