GPS track – Walking-in-Algarve – Loulé
7.1 mi. Moderate 203m Aguas Frias do Meio
Aguas Frias walk is an averagely difficult, 7 mile circular GPS walk in the Loulé municipality. We have not walked this trail ourselves yet, hence we cannot give you any information from personal experience. The GPStrack and the official PDF folder from the Loulé Concelho can be downloaded here.
The Aguas Frias hiking trail is plotted in the north of the municipality of Loulé, on the border between the Alentejo and the Algarve. We rate it as average, with a length of over a little more then 7 mile and not too much climbing. The walk passes through two distinct types of landscape; the mountains of the Serra do Caldeirão and the valley of the Rio Arade. This river runs south through the Algarve via Silves and flows into the sea at Alvor (Portimão). The banks of the Rio Arade are full of flowers every season of the year. That is why it is teeming with dragonflies and butterflies. They are the food of all kinds of lizards, frogs and salamanders and where there is prey, you will also find the hunters.
This sparsely populated area is still inhabited by traditional farmers who maintain their fields in the old-fashioned way. Along the river you will find the small self-sufficient vegetable gardens (horas) that provide the families of the scattered farms with fresh vegetables. Fruit comes from the orange and lemon trees. An important pillar on which the local economy floats is cork. On the part of the route that passes through the birches of the Serra do Caldeirão, you will find many cork oaks, all of which belong to someone. Once every nine years the oaks are peeled with care and in the old-fashioned way: with a machete.
In this region you will also find houses in a very old architectural style: taipa building. The Portuguese word taipa means rammed earth and has its origins in the Arabic tâbiya. This construction method dates back to the 12th century AD when the Moors introduced it here in the Algarve. In the Taipa construction method you create a structure by spreading out a layer of earth about 30 centimeters thick in a mold. Then you tamp this soil so firmly that the clay thickens to about 15 centimeters high. By stacking and tamping layer upon layer in this way you get a powerful, compact wall that will last for years or centuries. When the building has dried you can remove the mold. What remains is an extremely strong and special-looking building.