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Anta das Pedras Altas

Anta das Pedras Altas

GPS track – Walking-in-Algarve – Tavira (TAV PR9)

 6.2 mi.  Moderate   119m Mealha

Anta das Pedras Altas walk (TAV – PR9) is aan averagely difficult, six mile  circular hike that starts in Mealha. It is one of the official Percurso Pedestres  of the municipality, situated in the northernmost part  of the territory. The forty minute drive that it will take you to arrive into the Cachopo area, is more than worth it. This is one of the tracks that shows traditional country life and the rich cultural history of the Algarve. 

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The Anta das Pedras Altas walk (TAV PR9) is plotted about 25 mile north of Tavira, near the historic village of Cachopo. Driving in the hills you will experience the tranquility of the traditional Algarve. The roads are almost deserted and as you get higher the views are spectacular.

We walk this trail in early January on a beautiful sunny day. Mealha, the cultural historical highlight of the region, is the starting point. This prevents a pair of wet feet at the very beginning of the walk because at Redonda, one of the other villages,  the river has to be crossed. Just after the start, still within the village boundaries of Mealha, there are several ‘Palheiros’ or traditional shepherd’s huts where, in old times, the hay and grass for the cattle were stored. They are in various stages of decay. Tradition has it that until the early 20th century, these sort of warehouses even housed entire farming families along with their livestock. When you see the huts you cannot imagine anything like it.

Portugese dolmen

A little along the walk and after te first climb, you will pass a real Portuguese megalith or “Anta”. This is the Anta das Pedras Altas. When you see the enormous stones, you wonder how the small Portuguese got those colossi up the mountain! From the Anta you have a beautiful view over the valley. Then the route passes the “Currais da Valeira”, a collection of cattle beads that historically lined the sheperds trails and that were used by every traveling herd. After all, it was necessary to always provide the cattle with fresh food and migration was the only option.

Along the way you can enjoy views, alternated with eucalyptus and pine forests. With a height difference of about 130 meters, spread over a few steep climbs, and some poorly maintained paths, this hike is average in level. To discover the hinterland of the Eastern Algarve, Anta das Pedras Altas walk (TAV PR9) is highly recommendable!

Download file: TAV-PR9 Antas das Pedra Altas ~ Mealha.gpx

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