Cerro da Cabeca
Cerro da Cabeca
GPS walk – Walking-in-Algarve – Olhão
2.8 mi. Easy 207m Moncarapacho
Cerro da Cabeca walk is an easy 2.8 mile roundtrip through the nature park near Moncarapacho in the Eastern Algarve The route leads you over an old ridge of hills that seem to randomly pop up out of the East-Algarve landscape. Due to the karst formations, geologists consider it a natural monument. The caves, which we haven’t been able to find, are hidden in the hills and trespassing is not allowed. These are a source of many Moorish legends and a host to several kinds of bat populations, some of which are unique to the area.
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Cerro da Cabeca walk is a lovely track and climbing the hill to the very top is a challenge. This hike is also published in the Rother walking guide. We have gladly taken it into our walking program at B&B Cas al Cubo.
Cerro da Cabeca walk starts at the foot of the hill in an old and small industrial area. The calcareous stone that used to be quarried from the mountain was being processed here up to a century ago. During the walk, traces of this old trade are still clearly visible. Along the sides of Cerro da Cabeca an old unkempt path leads to the top of the mountain. At some point it disappears and you’ll have to find your own way, Himalayan style, guided by small piles of stones that pop up into view every now and then. They point out that you are still more or less “on track”.
Climbing Cerro da Cabeca, using hand and feet
At a certain point, these ´stone men` disappear altogether. The only clue of direction you have is the small statue that shows the highest point of the hill. If you are a true daredevil, you can reach the top. Start climbing over the granite blocks that seem to be thrown randomly from the sky by a huge hand. It makes the walk a real adventure and you can be proud to reach the summit at 249 meter.
Cerro do Cabeca walk is almost 3 miles long and every yard is bliss. The views are more stunning the higher you climb. Enjoying a cool drink under the shadowy overhang of a large granite rock and looking at panoramic views of the coastline makes you want to sit there forever. The path is lined with flowers and trees, Carob and Medronho being prevalent in this dry area. About halfway, you stumble across cactus garden near the ruins of a farmhouse from which we think it probably once belonged to a worker at the quarry.
Going down Cerro do Cabeca walk is faster, because a large unkempt staircase leads from almost the top of the hill back to the car at the industrial area. You are now only 1 mile from the village of Moncarapacho so you can drive into town and have a nice lunch, or at least a cool drink. We can advise Ana’s Restaurant in the church square to finish off the walk.