Santiago do Cacém » Vale Seco

The Historical Way Stage

18 Km

This section of the trail is dominated by cork trees, the Alentejo’s emblematic species. Vieira Natividade, a well-known Portuguese forester, said: “No other tree gives us so much while requiring so little”. The cork tree is crucial to the local economy and supports an extraordinarily wide-ranging ecosystem. Cork oak forests also support various economic activities such as beekeeping, nature orientated tourism, the collection of edible or medicinal mushrooms (and even mushrooms used in the making of cosmetics), as well as husbandry of local animal breeds such as the famed black pig of the area and several different species of Alentejo cows.

Being an evergreen species, cork oaks provide shelter and food right up the food chain the whole year around. They are home to numerous insects and spiders which provide food for a wealth of different birds and there are over fifty different species that commonly nest in cork forests, among which can be found at least three different species of eagle, the short-toed, booted and Bonelli’s. Other species of wildlife, such as the wildcat, genet or weasel can also be found.

Where to start

Santiago do Cacém
At the Church of Santiago do Cacém, descending towards the Parque Urbano do Rio da Figueira.

Vale Seco
On the N120 road, between Cercal and Santiago, on the road to the Campilhas reservoir. 1st crossroads on the dirt track.

 

Datasheet

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: 2

Extension: 18KM
Approximate duration: 6hours

Accumulated ascent: 350M
Accumulated descent: 400M

Maximum ALTITUDE: 270M
Minimum ALTITUDE: 110M

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
At 12.5 km, making a detour of 1 km, you will reach the village of Paiol.

Accommodation in Vale Seco
Vale Seco has little offer of accommodation in the area. Book in advance.

Santiago do Cacém is a city full of history. Take advantage of your stay to do the Circular Route of Historic Santiago and get to know the main points of interest.

Warnings

This section overlaps with other routes. Pay attention to the signs.

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