This connection starts at Lagos train station, taking you past the marina. Once you’ve crossed the footbridge, turn right onto Avenida dos Descobrimentos and then go straight ahead at the first roundabout (Praça D. João II), along the EN125 national road, until you see the next roundabout. Cross at the zebra crossing (next to the GALP petrol stations) so that you’re on the left side of the road, then go left until you reach Avenida da Fonte Coberta. Down this avenue you’ll reach a roundabout where the route heads right along a path that will take you past Falfeira and over the national road, towards Monte Judeu.
The path now winds between houses with small gardens and vegetable patches. Once on the road in Monte Judeu, turn right and then immediately left. You will now walk among almond trees fenced in by walls that section off the land – landscape characteristic of this area of the western Algarve (the “Barrocal”).
You’ll reach Colégio easily, then continue towards Bensafrim from there, through a tunnel under the A22 (Via do Infante Motorway). When you get to Bensafrim, cross the Machada Stream to reach the end point of this connection.
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An example of the transition between the hills and the Barrocal – the strip of land between the coast and the hills – can be seen along this route: the imposing Bensafrim escarpment. Along this connecting route, which will take you through the Barrocal strip, you’ll be able to spot farmland in the fertile valleys made up of traditional dryland orchards populated with carob (Ceratonia siliqua), olive (Olea europaea), almond (Prunus dulcis) and fig trees (Ficus carica).
In terms of flora, several Mediterranean plants are particularly notable, specifically the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus), thyme (Thymus sp.), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), kermes oak (Quercus coccifera) and holm oak (Quercus rotundifolia).
The Bensafrim Stream is extremely important to the region’s water network, it being the main watercourse in the Municipality of Lagos. Starting in the Espinhaço de Cão Hills, this is the stream that flows directly into Lagos Bay 15km later, having brought together the waters of smaller streams, such as the Machada, Corte do Bispo, Sabrosa and Candeeira. It also plays an important role in the hydrology of the Lagos region, as it feeds directly into the Almádena – Odiáxere aquifer, also serving as an important water source for local farmers.
» REST STOPS AND SUPPORT SERVICES ALONG THE ROUTE
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