Circular Routes Stage
10 / 15.5 Km
This route runs along the coastal plateau, an area made up of rocks, which are more than 300 million years old, formed by marine erosion and lifted by tectonic movements at a time, when the sea level was much higher and the rocks were well below current level.
Although it is a plateau, this trail is far from flat, torn into abrupt slopes by the erosion of the water lines. Abundant shrubs have adapted to the wind – juniper, sage-leaved rock-rose, Portuguese Crowberry, mastic tree, false olive, flax-leaved daphne, and brooms. Some of these shrubs only exist in the Southwest of Portugal, as is the case of the Gum rockrose (Cistus palhinhae), Thymus camphoratus or Ulex erinaceus. The diversity of plants is huge here and reveals itself fully in the spring. But this area is also an important corridor for migratory birds. Between the end of September and the beginning of October, thousands of birds concentrate here on the way of the African autumnal route. Some species migrate during the night, resting and feeding during the day. Others migrate during the day, as in the case of eagles, storks, flamingos,white wagtails or bee-eaters. Some do not even need to stop to rest and feed themselves, because they do so in flight, as is the case with swallows and swifts. Migration involves many risks and tens of millions of birds die annually during their journeys.
The south coast of Carrapateira is the kingdom of the goose barnacle, a marine crustacean that is part of the group of crabs and shrimps. Its appearance is unique, as it has only one foot, which adheres strongly to the rocks, and a nail, where most of its vital organs are lodged. The goose barnacle is simultaneously male and female, reproducing from spring to autumn, incubating the eggs inside until the larvae hatch. Being a goose barnacle harvester is a high-risk profession, since the harvesting sites take place at rocks that are extremely difficult to reach and are subject to strong marine rip currents. Once abundant in nature, the goose barnacle has now become increasingly scarce.
Where to start
Vila do Bispo
At the municipal market
Rules and Recommendations
If you would like to do a shorter hike, take the 3.5 km long Trilho Ambiental do Castelejo, which starts next to the picnic area on the road between Vila do Bispo and Cordoama Beach.
Pay attention to the signs marked in white, red and yellow on the Circular Routes that overlap with the Historical Way.
The signage marked with yellow and red is for the Circular Routes.