Discovering Totenique

Circular Routes Stage

13.5 Km

Leaving Sabóia, meander through valleys intersected by the Mira River and the stream of Totenique. Arriving at the top of the mountain beside a ruined mill, the view of the village of Santa Clara awaits. In villages like this, traditional ways of life are still very much evident, and can be enjoyed by curious walkers looking to understand this leisurely way of Portuguese life.

As legend goes, the origin of the name Sabóia came from the settlers from the Alpine region of Sabóia, who arrived in the early medieval times. The popular narrative says that a sabóian merchant, cleric or potentially even fugitive (depending on the version of the story) set up an inn by the road, most likely the one that came from Garvão to the Algarve called the estrada de Sabóia (road of Sabóia). This version is cited by the “old” charter of Odemira.

The Parish Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Sabóia is home to some interesting artistic work, like a canvas in oil on wood of Saint Anne and the Virgin, as well as another of Saint Joachim of the Flemish School (beginning of Century XVII).

These are the lands of the viola campaniça, a musical instrument typical of the lower Alentejo and the largest of the Portuguese guitars, rich in the quality of its sound. With 10 strings, it has the shape of a pronounced eight, with a rosette made out of woods of different colors representing the Alentejo sun. While the origin of this instrument is uncertain, it is known that it was played from time immemorial in dances, folias or as its most celebrated use, to accompany cantares à desgarrada, or cantes a despique (typical Portuguese singing). In the 60’s, this guitar was considered quite rare and close to cultural extinction. Measures were then taken to revitalize the campaniça culture, and it is now possible to hear this instrument in certain places throughout Odemira county, particularly in Sabóia.

Arriving in Totenique, you will find a stream of clear waters and leafy riparian vegetation. This place, where there were two fountains with flowing water, was once quite populated. It used to have a primary school, which eventually closed doors in 1983 during the time when almost the entire population left the valley in search of better living conditions. Recently, however, some of the old houses have been reoccupied by foreigners in search of peace and quiet.

The railway station, halfway between Sabóia and Santa Clara, is a typical Second Republic building, showing elements of this style including the clock, the scale and the tile panels. Between Santa Clara and Sabóia, the hiker’s attention will be drawn to the admirable outline of the landscape, the richness of the flora and the unexpected encounters with flocks of partridges, goldfinches among other birds.

Where to start

Sabóia
At the entrance of the village, next to the small garden.

Datasheet

Degree of Difficulty: Average

Extension: 13.5KM
Approximate duration: 4 h 30

Accumulated ascent: 0m
Accumulated descent: 400m

Maximum ALTITUDE: 155m
Minimum ALTITUDE: 40m

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
Villages of Santa Clara-a-Velha and Sabóia.

You can combine this route with the “From Santa Clara to the Dam”.

Warnings

Beware!
Before the train station, you have to walk for 300 m on the road. Walk cautiously and in the opposite direction of traffic.

There are other routes in this area. Pay attention to the signage.

Start typing and press Enter to search

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!