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Cerro do Leiria

GPS route – Walking in Algarve – Tavira

 5.3 mi.  Easy   93m B&B Cas al Cubo

Cerro do Leiria walk is a fairly simple round trip starting at Bed and Breakfast Cas al Cubo. The walk is approximately 5.3 miles and covers the area west of the B&B.  Cerro is the Portuguese for quarry and in the Algarve and Alentejo you will find several locations that point to this activity.  In Cerro do Leiria, the typical Algarvian marble (Moleanos) is found which is used a lot in the local building industry to make sills and windowsills.

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From the starting point, you cross the tarmac road, EN398 and follow a small track westbound.  After a crossing, not easy to find, you pass the bowling lawns of Cerro de Leiria where you take a left, slowly leaving the inhabited world behind.  There, the road rises and the views get more spectacular.  Halfway up the hill you can already see your B&B in the valley below.

Plants, shrubs and trees indigenous to the Barrocal dominate this thinly populated area in the traditional Algarve.  This area between the sea and the low hills is also called “the orchard of the Algarve” because of the many fruit trees that do surprisingly well in the harsh local conditions.  Cerro do Leiria is dominated by bizarrely shaped rock formations and offers unexpected views.  The Carob, Olive, Almond and Fig trees that have survived the times are the ones that were planted by the first inhabitants of the area.  They can withstand the long, hot summer because their need for water is low. 

Once you have conquered the hill, the other side offers a quite different vista.  Small farmhouses with orange and almond groves dominate the valley of Desbarato, which you are now entering.  Dogs welcome you with a fierce bark but they are harmless, merely warning their owners of passers by.  There is no sound other than the birds and the wind.  The way back along the foot of Cerro do Leiria, shows large fields of wild flowers in the Spring, whilst in the Summer, cistus rose battles the sun.  This is a nice spot to have a picnic, rest and enjoy the calm and beauty of nature.  We will gladly make you a lunch package if requested the day before your walk.

Note:  This walk can also be used to connect to the walking route Fonte do Mesquita (SBA PR1), that you can also find on this website. 

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