GPS track – Walking-in-Algarve – Loulé (LLE PR10)
3.1 mi. Difficult 211m Salir
Cruz Alta walk (LLE PR10) is a short (3 mile) but strenuous circular trail for birdwatchers, just above Salir, plotted by the Loulé municipality. It is a walk, especially designed for birdwatchers. We have not walked this route ourselves yet, hence we cannot give you information from personal experience. The GPS track can be uploaded on this page.
Birdwatching Loulé (PR10)
The Cruz Alta walk is a real birdwatching trail. The hike is not that long, just three miles ant it starts just north of Salir. The first part is a considerable climb to up to the Cruz Alta hill. This walking route has been set out by the municipality of Loulé and it is a signposted walk. It has to to give hikers an impression of the enormous richness of birds in the region. Information about birds and routes can be found in the book: : Guide book to observing birds in the County of Loulé
From a geological point of view, he area of the Cruz Alta walk is plotted through an old mountain range consisting mainly of shale and grauvaque; a sandstone that consists of many minerals other than quartz, especially micas such as chlorite and biotite. The Serra do Caldeirão is one of the most evocative areas of the interior of the Algarve. It brings together biophysical and cultural features unique to the region. The highest point is 580 m. The area is covered by dense Mediterranean woods and cork forests. Small self-sufficient communities have emerged in the more accessible areas. The valleys are mainly used for traditional agricultural activities, because here in the rivers and streams, so water is available for irrigation of fields and as drinking water for small herds.
This region is strongly characterized by the presence of a rich biodiversity, stimulated mainly by the presence of many cork oak scrub. The fertile valleys and wetlands where some of the most important waterways of the Algarve region originate, contribute to the existence of a very rich fauna and flora. These habitats are the areas where wildlife is abundant, with particular emphasis on avifauna. More than 150 species of birds live in this region, including birds of prey, corvids and numerous songbirds.
The ecological relevance of this mountain area has led to it being included in the list of Natura 2000 sites as a special protection area (ZEC) (PTCON0057) and as a special protection area for birds (ZPE). It has also been classified as an Important Bird Area (PT051), as part of an international project developed by BirdLife International and SPEA (Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds) mainly due to the occurrence of several birds of prey, most notably Bonelli’s eagle or Hawk eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus), the Long-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus) and the Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo), which reproduce well in this area. These are also endangered species and are therefore listed in the Community Birds Directive (79/409 / EEC).