Entre Montes e Moinhos (Past Hamlets and Mills) | Vaqueiros, Alcoutim
A 4 km audio guided route through villages in the municipality of Alcoutim. Discover the history and natural heritage of the region, with an emphasis on rural architecture - mills, ovens and haystacks.
Location
Region: Algarve; Municipality: Alcoutim; Civil Parish: Vaqueiros between the hamlets of Malfrades and Zambujal.
Accessible by car
From Vaqueiros, take the EM 506 towards Cachopo. Turn left when you see the sign to Malfrades. If you’re approaching from the South (Vila Real de Santo António, EN 125 or A22 – Via do Infante) take the IC 27 towards Mértola and then exit towards Furnazinhas. Take the EM 505 through the village and then cross the hamlets of Soudes and Zambujal until you reach Malfrades.
Starting Point
Finishing point
At the entrance to Malfrades.
Type of route
Circular
Location
Region: Algarve; Municipality: Alcoutim; Civil Parish: Vaqueiros between the hamlets of Malfrades and Zambujal.
Accessible by car
From Vaqueiros, take the EM 506 towards Cachopo. Turn left when you see the sign to Malfrades. If you’re approaching from the South (Vila Real de Santo António, EN 125 or A22 – Via do Infante) take the IC 27 towards Mértola and then exit towards Furnazinhas. Take the EM 505 through the village and then cross the hamlets of Soudes and Zambujal until you reach Malfrades.
Starting Point
Finishing point
At the entrance to Malfrades.
Type of route
Circular
Minimum Altitude
210 m
Maximum Altitude
257 m
Length
4.10 km
Time required
2h (approx.)
Cumulative elevation gain
82 m
Cumulative elevation loss
79 m
Minimum Altitude
210 m
Maximum Altitude
257 m
Length
4.10 km
Time required
2h (approx.)
Cumulative elevation gain
82 m
Cumulative elevation loss
79 m
Description of Itinerary

Download the audioguide before you start the walk:

  • MP3 file: 59 Mb
  • MP4 file: 160 Mb

          

 

The trail starts on the municipal road at the entrance to Malfrades, heading into the hamlet to the right where you’ll find a small square with a bus stop. Take the right turn immediately after the bus stop. This route converges with the GR13 – Via Algarviana here, so follow the signs for the GR13 and immerse yourself in Malfrades.

At the next junction, turn left, diverging from the Via Algarviana. You should be able to spot a post marking Point 1. Follow the stream until it intersects with the road, which you should then cross, continuing along a dirt track. Please bear in mind that in the rainy season you may have to cross the gorge a few times.
The path then heads uphill, taking you up to two windmills. From there, it starts heading downhill once again towards Zambujal.

When you reach the paved road, cross it and follow the road into the village, where you’ll find Point 2. At the fork, veer left towards a small courtyard, then turn down the narrow street on the left just before you reach the square.

At the junction, turn left towards the paved road where you’ll find another square and Point 3, which tells you to turn right. Next, turn left onto the paved road and then right, until you reach a fork where you should go straight ahead towards Vaqueiros, where you’ll find Point 4.

Keep to the main path until you reach a junction, where you should turn left and then go up the main path to a post signalling Point 5.

At the next junction you’ll find four paths ahead of you. Take the second one on the left, which heads towards the road. When you reach the road, turn right and, keeping as far over to the side as possible, head back towards the starting point.

 

What will I see?

Flora

  • Almond Tree - Prunus dulcis
  • Gum Cistus – Cistus ladanifer
  • Fig Tree – Ficus carica
  • Oleander - Nerium oleander
  • Strawberry Tree – Arbutus unedo
  • Olive Tree - Olea europaea
  • Stone Pine – Pinus pinea
  • Wrinkled Rockrose - Cistus crispus
  • French Lavender – Lavandula stoechas
  • Cork Oak – Quercus suber

  • Invasive species:
    • Giant Reed - Arundo donax L.
    • Prickly Pear - Opuntia maxima Miller

Fauna

  • Rabbit - Oryctolagus cuniculus
  • Brown Hare - Lepus europaeus
  • Red-legged Partridge - Alectoris rufa

USEFUL INFORMATION

  • Along the route you will be instructed to pause the audio guide until you reach a certain location;
  • Even if not instructed to do so, you should pause the audio guide if you have not yet reached the Location being described, as there may be discrepancies between the audio timings and the time it takes you to get to certain locations;
  • When walking along tarmacked roads always keep as close to the edge of the road as you can to keep out of the way of any passing cars;
  • If taking this guided route during the rainy season, we recommend using trekking poles and taking a towel, as river crossings may prove difficult and you may have to take your shoes off.
Useful contact information
  • Alcoutim Town Hall: (+351) 281 540 500
  • Vaqueiros Civil Parish Council: (+351) 281 498 220
  • Almargem Association: (+351) 289 412 959
  • Alcoutim Health Centre: (+351) 281 540 140
  • Alcoutim Volunteer Firefighters: (+351) 281 540 450
  • National Republican Guard – Alcoutim: (+351) 281 540 010
  • Municipal Civil Defence Corps: (+351) 962 864 914 (COM) / (+351) 962 373 348
  • Alcoutim Tourist Information Office: (+351) 281 546 179
  • If you see a fire, call: 117
  • In the event of an emergency, call: 112

 

Downloads
Leaflet with Map
MP3 (59 Mb, audio): Entre Montes e Moinhos
MP4 (160 Mb, audio+video, for Smartphone - 720x406): Entre Montes e Moinhos
Track GPX: Entre Montes e Moinhos
Track KML: Entre Montes e Moinhos