Jo’s Monday walk : Luz de Tavira to Fuseta

I’m often asked if it’s possible to enjoy the Algarve and its natural beauty without the use of a car.  My walk today gives you one example of how to do just that.  In much of the Eastern Algarve the railway tracks run quite close to the shoreline.  As well as a hands free ride through pleasant countryside and that age old delight of peering into passing gardens, you can hop off the train and pursue a gentle walk.  After my brief absence, I’m taking it slowly.

The place I’ve chosen to start is Fuseta, a very laidback town 10km east of  Olhão, with an active fishing fleet and a natural harbour.  You can easily while away an hour or two here and I’ll give you some thoughts on how later, but first let’s catch that train.  There are two railway stations in Fuseta, though I’ve only just discovered tiny Fuseta ‘A’.  It’s at the top of a hill, behind the restaurants at the western edge of town.  If this doesn’t appeal, Fuseta-Moncarapacho, the main station at the eastern end of town, will serve you just as well for the purposes of this walk.

It’s only a couple of stops from Fuseta to Luz de Tavira, a sleepy little spot if ever there was one.  Dismounting from the train you cross directly over the railway tracks.  A word of warning- there is no official gated crossing, but it’s a very flat area and you can see far along the track in both directions, so please do look both ways.  Safely over, turn right at the first corner and follow a leafy lane, passing a couple of country homes.  Prickly pear and almond blossom will vie for your attention in this early stage of the year.

Bear left and soon a glimmer of water will appear on the horizon.  You are joining a stretch of the Ecovia Litoral, a cycle track which threads its way along the Algarve coastline, but which in many places makes for relaxed and enjoyable walking.

Often times the boats are marooned on these tidal mud flats, beautiful in their ugliness.  If you are lucky the tide might be in.  In any case, the sea will glitter in the distance.  The ruins of a defence tower, Torre d’Aires, are largely ignored, lost in the pellucid landscape.

Along this shoreline, an elevated bungalow with a lovely tumble of garden calls to me, though my more pragmatic other half reminds me that mosquitos will be a severe nuisance in summer.  This is the heart of the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, and a winter haven for migrating birds.

Just past the midway point to Fuseta you will find a cafe, O Conquistador.  Virtuously I did not sample them (I was to have a substantial lunch at the end of my walk) but the cakes did look extremely appealing.  Following an arrow the path now crosses through the salt marshes, with Fuseta and a towering mound of salt on the horizon and butter yellow oxalis rippling at your feet.

I am delighted to observe, busily guzzling in the briney water, a large flock of flamingos.  Their overhead flight makes a lovely ending to my walk.

And no, I didn’t manage to capture them, unless you wish to see a very blurred tail feather or three.  But I can share that I ate at Crispins, almost impossible to miss as you walk back into town.  The quayside makes a pleasant after dinner stroll, leading as it does to an expanse of river beach.  Grab a bench and gaze out to sea, or watch the locals playing boules behind the green.  In warm weather you can ferry across to Armona and an endless expanse of beach.  Make sure to carry water with you as you are unlikely to find it at this end of the island.

Feeling like something a tiny bit more strenuous?  You can climb up through the narrow streets, for a closer look at Igreja Matriz, the Mother Church.  Notice the red lighthouse in the bell tower.  Legend has it that many years ago, during a mighty storm, the women of Fuseta lit an enormous bonfire in the churchyard, the highest point of the village, to guide their fishermen husbands home.  The men were guided safely back by the distant light and the image of Our Lady of Carmel, on June 16th, an event still celebrated every year.

It has its gritty areas but Fuseta is quite an interesting town.  This video gives a fairly realistic view of it.

I hope you enjoyed my walk.  I do try to include the details you would need if you found yourself in the area, but I can highly recommend Becky’s blog as a walking resource.  Based at  Olhão, she covers much the same territory as I do, with the very useful addition of an interactive map.

Sorry that I’m overdue in sharing some of these walks, but I do like to step back from the blog sometimes, especially here in the Algarve.  I don’t stop walking but I do just relax into glorious scenery and good companionship.  Many thanks to you all for your patience and support.

……………………………………………………

Did you know that Drake is a steadfast Liverpool supporter? :

Night in anticipation

You need plenty of fuel in weather like this, but Jackie never has a problem :

Bundling up

No place like home, for Kathrin :

Monheim am Rhein : A walk through my home town

Lisa gives us a history lesson and some beautiful views (and warm sunshine!) :

Holidays in Haifa

While Lady Lee lives the high life!

Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Miriam shares a charming place and a snippet of Australian history :

Old Chiltern Town

Marsha has a tendency to cheat a bit, but look out for those Monarch butterflies :

Plan your Travel Itinerary to include the California Central Coast

Nobody does a garden justice quite so well as Jude.  As a bonus, two gems, one old, one new :

Garden Portrait: Scotney Castle

Garden Portrait: Polesden Lacey

Yikes!  It was snowing at home when I received this from Elaine :

A wintery walk beside Loch Achray

And Irene’s post looked even colder!  Go and say  ‘hi’ and warm her up :

To the Top of a Dune

If that’s not cold enough for you, Hiking Maine is sharing some stunning ice formations :

An amazing Winter Hike on the Cathance River Trail in Topsham

Finishing here in the Algarve, Becky shares one of her passions :

The Olhanese architectural promenade

I hope to share another walk with you next Monday but I’m not making a full return to blogging just yet.  Take care of yourselves, and enjoy your walking, whenever and wherever you can.

 

 

 

147 comments

  1. What a gorgeous area you are in Jo and I love train trips so to be able to get around by train sounds like my sort of place. Your photos are stunning and I enjoyed the video. I’m guessing a lot of the views where done with a drone, amazing technology these days. Pleased to hear you are enjoying your break from blogging.

    1. It has such good variety, Pauline! Every kind of beach and shoreline, and beautiful hill scenery too. 🙂 🙂 I have been keeping an eye on the blogs because we’ve organised WiFi this trip, but the days roll by and I take more and more photos. It’s just getting going again- I’m not sure that I want to devote the time. 🙂

      1. I know how you feel. I did enjoy my year off. But I’ve now been sucked right back in and I enjoy the interaction. Take your time off and enjoy it. We’ll all still be here when you get back

      2. That’s nice to know. Something to cheer me up when I’m back in blighty 🙂 🙂 Though I should be just in time for Spring and blossom, all over again. 🙂

  2. Another sublime stroll. I swear that your sea photos always make me smell the salty air. No one else’s do that. One of the things I loved most about living in Europe was the ablity to get around without a car.

    1. Spoilt for choice sometimes, Ad. 🙂 🙂 We were out walking with the more vigorous group today and I’m ashamed to say I ate and drank far too much afterwards. (and still had to make Mick pancakes tonight 🙂 )

  3. Absolutely beautiful honey, I can just see you strolling along, stopping every 10 seconds as your eye catches yet another lovely image for us. I didn’t do any real walks when I was there, must try harder next time!

    1. We were with the Strollers, Gilly, so it was easy to do. Not so easy with the Striders, up in the hills today. 🙂 🙂 We were half tempted to go to one of the Carnival parades afterwards but we’ve already done 2 and by the time we got home the will had just about gone. Too much food and drink!

    1. Hi Rosemay! How are you? 🙂 🙂 I’m struggling a bit with WiFi again and trying to get my responses in before we go out with the Striders, up into the hills. It’s another blue sky day so no complaints. Hugs, darlin!

      1. Hi Jo – going well thanks! Getting sorted after the summer visitors and adjusting to having Monsieur home more. He is organising a major decluttering project (all the stuff “stored” in the garage) still it needed to be done ….We leave for the UK again in just over 2 weeks time (this all pre planned before my mum passed away and I had the unscheduled trip back). Looks somewhat cold from the weather reports I’ve seen. We normally come a bit later April/May. Glorious here not too hot which I like and heading out soon ourselves to take the dog down to the sea (very strong sea breeze so should blow the cobwebs away). Hope you have a lovely outing up into the hills! 🙂 🙂

  4. I love the glimpse of the defense tower ruin. So often the Algarve views remind me of some of the coastal towns I know, but that only includes the natural beauty. The ruins, cathedrals and ancient structures are certainly not a part of any landscape I know! 🙂 What an inviting walk, Jo. It looks to be so peaceful!

    1. There were 28 of us trekking along that morning, Debbie, so it wasn’t at it’s most peaceful, but I hung back every now and again. 🙂 🙂 The othere were chattering away like a flock of birds. 🙂 It was cooler than it looks so not many others about.

  5. Your photos just seem to get bigger and bigger! And such poetic writing Jo – pellucid – had to look that one up. I think Tish and Meg are having an influence on you 🙂
    And goodness me, so much blue!! Not a cloud in sight, but that’s because they are all over here… chucking it down as I write this. Again. Though to be fair we had a pretty decent day today. And the crocuses are beginning to bloom.

    1. There’s always a bright side, Jude. I may miss the crocuses (but I did book Jerez 🙂 ). It started a little grey and damp yesterday but we did the opposite of a rain dance because Marie’s sister was arriving for just 5 days. It worked and we’re back to clearest blue. You will love it! 🙂 🙂 But you have a whole English summer to look forward to first. And if this place doesn’t bring out the poet in you then I don’t know where will.

      1. I shall look forward to hearing about Jerez. A place I know absolutely nothing about other than being famous for sherry. I think you sent the rain back here btw 😀

  6. I never imagined Portugal to be like this!! Thanks for expanding my knowledge with some beautiful vistas, Jo. I adore those decorative tiles on the buildings as well, especially the railway building.

    1. There is so much variety around the coasts and inland, Amanda. This part of the Algarve is a haven for migrating birds over the winter, and I’m quite happy to join them . 🙂 🙂

    1. We had lunch together, with our respective husbands, last Thursday and had a thoroughly good afternoon, Carol. We might manage another meeting before we go our separate ways. 🙂 🙂

  7. What a fabulous walk, Jo, and the weather looks fabulous. I’m so tired of dreary winter weather here in Virginia. The Ria Formosa Nature Reserve looks like my kind of place, as does that church. I love how Portugal has so many walking trails. It’s a good idea to step back from blogging while you’re on “holiday.” Enjoy! (By the way, I need to get with the program on joining your walks! I seem to be on a schedule all my own!) 🙂

    1. I shouldn’t worry about the walk schedule, Cathy. I’ll just link you in if I read one of your posts that fits. I’ve got several hundred photos already but I really don’t want to get back to full on blogging while I’m out here. There’s a whole world just waiting. (and I’ve booked a couple of nights in Jerez for excitement 🙂 ). It’s pretty easy to get tired of winter.

      1. I should link in some of my Japan walks that I just finished up. I’m writing one about Prague that I hope to finish this week. I’ll try to link that one!

        Jerez!? Can’t wait. How I miss flamenco and the south of Spain in general. \ 🙂

      1. Thanks Jo. It’s difficult, I know! In order to get notifications when I post, one has to actually follow each of my blogs. But it doesn’t matter. I only have one more post for Japan and then I’ll be done posting there. When I finish up with Prague, I’m going to stop posting there (even though I too like the name!). I have plans to start one consolidated blog, but I want to get all the other stuff done that I haven’t done and then I’ll start fresh. It’s worked out well to have my separate blogs for each teaching stint, but it’s too confusing to have different blogs for all my travels. I hope in the next couple of weeks to start anew!! 🙂

      2. I thought I did follow them all, Cathy, but I don’t always get to the Reader. I know I followed the Asia one for Myanmar. I’m not spending much time blogging while I’m here. Plenty of time for that back in the UK. 🙂 🙂

      3. You should enjoy your holiday away from blogging, Jo! I never blog anymore while traveling because I have enough to do just having fun! Though I followed Jill on the Camino, I won’t blog while doing that either. Maybe just a few Instagram pics here and there. This time is for relaxing and enjoying! Have fun and cheers!

  8. Sounds a wonderful tour and after watching the video I think the tourism authority should hire you instead! It’s better for me to just blog when the mood takes you and not feel too tied to a schedule – an Algarve schedule is perhaps what you’re following. ‘Pellucid’ – thanks for this great word!

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