Cerro da Goldra
GPS route – Walking-in-Algarve – Loulé
Cerro da Goldra
GPS track – Walking-in-Algarve – Loulé
5.5 mi. Moderate 197m Vale de Rás
Cerro da Goldra walk is in the Loule area. This 5.5 mile round trip, from Walking-in-Algarve, starts at the crossing of four country roads near Vale de Ras just south of Loule.
The start leads you onto a dust road alongside low walls lining orchards. Soon, however, the road becomes paved, not surprisingly, as along this very calm road, beautiful houses have been built and the owners probably disliked dust roads during the rainy season! The road climbs steadily and quite soon the view towards the mountains of the Serra do Caldeirao gets more and more beautiful.
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After about 1.5 miles the relaxed stroll is over. To the right, a steep, stony and uneven path leads you uphill (Cerro means steep hill) accompanied by a cacophony of bird sounds. The track is lined with Medronho trees (don’t eat too much of the fruit, it’ll get you drunk). Considering the amount of goat droppings on the ground, the path is well used by the goatherds and the ruins of an old mill await you at the end of the climb.
The mill ruin is situated on the top of the Cerro da Goldra. Goldra is a small village that the walk, more or less, circles around. The reward for the quite fierce climb stays a surprise until the very last moment. Only when you enter the platform around the mill ruin does the breathtaking view unfold; a beautiful panorama, all the way south to a shining Atlantic Ocean. On a bright day the coastline from Olhao to Quarteira is in clear view. This is “the” place for a nice cup of tea and a picnic lunch. There is a designated picnic place a little further down the road next to the restored “Moinho das 5 Estrellas” or the Five Star Mill however, the ruin of the first mill is still our favourite spot.
Finding the next path is a real challenge. This track is hardly visible and gives the word “steep” a completely different meaning; the gradient being at least 15%! It leads you to the top of the hill next to a big antenna. After this point, the most exciting part of the walk is behind you. The road, sometimes paved sometimes a dust road, slowly descends in the direction of the crossing where the walk started.
Cerro da Goldra walking route is not such a long route, just over 5 miles but, it is a track with surprises. An additional advantage is that it can easily be combined with a visit to the town of Loule. On rainy days this route is not advisable as some parts of the steep track are too dangerous to conquer when slippery and wet.