Connection 8: Via Algarviana (Vaqueiros) to Martim Longo - 18.70 km
The Foupana Stream, with its rich vegetation, is one of the highlights of this trail, which crosses holm oaks and small villages, going up and down hills.
Connection 8: Via Algarviana (Vaqueiros) to Martim Longo - 18.70 km
Location
Region: Algarve; Municipality: Alcoutim.
Starting Point
Finishing point
Headquarters of Inter-Vivos – North-eastern Algarve Youth Association (formerly Martim Longo Primary School)
Type of route
Derivation of GR13, linear, general
Location
Region: Algarve; Municipality: Alcoutim.
Starting Point
Finishing point
Headquarters of Inter-Vivos – North-eastern Algarve Youth Association (formerly Martim Longo Primary School)
Type of route
Derivation of GR13, linear, general
Degree of difficulty
III – Reasonably Hard
Minimum Altitude
169 m
Maximum Altitude
291 m
Water available
Yes
Local corner shops
Yes
Length
18.70 km
Time required
5h (approx.)
Cumulative elevation gain
625 m
Cumulative elevation loss
561 m
Degree of difficulty
III – Reasonably Hard
Minimum Altitude
169 m
Maximum Altitude
291 m
Water available
Yes
Local corner shops
Yes
Length
18.70 km
Time required
5h (approx.)
Cumulative elevation gain
625 m
Cumulative elevation loss
561 m
Description of Itinerary

This connection starts next to the old Vaqueiros primary school and intersects with Sector 4 of the GR13 – Via Algarviana and PR7 ACT – Up hill, Down hill. The route takes you through Vaqueiros, past the Main Church, then goes uphill to the left until you reach the highest point in the hamlet. Then, at the intersection, turn left and head away from the settlement. About 600 m later, Sector 4 of the GR13 – Via Algarviana carries on straight ahead while this connection turns right, along with the PR7 ACT – Up hill, Down hill, towards Pão Duro.

Along the way, the landscape is dominated by dense rockrose-covered areas (Cistus sp.) and scattered with groves of stone pines, known locally as “projects”, since landowners here will have received funding to plant them. The relief is rugged and rich in natural viewpoints across the landscape.

At the entrance to Pão Duro, the paths diverge for about 100 m, the PR7 ACT – Up hill, Down hill turning right and the connection left. At this point, you might want to make a small detour to re-energise in the small picnic area on the left. The routes then converge and diverge once again for another 100 m, and go on to converge yet again for about 450 metres. Once you’ve crossed the bridge over the Foupanilha Stream, the two routes leave the paved road and continue along the dirt track at the first bend, which is where the two paths diverge for good; the connection turning left towards Pêro Dias while the PR7 ACT – Up hill, Down hill, turns right.

From there you’ll find yourself going up hill, then down again to the Foupanilha Stream, which you’ll be able to ford. Small subsistence gardens line the riverbanks here. This route will have all your senses heightened to the sounds and smells around you, all of which convey a sense of tranquillity and perfect harmony with nature in its wildest state. Lose yourself in this feeling! The route will take you to the top of these hills, which provide panoramic views and the perfect opportunity to catch your breath. Next, the trail will begin to descend towards the Foupana Stream, which will be easier to cross this time thanks to the stepping stones here.

After about 1 km you will reach Pêro Dias. Carry on straight at the crossroads you’ll find as you approach the settlement, and head through the hamlet. At the first junction turn right towards the paved road, leaving Pêro Dias. The path then turns left after about 300 m, down a dirt track towards Barrada.

At Barrada, the connection intersects with the PR6 ACT – Living Memory, converging with it almost the entire way to Martim Longo, where the route ends.

What will I see?

» HISTORIC, ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND RELIGIOUS HERITAGE

Vaqueiros

  • Main Church.

Martim Longo

  • Memory Corner – Singing traditional “Janeiras” (Epiphany) songs;
  • Memory Corner – Bread;
  • Chapel of the Holy Spirit;
  • Saint Sebastian’s Chapel;
  • “The Hunter” wire sculpture;
  • Main Church.

 

» NATURE

One of the best preserved streams in the Algarve, the Foupana Stream is particularly notable along this route, with its rich riverside vegetation made up of ash, willow and oleander trees.

Along the Connection you’ll be able to spot holm (Quercus rotundifolia) and cork oaks (Quercus suber), which always deserve a mention, as the habitats they create are home to mammals such as cape hares (Lepus capensis) and European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), which you may even spot, as well as boars (Sus scrofa) and foxes (Vulpes vulpes), which are harder to see.

Dozens of species of birds can also be spotted here, specifically Bonelli’s eagle (Aquila fasciata) and Dartford warblers (Sylvia undata), short-toed snake eagles (Circaetus gallicus), red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa) and golden orioles (Oriolus oriolus), which can only be spotted in spring and summer.

 

 

» REST STOPS AND SUPPORT SERVICES ALONG THE ROUTE

  • Pão Duro;
  • Barrada.

 

» CASH MACHINE

  • Martim Longo.
Useful contact information
  • Almargem Association: (+351) 289 412 959
  • Odiana Association: (+351) 281 531 171
  • Terras do Baixo Guadiana Association: (+351) 281 546 285
  • Algarve Tourism Bureau: (+351) 289 800 403
  • Alcoutim Volunteer Firefighters: (+351) 281 546 623
  • Alcoutim Town Hall: (+351) 281 540 500
  • Alcoutim Health Centre: (+351) 281 540 140 
  • Martim Longo Health Centre Branch: (+351) 281 498 194
  • National Republican Guard - Alcoutim: (+351) 281 540 010
  • National Republican Guard - Martim Longo: (+351) 281 498 131
  • “Inter-Vivos - Associação de Jovens do Nordeste Algarvio” (North-eastern Algarve Youth Association): (+351) 281 498 518
  • Martim Longo Civil Parish Council: (+351) 281 498 414
  • Vaqueiros Civil Parish Council: (+351) 281 498 200
  • Alcoutim Tourist Information Office: (+351) 281 546 179
  • In the event of an emergency, call 112
  • If you see a fire, call 117
Downloads
Track GPX: Ligação 8 - Vaqueiros a Martim Longo
Track KML: Ligação 8 - Vaqueiros a Martim Longo
GR13 - Via Algarviana Guide: Connection 8