The trail runs through a region of tall mountains of the northeast of the Algarve, with its typical montes (dispersed settlements) and the centuries-old dryland orchards, dominated by almond trees.
The Cerro de Alta Mora provides a magnificent view of the surrounding mountain ranges, punctuated by centuriesold holm oaks and almond trees which, during blooming season (January and February), cover the slopes in white. Looking south, you can see the ocean, and the bridge of the Guadiana anounces the mouth of the great southern river.
The ruins of the town of Caldeirão appear among dryland orchards, dominated by almond trees, alongside fig, carob trees and olive trees. Holm and cork oaks are surrounded by tall scrubland with cistus, poplar-leaved cistus, Spanish lavender, broom and rosemary.
Funchosa-de-Cima and Funchosa-de-Baixo are typical montes of the Algarve’s hinterland: it is worth paying attention to their rural architecture, the vestiges of cattleraising and subsistence vegetable gardens in the wetlands of Barranco da Funchosa, where grapevines, citrus fruits, fig and oleander trees abound.
On your way to ford the Ribeira do Beliche, the almond trees, when in bloom, cover the slopes and the road in white, and you can see local birds such as the Sardinian warbler, Thekla’s lark or the corn bunting. At the Ribeira, although reed beds dominate the landscape, there are still parts of the native riverside vegetation: oleanders, tamarisk and the aromatic European pennyroyal and Hart’s pennyroyal. With a bit of attention, you can discover species like the water snake and the common tortoise.
Back to Alta Mora, the view stretches along the Beliche valley and surrounding hills. The landscape presents a mosaic of stone pine plantations, holm oak groves, dryland orchards, beds of lavender and gorse, and patches of cistus. It is possible to come across flocks of Algarvian goat or species of wildlife crossing your path, especially hares, rabbits and partridges.
Municipality: Castro Marim
Location: Alta Mora
Type: walking and cycling
Circular trail: yes
Distance: 11,2 km
Average duration: 4h
Cumulative elevation gain: 495 metres D+
Type of path: dirt paths
Start of the trail: 37º 18' 21.66'' N 7º 35' 33.21'' W