Alcoutim – Balurcos (24,2 Km)

Technical Information

Starting point: Cais de Alcoutim / Quay of Alcoutim

Starting Point GPS: 37º28´17.65´´N 7º28´16.53´´O

Extension: 24,2 km

Difficulty level (Recommended direction): IV – Difficult

Duration: 7 h

Minimum altitude: 11 m

Maximum altitude: 206 m (Balurcos de Baixo)

Accumulated climb: 610 m

Accumulated descent: 420 m

Water available: Yes

Groceries: Yes

Advised Season: September till May although springtime is the most beautiful in terms of flora and weather conditions.

Cartography: Trail map in the Portuguese Military Maps Nos.575 from the Geographic Institute of the Army, with a scale of 1:25000.

Route Description
The Via Algarviana starts at Alcoutim, at the pier. It crosses the village and heads north. Initially the track goes along the Guadiana river, an even, low altitude path, the hikers can contemplate the valley’s natural beauty. The landscape is dominated by dry orchards (almond trees, figs, or olive trees), many of which are still in use.
As you continue along the main track, it soon begins to bend away from the river, heading west to Corte Pereiras. Entering the town on a disused track flanked by old stone walls, the hikers will head north, crossing this group of houses and continuing west-northwest till they cross the EN1054.
Heading southwest to Afonso Vicente, the Via Algarviana track will soon intersect with the Lavajo menhirs. At the small village, we find houses, some of which are made from schist, and small traditional kitchen-gardens surrounded by hedges and ditches typical of the area. Heading south, the path crosses the EM507, and keeps to the main track, till it enters an extensive forest area, where the terrain is steeper.
Going south, after several uphill and downhill stretches, the track reaches Barranco do Alcoutenejo and joins Barranco dos Ladrões further downstream, to form the Ribeira dos Cadavais. From there on, going mainly southeast, the track heads towards Corte Tabeliao. It crosses the village and goes down to Barranco dos Ladrões. Going along the main route heading southeast, Corte Seda will soon appear on the horizon. On reaching the village follow the streets in the direction of the EN122-1 towards Alcoutim.
After crossing the road, the track continues south, crossing narrow ravines and water courses, till it reaches Monte Torneiro, where a small pedestrian track is marked (Pequena Rota – PR). From here, both tracks merge until they arrive at Balurcos, thus ending the first section of the Via Algarviana.

 

Mapa Setor 1

 

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