By and large there’s plenty of good walking in the Eastern Algarve, but once in a while I like to stray a little further west. The landscape changes significantly, the sands becoming red-gold, backed by ragged cliffs. Between Portimão and Lagos, the Alvor estuary opens gently to the ocean. The Rocha Delicada Trail takes you around the marshland, rich with bird life, and out to the mouth of the river.
Across the estuary figures stoop to dig in the sand and shallow water, collecting shellfish. Back breaking work, but it’s free food. Weekends and evenings whole families come and join in, picnicking on the sands, while their dogs race around in high excitement.
The path follows the river and for a while you are surrounded by water. Rio Alvor joins with Ria de Odiaxere, and together they meander toward the distant ocean. The wetlands are at your back, and tiny figures form silhouettes on the silver shoreline.
It’s pure exhilaration being surrounded by such glorious nature. Leaving the sea to its own pastimes, the trail heads back then, towards the Rocha looming over the bay. An information board suggests what there is to see, if you keep your eyes open. The second half of the walk carries you away from the ocean, through peaceful farmland with horses grazing quietly.
The blossom lingers, as the shoreline recedes. The fields are a vibrant green, farmhouses prosperous or abandoned in equal measure. Dappled shade shields from the warm sun as we complete the circuit back to our start point, Mexilhoeira Grande station.
The station is simply a platform, with no facilities, so we can opt to drive into Mexilhoeira Grande itself, or continue around the bay to Alvor. The riverfront there is a pleasant place to relax, with some interesting metal sculptures by a favourite Algarve artist.
An apple tart with a caramel topping, in case you’re wondering. And the art, the work of Carlos de Oliveira Correia.
8km of mostly level ground. Perfect for a sunny Monday.
Where shall we go first? Let’s accompany Teresa!
I don’t know the South of France at all, but Drake knows it rather well :
It’s still winter in some parts of the world, as Indra will tell you :
And Rupali is no stranger to the white stuff, but Spring is coming :
A Cornish winter is a little kinder, isn’t it Jude?
Rain is always either desperately needed or not wanted at all. Rainforests, though, are rather special. Let Sarah take you to Costa Rica!
But it’s sunshine all the way with Sheetal, in mystical India :
It always gladdens my heart when a post features somewhere close to ‘home’. Thanks for this, Fraggle!
It should have been Carnaval in the Algarve this week. No processions were authorised, but we did see some diminutive fairies and butterflies. Children can always find the joy in life, can’t they? Wishing you all a happy March!