Jo’s Monday walk : Calçadinha de São Brás de Alportel

Well, the sleigh’s empty and Santa’s gone. Nothing for it but to put on the walking shoes again. We’re in the area of the Algarve known as Barrocal. São Brás de Alportel is a charismatic little town surrounded by beautiful countryside, and we’ve come to see something of a curiosity. Calçadinha, the remnants of a Roman road, which once linked Ossonoba (Faro) with Bejá, to the north in the Alentejo.

Although you could in theory follow a trail to the Roman ruins of Milreu, on the edge of Estoi, it’s a 10km walk, and of course 10km back again. As you can see, some of it’s rough going, and we’d just had lunch in São Brás with a couple of friends. They were happy to follow us some of the way, but when the going gets tough… we turn back. Another day perhaps, because Milreu is well worth seeing.

The trail starts just behind the Bishop’s Palace in São Brás and leads you down a cobbled path, away from the town. This is signposted as Calçadinha A, and takes you beneath the E270 road to Loulé. Numerous times we’ve driven by without a thought, but today we are teetering along a path that Romans might have trod, in their sturdy sandals.

Yes, it is a bit of an ankle turner in places. I can feel some of you wincing. But if you take it slow and stop to examine the patterns in the stones… it really is a fascinating experience. Listen hard and you might hear the sound of chariot wheels.

And before you know it you’re in open countryside, and can retrace your steps… or carry on. But that’s more than enough exertion for the first week of the New Year, isn’t it? There must be a cake reward somewhere abouts!

It’s less than 2 km in distance and there is more information to be had on this link.

walking logo

Not many shares this week, but then, you’ve all been busy with Christmas. I hope to post a walk fortnightly, if I can fit one in between challenges. Join me on Jo’s Monday walk, any time you like.


A few Christmas leftovers from Drake :

Ups and downs

And a treat or two from Tricia :

Hiking to Georgia’s Gergeti Trinity Church

While Rosemay left me kwite breathless 🙂

Happy New Year from Perth

Ending with some good advice from Denzil :

The benefits of a daily evening walk

Back to work for some, ‘normal’ life for others. However you spend it, make the most of your week.


  1. What a beautiful and spaciously scenic walk, Jo. I haven’t been able to “adventure” in almost a year, and seeing your photos makes my feet itch! 🙂

  2. I’m always amazed to see Roman remains. It’s fantastic to imagine people travelling along this road so long ago. Even with the uneven surface this is a lovely walk and I’d be tempted to set aside a day to do the whole lot. The views are wonderful.

    1. I think we’ll do that at some point, Carol, because only a small part of the route will be cobbled. I hadn’t known it was a possibility until we started to explore. 🙂 🙂

  3. Such stunning views, Jo. I got somewhat nostalgic walking with you as your area looks so much like San Diego, CA this time of year. This was our first winter in the northwest and I did miss being able to walk in winter sunshine as we have in San Diego the past 11 years. Our snow has melted for now in Spokane, so damp streets are waiting!

    1. I can’t conceive of moving to somewhere snowy, Terri. My worst nightmare! Well, an exaggeration, of course, but you get the picture 🙂 🙂 It’s actually pretty cold here at the minute (12/13C daytime) but I forgive a lot for blue skies and Spring is just around the corner.

  4. And that’s the walk the Romans walked in their sturdy sandals. 😊 It looks like fun and the countryside is amazing . It’s gloomy and raining presently. Your post brings out the sun.

    1. I think it would have been smoother then, Sheetal, but I don’t suppose they had time to admire the countryside as we did. Set for rain here too, so making hay while the sun shines 🙂 🙂

  5. Gosh those cobblestones Jo- can’t imagine walking along the path in Roman sandles! I find some of the European “Altstadts” wearing enough on the feet even in flat boots or sneakers! Beautiful countryside and what a lovely day for a post lunch walk. The cake looks very tempting too! Thanks so much for including my exertions up those steps in your weekly walk much appreciated! A lovely walk to start the New Year, have a good week and take care xx 🙂

    1. I’m sure it would have been smoother then, Rosemay. I’m not sure if alcohol helped or hindered our progress 🙂 🙂 I was happy to include you, hon. I didn’t have time to search out a lot of walks. Heading for cold and rain this week so it’s batten down the hatches!

      1. Hope you are keeping warm Jo! We have had the opposite problem here – been too hot and a strong wind coming from the east (the desert side). Still it’s at least a bit cooler now. We have had our granddaughters here for a couple of days as our daughter was away and it’s the school holidays.They had swimming lessons the other side of Perth too but we had a good time albeit very busy! Heading out tonight but will be back on the blog tomorrow. The weather looks to have been quite extreme in Europe recently – couldn’t believe the snowfall In Madrid so hope you’ve stayed well rugged up and safe indoors! Take care xx 🙂

  6. Hi Jo, I attempted to read your title/location and I don’t think I came close to the pronunciation. 🙂 I appreciate you sharing this “curiosity” with us. You made me smile with the 10km one way, and of course, you have to turn back. An intriguing and beautiful area. Your photos are beautiful and fascinating! Thank you for taking me on this walk with you. Happy New Year!🙂

    1. Hello, darlin! Always nice to have company on the trickier paths in life. We have a couple of good friends who are always happy for an outing, so long as it includes food. We often dangle the carrot. 🙂 🙂 Wishing good health and happiness to you and yours, Erica!

  7. Did you see Santa walking? He’s left his sleigh, so maybe he was teetering around there too and I’m sure he’d be up for a treat with you. I’d love to walk there, having an interest in history and the Romans especially.


  8. I’ve never been to Portugal in winter time, it looks so beautiful! Fantastic photos, Jo. Looks like you had a lovely walk 🙂 Thanks for sharing and have a good day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

  9. I love the concept of walking in the steps of others and am always amazed when I come across a Roman road. I doubt that our modern-day road infrastructure will last a similar test of time. Thanks for the lovely historic walk, Melx

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