This Connection promises to introduce hikers to the orography of the Algarve mountains, with uphill stretches providing breathtaking views as far as the eye can see and green valleys stretching down between the hillsides. Although it is a particularly difficult stretch, the beauty you’ll find along this route makes it worth the effort.
The route starts in the centre of Parises and follows the path in front of the bus stop, along with the PR2 SBA - “Between the Valleys, Fountains and Memories of the Caldeirão Hills” Walking Path. You’ll go past the public wash house and then along the old path, where you’ll find a well with a water wheel. Carry on along between the walls that fence in the small vegetable gardens, which are fed by several watercourses in the area.
The path carries on along Zambujeiro Gorge, which flows into the Ruivas Stream further ahead. Here, you’ll be able to look out onto the rolling relief of the Algarve uplands, where the hills are covered in cork oaks, rockroses and strawberry trees. At the bottom of the hill you’ll reach Várzea do Velho, which was once populated by upland locals.
Before it reaches the Ruivas Stream, this connection diverges from the PR2 SBA – “Between the Valleys, Fountains and Memories of the Caldeirão Hills” Walking Path, which continues on straight ahead, while the connection turns right as it nears the Ameixeira Stream.
Next, carry on among the cork trees to Muda Gorge, which was named after the small village of Muda, and the hamlet of Cova da Muda, which can be seen at the top on the right.
Further on, cross the Alportel Stream – the perfect example of a typical Mediterranean stream, its flow varying throughout the year – followed by an uphill stretch overlooking Estacas Valley, where you’ll cross the stream once again.
Here, the connection will run alongside the “Ribeira de Alportel Trail” Walking Path. Have a rest in the shade provided by ancient carob trees as you read some of the information on the panels within the Alportel Stream Biodiversity Station, paying special attention to the butterflies, damselflies and some of the flora.
You will also find a picnic table on the banks of the stream calling out for you to take a well-deserved, refreshing rest. Once you’ve passed an old watermill, cross the Alportel Stream for the last time, heading towards Tareja. From there, head towards Campina. As you near Campina, the connection goes straight ahead, diverging from the “Ribeira de Alportel Trail” Walking Path, which turns right.
Delight in the narrow path between walls that fence off small vegetable gardens in the Campina area. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself in the beautiful, typical town of São Brás de Alportel. Carry on to the square called Largo de São Sebastião, where this connection ends. Take the opportunity to look around the town, where each street emanates tradition and authenticity. Delight in the traditional flavours you’ll find here – your stomach is sure to thank you for it!
» HISTORIC, ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND RELIGIOUS HERITAGE
São Brás de Alportel
The vegetation in the Algarve uplands is mostly made up of shrubs and tree cover that provides food and shelter for many animals, the most notable of which are:
» 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