VisitAlgarve - Portal de Turismo do Algarve

Castelejo Environmental Trail

The trail crosses a forest of stone pines which extends over the ravine of Castelejo’s beach.

Castelejo’s leisure area is located in an area of stone pines and matirime pines, as well as vegetation common in the area, mostly cistus (dominated by gum rockrose,
grey-leaved cistus and sage-leaved rockrose) beds of gorse and broom, and bushes of heath, especially dwarf Spanish heath.

The forest is mainly composed of stone pines. It was planted to recreate the old coastal pine forests in the south coast of the country. Even though cistus is everywhere, there are also rare plants like the endemic Thymus camphoratus. The wildlife mainly consists of birds, like the great spottedwoodpecker, the jay or the great tit. In the more open areas, there’s a regular presence of quails and common buzzards. If you carefully look for their signs or footprints, you might see a fox or a boar. You might also cross paths with wild rabbits.

Near the old forest ranger's house, on the shoreline, you can see the geodesic landmark of Torre da Aspa. This tower was likely part of a network of fortifications which remained active well into the end of the 16th century. The highest point of the Algarve’s coast is where the tower once stood, at 156m of altitude.

Climbing down the ravine, which was carved by water flowing down into the Castelejo beach, you can see the dense vegetation on the wet slopes, forming groves of strawberry trees and beds of narrow-leaved phillyrea, heathers and lianas. Tamarisks, reeds, cattails and poplars grow near a small lagoon. Frogs and dragonflies can be seen here in this place, which is also an important source of fresh water for mammals.

The way back up to the Vicentine plateau offers a panoramic view over the Castejelo’s ravine and the numerous, round crowns of stone pines framed by the sea.

Municipality: Vila do Bispo
Castelejo leisure area
Circular trail:
3,5 km
Average duration:
1 h
Cumulative elevation gain:
110 metres D+
Type of path:
dirt paths
Start of the trail: 
37º 05' 28.80" N 8º 55' 56.10" W