This path starts near Marmelete Church and continues along Rua Francisco Furtado, following the same path as the GR13 – Via Algarviana and Connection 5 – Marmelete to Aljezur. Further ahead, turn right, heading away from the GR13, towards the EN 267 and the Marmelete Accommodation Centre.
Cross the road and on the other side walk along a path that will take you through a variety of vegetable patches until you reach Saint Anthony’s Chapel. Then take the path on the left, which will take you through a grove of cork oaks – proof that cork is still a source of income here.
Cross Monte de Santo António and Covão, alongside chestnut trees, and walk beside the Barranco do Passil (Gully) taking special note of the green riparian vegetation.
Next, climb up through a eucalyptus grove towards the Picos Viewpoint, where it is worth stopping to enjoy the panoramic view of the coast. Finally, go back down towards Marmelete until you reach the starting point.
» RELIGIOUS HERITAGE
Saint Anthony's Chapel (N37º18’43.90” W8º39’54.61”)
Dating back to the late 18th century, the chapel is said to have been built on the exact spot where Saint Anthony appeared to a shepherd, saving his flock from wolves. Inside, there is a seventeenth-century image of the saint, which is taken on an annual procession on the third weekend of July.
Our Lady of Incarnation Church (N37º18’32.70” W8º40’02.10”)
According to documents from Torre do Tombo, this church dates back to the early 17th century. It has undergone various episodes of building work over the years, the last of which gave it a more modern look, replacing some of its more characteristic architectural features.
The Little Saint Statue (N37º18’21.87” W8º39’51.33”)
A monument dedicated to Our Lady of Good Voyage, this statue is located by the picnic area just outside Marmelete, next to the EN 267 heading towards Monchique.
» CULTURAL HERITAGE
Fountain (N37º18’36.18” W8º40’00.19”)Located on Rua Francisco Furtado, this fountain was recently restored and operates as a water supply for the local population.
Old Fountain or Lover's Fountain (N37º18’39.07” W8º40’07.69”)
This fountain’s interesting name came from it being the location where lovers would meet on Sunday afternoons, after Mass. Located in Travessa da Fonte, this is the oldest fountain in Marmelete, dating back to 1926. The water comes from a mine.
Casa do Medronho (Arbutus brandy Distillery) (N37º18’43.2” W8º40’09.9”)
This establishment is a recreation of a typical distillery, in which visitors are shown the entire process through which arbutus brandy is made, allowed to taste the drink as well as other regional products and, during the working season, watch the distillation process itself.
The vegetative cover in this area consists mainly of gum rockrose and heather that share the habitat with strawberry trees, cork oaks and a scattering of pines. On the second half of the route, the landscape changes, moving into territory predominantly made up of eucalyptus trees.
This area has a huge diversity of wildlife, including mammals, or at least traces of them (excrement or footprints, for example), such as: wild boar, genets, Egyptian mongooses and rabbits. The birds found here include short-toed snake eagles (Circaetus gallicus), which can be seen all over the uplands, and a few passerine species such as African stonechats (Saxicola torquatus) and Iberian chiffchaffs (Phylloscopus ibericus).
The food in Marmelete attracts visitors for many reasons. The region’s famous sausages, made using traditional methods, are an excellent place to start, including: chorizo, blood sausage, flour and blood sausage and “bucho” (meatstuffed tripe), eaten on the region’s magnificent bread, which is baked in wood-fired ovens.
Produced from the fruit of the strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo), arbutus brandy, or “medronho” as it is called in Portuguese, taking its name from the fruit, is the best-known alcoholic drink in the Monchique Mountains. A number of distilleries that make this veritable nectar still operate in the civil parish of Marmelete. The importance of the drink led to the “Casa do Medronho” being built, next to the Marmelete Civil Parish Council Office.
“Melosa” is produced exclusively in the Monchique mountain range and is also widely sought-after. A drink that looks like a liqueur, it is made from a mixture of arbutus brandy and honey.
Honey is also produced locally, from lavender, strawberry trees, rock roses and other local flowers. Producers of honey also sell honeycombs, “água mel” (honey-water) and some traditional desserts such as honey cake and honey flan.
Make the most of your trip to try some of the more traditional local dishes:
If you’re in Marmelete in May, ask for the famous “Bolo de Maio” (May Cake) or “Bolo do Tacho” (Pan cake) – made with coffee, chocolate, honey, cinnamon and sometimes brandy.
More information: Vamus Algarve