Sector 3 - Furnazinhas to Vaqueiros - 22.60 km
The trail crosses the typical mountain landscape of the Algarve, with villages of traditional houses and small vegetable gardens. Stop at the Fonte da Parra’s picnic park.
Sector 3 - Furnazinhas to Vaqueiros - 22.60 km
Starting Point
Degree of difficulty
III - Reasonably Hard
Minimum Altitude
91 m
Maximum Altitude
320 m
Water available
At the start and end
Length
22.60 km
Time required
6 h (approx.)
Cumulative elevation gain
635 m
Cumulative elevation loss
592 m
Local corner shops
At the start and end
Starting Point
Degree of difficulty
III - Reasonably Hard
Minimum Altitude
91 m
Maximum Altitude
320 m
Water available
At the start and end
Length
22.60 km
Time required
6 h (approx.)
Cumulative elevation gain
635 m
Cumulative elevation loss
592 m
Local corner shops
At the start and end
Description of Itinerary

The third sector of the Via Algarviana begins in Furnazinhas. Once you’ve walked through the village, heading north, the route will take you through a rugged landscape with areas of clear land, pastures, lots of rockrose bushes and, occasionally, small vegetable gardens still used by the locals. The relief here is rugged, the land intersected by several small watercourses. Occasionally, you’ll come across groves of maritime pines.

Hikers will find small settlements along the route, some of which are now almost completely uninhabited, such as Monte Novo, located next to the municipal road and at one of the highest altitudes in the area (215 m). The next settlement you’ll come across is Monte das Preguiças, where you’ll find a table with benches near a small dam – the perfect place to stop and take in excellent views over the region.

Make sure to note some of the traditional upland houses as you walk through Malfrades.

From here, the route heads towards Vaqueiros past small subsistence gardens, in an area dominated by stone pines. Make the most of the high point where you’ll find the fire lookout tower to enjoy a 360º panoramic view and make a short stop.

The path continues with some ascents and descents until it meets the PR8 ACT – In search of the Enchanted Valley Path on the EM 505 road, the two converging for the last 3 km of this sector. You’ll find the Fonte da Parra picnic park upon reaching the Vaqueiros Dam, a location perfect for enjoying the view and for a small snack as you near the end of this sector. The dam serves as a backdrop to the remainder of this part of the route, with Vaqueiros soon coming into view.

Vaqueiros is the civil parish seat and is its most populated village. Built over a Moorish hamlet, this is the civil parish with the largest number of settlements in the municipality of Alcoutim, its place names attesting to the ancient rural communities that would have existed here at the time of the Moors. Many Roman archaeological remains have also been found here and have been linked to mining operations. Many of the inhabitants have their own vegetable gardens where they grow what they need throughout the year, their land serving as their “supermarket” and saving them trips into the city.

 

What will I see?

» HISTORIC, ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND RELIGIOUS HERITAGE

  • Rural heritage (threshing floors, barns, wells, norias);
  • Vaqueiros Main Church (16th Century).

 

» NATURE

Holm (Quercus rotundifolia) and cork oak (Quercus suber) groves are also notable in this sector. Here you will come across some watercourses with rich riverside vegetation, including oleanders, willows and ash trees.

Dozens of species of birds can also be spotted here, some of which live here year-round including Dartford warblers (Sylvia undata) and buzzards (Buteo buteo), as well as golden orioles (Oriolus oriolus) and bee-eaters (Merops apiaster) in spring.

 

» REST STOPS AND SUPPORT SERVICES ALONG THE ROUTE

The only cafés or shops along this route are at the beginning and end. As such, walkers are advised to plan ahead, taking enough food and water with them, taking into account the distance they intend to walk, the weather and the degree of difficulty of the route.

 

» CASH MACHINE

No cash machines are available in this sector.

Useful contact information
  • Almargem Association: (+351) 289 412 959
  • Odiana Association: (+351) 281 531 171
  • Terras do Baixo Guadiana Association: (+351) 281 546 282
  • Algarve Tourism Bureau: (+351) 289 800 403
  • Alcoutim Volunteer Firefighters: (+351) 281 546 623
  • Alcoutim Town Hall: (+351) 281 540 500
  • Castro Marim Town Hall: (+351) 281 510 740
  • Alcoutim Health Centre: (+351) 281 540 140
  • Castro Marim Health Centre: (+351) 281 530 100
  • National Republican Guard - Alcoutim: (+351) 281 540 010
  • National Republican Guard - Castro Marim: (+351) 281 531 004
  • Odeleite Civil Parish Council: (+351) 281 495 148
  • Vaqueiros Civil Parish Council: (+351) 281 498 200
  • Alcoutim Tourist Information Office: (+351) 281 546 179
  • Castro Marim Tourist Information Office: (+351) 281 531 232
  • In the event of an emergency, call 112
  • If you see a fire, call 117
Downloads
GR13 - Via Algarviana guide: Sector 3
Track GPX: Sector 3 - Furnazinhas to Vaqueiros
Track KML: Sector 3 - Furnazinhas to Vaqueiros