Bemparece route is a GPS route from B&B Cas al Cubo
Bemparece walk is a challenge! We have developed this track ourselves and the farmers in the valley decide every year to change the fields and the paths. All walkers choosing to take this route are definitely in for a surprise.
The beauty of the Bemparece walk is, among other things, that halfway the route we have integrated a truly lovely little traditional Portuguese restaurant. The restaurant is called O´ Cantina da Serra and it offers drinks (of course) and excellent lunches on a nice covered terrace with amazing views towards the coast. In our attempts to map the area around our own village, Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo, for out walking and hiking guests, we discover more and more how wonderfully we have chosen the location of our Portuguese home.
One of the things we found out about making walks is, that a nice picnic spot or a restaurant halfway is a great break. Not just to give these old ladies´ legs a short rest, but also because the places we find are not the most obvious to go to for any holiday goer. A nice fireplace to warm up in the winter, a chair instead of a plastic bag to rest the bum on … we like it! And our Bemparece walk is an excellent example of what we mean by a good combination of exertion and relaxation!
Walk Bemparece combines valleys with hilltops, water with dry shrub and it´s an almost impossible challenge after some heavy rain. The reason for this is, that the route forces the walker to cross the Alportel River no less then four times. And mind you: no stepping-stones available! So a good towel to dry your feet is a must on this walk. Fording is easiest barefoot.
We have parked the car at the small bridge of Varzéas do Vinagre. The first miles you are surrounded by agricultural land. Farmers pruning their vines (in January) wave and smile at every passer by. Bigger and smaller farmhouses are scattered through the valley and every now and then a surprising piece of “antique” is thrown randomly into a garden. In our case a grumpy looking Fiat 500 from the 60´s (did it exist then?).
After the valley starts the first river crossing and then three more until we ended up at Malhada do Judeu, a three house small community, from where a clear path follows the river. After a steep climb, we reached the tarmac that we crossed to descend into the next valley. Following the ridge of the hill, we end up at the halfway restaurant, where we ordered the specialty of the house: Javali (wild boar stew).
The owners of the restaurant also run the adjoining Medronho distillery. Their Aguardente, the typical Portuguese spirit is of an exceptionally high quality. Needless to say that you shouldn´t try it when you still have to walk back five miles.
The way back follows the ridge of the hill eastward. Halfway a real challenge awaits because where once was a path, the farmer made a new field so we had to plough through the field to reach the lower running path that lead us back to the car. It was a fantastic route, it´s not marked but with the GPS we were able to follow the track without problems and so will our guests.