The trail runs around this mountain village which has claimed for itself the role of the Algarve’s centre of dissemination of Southwest Script. The village also stages a now iconic annual hiking festival.
To the west of the Ameixial’s centre there are ample views of the hills of Caldeirão and the mosaic of rural and forest parcels typical of the region. Subsistence agriculture engages a large part of the population, as a main activity or as a complement to cattle raising, beekeeping or cork extraction.
At the Fonte da Seiceira, the official venue for parties and dances, there is a leisure area with a picnic park, a reflecting pool, a lawn and shaded areas. The spring’s water is said to be rich in iron and to have medicinal properties. Back to the Ameixial, small vegetables gardens and structures to support irrigation abound: wells, shadoofs, scoopwheels and fountains.
Many of the Ameixial’s houses and the Parish Church feature elements of traditional architectural, including the use of schist blocks and slabs, visible on eaves and the corners of walls. Crossing the centre of the village, you’ll pass by the old communal wood-fired oven and go through the lush Azinhaga do Ribeiro. The artistic installations alluding to Southwest Script are a constant presence.
From here, you can follow the dirt road eastwards for about 2km and visit the Anta da Pedra do Alagar, a megalithic funerary monument about 4000 years old.
By going down a foot path towards the Ribeira do Vascãozinho, you’ll cross a patch of eucalyptus. The surrounding hills, however, are dominated by forests of cork and holm oaks, accompanied by the typical strawberry trees, beds of cistus and lavender.
Type: walking and cycling
Circular trail: yes
Distance: 4,5 km
Average duration: 2h
Cumulative elevation gain: 192 metres D+
Type of path: dirt paths and asphalt road
Start of the trail: 37º 21' 42.21'' N 7º 57' 44.54'' W