Alte- Messines (19,3 Km)

Technical Information

Starting point: Near the Fonte Grande

GPS Coordinates of the starting point: 37º14´17.01´´N 8º10´22.26´´O

Extension: 19,3 km

Difficulty level (Recommended direction): III – Algo difícil Somewhat difficult

Duration: 5 h

Minimum altitude: 73 m

Maximum altitude: 271 m

Accumulated climb: 367 m

Accumulated descent: 443 m

Water availability: 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 Charters Nos.586, 587, 595 and 596, from the Geographic Institute of the Army, with a scale of 1:25000.

Route Description
Alte is one of the most traditional villages in the Algarve, with lime painted houses, flower vases along narrow stone paved roadways, and filled of architectural details, like eavesdrop and the algarvian chimneys.
Heading to Sítio do Montinho, the itinerary crosses the village and rapidly enters in the typical rural landscape of Algarve’s “barrocal”. Dry orchards with almond trees, carob trees and ficus trees, fill in the landscape along the track, together with small kitchen-farms and dispersed house settlements. At Perna Seca, the track becomes narrow, thus increasing contact with nature. Vegetation gets denser, and soon the trekker reaches a small water stream, rich in aquatic species like common ashes, or oleander. Crossing the water stream, the track heads towards Torre, a small village where handicraft is still a relevant activity, and goes north, passing through Fonte Santa, flanking Rocha de Messines on the right.
The track goes along “Barranco do Vale” (Vale’s ravine), going up to Portela de Messines. Along the track, landscape is filled with kitchen-farms, with watermills, tanks and wells.
In cases of you are doing this sector in the spring, prepare your “nostrils”, because you will walk alongside an extensive orange grove, where the smell of orange blossom doesn’t let you indifferent!
But one of the highlights of this sector, is in fact the passage along the edge of Ribeiro Meirinho, with its wide riparian vegetation, a pleasant surprise, with plenty of shade and a landscape that surely will surprise you.
Just before entering São Bartolomeu de Messines village, the track goes by one of legendary Remexido’s refuges in the past.
São Bartolomeu de Messines is emplaced in the very geographic centre of the Algarve. It is an old village, where many of the houses go back to the XVII century, still hosting squared stones. This village is located at the hill’s foot of Penedo Grande’s south slope, near “Serra do Caldeirão”. This Serra includes a considerable part of the parish.

Map Sector 8

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