Azinhal dos Mouros
Azinhal dos Mouros
GPS track – Walking-in-Algarve – Loulé (LLE PR09)
9.9 mi. Difficult 192m Ameixial
Azinhal dos Mouros walk (LLE PR9) is a difficult 10 mile circular gps route in the Loulé municipality. We have not walked this track ourselves and we cannot give you any information from personal experience. The GPS track and the official PDF document from this walk can be downloaded here.
Azinhal dos Mouros leads you route through the heart of the Serra Algarvia. The scenery is hills and valleys through which the Ribeira do Vascão and the Ribeira do Vascanito (one of the main tributaries) flow. You also have to cross these rivers. A hiking trail of rare peace and beauty unfolds.
Cork oaks and medronheiros (strawberry trees) grow in the rounded hills, consisting of zoschist. Forestry is one of the most important activities of the population, but the old communities are still pastoral. During the walk you will regularly meet a shepherd with a herd of goats or sheep. This is important because the sheep and goats keep the vegetation of combustible shrubs and plants down.
You will still find plenty of traditional agriculture here, which is excellent for preserving the agricultural land and natural meadows. The local economy is complemented by subsistence farming in the valleys. Cheese, honey and Aguardente (a type of Portuguese gin) are produced in abundance. The oleanders, willows and ash trees grow on the banks of the rivers. It is an excellent place to observe the rich fauna of Blackbirds, Nightingales, Jays, Kingfishers, and mammals such as the rabbit, hare, fox and wild boar. There are even traces of otters.
Along the way you walk past watermills, dams and irrigation canals. Examples are the Chavachã water mill, the Conqueira water mill and the Marmeleira water mill. The water mills on the Azinhal dos Mouros hiking route date back to Roman times. This section of the walk is also part of the Rota de Água (Via Algarviana). In Ximeno and Portela you will see examples of traditional architecture that combines the construction in schist, here an abundant rock, and whitewashed walls. Almost all houses have Arabic tiles and interesting chimneys on the ground floor. In Azinhal dos Mouros you will see a “wall” of Indian fig trees that surrounds the village. It would once have served as a Moorish defence against intruders.