Paderne (PR2) – Percurso do Cerro de São Vincente - Paderne

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This waymarked walk (PR2) starts at Paderne's main car park, next to the cemetery. The figure-of-eight shape of the route means there is an option to shorten your walk if you wish (see instructions). The walk never moves far from Paderne, wrapping its way around the surrounding hills and typical barrocal landscape; the A22 motorway is frequently in view and the route passes underneath it twice.

Within minutes of setting off, cross the road to visit Capela Nossa Senhora ao Pé da Cruz, an early seventeenth-century church with simple lines. Leave Paderne to cross the Quarteira River on the Dom Carlos I Bridge. Walk through Purgatório before taking a slow meander up the Cerro de São Vincente (177 metres). Here you will encounter typical features of the barrocal: carob, almond and fig, with scattered olive trees and kermes oak bushes. At the summit, do a brief detour to a ruined moinho or windmill (although the restored one opposite is more impressive). Enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding area, sculpted 160 million years ago by the Alte, Quarteira and Algibre rivers; and gaze down the towering chimneys of the disused brickworks at Purgatório.

Contrast these relics of past industry with the dry orchards, stone walls and agricultural terraces where you're walking. On these hills, you will pass some of the prettiest traditional properties in this part of the Algarve.

The second climb of the day comes as a shock after several kilometres of level walking; however, the stunning near and distant views make the effort worthwhile.

The final section of the route crosses the flood plains of two rivers, the Alte and the Algibre, returning to Paderne along the main road.

Portugal - South Portugal - Central Algarve - Albufeira

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Great Views, Industrial Archaeology, Public Transport, Toilets