Circular Routes Stage
14.5 / 16 Km
Part of this route goes along the Seixe River with its clear waters and riparian galleries, which are hotspots for wildlife. The fresh, cool stream contrastswith the dramatic view over the Seixe Valley and São Miguel, which presents to us the final part of the route.
There are some rare species of fish that can be found in this area like the ray-finned fish (Squalius aradensis), classified as Critically Endangered and the gypsy barbel (Luciobarbus sclateri), an endemic species of the southern Iberian Peninsula with a status of Endangered. These species need moderately deep, clear running water with stones and vegetation on the banks of the river. Between the loss of this specific habitat and the introduction of invasive species, the quantity of this rare fish species has diminished. In these rivers, different invasive species of fish have been identified, for example, the pumpkinseed fish (Lepomis gibbosus) and the eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki). Other characteristic animals of the Seixe River are the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), the Iberian emerald lizard (Lacerta schreiberi), different kinds of bats, and dozens of bird species. In the river and the small farming dams, you can still find two species of turtles: the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) and the Spanish pond turtle (Mauremys leprosa).
The riparian galleries of the Seixe River contain willows, ashes, alders, and Portuguese oaks (Quercus faginea). Sometimes you can spot two relic species of the flora of Monchique: mirbeck’s oak (Quercus canarensis), an occidental Mediterranean oak which retains its leaves all year long and is one of the rarest species of trees in Portugal; and the pontic rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum), a rare bush endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and the region of the Black Sea with high scientific interest for being considered a relic of flora of the tertiary period (Laurissilva). This route also boasts one of the rarest arboreal habitats in all of Portugal, home to pungent animals, and small woods of black alder (Alnus glutinosa), which occupy the land next to the river, coated with ivy and surrounded by common dog-violets and royal fern.
The route also travels along areas of forests of maritime pine, eucalyptus, cork trees and Portuguese oak. In the magnificent Mediterranean brush abounds the wild-olive, Mediterranean buckthorn, sage-leaved rock-rose, fennel, wild asparagus, calamints, laurustinus, strawberry trees, Cynara algarbiensis, lavender, gall oak, common heather, Portuguese heath, gum rockrose, Genista hirsuta, poplar-leaved cistus, broom, butcher’s-broom, wild carrot, and the mastic tree. You can also find birds like pipits, swallows, wagtails, larks, corn buntings, bee-eaters, black redstarts, common linnets, European goldfinches, and Eurasian stone-curlews. When night falls, the bats start their feasting on insects and the owls search silently for their prey in open areas. In the valley of Seixe River, you can find traces of prehistoric human remains from the time of the Roman and Arabic occupation.
Where to start
By the football field
At the start of Rua do Rio, in the direction of Largo 1º de Maio (the main square of Odeceixe).
Rules and Recommendations
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.