Paderne and Alte - Walks around the Algarve inland towns of Paderne and Alte.
Portugal Algarve Alte Circular Walk with Pictures.
A fairly short circular walk into the Algarve hills and back which can either be a 4km circuit or if you go further into the countryside as we did then the distance is around 8.5kms - both walks start from the Fonte Grande.
located inland to the north of Abulfeira on the 124 road - the town has very narrow streets which are best walked round rather than driven. To park keep on
the 124 road towards Salir and take the signposted road on the left to Fonte Grande. After crossing the narrow bridge turn right and around half a kilometre along there is a picnic area and parking
available - there is a cafe located here too. Note that on weekends and especially Sundays it gets really busy so you need to get there early else
perhaps pick a weekday when parking is easy. Remember to take some bread with you since the resident - fat - ducks who live by the picnic area will
expect to be fed. This picnic area at the Fonte Grande is a great place for children to play - the water is shallow, clean and looked ok for paddling and messing about etc.
From the picnic area continue along the tarmac road - this soon becomes a wide often stone-walled dirt track which goes through trees and countryside.
The track follows the river which is a little way down on your right but you cannot see it most of the time due to heavy foliage. Around 1700 metres from the picnic area the track joins a tarmac road - just a little way along you come to where a stream crosses the road - worth the small diversion if the weather has been wet. Walk back from the stream
and then go right on the tarmac road - this climbs quite steeply for over half a kilometre then bends left. A narrow walled road**
joins from the left here - if you just want to go back to the Fonte
take this road - which soon becomes a dirt track - and stay on it until it rejoins the outward track - turn right and follow this back to the picnic area.
However we wanted to have a bit more of a look round the area - the following description is therefore a "there and back" section. Continued climbing up the road which soon started to bend round to the right now going through orange groves.
The road reverts to being a dirt track - there are good views of the surrounding area from here - the track goes sort of level for a while and then descends eventually quite steeply to reach a track junction.
The stream is just a little way ahead if you want to take a look - we did of course - however turn left at the junction and follow this narrow farm track which is bordered by high reeds and general wet area caused
by the nearbye stream. We walked until we reached an open area where there were several ruined buildings - here we sat under the trees and ate our lunch whilst enjoying the views of the farmland and hills.
Eventually we simply retraced our steps back via the orange groves to the previously mentioned road junction** - went right and followed this really nice little road back as described earlier to the Fonte.
Before leaving it's worth having a look round Alte - only a few minutes walk back to the bridge from the picnic area.
Don't cross the bridge and don't forget to feed the poor starving fat ducks - just go straight ahead into the town and wander around enjoying looking at the buildings, church, houses and pretty streets and flowers.
A Paderne Algarve 14km Circular walk with climbs - visits Paderne Castle and a Roman Bridge.
This walk also goes through beautiful countryside on rolling hills via a windmill before returning back across the bridge and returning to Paderne.
The walk starts from the centre of Paderne where there is a fairly large car park available (near the cemetery and adjacent to the football stadium). The town can be quite busy on Saturdays since they have a street market. It should be noted that Paderne Castle is not all that
fantastic - much of it is ruined and fenced off so you cannot even get inside - so if you intended simply driving up to "see the castle" the fairly long bumpy trip up the track is probably not worth the trouble. However visiting the castle as part of the walk is not a problem.
From the car park go left along the road soon passing the cemetery - keep straight ahead at a junction and then take the next road on the left which is signposted "Fonte/Castelo". Follow this narrow tarmac road which
passes houses and then open countryside - to the right you can see the high chimneys of the brick factory. As the road starts to bear left you will see a Fonte, washbasins and old buildings on the right - these have been refurbished
and in pretty good condition so interesting to look round. Back on the road just after passing the Fonte take a dirt road on the right signposted "Castelo". This rough track winds through the countryside passing several old buildings - always stay on the main track soon with the castle visible up in the hills.
Just after going under the motorway the main track goes left but keep straight ahead and just after a notice board take a small path on the left - this climbs up to eventually re-join a dirt track just before the castle.
Continue along to the castle - as mentioned you cannot get inside but you can walk completely round it's still imposing walls and enjoy the views of the valley and river below - also you get a sneak preview of the Roman Bridge amongst the trees. Facing the castle entrance take the path on
it's left side - at the end of the castle wall continue straight on via a really narrow path - this wanders along the hillside at first heading away from the Roman Bridge before going left and heading at times quite steeply
downhill to reach a path alongside the river bed.
Turn left and follow this really nice path sometimes passing through really heavy foliage to reach the Roman Bridge - on the way there are pretty good views of the Castle including a view of the church - not previously visible.
Cross the bridge and turn left - after a short distance look for a narrow path on the right which goes steeply up hill - stay on this path - shortly after passing a ruined building on the right the path seems to end but it does in
fact go left and soon becomes a much wider path.
On reaching a t-junction turn right now onto a narrow track which has heavy and really wide stone walls.
The track goes fairly straight and descends a little to reach a track junction - go left and then at the next junction go right - you can now see the motorway bridge and a corrugated building. This bit of the walk is not so
good since the area has been used for dumping rubbish (however this does not last for very long) and then cross the motorway bridge.
Continue straight ahead then when the track swings to the right keep straight ahead on a dirt path which goes across fields and almost appears to go through houses and gardens - it then becomes a walled trail. The trail comes out between
houses on a small tarmac road - go right and soon reach a much wider road - go right again and follow this along eventually going under the motorway. You will soon see a ruined windmill on the right - a narrow track takes you up to it -
the motorway and it's fast traffic seem really close here. Return to the road and turn right - the road winds and climbs and soon after passing farm buildings on the right you cross the motorway via a bridge and then take the track on the left.
You eventually pass houses complete with yappy dogs and there is a large iron sign "Azenha" across the path. Go down this steep and stoney track - the castle is now high up ahead of you. A little way down the track take a path on the right which drops sometimes steeply back to the river where you turn right. (However it's worth
diverting left here to take a look at the old mill, millstones and the river a little way along). Follow the path alongside the river bed and after about a kilometre you will arrive back at the Roman Bridge which you cross.
Turn right onto a track and look out on the right for the remains of mill - this is really covered with brambles but you can climb along the wall and inside you will see a millstone and the various
water channels which were all really interesting. Opposite this there is a bee-hive oven in really good condition. Continue along the rubble track - this winds round and steeply up to reach a t-junction, go left and continue on
this now wide track. Ignore a track on the left (unless you need to walk back up to the castle) - the track swings round to the right and starts to descend. Ignore a track coming in from the right and eventually arrive back at the motorway bridge. Go right under the bridge and walk back along the original outbound track to the road junction.
Turn right along the road which soon starts to climb then as the road bends right take a track on the left by a ruined building. The track soon becomes a road - just stay
on this eventually passing a lot of houses and apartments on the left - stay on the main road passing a school and soon getting a good view of Paderne and the football stadium below you. Follow the road steeply down into Paderne - at the road junction go right and head back to the car park/start point.
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