The trail begins in Azinhal, a typical village in the Baixo Guadiana, and runs along ridgelines until it reaches the Várzea das Almas, where it will afford you a privileged view of the Guadiana River, close to its mouth.
Touring the village of Azinhal, it is worth stopping for a look at the details of the traditional architecture of the region, to visit the museum and the Church of the Holy Spirit, and get to know local sweets and pastries, and handicrafts.
Leaving Azinhal towards the river, there is a windmill, still with its working mechanism, and the village’s old communal well, between pastures, wetlands and dryland orchards of almond and carob trees.
The surrounding hills are covered with cistus, gorse and lavender, from which imposing holm oaks, olive and carob trees emerge. An ancient sheepfold in schist evokes the region’s agro-pastoral tradition. Both in the woods as well as the orchards, there are species such as wild rabbits, hares and partridges, and birds such as the Dartford warbler, Thekla’s lark, the dove, the golden oriole or the red-backed shrike.
A superb view opens over the Guadiana and Várzea das Almas, into which the Ribeira do Beliche flows. Along the riverbank, the salt marches take over the wide wetlands, and, looking south, you can see the bridge connecting Portugal and Spain, near the mouth of the Guadiana. Upstream, the riparian curtain becomes denser, dominated by ash, willow, tamarisk, brambles and reeds. The mosaic of wetlands is made up of pastures and cultivated fields.
Back to the Azinhal, the trail follows along the middle of the slope, between holm groves and Mediterranean scrubland dominated by mastic trees. Small streams cut through the slopes, running down to the valley through narrow, rocky gullies, where the vegetation thickens.
Municipality: Castro Marim
Type: walking and cycling
Circular trail: yes
Distance: 7,4 km
Average duration: 2h30
Cumulative elevation gain: 225 metros D+
Type of path: dirt paths and asphalt roads
Start of the trail: 37º 17' 04.21'' N 7º 27' 58.08'' W