Location: Aljezur, Praia da Amoreira; Aljezur municipality; GPS Coordinates : 37°21’6.66″N; 8°50’33.28″W; Grade: moderate/medium difficulty; some stretches can be more difficult for elderly or very young visitors; Type: circuit (circular) trail; this trail is signposted; Length: 7.000 meters/ 4.35 miles; Average Completion Time: up to 2.5 hours; Best Time to Visit: all year round; may not be advisable on stormy or windy days; Activities: nature walks and hikes; birdwatching; swimming in summer.
Inland from the lagoon, there is a relatively long and narrow marshland populated by otters and birds such as the kingfisher, the nightingale and the grey heron, as well as the bee-eater between March and early September. To the south, the beach is delimited by the green slopes of a large fossilized dune that shelters a variety of unique plant species; to the north, the sands are slowly replaced by extensive dunes and by dark, very jagged cliffs. The trailhead is located at the end of the paved road crossing these sand dunes. There is a car park at this location. From there, the pathway offers a gradual sloping incline by which you can ascend towards the plateau that forms the cliffs on the left-hand side. This first segment along the top of the cliff offers beautiful views over the ocean. Not only that, this segment also coincides with a ‘Biodiversity Station’ promoted by an NGO dedicated to the preservation of butterflies’ natural habitats.
Depending on the season, among others, here you’ll be able to see butterflies such as Spanish Marbled White, Mazarine Blue, Green-striped White and two species of Zygaena. The best month to observe the butterflies is probably April, when a variety of rare and endemic plants (like the Camphor Thyme) is in bloom. The trail then veers to the right, a few hundred meters before Praia da Carriagem.
You’ll then enter a sparsely wooded area populated by pines that serve as the first line of protection against the winds and salty spray coming from the ocean. Indeed, these pinewoods are a crucial defence both for people and for their crops. Here you’ll find a healthy population of a plant (Teucrium vicentinum) that only exists along these rough shores. Several species of wild orchids can be observed in the clearings between February and April. You’ll then descend again towards the paved road, always with beautiful Amoreira on the horizon.