Vale das Hortas
Vale das Hortas
GPS track – Walking-in-Algarve – Tavira (TAV PR7)
8.4 mi. Moderate 124m Tavira
Vale das Hortas walk (TAV PR7) is an official walking route by the Tavira Municipality. We have not walked this route ourselves yet and cannot offer specific information.
The GPS track of this hike can be downloaded on this page as well as the PDF file with some extra information that is made by Tavira Concelho.
Vale das Hortas walk in three stages
MEALHA – MEALHA Reservoir (2.1 mi; maximum height 386 m)
The walk starts in the center, passing the washing area and the Picota. This is a big pillar where the skulls of the beheaded criminals were displayed in the past. The small paved streets where the locals have their doors open offer a good idea of local village life. Everybody knows each other and in the hours before dusk, the villagers collect in front of their houses to share gossip and news. Leave the village past the small vegetable gardens (Hortas) that are watered from the reservoir and under large eucalyptus trees.
VALE DAS HORTAS (1.8 mi. maximum height 402 m)
On top of the hill you leave Tavira behind and enter the municipality of Loulé. The descent brings you to the hill of Vale das Hortas. Cross the Corte river over the concrete ramp and follow the unpaved path. The vegetation gets more and more varied, the gardens more derelict and wells are hidden under bramble bush. Don’t forget a small detour to visit the Azenha do Pisão, a well kept hydraulic (water driven) watermill . In the fifties of the past century, mills like these water of vital importance for the watering of the crops.
CORTE JOÃO MARQUES (4.3 mi maximum height 340 m)
Follow the road until the tarmac and then follow the river towards Corte João Marques. Take a break and enjoy the surrounding landscape. The picknick tables offer an ideal spot for a lunch. This quiet hill is a crossing of roads to the Alentejo, Ameixial, Mealha and Cachopo. The traditional stone houses and sheep folds invite you to make photographs. The area also hosts the remnants of another water mill. The path crosses the river another time and both sides are flanked by well kept vegetable gardens.The cyclus of nature, earth and seasons is understood by the inhabitants. People live in harmony with the environment. Your walk ends in Mealha again.