The path starts in the square by the Church of Our Lady of Incarnation, in Raposeira. From here, cross the road at the traffic lights and head towards Ingrina and Zavial. Turn right at the junction, where this path will coincide with the GR13 - Via Algarviana for about 200 metres. Keep heading straight, keeping to the banks of the Serra da Borges Stream, which will flow into the Zorreira Stream, further on, coming together to form the Benaçoitão Stream which then flows into the sea at Barranco Beach. This valley is filled with lush vegetation, fantastic cliffs and birdsong. You will now have arrived at Barranco Beach. This is where the path splits, and you can choose whether to head towards Ingrina and the Zavial Fort (the longer route) or go straight to the Menhirs.
Extended Route | Added Stop – 4.50 km (round trip):
Follow a path that takes you uphill past João Vaz Beach and Ingrina Beach. Follow the road for 250 m, then turn right to reach the ruins of the Zavial Fort. Go back the way you came until you reach the fork in the road at Barranco Beach, and take the fork towards the menhirs.
Continuation of the Short Route:
Follow the path alongside the gully that will go on to lead you past pine trees and, later, some houses. When you reach the paved road, the route continues to the left, with the Padrão Menhir 200 m away; if you continue for a further 700 m, you will come across the Milrei Menhir along a path to the right. Follow this path through plantations of pine trees and take the path to the left, following it until you reach the junction. Head towards Hortas do Tabual. Make your way across this little hamlet, past the small chapel, and then head downhill towards Outeiros Stream. Cross the stream and then take the path on the left alongside it, following it until you reach a junction with a paved road and the GR13 – Via Algarviana. Turn left and follow the same route taken by the GR13 until you get back to the starting point.
Raposeira was once home to Prince Henry the Navigator. A traditionally rural village, mills, wells, fountains and an old stone fountain can be found, as well as Rossio das Eiras (an area which is often filled with market stalls) and visible traces of abundant fishing and farm work.
The ancient Neolithic settlement in the region provided Raposeira with an enviable concentration of megalithic monuments, of which the Padrão Menhir (about 6,500 years old) and the Aspradantas Menhir, cult monuments of a magical-religious nature, are particularly notable.
More recent constructions include the Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel and the Church of Our Lady of Incarnation. The former, which is classified as a National Monument, was frequented by Prince Henry the Navigator and would also certainly have been attended by other navigators, having been the only religious building in the area to withstand the 1755 Earthquake. The latter, which dates back to the 16th century, provides an example of the Manueline style in the arch of its apse.
Along the coastal area, on the rocky spur of "Ponta da Fisga" (Fisga Point), the ruins of the artillery base are clearly visible, as are those of the Santo Inácio do Zavial Fort.
» PATRIMÓNIO NATURAL E CULTURAL
Barranco do Benaçoitão (Gully)
This peaceful, wild and extraordinarily beautiful place served as a refuge for former guerrillas who fought for King Miguel (1802-1866) from 1834 onwards, after the end of the Liberal Civil War in Portugal. A man known as João Moleiro, from the hamlet of Guadalupe, is known to have taken refuge in a cave here, though he ended up being murdered by a man called João Pacheco (who was paid for his service with a suit), hired to do so by the wife of one of his victims, Maria da Cruz Pablos.
Alto de Milrei
This reference point, which stands at an altitude of 113 metres, is the perfect spot from which to observe the surrounding landscape, where menhirs, farmland and the immensity of the Ocean can all be enjoyed. To the east, Cerro da Atalaia (in Praia da Luz, Lagos) is the furthest point visible and, to the west, you can see as far as the famous, magical rocks of Sagres.
Hortas do Tabual
The origins of this picturesque rural village are unknown, but reports of its existence have been found to date back to the first half of the 18th century. By that time, it was already part of the civil parish of Vila do Bispo, and has remained as such to this day. If you can spare some time, stop there, enjoy the streets and go into the tiny chapel, which was built by the locals to honour Our Lady of Fátima.
» POINTS OF INTEREST ON THE EXTENDED ROUTE:
João Vaz, Ingrina e Zavial
These three sites are located along one of the most beautiful stretches of coast in this part of the Algarve, made up of imposing cliffs, lacy rocks and even curious cavities. Its geographical location did not fail to make its mark on the men who came across it in bygone times. In fact, silver smuggling took place here in the 16th century, on the coast near Raposeira.
More information: Vamus Algarve