VisitAlgarve - Portal de Turismo do Algarve

Vilarinha – Vale Fuzeiros Archaeological Circuit

The trail is organised around a set of monuments from different eras, transporting the visitor through a journey in time, from Prehistory to the Middle Ages.

Vale Fuzeiros is located between the Barrocal and the Serra, in an outcropping of red Triassic sandstone - the Grés de Silves formation. The village is surrounded by vegetable gardens, citrus groves and dryland orchards with almond and olive trees.

Along the ascent to Pedreirinha hill, you may see a curious series of sedimentary layers ranging from white to red (a unique site for observing the complete Triassic sequence of the Algarve Basin). The slopes are lined with Mediterranean scrub: juniper bushes are accompanied by cistus, gorse and, in the clearings, bylavender and thyme.

On the ridge, blocks of red sandstone emerge amid the dense vegetation of juniper and kermes oak. In these soft rocks a series of graves were carved, dating from the Early Middle Ages; the Necropolis of Pedreirinha, consisting of three adult graves and one of a child.

Walking along the ridgeline, you’ll come across Vilarinha’s stone alignment, made up of four red sandstone menhirs carved at about 6000 to 4500 years BC. The stones are laid out in a northeast-southeast alignment, and they are a unique occurrence in the megalithic context of Western Algarve. The fertile soils of these valleys and the hills to the north (which provide plenty of game and wood) have favoured the creation of settlements since Prehistory.

The Necropolis of Carrasqueira (Early Middle Ages) is composed of five graves carved in distinct rocky outcrops, one of sandstone, with two twin graves, and another of grés, with three individual graves.

Crossing a small cluster of houses, you reach the Necropolis of Forneca, of the same era. The grave was a simple pit, closed by a single slab, suggesting a link between these necropolises and the Visigothic period.

Municipality: Silves
Location:
Vale Fuzeiros
Type:
walking
Circular trail:
yes
Distance:
6 km
Average duration:
2h30
Cumulative elevation gain:
245 metres D+
Type of path:
dirt paths and asphalt road
Start of the trail:
 37º 15' 07.26'' N 8º 20' 52.17'' W

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