O Gato Preto de Silves, nestling in its green and peaceful countryside of Silves, is ideally located in the middle of the Algarve Way ( Via Algarviana) so that our guests have a wide coiche of day tours: inland, coastal and mountain walks are just few minutes away. To let you enjoy these walks, a comprehensive guide of walking tracks is waiting for you in each room, together with our pre-loaded GPS, so that you will never get lost!
Besides the spectacular and dramatic coastline there is a huge interior with a rich variety of landscape, from the mountains of the Serra de Monchique to rolling foothills interspersed with dramatic limestone escarpments. With the changes in the scenary come variations in the local flora and fauna which combine to make walking here so very interesting. In addition there are still many villages that see very few, if any, tourists, places where the mule and plough still work the land and where laundry is done by hand at the local wash-house.
For our guests we have selected a mix of these walking tracks in order to enjoy the diversity of coastal, inland and mountain landscapes that the Algarve has to offer. Find out more at this very interesting website: http://www.walkalgarve.com/category/algarve-walking-sightseeing-birding-routes
All trails have been carefully selected to suite every needs and difficulty levels, from short walks to more challenging paths.
Several routes start just from our guesthouse, through orange groves and along the banks of the Arade and Odelouca rivers, overlooking gently rolling hills of the inland “barrocal” area between mountain and sea;
Three walks offer the opportunity to watch an unforgettable sunset, along the limestone cliffs carved and shaped by the sea, with stunning views and colours that is so unique in the Algarve;
Trails on Monchique mountains, traveling through green and lush scenery with the sea on the horizon in the distance, offer a more challenging experience;
Also in the winter months there are many paths enjoyable, when almond trees in blossom can be seen alongside groves of deep green orange trees that perfume the air with their unsurpassable scent. Take a look here to discover The ALMOND ROUTE in Algarve.
When is the best period for walking in Algarve?
There is a definitive walking season in this region, largely because of the heat in the sumer months. For those not acclimatised, Late September to the end of May constitute the outer limits of this season. Within this, very warm to hot conditions can be expected in September, October, late April and May, while the remaining five months are warmer then northern European standards, with varying amounts of rain, sometimes heavy and prolonged.
Our selection of tracks mainly follows this three Routes:
The “VIA ALGARVIANA” - Official Website here: THE ALGARVIAN WAY
Marked with signs and interpretive panels, this footpath is known as the “Algarvian Way” and runs across the region from east to west. The path has its origins in an old religious trail followed by pilgrims heading for the Sagres promontory, where the relics of St. Vincent were found. Running from Alcoutim, on the bank of the River Guadiana, to Cape St. Vincent, the 300-kilometre-long path is divided into 14 sections, each beginning and ending in places where its users can stop for lodging and refreshment. Gato Preto de Silves is ideally located in the middle of the Algarvian Way so that our guests have a wide coiche of day tours: inland, coastal and mountain walks are just few minutes away. About halfway along the length of the Algarve Way, the path goes through São Bartolomeu de Messines and continues along the banks of the Ribeira do Arade, offering some truly beautiful views. It then flows through Silves, before you head on to the Serra de Monchique, best known as “The Garden of Algarve”, whose breathtaking panoramas are best admired from Picota or Fóia, the highest points in the Algarve. All along the path, you can admire the beauty and aroma of the vegetation, which includes rosemary, lavender, fennel, thyme, rock rose, heather, and even orchids, although these are rarer. The trees and shrubs include arbutus, fig, carob and cork trees, as well as the almond trees that provide the raw material for the region’s delicious sweets and liqueurs.
The “ROTA VICENTINA” – Portugal South West Coast
Rota Vicentina is a long distance route of more than 300 km, between Santiago do Cacém and Sagres, along the historical route that once connected main towns and villages and an alternative route by the sea. It is planned for travelers and locals, with the underlying objective to provide the territory with a simple but structured way to enjoy the region and nature, of one of the most beautiful landscapes of Europe.
Rota Vicentina, with its two complementary itineraries, is an open path to travel on foot and get to know one of the best preserved coastlines in all of Europe. On your way you’ll cross charismatic small villages and towns, that through its people, traditions and memoirs will help you to grasp the essence of this rural region, with a very unique connection with the sea.
Comprised mainly of rural trails, this is a classic Grand Route (GR), fully accessible to mountain bikes, with stretches of cork tree forests, mountain ranges, valleys, rivers and creeks, in a true journey through time, local culture and nature trails.
It is a single track along the cliffs which can only be travelled by foot, and more demanding from a physical point of view. A challenge to a permanent contact with the ocean winds, the harsh coastal scenery and the wild and powerful natural landscape.
It comprises a total of 4 sections and 5 complementary circuits.
Distance: 115 km
MONCHIQUE – Mountain and Forest Walks
The picota is the second highest mountain peak in Monchique and offers a rich natural environment, in particular for the flourish flora. As well as a great panoramic view, this highest point hosts a number of Holm Oaks and offers the best climate conditions for butterflies-watching due to the “hill-topping” fenomena that carachterize this species.
Following this path you will discover fantastic views, easely coming across sveral bird species like: eagles, hawk (race Pemis), goshawk (race Milvus), jays (Garrulus glandarius), Nightingale ( Luscinia megarhynchos) and the Common Blackbird. Furthermore you can find the Genet (Genetta hispanica), Least weasel (Mustela nivalis), Red fox (Vulpes silacea) and batterflies (Polygonum c-album). The most careful tourist could observe the signs of a wild boar (Sus scrofa).
This trail starting at Caldas de Monchique (Monchique Hot Springs) offers to its visitors the opportunity to go up to the highest peak of the Picota Mountain where they will be delighted by the open landscape over the Algarve Litoral. The slopes are covered by different kind of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis and Lavandula luisiera) as well as the Kermes Oak (Quercus coccifera) and myrtle (Myrtus communis).
On Picota slopes it’s also easy to find the local vegetation resulting from the sub-tropical mountain climate, like evergrenn oak tree (Quercus suber), Sweet Chestnut or Marron (Castanea sativa), and the most famous Strawberry Tree, sometimes called Cane Apple (Arbutus unedo) from which the local people produce the Medronho Grappa (strong liquor), the Downy Oak or Pubescent Oak (Quercus humilis) and some exotic plants lile the Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus) and the silver wattle (Acacia dealbata).
During the path you could also find vegetation of Holm Oaks and on the southest part of the Picota peak a rocky moorland rich of junypers ((Juniperus turbinata) e species of of rock-dwelling ferns (lip ferns)