Via Algarviana - Along the Algarve way
Discover a completely different Algarve – nestling in its green and peaceful hinterland are traditional villages and spectacular landscapes. How do you reach this world preserved from the past? Nothing could be easier… just follow the arrows!
Marked with signs and interpretive panels, this footpath is known as the “Algarve Way” and runs across the region from east to west. The path has its origins in an old religious trail followed by pilgrims heading for the Sagres promontory, where the relics of St. Vincent were found. Running from Alcoutim, on the bank of the River Guadiana, to Cape St. Vincent, the 300-kilometre-long path is divided into 14 sections, each beginning and ending in places where its users can stop for lodging and refreshment. Everything has been planned so that hikers can adapt their journey to their own pace, or just choose the sections that interest them most.
This trip into the heart of nature begins at the quay on the bank of the River Guadiana in Alcoutim and crosses over the Serra do Caldeirão, an area of cork production where you will find the delightful typical villages of Salir, Benafim and Alte. About halfway along its length, the path passes through São Bartolomeu de Messines and continues along the banks of the Ribeira do Arade, offering some truly beautiful views. Silves is another place that calls for a visit, before you head on to the Serra de Monchique, whose breathtaking panoramas are best admired from Picota or Fóia, the highest points in the Algarve. After crossing some almost completely untamed countryside, the path passes through the villages of Marmelete, Bensafrim and Barão de São João, and a forest of stone pines. You can already begin to smell the sea, and the Algarve Way finally reaches its end in the South-West Alentejo and Costa Vicentina Natural Park, Europe’s best preserved stretch of coastline.