The varied footpaths in the hills of Monchique reveal a wide variety of themes. In collaboration with the Portuguese Hiking Association ACAMINPOR, ECO123 has put together the five most beautiful footpaths for a thematic hiking week.
Arrival on Saturday in Faro in the south of Portugal. You will be picked up there at the station or the airport. Transfer to Caldas de Monchique. There you will spend the ECO hiking week and experience the charm of a spa, which offers you treatments after the hikes. Massages, wellness bath, sauna. On Sunday, you are free to acclimatise as you like. Arrive and switch off. From Monday to Friday, we’ll show you the uplands of Monchique on foot.
Hike I (Monday 12km, the Flora of the South)
… takes you up to the lower of the Algarve’s peaks, the 776-metre-high Picota. The hike starts at nine o’clock and leads from Caldas (252 metres above sea level) seven kilometres along the farm track up to Picota. When the weather is fine, there is a view as far as the southwest cape. Then there’s a five kilometre walk down to Monchique (450 metres) through the monumental chestnut and cork oak forest. Then you return to the hotel by scheduled bus. The walk ends at about 16.00. The half-day hike with vegetarian lunch is the introduction to a lively week, during which you will walk close to 100 kilometres.
Hike II (Tuesday 20 km, Springs)
… takes you up to Fonte Santa, a spring from which warm water has been flowing into two bath houses for centuries. If you want to, you can have a bath, and then a picnic. On the way back, we climb up to Fornalha and walk back to Caldas. The hike ends at about 16.00.
Hike III (Wednesday 25 km, Stones)
Takes you up to the highest peak in the Algarve, Fóia 902 metres above sea level. During the ascent, we stop at a beautiful restaurant. Traditional lunch. Visit to the ruins of the convent destroyed in the 1755 earthquake. Walk around Monchique: medronho shop, artist’s workshop. Walk through the lanes. End of hike about 17.00.
Hike IV (Thursday 18 km, Mills) Walk to the water-rich mills. At ten o’clock, the small group travels by scheduled bus to Monchique, and hikes along the path of the mills. Stop at a water-mill and picnic. The walk leads back to the village along narrow lanes. End of the walk at 17.00.
Hike V (Friday 23 km, Waterfalls) The high point of the hiking week is the footpath to the Barbelote waterfall. The walk leads along several farm tracks and footpaths past terraces and herds of cows, goats and sheep and around the peak of Fóia. Beautiful views over to the west coast. On the last day, we end the walk with a nice dinner together. On Saturday morning, we take you back to the station or airport in Faro after breakfast.
Overnight stays in the 4-star Hotel Central, Dom Carlos I and in the Albergaria; buffet breakfast, lunch or picnic, and dinner are included. Hiking guide speaks Portuguese, English and German. Each walk can also be booked as a single walk. Hiking tours for two participants or more, up to a maximum of 12 hikers. Spa treatments possible after the hikes, but not included in the price. Please send enquiry in writing for dates and prices: firstname.lastname@example.org.