albufeira pr 1, paderne, 10,3 km
PR 1 Castle Route
The parking at the João Campos football pitch is the starting point for three signposted walks, all about 10 kms of distance. PR 1 is the castle route and will take us through the area just south of the charming village. The route makes a very pleasant walk, full of interesting sites and pretty scenery. The first bit is still on tarmaced road and takes us up the hill from the chapel along the cemetery and school. At the other side of the hill the route continues as a dirt road going towards the Quarteira river. Slightly off track, one can visit the Paderne spring, historically important for supplying drinking water and washing facilities, a social meeting point and still a popular place for campers to stay over a couple of nights. In the fertile Quarteira valley fig, almond, carob, orange and lemon grow abundantly. Various water supply and pumping mechanisms, often of Arab design can be seen. In winter or spring, after heavy rain fall, the river crossing at Amoreira may not be possible. walkers can still reach the Paderne castle remaining on the northern side of the river. A shame though to miss out on the prettiest part of the route. The stretch from the water mill to the old bridge is a beautiful single track turning and curving through dense vegetation from the southern river bank and the high and steep hill side. Crossing the old bridge, 'Ponte de Paderne' is the route's highlight. The inscription saying 1771 indicates probably the bridge's reconstruction after the 1755 earth quake. Original foundation of the bridge is estimated to date back to Roman times. The route continues with some more lovely single track on the north side of the Quarteira river. We are going back up stream until a track to the right takes us up the steep hill side directly to the ruins of the Paderne castle. The castle was built during the last period of Arab occupation in the 13th century and very characteristic is its 'taipa' constuction consisting of local clay and limestone. After descending from the castle and crossing the motorway we are getting back into inhabited areas. The climbing road along typical houses, small farms and some villas take us up the Cerro do Leitão and invite us to see more of Paderne. The windmill on top of the hill is just off track, but can be visited. A rough descent with some deep gutters and rolling stones brings us back to the village where it is tempting to continue immediately for PR 2 or 3.
Distance: 10,27 km.
Accumulated ascent: 242 m.
- Difficulty: 2/5
- Scenery: 4/5
Points of interest:
- Paderne's spring (Fonte de Paderne)
- Water mill at the Quarteira river (Azenha de Paderne)
- Old bridge crossing the Quarteira river (Ponte de Paderne)
- Paderne's 13th century castle (Castelo de Paderne)
- Leitão wind mill (Moinho do Leitão)
- Paderne's 16th century main church
- Quarteira river, Ribeira de Quarteira, Natura 2000 PTCON 0038, www.icnb.pt
Food & drinks
Near the starting point at the football pitch and in the village centre a bit further up the hill are several cafés and small restaurants. Along the walking route are no venues, however the water at the Paderne spring is drinkable.
Track author: Municipality of Albufeira, www.cm-albufeira.pt