The path crosses the Bordeira valley, the ancestral Bordalete pine forest and a field of dunes on top of the cliff over the beach, where you can let yourself be surprised by the plant life exclusive to this coast.
Starting from the charismatic village of Bordeira, you’ll walk through the sparse scrubland on the sunny slopes and the reeds and bulrushes on the wetlands. The riverside gallery forms a leafy corridor of poplar trees, ash trees, willows and brambles, inhabited by a diverse wildlife. The wetlands are used as pasture for cattle on the Bordalete hill.
Climbing up to the coastal platform, you’ll reach the Mesquita’s geodesic landmark. From here, your sight will travel along the coastline, north to the black schist bay of Arrifana, and south to the light-coloured limestone of Pontal da Carrapateira. Looking closer, you can see a low, wind-swept scrubland of gum rockrose.
Along the Carratapeira cliff, there’s a striking field of dunes, teeming with rare plants. As examples we have the Stauracanthus vicentinus and Astragalus vicentinus, or the aromatic Teucrium vicentinum and Thymus camphoratus, known in Portuguese as tomilho-canforado or tomilho-de-Sagres, names alluding to the Vicentine Coast. Strong aromas blend in the air: plants like these and others like the curry plant, the juniper, the Spanish lavender, the corema, and the Halimium halimifolium, adapted to the dry conditions and the sea winds, produce oils and resins to prevent water loss.
In this place, shades of rose take over the usual schist-grey of the cliff; it’s the Grésde-Silves sandstone. Stepping away from the cliff, you can admire the Carrapateira’s long stretch of sand and dunes.
The Bordalete Pine Forest, with around 40 hectares, was planted to produce pine wood for naval construction. With its monumental stone pines and its location in a migratory corridor, it is also a valuable habitat for birds.
Back to Bordeira, you’ll follow a trail on a foothill of steep slopes, covered in groves of cork oaks and beds of heather, cistus and gorse.
Circular trail: yes
Distance: 13,5 km (or 6 km in alternative)
Average duration: 4h to 4h30m (or 2h)
Cumulative elevation gain: 325 metres D+
Type of path: dirt and sand paths
Start of the trail: 37º 11' 46.00" N 8º 51' 39.48" W