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Vilarinha

Circular Routes Stage

5 Km

This route runs along rugged terrain with deep slopes dug into the coastal plateau by the water lines over millions of years.

The slopes of this route are made up of forest and shrubs growing in worn soil, which has been transformed by millenia of erosion. At the bottom of the valleys, the deposit of sediments has created some floodplains, which are made deeper, flatter, and more fertile by the water lines. The trail crosses agricultural areas, forests, shrubs, and water lines. In the agricultural areas, the Hoopoes, larks, corn buntings, and white wagtails abound. In thestone pine forests, the woodpeckers make holes in the bark of the trunks in order to place the seeds there and extract the pine nuts. In the cork tree forests, there is also the strawberry tree, whose fruit is used to make the famous brandy medronho. In the water lines, dominated by the African tamarisk,you canharvest blackberries, fennel, wild roses, wild mint, and Pennyroyal. In the spring and summer, you can stop here for a moment to watch the creeping buttercups floating in the water.

75% of all species of amphibians in Portugal can be found in the wetlands of Vilarinha. There are salamanders, newts, frogs and toads, as well as a rare and protected species of frog – the Iberian painted frog (Discoglossus galganoi). Amphibians play important role in ecosystem, for example, by feeding on the aquatic larvae of mosquitoes they contribute to controlling insect-borne diseases.

This territory was deeply transformed by human beings, especially from the Mesolithic era, more than 8000 years ago A.C. These populations burned the forest to promote the growth of herbs and to favor the herbivorous animals, an important food base for them. After the fire, the less dense vegetation allowed for hunters to access and see their game. Depending on the time of year, these populations used temporary camps by the sea or in the mountains to better manage and make use of the abundance of fish and shellfish, as well as collect wild fruits and hunt. However, in safe and mild climates, these nomadic populations would make more permanent base camps. We know this to be true because we have since discovered their cemeteries and food storage facilities.

In fact, this pendulum-like movement of people, depending on the time of year, has continued to be practiced into the present day. People continue to leave their villages to hunt, fish or harvest wild plants, using knowledge, whose origin has been lost in time. For example, every year in late spring, many inhabitants of the southwest coast travel through the mountains to harvest oregano, which after drying, is stored to use for the rest of the year. Local hunters continue to hunt partridges, one of the species whose bones are most common in the region’s archaeological sites. For many locals, fishing is still a way of supplementing the livelihoods of families, especially in the spring and summer.

Where to start

Vilarinha
Next to the information boards.

 

Datasheet

Degree of Difficulty: Average

Extension: 5KM
Approximate duration: 2 h

Accumulated ascent: 0m
Accumulated descent: 150m

Maximum ALTITUDE: 120m
Minimum ALTITUDE: 20m

Recommended Season: September bis Juni

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

Warnings

Pay attention to the signs marked in white, red and yellow on the Circular Routes that overlap with the Historical Way.The signs marked yellow and red are for the Circular Routes.

In periods of intense rainfall, this path is not passable.

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