The Historical Way Stage
This is the water section, where a different, green and vibrant Alentejo reveals itself before your eyes, with refreshing water streams and ponds – Ribeira do Torgal being the protagonist – where forests of valuable species such as ash, willow and alder trees abound, covering the banks of water streams.
The first part of this section crosses farmland, cork oak forest and scrubland, a mosaic of habitats essential for the birds and mammals abundant in the area. You may well find evidence of wild boar, a species quite common in this region. Insect-eating birds such as tits, nuthatches, warblers and short-toed treecreepers fly restlessly from tree to tree fighting the forest’s plagues efficiently and free of charge. There are years when weather conditions are anything but helpful to these efficient insectivores and the forests suffer as a result.
The second half of this walk takes one along part of the very beautiful Torgal river, a major tributary of the Mira river that empties into the Atlantic at Vila Nova de Milfontes. Pego das Pias is a uniquely beautiful spot where you’ll just want to stay a while, whether in the water or on land. It is a constant battle to keep this special place pristine so please don’t litter. On the banks and amongst the undergrowth there are hundreds of scented and medicinal plants, such as Genista tridentata found during spring, oregano during summer and wild asparagus during autumn. When you get to Odemira, you’ll meet the Mira river, still tidal here, even with over 20 km of its course to run.
Where to start
Next to the bus stop on the N120 road, which crosses S. Luís heading towards Garatuja and Cova da Zorra.
At the roundabout with the iron tree sculpture, near the river, towards the health centre.
Rules and Recommendations
This is along section. If you want to shorten the walk we give two suggestions:
From S. Luís
Take a taxi to the village of Zambujeira/Castelão, 5 km south along the road N120. From here, head initially along an asphalt road and then on to a dirt track until it intersects with the Rota Vicentina (4 km) on a concrete bridge over the river of Torgal. You will be 14 km from Odemira. Total: 18 km (note that this route is not marked).
Take a taxi to Ponte do Sol Posto (5 km) and ask to be dropped off at where the dirt track crosses on the right-hand side, 400 m before the bridge. Follow the path until you find the markers. It is 19 km from S. Luís. You can also combine both suggestions and shorten the walk even more.
Refreshments along the way
At km 11, you will find a detour of 3.5 km signposted up to the villages of Zambujeira and Castelão. Bear in mind that by choosing to go to these villages, you will add 7 km to a stage of 25 km (this route is not marked).