Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Rocha (Porches) circular

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The starting point for this short circular route is a car park just a few hundred metres inland from one of the Algarve's most iconic landmarks, the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Rocha. This small chapel, dating back to the 16th Century, is located within a fortified site on a rocky promontory close to Armação de Pêra and, though the chapel itself is closed, the site is well worth a visit.

Join the cliff-top coast path and head westwards, enjoying panoramic coastal views and occasionally glancing below at the numerous coves which make this region of Portugal so popular with tourists. Some beaches are accessible via steep steps, others only by boat. The route crosses the unusually shaped Praia do Barranco – the sand stretches farther inland than it does along the coast – after which there is a steep climb back onto the clifftop.

There are many fascinating geological features along the route, including (fenced) sink-holes, the submarine-shaped Ferro de Engomar and the Arco de Albandeira. Just be careful always to stay on the safe side of any fencing as the limestone rock is constantly eroding.

The last section of coastal walking follows a beautiful walkway cut into the cliff above Praia da Marinha, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe and used widely in Portugal's tourism publicity. Look out for the steps down to the beach and the cat colony based in the bushes beyond the picnic benches.

Head inland at Praia da Marinha to meander along peaceful trails and footpaths and eventually descend into the beautiful juniper-sloped valley which lies behind Praia do Barranco.

The route finishes with a short stretch of walking through housing as you return to the car park.

Portugal - South Portugal - Central Algarve - Lagoa


Birds, Cafe, Flowers, Great Views, Nature Trail, Public Transport, Sea