Cachopo – Barranco do Velho (29,1 Km)

Technical Information

Starting point: Close to the Main Church of Santo Estêvão

GPS Coordinates of the starting point: 37º19´58.83´´N 7º49´00.32´´W

Extension: 29,1 km

Difficulty level (Recommended direction): V – Very difficult

Duration: 8 h

Minimum altitude: 264 m

Maximum altitude: 506 m (Alcaria Alta)

Accumulated climb: 1280 m

Accumulated descent: 1160 m

Water available: Yes

Groceries: Yes

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.581 and 589, from the Geographic Institute of the Army, with a scale of 1:25000.

Route Description
The 5th section offers a spectacular landscape. While much of this scetor has been affected by the great fire of 2012, which left marks that remain visible and will remain a few years, the vegetation begins to regenerate. Here you will have the pleasure of walking in the Serra do Mú or Caldeirão and then be one of the most demanding paths with a very twisty and hilly relief, with slopes that will rise to the top where you get panoramic views that will not leave you indifferent and where you desire take a deep breath, and in the descents will find the areas of green valleys and streams.
Starting in the centre of Cachopo and heads west, leaving the village, a beautiful forested landscape marks the way, with cork oak trees, strawberry trees, heathers and Cistus [rockroses]. Several small settlements will be passed through like Currais, where some typical countryside products are sold, including Medronho, rough brandy made from the fruit of the strawberry tree and honey. Alcaria Alta, with a fascinating view over the hills, will be passed and, after that, Castelão. After going through this pleasant village, we reach the Odeleite stream (ribeira de Odeleite), a place of undeniable natural beauty, where the hiker may enjoy a well-deserved rest before starting the long climb to Parises. Parises is a place for a mandatory stop for replenishes the energies, and it is here that the Via Algarviana intersects with “Cork Route”, a major project in the region around the valorisation of cork. Here you can still catch the Connecting 1 from Via Algarviana to the beautiful town of São Brás de Alportel, where tradition is queen and which deserves a visit! Heading west, Barranco do Bufo, Barranco do Javali, and Corgo de Loué are crossed. The hiker reaches Cerro da Relva, where there is a panoramic view: to the north one sees the “Montes Novos”, to the east Parises, and to the west Barranco do Velho. The path takes us to the Vale Amoroso river-mouth, a tributary of the Odeleite river, and after that we reach Barranco do Velho. At this village, located in the middle of the Serra do Caldeirão, cork has a significant economic value. Once here, it is worth getting to know this town a little better, and purchase local products at the restaurant, coffee, and handicraft shop, or at the local “medronho” brandy distillery.

Map Sector 5

 

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