são brás de alportel pr 1, fonte da mesquita, 9,9 km
PR1 Trails and Crossings to go to the Spring
The council of São Brás de Alportel is one of great natural beauty and diversity. A series of signposted walks have been created to show pedestrians the natural and cultural richness of the region which goes a lot further than only its traditional cork industry. PR2 and 3 cover the mountain area in the north of the council. Walkers doing PR1 remain in the southwestern part which represents the transition from the lower 'barrocal' area to the mountains of Serra do Caldeirão where the geological change from limestone to schist can clearly be observed.
The walk leaves the hamlet called Fonte da Mesquita in northern direction following the pretty single track and stone walls of Caminho do Monte Negro. On the other side of main road 270, near Mesquita Alta, the Caminho da Bugia leads us into the Bengado river valley. Keeping a view on the Serra do Caldeirão we cross the river twice. Many agricultural fields, vegetable gardens, water pumping and distribution systems proove this valley to be very fertile. The walking tracks seem well worn and maintained, still often used by locals connecting fields, and people as they have done for long times. Some since the Roman days like the Caminho da Bárbara Días along the Bengado river.
We leave the Bengado valley in southern direction, crossing main road 270 again passing now a more inhabited area called Canada. The route remains interesting as we pass an example of the small factories that produce tiles and bricks made out of the red coloured barrocal clay. Back to single track we pass more springs and wells and steadily climb up until Monte do Altinho close to Mesquita Baixa. From here we get more views to the south now including those on the huge stone blocks of the quarries exploring the metamorphic soil. Along the Caminho do Cascalho remains from a settlement from Islamic times can be observed. Unfortunately shortly after this wonderful walk comes to an end at the water mill and spring on the main crossings of Fonte da Mesquita.
Distance: 9,94 km.
Accumulated ascent: 240 m.
- Difficulty: 2/5
- Scenery: 4/5
Points of interest:
- Restored wind mill of Bengado
- Mesquita geopoint of geological interpretation
- Roman cobbled street of São Brás de Alportel (Calçadinha)
- Ethnographic museum of Algarve costume (Museu do Trajo do Algarve)
- Museum for cork tradition in Alportel (Centro Museológico de Alportel)
Food & drinks
- Café Zé Bolota
- Restaurante Horta in Cerro da Mesquita
- Restaurante O Graciano in Mesquita Alta
Track author: Municipality of São Brás de Alportel, www.cm-sbras.pt