Algarve Northern Hills - Rocha da Pena and Queremca Walks and Pictures.

The Fonte dos Amoados Rocha walk on the Algarve

Rocha da Pena circular walk to take a look at some windmills in The Algarve.

This is an 8km circular walk leaving from the springs and goes to some derelict windmills then back across a lovely limestone ridge to drop down into Penina before returning back to the start along a pleasant track.
This is a most enjoyable circular walk - there are two climbs although one of them can be avoided if you chose to not visit the windmills. However if you do go to the windmills you have to go down a steep and winding narrow path which in places is quite slippery underfoot on the gravel and small scree. To get back onto the top of the ridge from the windmills you eventually have to climb up a fairly steep scree bank and then also a very steep and somewhat slippery (because of the gravel and loose stones underfoot) path.
The start is found by leaving the Pena to Salir road, turn at Tapia and follow the signs for Rocha da Pena. On reaching a small cafe / restaurant at Rocha [N37°02" W008°05'54"] you can easily park alongside the track by the Spring (The Fonte dos Amoados). Facing the front of the restaurant start off by taking the track on it's left - this quite rough track climbs immediately and bears a little left at first before turning sharp right as it heads straight towards the ridge - fairly soon the track gets less steep as it continues to head in an easterly direction underneath the ridge. Around a kilometre from the bend the top of the ridge is reached by a rocky clearing. From here there is an option to simply go left on a switchback path - this will take you back along the top of the ridge towards Penina.
limestone ridge overlooking Pena Rocha da Pena - The Algarve Rocha - Windmill scree

However if you wish to visit the windmills (and have to do the ascents/descents mentioned above) continue ahead on an initially wide rocky path for about 3/4 of a kilometre - the path gets narrow and then seems to end. On the right and not that easy to spot take a small rocky path heading very steeply down and involving a bit of scrambling, then the path becomes easier and bears left along the hill-side to reach a track - the windmills are clearly visible. At the track turn left and soon at the next track junction turn right and follow this to visit the derelict windmills. To continue the walk go back along the track - this time keep straight ahead at the junction - going through some nice trees and woodland - with views of a valley way down on the right and the cliffs of the ridge towering high up on the left. Just about 1 kilometre from the windmills look out for some heavy scree on the left [N37°15'24" W008°05'35"] - there is a very faint path which heads up and across the scree.
Follow this and after a few 100 metres the scree ends - now head right up into the cliffs on the path. This is very steep in places and quite slippery because of the gravel - simply keep going up and eventually climb over the edge of the cliffs onto the ridge then take a wide rocky path which heads slightly left away from the cliff edge. In under 1/2 a kilometre reach the original outbound path - turn right and follow this to soon reach the clearing previously mentioned. At the far end of the clearing a small path leaves half right - now the walk is simply a case of following this well marked path (yellow/red stripes) as it heads west across the top of the ridge towards Penina. The views of the valley below along here are excellent as are the cliff formations - the path goes through trees at times, else rocky areas or just scrub. In around 1.75 kilometres from starting on this side path and just after the path has risen a little look out for a narrow path on the left - this goes slowly up to reach a trig point and again from here there are really good views for miles around.
Rocha da Pena - The Algarve Rocha da Pena - The Algarve Algarve-Rocha-Walk stoney path - Algarve - Rocha walk
Return back down to the original path and go left - this is now a wide and very rubbly track which descends quite steeply in places and is somewhat difficult to walk on at times. Follow this as it bends slowly left and eventually just as it reaches the outskirts of Penina becomes a concrete road.
rough track back into Penina - Algarve Penina Algarve - Penina outside Penina
Go straight ahead into the village then at the crossroads turn left and follow the road out of the village heading towards Pena. Around half a kilometre along take a track on the left which soon bends right and follows the ridge - simply stay on this bendy track until you reach your start point at the The Fonte dos Amoados springs.

An Algarve circular walk from Querenca via Fontes de Benemola.

Querenca Church in The AlgarveThis walk of about 8.5KMs heads down to and alongside a small river and visits the Fontes de Benemola then up into hills before circling back via the villages of Coreitos, Pirineu and Adega. Querenca is located north of Loule just off the 396 road. There is a certain amount of parking available in the square at Querenca by the church [N37°11'56" W007°59'20"] - probably Saturdays and Sundays would be best avoided for this walk since parking is probably easier during the week. There are 2 cafes in the village square.
With the church behind you walk out of the square on a narrow road which passes on the left side of the Junta de Freguesia (there is a Tourist Information Office in this building). The cobbled road heads down between houses - when you come to a small chapel take the left fork and carry on downhill between walls and small houses on a lovely shady small road. Go straight ahead at a cross track to finally reach a road junction - go right and follow the road until you reach the main road (the N524).
Go left along the N524 for around a half a kilometre and then immediately before reaching a sharp left hand bend take the track on the right - there is a noticeboard here which gives information about Menalva Valley.
Querenca tourist information Querenca - The Algarve Querenca - The Algarve squashes - Algarve
Querenca - The Algarve shady Querenca road threshing circle - Algarve Querenca Querenca - The Algarve
Just here on the right there is a lime kiln but this might well be so overgrown with foliage to be mostly invisible - also there is a ruined building and threshing circle on the left. Continue along the track as it heads along the valley to reach a track junction - go left and then take the left fork when the track splits again near a house. The track soon reaches the river and the Fonte [N37°12'27" W008°00'27"] - there are picnic tables and seats here alongside the river - also stepping stones if you wish to explore the area. Continue along the track still following the river to reach another picnic area - here amongst some pools the river seems to disappear - presumably underground.
Querenca - The Algarve Fonte near Querenca Querenca - The Algarve Querenca - The Algarve
From the picnic area continue on along the now narrow stoney track - this soon climbs quite steeply and becomes much wider and somewhat difficult to walk underfoot as it goes round the hillside to reach another track junction. Go left - the track still climbs a little before levelling off at the top of the hill - now simply follow this track as it meanders along before dropping down into the outskirts of Coreitos. Go between houses to reach a narrow road and turn right. Follow this now wide road downhill - as it bends to the right take a narrow road on the left which cuts the corner and passes the tiny village of Cerca Nova.
Querenca - The Algarve distant Coreitos Coreitos Querenca - The Algarve
Querenca - The Algarve Algarve - unusual flowers Algarve flowers Algarve walks - Querenca - small well
Once back to the main road turn left and follow for about 1.4kms as it winds and climbs until you reach a T-junction (there is a well on the right). Go left - (signposted Querenca) and then at the next junction go right and follow this narrow road which soon swings left and eventually arrives back at the small chapel passed earlier. Go left and follow the cobbled street back to Querenca.
Our Algarve Walks Beaches and Holiday Guides Home Page shows all of our items about visiting the The Algarve and places to see there.
Also please see our Canary Islands and Algarve Walks Beaches and Holidays Home Page for all items on our site i.e. topics about holidays and walks on several Canary Islands.
Of further interest may be our other websites which touring, holiday guides, sightseeing and in some cases walks for The Greek Islands, Cyprus, India, England, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand. Please find these via our Site Resources item.
Visit Site Resources if you wish to Email Us. Also perhaps take a look at our Website Cookies and Privacy Policy.