The trail will let you discover typical villages of the Caldeirão and the humid and fresh environment of the mountain ravines. The path spreads along the Barranco das Lages, a valley of schist and greywacke carved by the waters. Large slabs of greywacke are a common sight.
Crossing the villages of Cabanas and Lajes, and coming down rural roads towards the valley, there are lush cork oaks and accompanying vegetation with an abundance of species gum rockrose, green lavender and poplar-leaved rockrose, typical of schist mountains. This vegetation cover is very interesting for a number of birds, especially passerines (e.g., golden orioles, Eurasian nuthatches, great tits).
In the valley, several streams intersect the schist-greywacke formations. In these places, willows are accompanied by thickets of brambles, ferns and bulrushes, along with typical species of the rivers of the Algarve - like oleanders and showy annual plants such as the wild leek.
In the wetlands of the main watercourse, there are small vegetable gardens and the Poço do Ribeirinho, an old fountain where cattle were brought to drink, which is part of the region’s hydraulic heritage.
Leaving the valley behind, the path to Cerro da Ursa follows rural roads and a track with greywacke slab steps. The Cerro is the highest point here, offering a panoramic view of both the ravine and the surrounding mountains.
The highest part of the trail, in Cabanas, and along the summit until it begins to descend into the valley, may be a good place to observe some of the most interesting birds of the Caldeirão mountain range, like the short-toed snake eagle or the crow.
Municipality: São Brás de Alportel
Location: Cabanas / Lajes
Type: walking and cycling
Circular trail: yes
Distance: 5,4 km
Average duration: 2h
Cumulative elevation gain: 240 metres D+
Type of path: dirt paths and asphalt roads
Start of the trail: 37º 14' 58.29'' N 7º 49' 04.48'' W