Portugal, Algarve East

Tavira to Cacela - 18.5 km - Saturday 10th April 2004

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Farm and country lanes.

Garmin Altitude Plot Garmin Mapsource Google Earth Sketch Map Ribeira de Alportel Ribeira de Alportel Ribeira de Alportel Ribeira de Alportel Ribeira de Alportel Ribeira de Alportel Acanthus Acanthus Agave americana Poppies Poppies Poppies Poppies Chicory Chicory Nastursiums Bullock Medow Medow Medow Tragopogon Teucrium pseudochamaepitys Star clover River to ford River to ford River to ford River to ford River to ford Road to Istanbul Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Thistle Thistle Thistle Orobanche blue Orobanche blue Cerinthe Cerinthe Cerinthe Cerinthe Cerinthe Cerinthe Cerinthe Sign posts Sign posts Typical view Typical view Unknown yellow Unknown yellow Unknown yellow Agave americana Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Anagelis Solanum sodomeum Solanum sodomeum Solanum sodomeum Solanum sodomeum Solanum sodomeum Not bullrushes Typical hillside Carob tree holding itself up Antirrhinum Cabbage yellow and white Fumitory Fumitory Cacela railway station Cacela railway station

Diary - Top

Leaving number 37, turn right and go straight down to the river. Here, you turn left and head inland. Then go right over the blue bridge (10 minutes) and then left under the railway line and road bridges (15 minutes). You pass a children's cycle training area on your left. Beyond this, there is a path which runs alongside the river which you can use if you wish to get off the tarmac. Eventually you join the tarmac again (25 minutes). You pass a boat repair place (35 minutes) and continue to follow the river (where we were lucky enough to see a pied kingfisher) until you see a right turn to Vale Formosa (50 minutes). Take this and then follow your new road as it swings left (55 minutes). Ignore the right turn on to a dirt road in the village - note the stop sign - and continue, uphill now, to the summit (1 hour 10 minutes). You then proceed downhill to the cross-roads below where you turn right on to a surfaced road. You now have lovely views of the Serra da Saude to the left. Keep on uphill again and then continue as the road goes dead straight above the valley. You can see Monte Aguia (111m) also on your left. Ignore the left turn to a gas-bottling place and, when you get to a T-junction beyond it, turn left into Fonte Salgada (right is signed to Tavira)(1 hour 35 minutes). Take the next right turn (1 hour 40 minutes), cross over a stream (1 hour 45 minutes) and continue past a water tank until you get to another river. This is the Riba do Almargem and we had to wade across it as there was neither a bridge nor stepping stones (2 hours). Soon the track becomes surfaced once again (2 hours 5 minutes). Eventually, you reach another T-junction. Go left here and then, at the Y-junction turn right towards Conceição da Tavira (2 hours 20 minutes). Continue along a road lined with cork oaks. We assume that the 6 painted on them indicates when the bark was last stripped off. Then, at a T-junction, turn left towards a village. At a triangular junction go left again and then bear right at the subsequent Y-junction and head towards Carapeta (2 hours 35 minutes). At the next signpost for Carapeta (to the right again) ignore it and go straight ahead (2 hours 50 minutes). Continue on this road until you get to a staggered junction. Here, turn left and the right towards Nora.

Here we had hoped to walk along parallel with the railway line but this track doesn't exist although clearly marked. It would have been better not to have turned right. You could do as we did or try to improve on our route.

We turned left at Nora station (3 hours 15 minutes) and headed away from the railway again. Then we turned right to Calico and Conjeira. You are now in the hamlet of Laranjeiro. Take the next turning to the left (3 hours 45 minutes), cross over a ditch and a river - there are stepping stones this time - and follow the road as it swings right, crosses over another stream and enters a village. Here you turn right down a track (3 hours 55 minutes) and follow it until it meets a road. Here you turn left and then, to replicate what we did, right at the next set of cross roads (4 hours 15 minutes).

It may in fact be better to go straight ahead here to Cacela to avoid walking along the railway line as we had to do.

When you get to the railway line, turn left and follow it until you get to the station (4 hours 20 minutes).

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