Balurcos – Furnazinhas (14,3 km)

Technical Information

Starting point: No cruzamento junto à estrada N122, em Balurcos de Baixo, junto ao painel informativo da Via Algarviana / At the junction with the N122 road in Balurcos de Baixo, next to the informative panel of Via Algarviana

Coordenadas GPS do ponto de partida GPS Coordinates of the starting point: 37º25´31.65´´N 7º30´27.25´´O

Extension: 14,3 km

Difficulty level (Recommended direction): II – Fácil Easy

Duration: 4 h

Minimum altitude: 22 m

Maximum altitude: 222 m

Accumulated climb: 330 m

Accumulated descent: 349 m

Water available: Yes

Groceries: Yes

Advised Season: September till May although springtime is the most beautiful in terms of flora and weather conditions. In times of heavy rain should try to confirm the local population that the state of flow Foupana´s River.

Cartography: Trail map in the Portuguese Military Maps Nos.575 and 583, from the Geographic Institute of the Army, with a scale of 1:25000.

Attention: After Ribeira da Foupana, beside the path exist bee-hives there, be careful!

Route Description
This 2nd section of the Via Algarviana starts at Balurcos, a small village in the municipality of Alcoutim. From the village centre, the track leads the hiker to south, along rural paths, many of which are flanked by walls surrounding small properties where subsistence agriculture can still be seen. The track is initially flat, but soon becomes steeper. You can see the typical traces of the Serra Algarvia, with numerous ravines and water courses.
After passing the IC127, the landscape begins to indicate the presence of the Foupana stream (Ribeira da Foupana), the main stream in this area, and one of the best preserved in the whole Algarve. Passing through Palmeira, traditional architecture can be enjoyed here again. Typical wood ovens, lime washed houses, and small walled kitchen-gardens are worth as features of true country life. The landscape goes from young forests to dense Cistus [rockrose]
areas and the Via Algarviana reaches Foupana, at the old “Moinho da Rocha do Corvo” watermill. Despite its undeniable importance in the past, today it is only a ruin.
Crossing the river is quite an adventure, and a good opportunity for a rest, however it is necessary to pay attention to its flow before crossing to the other side in time of heavy rain can become impassable.
After this section, the path enters a Holm oak forest, with denser vegetation, until it reaches Corte Velha, another small village. Here, agriculture and livestock are still the dominant activity, creating a landscape of cereal crops and pasture. Several windmills appear on the horizon, all of them are now abandoned and in ruins.
The track reaches a water tank on the top of the hill, and goes down a stone ramp into the Rua do Fontanário (Fontanário street) to the EN505, the principal access to Furnazinhas. In the centre of this beautiful area the 2nd section of Via Algarviana ends.

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