Moinhos e Hortas
GPS route – Walking in Algarve – Santa Catarina (TAV PR10)
7.3 mi. Moderate 126m B&B Cas al Cubo
Moinhos e Hortas walk is an easy circular track of a little over 7 miles around the sleepy traditional village of Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo in te Eastern Algarve. We have changed the starting point to our bed and breakfast Cas al Cubo. For those who prefer the original route starting in Santa Catarina, the description is as follows.
Peace and quiet is found immediately behind the village where the Moinhos e Hortas walk starts. The village church is the official actual starting point although we often start our local walks at the village bakery, Madeira’s Pao Quente, where they will gladly make you a take-away sandwich. Behind the church, a small road leads out of the village.
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The first part of Moinhos e Hortas leads you to a newly built house where there used to be an old mill (moinho) at the top of the hill. Behind this, you will find a quiet valley with some widespread small farms with hortas (vegetable gardens). You will hear the sound of the wind rustling through the trees and birds calling to each other. Halfway through the walk, you have to cross over the EN 270. This road connects Tavira with Sao Bras de Alportel. Just when you pass the bridge, there is a tiny café where you can buy a drink and. When the owner is in a good mood, she even makes you a cheese sandwich (sandes com queijo).
Once you have crossed the road, a clear path leads up the hill passing some houses and all kinds of groves: orange, carob, fig and almond. The latter blossoming abundantly at the beginning of February, in an early Algarvian Spring. Your return journey to the village goes through Varzeas, after which Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo comes into sight again. Here the bakery awaits you with a large glass of fresh orange juice.
Route Moinhos Hortas can also be walked straight from our bed and breakfast. This alternative route makes the first stretch just slightly longer because you have to walk into the village (2 miles approx.). However it shortens the return journey. The walk back doesn’t go all the way into the village but via Cerro do Leiria towards B&B Cas al Cubo instead.