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.
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.
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.