This trail explores the countryside of the village of Bordeira, in a journey through time in the rare woods of native vegetation that exist in the Algarve.
The trail ascends slowly to the Endiabrada (a place where six paths cross), continuing then through a cool, shady forest of cork oaks. The forest floor is covered in beautiful ferns.
After crossing a stream, the path meanders through a well-preserved valley. Earth dams have created two lakes here. The vegetation becomes lush, both around the lakes and on the dark side of the hills, covered in native oak woodlands which are almost impenetrable due to the amount of ferns and lianas. On the lakeshores, alongside majestic cork oaks, there are willows and ash trees, as well as marsh vegetation like cattails and grass. Along the way, the cork oak woods are joined by heathers, brambles, wild roses and other plants common to the Meditarranean scrubland.
The ruins of a small rammed-earth house mark the beginning of a timberland (maritime pine and eucalyptus.)
The path goes down towards the coastline, and you can see numerous hills framed by the sea. Eucalyptus forests may have taken over the landscape, but these woods are old and the native vegetation is starting to recover.
Arriving at Samouqueira, the path continues through the Bordeira’s riverlands. The riparian gallery is dominated by tamarisk trees, willows and cork oaks, as well as reeds and brambles. The wetland pastures are teeming with reeds and common clubrushes.
Near Bordeira, the valley reveals a mosaic of vegetable gardens, pastures and orchards. The dark side of the valley has an old, lush oak forest, where you can easily identify cork oaks, strawberry trees, laurestines, briar roots and Stauracanthus boivinii, surrounded by ferns and lianas. These shady slopes offer plenty of shelter and food for the wildlife, which attracts the presence of carnivorous species: the common genet, the Egyptian mongoose, the badger, the weasel, the fox and, not many decades ago, the Iberian lynx.
Circular trail: yes
Distance: 16 km (or 7 km in alternative)
Average duration: 5h (or 2h)
Cumulative elevation gain: 415 metres D+
Type of path: dirt paths
Start of the trail: 37º 11' 46.00" N 8º 51' 39.48" W