Monte Gordo to Vila Real San Antonio

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This linear walk has four distinct parts taking in the variation of the area quite well. It takes in forest, beach, pavement, boardwalk, lively café culture, markets, marina and an international ferry.

When getting off the train at Monte Gordo, make sure you savour the views over the lakes that go all the way to the 14th century Castro Marim castle. The castle`s location is unique owing to its proximity and relationship to the salt pans and the mouth of the Guadiana River, so if you are in the area for a weekend it could be worthwhile going, as there are often markets on Saturdays displaying local wares. Turning right outside the station you will walk down to the end of the cul-de-sac to a roundabout. Crossing over the main road, you will then follow the pavement of the N125 for a while (in the direction of Faro) before turning off into a street of residential homes leading to a car park. This is the beginning of the Aldeia Nova Interpretation Trail. There are many various pathways for exploring in this lovely wooded area and a mini-boardwalk down to the long sandy beaches.

The next part of this walk, once exiting the trail, is a newly built boardwalk full of trendy modern (and vibrant depending on time of year) restaurants and cafes, with bright Miami-like colourful buildings all along the Monte Gordo promenade. Your experience of the boardwalk will definitely depend on what time of year you visit. Long, cool, sunshine-filled winter boardwalk strolls are lovely and quiet, whilst a summer visit will be vibrant and full of beach and sea activities with a lively holiday atmosphere.

Walking through the car park at the end of the boardwalk enables you to get an overview of how large the dune forests are and you will shortly enter the second trail of this walk, which is the Trail of Chameleons. Following the signs on the trail will eventually bring you to the last part of the walk, which is in Villa Real San Antonio.
Turn right on exiting the park and pavement-walking will bring you to the Guadiana River (don't miss the amazing lighthouse), which you walk down until the left turn that takes you into an industrial area leading to the train station and ending this walk. This long stretch of pavement-walking takes you alongside the Guadiana River, which is the border between Portugal and Spain. The promenade walk passes a lively marina and the international ferry port on your right, the town centre with lots of shops, cafes, restaurants and historical buildings to the left.

This walk pleases birdwatchers and animal-lovers with the two trails, sun-worshippers with the beautiful long boardwalk and the shoppers and foodies with its abundance of restaurants and cafes in both towns.

Portugal - South Portugal - Eastern Algarve - Vila Real San Antonio

Features

Birds, Butterflies, Mostly Flat, Nature Trail, Sea, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland