Furnazinhas – Vaqueiros (20,3 Km)

Technical Information

Starting point: In the square, where the Café is located, next to the information panel of Via Algarviana

GPS Coordinates of the starting point: 37º21´47.01´´N 7º34´28.96´´W

Extension: 20,3 km

Difficulty level (Recommended direction): III – Medium Difficulty

Duration: 6 h

Minimum altitude: 98 m

Maximum altitude: 286 m

Accumulated climb: 389 m

Accumulated descent: 327 m

Water available: In the beginning and in the end

Grocery stores: In the beginning and in the end

Advised Season: September till May although springtime is recommended for its floristic beauty and weather conditions.

Cartography: Trail map in the Portuguese Military Maps Nos.582 and 583, from the Geographic Institute of the Army, with a scale of 1:25000.

Route Description
The 3rd section of the Via Algarviana starts in Furnazinhas. After crossing the village heading north, the route leads the hiker along steep tracks, with open fields, pastures, extensive areas of Cistus [rockrose] and, every now and then, small kitchen-gardens, still in use by local people. The terrain is steep, and the track crosses several streams. Occasional maritime pine plantations appear on the way.
The hiker will find small groups of houses, some of which are practically abandoned, like Monte Novo, by the main road, set in one of the area’s highest points (215m). Then comes Monte das Preguiças, with its small dam, an excellent spot to appreciate the view, Malfrades, a traditional village that is still inhabited and, finally, Vaqueiros, centre of this “freguesia”.
Vaqueiros is the most populated village in this “freguesia”, and it is built on an Arabic settlement. Indeed, this is the “freguesia” with the greatest concentration of houses in Alcoutim, and local toponymy studies show evidence of the existence of rural communities as far back as the Arab period. There are also several archaeological traces from Roman times, linked to mineralogy.
Most of the population has a kitchen garden where they grow vegetables throughout the year, fulfilling their needs, so the land ends up being their “supermarket”, eliminating the need to repeatedly travel to the city.

Map Sector 3

 

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