Jo’s Monday walk : Carrapateira

A nice way to travel?

A nice way to travel?

Don’t get too excited- we’re walking, of course!  On our recent trip to the Algarve, we picked up a guide to walking trails in the local Tourist Information Office.  It’s available to download online, but with more than 30 walks and over 100 pages, it’s much easier to pay 7 euros for your own copy.  I’ve included the link, just so you can see what you’re missing.

Today’s walk is based on ‘Trail of Tides’, a shortened version of no. 16 in the guide.  I didn’t undertake the whole 19kms, not because I’m lazy, but because we had already, that day, driven down the coast from the Alentejo and a riverside walk there.  Nothing too strenuous was planned.

A paddle might be nice before we get started

A paddle might be nice, before we begin?

The walk starts in the tiny village of Carrapateira, just off the west coast of the Algarve.  A cluster of cafes, a surf shop and a church- who needs more?  Oh, and there’s an old windmill too!  At the southern end of the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentina protected nature park, a small stream, the Ribeira da Carrapateira, flows out through the dunes.

You walk out of the village through a straggle of houses, in the direction of the coast.  It’s a tarmacked road initially, and as it winds up the hill you could be forgiven for wondering why you hadn’t brought the car.  My husband did!

But then, you'd miss views like this

But then, you’d miss views like this

And even better, this!

And more importantly, this!

As you crest the brow of the hill you begin to appreciate

As you crest the brow of the hill you begin to appreciate just where you are

On top of the world, with the whole of the Portuguese coastline rolling away from you on either side.  At this point you exchange tarmac for dirt track, but still occasional cars continued to bump past us.

There are plenty of boardwalks to get closer to the cliff edge

There are plenty of boardwalks to take you closer to the cliff edge

The glint

Where the tantalising glint of the water beckons

The coast curves invitingly

And the coast curves invitingly ahead

Despite the beauty of the views the sun was beginning to lower in the sky, and it still felt like a long way back to our beginnings. Perhaps it would have been a wise move to bring the car, and park at each of the viewing points, as many seemed to do?  But that would have been cheating, wouldn’t it?

The lookouts are at strategic points

The lookouts are at strategic points

Pontal was a danger for sailing ships

In the distance, the rocks at Pontal

Carrapateira point, or Pontal, has a jutting headland that made it a likely place for shipwrecks in the past.  The rock formations look deceptively similar to Cabo de S. Vicente, the south west tip of Portugal, eleven miles further south.  The rapid southbound current that adds to the danger also creates perfect conditions for surfing.

Today the water is

Today the water is deceptively calm

Alluring Amado in the distance

Alluring Amado, in the distance

Some days everything goes to plan, and some it doesn’t.  The famed surfing beach at Amado was still far ahead.  We knew that following the trail would take us there, but then we’d have to head inland, back to the village, in gathering gloom.  The joy of this particular trail is that there are alternatives.  Just beyond the headland the trail splits in two.  The left hand path will fairly swiftly bring you back to the village, or you can carry on down the coast.

The red cliffs tumbling away

The red cliffs tumbling away

Reassuringly Carrapateira appears ahead

Reassuringly, Carrapateira appears ahead

Another day I might take you to Amado, but you need to get there early.  The little car park soon fills up.  Carrapateira itself lies directly on the N268 coast road.  The link to the walking trails guide at the top of the page will give you full details, and a few other ideas besides.

Time to relax and put that kettle on!

walking logo

Yet again I have some wonderful walks to share with you this week.  Many thanks to all my contributors.  I greatly appreciate your loyalty, and I get enormous pleasure from sharing our walks together.  For anyone who doesn’t know the format, my Jo’s Monday walk page will tell you how to join in.  Just click on my logo.  You’ll be warmly welcomed.


What better way to start a new week than with a walk from Jude?

Garden Portrait: More from Nymans

Who knew Texas was this beautiful?  Thanks, Amy!

Monday Walk: Walking along the lake

Drake brings so much pleasure with his little insights and views on life :

Raid into the fall

Up hill and down dale- Geoff takes us to the Bec :

The Capital Ring: Crystal Palace to Tooting

I always have fun with Pauline, no matter where she wanders  :

Bangalow, a country gem

Time to get a little adventurous with Ruth.  Not too scary- you’ll like it!

Airwalk, glider and swing bridges

Deeply honoured to have Sonel joining us on the walks this week.  Don’t miss!

500px Fujifilm Global Photo Walk : Damwall and Schoemansville Oewerclub

Step back in time beautifully with Suzanne (and I DO mean back!)

A walk in the bush

Pauline’s garden is a tropical paradise!  No wonder she doesn’t mind going home  :

Home from the Hills

Look- the tide’s out!  Come on, be quick- follow Anabel!

Marwick Head and Birsay

And lastly, my favourite walk of the week.  I’m sure you’ll know why!

Cobbles and Blue Sky, a Tavira stroll

I have a slight dilemma facing me this week.  I hope to be with you to share more walks next week, but there may be problems.  No worries!  I’ll keep you informed.  Meantime you might like to give those guys at Monday Escapes a shout.  Have a great week, won’t you, and happy walking!


  1. What a fantastic walk, Jo. I love the Trail Guide too. I’d love to spend a couple of months in Portugal and do all those walks. I wonder if there is such a guide for each region in Portugal. Beautiful day and pictures. 🙂


  2. Wonderful walk!!! And I think the viewpoints are best appreciated when you walk there rather than when you drive 😉
    10 days ago I went up a hill with some friends to see the views. Once we reached the top, we realized we could have driven there! But I think the effort of going up helped us enjoy the views even more.
    Walking is great! 🙂


    1. No worries- I’ve got you! I’m busy throwing together the last bit of today’s walk, linking everybody up, so it’s ok. Will read it as soon as I’m sorted. And thanks! 🙂


    1. That’s no surprise, Pauline! 🙂 I’ll hold part 3 over to the following week because we have 2 for this Monday. Will be over soon to have a wander. I’m on the second leg of a 2 part-er myself and it’s promised for today. 🙂


  3. A pleasant walk as always – I love the views over the bay and what gorgeous weather. Sigh. Wish it was like this here! Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes and giving us a shout out! 🙂 Hope next week you get to share some more walks.


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