From Tavira to Alte

A journey through the "barrocal' region of Algarve, sometimes with sea views, either overlooking the mountains, passing in viewpoints, Roman ruins and traditional villages.

This tour departs from Tavira and crosses the Algarve westwards, taking as a reference the first line of ridges that separates the coast from the inland, which highest spot is Cerro de São Miguel. Exit Tavira by EN125, Lisbon direction, turning then to Santo Estêvão. It is a narrow but very beautiful road amidst orange and carob trees. Proceed to Moncarapacho, via Estiramantens. Look at the Renaissance portal of the Church of Moncarapacho, and you can see interesting altarpieces and painted tiles in the church of Santo Cristo. You can make a short detour of 8 km to the north to visit Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo, a center of tiles and other crafts production. At the exit of Moncarapacho, take the direction of São Brás de Alportel, but just half a kilometer ahead, on the left, you will see the signs for the Cerro de São Miguel. This is an elevation, topped by antennas, which stands in the landscape, with an altitude of 410 meters. From above you can see much of the Algarve: right ahead Olhão and Culatra island, with the lighthouse of Cape Santa Maria in evidence. On the side, the island of Armona, the most urbanized. And in the opposite direction, the inappropriately called Faro Island, with its sandy beaches. Going back or cutting short by Azinhal, you will reach Estói where you can see the Roman ruins of Milreu or the beautiful romantic gardens of the Estói Palace. Proceed to São Brás de Alportel (where you can make the connection with the another tour through the villages of Javali, Cova da Muda, etc.).. Take the EN 396 to Querença, an inland village very well preserved and worth seeing. You will appreciate a halt to sit on the terraces of the church square. After Querença, look for signs indicating Fonte da Benémola, a warm valley amidst Mediterranean vegetation, where you will enjoy some moments of tranquility in touch with nature. Finally, take the EN124 towards Salir. If looking to the west, the rocky ridge that stands out from the landscape is the Rocha da Pena, another protected area that you should visit, stopping the car in the village of Penina and going up by one of the footpaths marked on the site. Alte, another typical Algarve village, the end of this journey, is just a few miles away. Access By Via do Infante until the Tavira junction To have into account In São Brás de Alportel you can link this tour with tour no. 5 (Amidst slopes and cork oaks) through mountain villages of Javali, Cova da Muda, etc. Length Some 70 km In the vicinity Villages of Javali, Cova da Muda, Lages, Parises, etc

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