Portugal, Algarve East

Loule Station to Estoi - 22.8 km - Monday 5th April 2004

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Mostly quiet roads. Forest track.

Garmin Altitude Plot Garmin Mapsource Google Earth Sketch Map Loule Station Loule Station Loule Station Cafe Constantinople Flax blue Stream Rural foot path Gladioli Orchid Orchid Orchid Cilla peruvian Succulent Orchid Orchid Orchid Orchid Orchid Orchid Orchid Orchid Doggies Water pump Faro in haze Wind mill Santa barbara de nexe Wind mill Ranunculus Ranunculus Centauria Typical scenery Orchid Iris reticulata Iris reticulata Iris reticulata Wetlands Gladioli Gladioli Beetles Beetles Beetles Patron saint Patron saint Estoi church

Diary - Top

The route went from Loule station (A) to the hill behind Santa Barbara de Nexe (B) to the church and square in the centre of Estoi (C). The views from the hill top were wonderful.

Take a train to Loulé station (we took the 7.53 from Tavira which is a through train).

Go out of the station and turn left along the main road outside heading east, until you get to a T-junction where you turn left, and then immediately, take the second turning to the right (10 minutes). Cross a stream (15 minutes) and stay on your road ignoring a left and a right turn as it swings right and then left through the village. At the next T-junction (25 minutes), turn left towards Vale de Eguas and then right on to an unsurfaced track (35 minutes). This may seem a risk but it works. This track widens and becomes surfaced (40 minutes).

At the next T-junction (45 minutes), turn right into a village. Beyond it there is a further T-junction where you turn right again (50 minutes). At a third T-junction, turn left. Soon, you cross over the motorway (1 hour) and, not long after that, another main road (1 hour 5 minutes). You then turn left into a village.

Along this stretch there are wonderful views including a strange dome-shaped building which we could not identify.

At the next staggered cross-roads, you turn right and immediately left so you end up carrying on in the same direction along a road which is very narrow now and uphill. Soon you reach the village of Gocinha. Here you turn left at the T-junction (1 hour 15 minutes). The next landmark is the new Loulé bypass which you go under (1 hour 20 minutes) after which you turn right on to a track (1 hour 25 minutes). When track meets a surfaced road, you turn right to cross the main road once again (1 hour 30 minutes). Ahead there is a roundabout which you cross straight over (1 hour 40 minutes) and go into the village of Alto de Relógio and subsequently Betunes.

Continue through the village and then turn right towards Várzea da Goldra (2 hours). Cross another stream and turn left at the second turning after the river (2 hours 10 minutes). Continue until just before your track meets a surfaced road at a T-junction. Here you turn right on to a wide track (2 hours 25 minutes). When the main track bears left, continue straight ahead uphill on a much narrower track (2 hours 35 minutes). When you get to a multi-junction, go left uphill towards a mill (2 hours 45 minutes). Beyond this there is a second mill which had a hornets' nest inside it. We saw a few hornets on our track but they didn't cause any problems (3 hours 5 minutes). Beyond the mill at a T-junction, turn left (3 hours 10 minutes) and then, at a second T-junction, turn right. Subsequently you reach a further junction where you turn left and right. This track proves to be a dead end but you can see another one going in the right direction below you. Make your way towards it across country.

At the bottom of the grassy field, turn left and make towards the sandy track you could see from above. Here you turn right to go along it (3 hours 35 minutes). Soon you get to a T-junction where you turn right. At the nexT-junction, turn right again and then immediately left towards Agosta and Bordeira. (3 hours 45 Minutes). At the next cross roads, leave the main road which swings left and carry on straight ahead on a track (3 hours 55 minutes). You pass a windmill on your right and, at the next cross-roads, go straight over (4 hours 15 minutes). Carry on until you get to a T-junction where you go left (4 hours 30 minutes). Then at the next cross-roads, turn right towards Estoi. (4 hours 45 minutes). At the subsequent roundabout, turn right and then left (5 hours). Finally at another cross-roads, turn left and, passing the RuÍnas de Milreu, enter the village and keep going until you get to the church square (5 hours 10 minutes). Get a bus back to Faro and a train back to Tavira.

We got the 7 o'clock bus back to Faro and the 7.25 train back to Tavira.

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