Paderne Castle Circular (PR1)

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This waymarked walk (PR1) starts from Paderne's main car park, which is next to the old cemetery. There are several landmarks along or just off the route, including the early seventeenth-century Capela Nossa Senhora ao Pé da Cruz (close to the start), Fonte de Paderne, Azenha do Castelo (the lovely old mill alongside the Quarteira stream), the Roman bridge, Paderne Castle and the restored windmill of Leitão.

One section of the route runs along the Quarteira stream, which may or may not have water flowing in it, depending on time of year or recent weather. For those who like to know about the local flora and fauna, there are plenty of information boards along the footpath. For example, butterflies you might spot include swallowtail, clouded yellow, green hairstreak, false mallow skipper, red admiral and speckled wood.

The 'Roman' bridge has important historical significance, linking the two sides of the river since historic times. The current bridge was constructed in the 18th Century (the date 1771 is inscribed in its central arch). Just metres from the bridge, there is an old mill which was abandoned in the 1930s. Information boards tell the story of the family who ran it, with photographs.

The climb to Paderne Castle is steep but short. The 900-year-old castle is believed to be one of the seven castles represented on the Portuguese flag and has survived remarkably intact given its taipa (military mud) construction. The earliest mention of the castle is in a document written in 1189 by an anonymous crusader participating in the first Christian conquest. The castle is occasionally open to the public; however, it is difficult to establish exactly when (possibly the first and third Wednesday of the month).

Head back to Paderne along peaceful country lanes to reach the beautifully restored windmill (Moinho de Leitão). From this height, there are wonderful views down onto the town.

Back in Paderne, retracek your steps along the main road to reach the car park.

Portugal - South Portugal - Central Algarve - Albufeira


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Castle, Flowers, Great Views, Nature Trail, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland