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.

  4. A wonderful walk, Jo. That coastline is amazing, and your photos are beautifully composed to show it off. I’m glad we didn’t take the car. I had a look at the link – tantalising, and beautifully produced guide. Now I need to know, are you a 19-mile walker? If so, I’d better get out of your way – or train!

  5. The blues in those photos are incredible! Blue sky, blue ocean and even the buildings are trimmed in that incredible blue! I would love this walk, Jo!

  6. The scenery and the colours are so uplifting Jo – it looks such a beautiful place and more than a hint of our adoptive homeland in SW Australia (I think it’s to do with the azure blue sky). Hopefully back on track this week – last week was somewhat stressful with a sick cat! Monsieur LC also returns from his jaunt across the Nullarbor today to help out! Your photos are great – the cliffs are impressive too! Have a lovely week 🙂

      1. Same here it’s been weird weather recently – we seemed to go straight into summer from winter about 4 weeks ago and have had some really hot days (it got to 34 here today before the sea breeze came in and dropped the temp back to the low 20s!). Then the wind changes direction and we get a cold front and some much cooler days – very strange!

      1. Omigoodness. Always wanted to visit England, but my friends repeatedly say it isn’t so great a vacation spot, I beg to differ. Keep feeding my hunger for insight into what it looks like. vw

    1. Work is a pain at times, isn’t it, but it’s all part of life’s rich pattern. I have some wonderful, wonderful times, but there are others. Being in Portugal is always one of them. 🙂 Thanks for your company.

  7. what a lovely walk again, Jo! very charming coastal villages. your photographs are stunning! thank you so much for taking us to the most beautiful places! 🙂

  8. It took me a few minutes to realise you meant my walk sweetie, thank you 💖 Anyway I love your walk but I couldn’t do 12k in the heat, you’re a lot fitter than I am. But a breezy blue sky day would be nice. Its a wilder coastline isn’t it? I like wild, raw beaches, the roar of waves and big views. A perfect 10 😊

    1. I think we probably only did 8km Gilly, but it seemed quite far. It was starting to cool quite a lot- that coast is wilder and definitely cooler, but beautiful too. Thanks, darlin’. 🙂

  9. Oh you know me well Jo. I squealed at the sight of the kayak. Maybe next time? 🙂 The walk however did not disappoint. What stunning vistas and I did my best to stay off the edges of the cliffs.

  10. That does look like a rather long walk, and I’m sure I would have wondered why we’d left the car so far behind. I’m sure your scintillating company would have soon banished that thought from my head though. Yes, I’m sure that must be Don Quixote. 🙂

    1. If it hadn’t been the end of a long day and starting to cool off, Ad, you know we’d have done it all 🙂 (we did hop in the car to have a look at Amado, but it was ‘full’ 😦 )

  11. Hello dear Jo! I’m back! I did post last week and then if you can believe it was asked to review a book by Harper Collins! Yikes…! So nice to see you again, sharing a cuppa, taking in the sights, having a chat 🙂 I am barely visiting other blogs at the moment as I am easing in very slowly… I wanted to let you know that I finished my first draft (woo hoo!) and now am desperate to get to the edits, but I am so glad to be back blogging. As soon as I get my you know what in gear, I’ll cobble up a walk for you (France? Devon?). Hugs and smiles to you… xx

    1. Hello sweetheart, and welcome back! 🙂 🙂 It’s hard knowing where to start after being away but that is brilliant news about the first draft. It hasn’t taken too long once you made that last push. Amazing what you can do if you want it enough, Sherri. Looking forward to the ‘big reveal’ 🙂 No worries with the walk- whenever/wherever!

      1. Thanks so much Jo…and yes, it is a case of really getting down to it. Now I need to keep up with it all and get it finished. A way’s to go…but it’s happening. So I keep telling myself, ha! I’ll get that walk in, you’ll see…! Thanks so much for your lovely welcome Jo…hugs to you lovely lady 🙂 xx

  12. I really enjoyed walking barefoot with you in that sand .. and than that glass of lemonade on the main sq, just what I need. But I agree with Mike … a car would have been good in that strong wind. Now I can see why all Portuguese tiles have that special shade of blue. Thanks for bringing me along and for that I slowed you down.

    1. I didn’t mind stopping for a paddle with you, Vivi. It was beautifully sheltered in the dunes. 🙂 Yes, Mike’s often right 😦 We did drive down to Amado afterwards but it was really busy and you know I like the quiet life. (mostly 🙂 ) Thanks for your lovely company! Wet here so I didn’t much enjoy our morning walk, but we ended up in a cafe, drying off with a bowl of piping hot soup. 🙂

      1. Soup sound good to me too … You must have seen every corner of you Portuguese world. You’re such a fantastic story teller too.Always a pleasure walking with you.

      1. I noticed the pingback, but I often click on the actual links on the comments so thought I’d let Amy know. If you change it then you can delete these messages 😉

      2. Good lass! I’m eating again (while I read your walk 🙂 ). Corn on the cob and guess what? Figs! All very healthy- I won’t tell you about the icecream.

    1. Very similar to some parts of your own country, Suzanne, so I’m led to believe? I, too, doubt I’ll ever get there but maybe it doesn’t matter. The friendships will remain. 🙂

      1. I have been to Spain and definitely saw a similarity with the Australian landscape – its something about the open spaces and the hard flat light on the plains I think.

    1. This was the first we’d done, Becky, and we didn’t do it properly, but then we noticed that neither did a lot of other people. 🙂 It’s a lovely area and it was just about cool enough for walking.

  13. Well, I may be one of those people in a car who stops at the viewing points. I suspect walking in Portugal could me akin to walking in Australia – hot! And talking of Australia this coastline is reminiscent of the Great Ocean Road. Steep cliffs, views, rocky outcrops. This is the type of place that appeals to me. I like small villages. Hope your dilemma works itself out without too much stress!

    1. There’s often a cool breeze on this coast, Jude, but it was absent that day. Not somewhere I’d want to live but the beaches are wonderful for striding along (or dawdling, Meg 🙂 ).
      Thanks, hon. I might need to confer. 🙂

  14. You’ve done it really well – it’s a really nice walk; Carrapateira is beautiful! Amazing views – as we can see from the photos – and pleasant beaches. I’ve done it too – many times I must say – and it’s one of my favorite places in the Algarve.
    And thank you for sharing your experience! 🙂

    1. It’s a beautiful part of the world. Nice to share it with others who are not so lucky, and to meet someone who knows it too. Many thanks for your company this morning. 🙂

    1. Hi Geoff! 🙂 Yes, England’s done well for sunny skies just lately. Our luck ran out this morning when it pelted down half way around our walk. The weather folk got it right 😦

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