Located in the transitional barrocal area, between Querença and Tôr (Loulé), Fonte da Benémola is a site of outstanding natural beauty. In this small piece of paradise, you can see various species of trees and bushes rarely found in the Algarve. Ash and willow grow side-by-side with cane and brambles, contrasting with the Mediterranean vegetation on the valley slopes. Many different animals are to be found around the water; you may even spot otters. At certain times of year, in the caves around the site, you can see two colonies of bats, which have protected status. To enjoy the sight of all these species even more, there is nothing better than setting off on an adventure along the Ribeira da Menalva foot trail.
Farther west, the springs at Alte (the “Fonte Grande” (Big Spring) and the “Fonte Pequena” (Little Spring), are a favourite spot in the region, with their crystal-clear waters that come from the stream which gives them their name. For centuries, these waters, fed by the Fonte Grande, provided a source of water for the village and surrounding fields. Today, the site features a delightful picnic area (Parque de Merendas), with stone tables and benches. It is the perfect place for a walk, a picnic or simply to pause for a rest in a countryside setting that has inspired many artists and poets. And it is also alongside these natural springs that folk music festivals are held, filling the whole village of Alte (Loulé) with lively, colourful, cheerful entertainment.
On the way to Portimão, at the Sítio das Fontes in Estombar, you will find one of the favourite parks in the Algarve for picnics and a refreshing dip. Famed for the lake formed by the waters of the natural springs, this park also gives you the chance to visit a restored tidal mill and a rebuilt Algarve house. And you can see shows in the open-air amphitheatre or work out on a circuit designed especially for the purpose.