The Historical Way Stage
15 / 17 Km
This route will be a memorable day hiking, that will take you through remote paths covered in native and well preserved vegetation, descending into deep valleys and climbing again up into mountain heights to enjoy the view over the house of Odeceixe and the sea. At the end the Algarve will be in sight and the route will connect with the Fishermen’s Trail.
It is worth doing this trail in the spring, when the turbulence of the winter floods has subsided and life is emerging all around you. Both along the streams and in the shrubs, the biodiversity is absolutely astounding. Pterospartum tridentatum, oregano, sage-leaved rock-rose, pink rock-rose, laurustinus, myrtle, heather, broom, common hawthorn, mastic tree or flax-leaved daphne are just some of the bushes that abound along the route. Birds respond to this diversity by filling the space with the sound their singing and the views of their skillful flights. The vegetable gardens and fields occupy the floodplains with flat, fresh and fertile soils, ground that is quite rare in this landscape of poor, sparse soil.
The riparian galleries are fantastic, with ash, alder, portuguese oak, willow and tamarisk. The leaves of these trees are deciduous, letting the light enter the flowing streams in the winter and protecting the habitats during the summer with their shade. When crossing the streams, note the holes carved into the bedside barriers: they are made by the southwestern water vole, a friendly rodent reminiscent of a small beaver, not only in the shape of its body, but also in its aquatic agility. In autumn, it is worth asking the inhabitants of the rural houses to taste the unique fruit from their orchards. There are many local varieties of fruits and vegetables that are now being defended from extinction, by associations and by the rural communities themselves.
Where to start
In the church’s square (Largo Gomes Freire, called Quintalão), go in the direction of the cemetery, where you will find a trail marker.
In the beginning of Rua do Rio. Continue parallel to the stream on the south side, without crossing the road bridge.
Rules and Recommendations
Refreshments along the way
At km 14, you will cross the village of S. Miguel.
There are two options to take on this route
The longer trail passes through an incredibly beautiful valley. However, keep in mind that it cannot be hiked during periods of high precipitation. If here is rain during your hike, opt for the shorter trail.
In these periods of intense rain, the section between São Miguel and Odeceixe can be flooded, making it impossible to cross the Seixe stream. In this case finish your walk in the village of S.Miguel, or follow the road to Odeceixe.
The alternative, shorter trail starts at the marking to exit S.Teotónio.
One km after the departure of S.Teotónio, the road is marked alternately with mariolas (stacked stones) in order to safeguard the interests of the landlords and the hikers of Rota Vicentina.