W 12 Picota Monumental Tree Route II

Picota Monumental Tree Route II

Picota Monumental Tree Route IIThe walk starts in Caldas with an ascent to Fornalha and from there up to Corte Grande and Corte Pequeno, to two places where huge cork oaks tell stories from their silent lives over three centuries. Later, on the way to Ginjeira and Monchique, ancient chestnut trees tell of the great national forest fires of 2003 and what tricks they used to survive it.

Meeting point: Hotel Central Caldas de Monchique
Length: 20 km
Time: 5 hours
Difficulty: difficult

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W 11 Caldas, Olive oil & medronho Walk

Caldas, Olive oil & medronho Walk

Percurso Caldas, Azeite & MedronhoOne-day walk from Caldas over the Picota hills to Pardieiros and Lameira; visit to the oil mill and the distillery. Snack at the distillery. How is olive oil extracted and how do you make brandy from the fruit of the strawberry tree? These questions will be the main focus of the stories about Monchique, its flora and people.

Meeting point: Hotel Central Caldas de Monchique
Length: 18,8km
Time: 7 hours
Difficulty: difficult

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W 10 Marmelete Circular walk

Marmelete Circular walk

Marmelete Circular walkStarting in Marmelete, the first half of the circular walk leads along shady paths under cork oaks and chestnut trees through the “old Portugal”, past small farms, some of which are still in use. Then there is a long ascent, mainly through eucalyptus forests, which is rewarded with a wonderful view from the top of the Pico, until the walk begins to descend again gently back to Marmelete.

Meeting point:Hotel Central Caldas de Monchique
Length: 8,49 km
Time: 3 hours
Difficulty: moderate

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W 9 Caldas – Fonte Santa Circular walk

Caldas – Fonte Santa Circular walk

Caldas – Fonte Santa Circular walkThe walk leads from Caldas through the typical barrancos (hills and valleys) and crossing streams as far as the Odelouca river. On the high land near Alferce, there are the sacred springs with hot water and a pool to dive into, to freshen up in and to pause. After the climb up to Fornalha, there’s a picnic at the village spring followed by the walk back to Caldas. (please don’t forget to bring a towel)

Meeting point: Hotel Central Caldas de Monchique
Length: 17km
Time: 6 hours
Difficulty: difficult

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W 8 Caldas – Marmelete

Caldas – Marmelete

Caldas – MarmeleteFrom Caldas, the walk climbs steadily through sparse cistus vegetation with traces of old, extensive agriculture. Then, once you’ve crossed a fertile valley, the path leads along the slopes of Foia, continuously rising and falling, from where there are many wonderful views down to the south coast. Finally we reach Marmelete in a gentle descent over the last kilometres.

Meeting point: Hotel Central Caldas de Monchique
Length: 21,8km
Time: 7 hours
Difficulty: difficult

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W 7 Caldas – Picota – Caldas

Caldas – Picota – Caldas

Caldas – Picota – CaldasA single-file track leads uphill for two hours: over granite rocks and through lush forest vegetation, past medronho bushes, stone pines, cork oaks and eucalyptus; lovely views to the sea. From the top (776 m) of Picota, sweeping views to the Cape, the west coast, Monchique and the northern Alentejo when the weather is fine. The one-day walk leads over mosses, past springs and through a cork oak forest to Monchique (lunch) and back to Caldas in the afternoon.

Ponto de encontro: Hotel Central Caldas de Monchique
Length: 18,7km
Time: 6 hours
Difficulty: difficult

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W 6 Picota Geology Trek

Picota Geology Trek

Picota Geology TrekThe guided geological walk will traverse Picota, highlighting most of the rock types making up the Monchique nepheline syenite intrusion. The end of the walk will be in Fornalha where the contact with the surrounding schists will be viewed. Two areas where recent attempts to establish  mining operations will also be visited and should provide opportunity for discussion.

Meeting point 1: Intermarché

Length: 12,9km
Time: 5-6 hours
Difficulty: moderate

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W 5 The Town’s Chimneys Trail

The Town’s Chimneys Trail

The Town’s Chimneys TrailA walk partly through the town, through municipal gardens, along some of the town’s streets, past the church, having a look at the so-called “skirt” chimneys, the suburbs and the area of the “tanque do povo” (“people’s tank”), and then we head towards the convent. An opportunity to appreciate one of the oldest cork oak plantations near the convent, and then we head north between towering trees. On the way, we will also visit one of the oldest oak trees in the municipality (300+ years).

Meeting point 1: Intermarché
Length: 6km
Time: 2.30 hours
Difficulty: easy

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W 4 Water route

Water route

Water routeThe route leads in an easterly direction between cork oak plantations and some oaks (quercus canariensis wild), along ancient paths and goat tracks between the trees. Along the way, we will see the Monchique river, the ruins of the mill and the miller’s house, and the waterfalls. On the way back, the walk passes through a picturesque area, between worked terraces and well-tended rural houses.

Meeting point 1:Intermarché
Length:11km
Time:3.30 hours
Difficulty:moderate

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W 3 Monchique – Fonte Santa – Monchique

Monchique – Fonte Santa – Monchique

Monchique – Fonte Santa – MonchiqueStarting in the town of Monchique, a circular walk in the valley between Fóia and Picota in an easterly direction. It comprises traditional trails along which can be seen old farms with syenite terraces, which are used for a form of agriculture employing ancient techniques, as well as the ruins of windmills and water-mills. The waters of Fonte Santa da Malhada Quente have been used for therapeutic purposes for a long time owing to their mineral properties.

Meeting point 1: Intermarché
Length: 15km
Time: 5-6 hours
Difficulty: moderate

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