Casa Ferrobo
Self Catering Cottages

Casa Ferrobo to Alportel

DISTANCE: (approx) 4½ miles (7km)
GRADE: easy, total climb about 300ft
TIME: 2 - 3 hours
CAFES: Three in Alportel village centre

THE WALK: a very pleasant exploration of the little villages and countryside immediately north of Casa Ferrobo. Its typical Barrocal country, low ridges and wooded vales between sharper, steeper lines of hills, with superb views, oodles of old olive groves, fig and carob plantations laced together by donkey tracks and rough lanes. Some short sections on tarred roads plus fleeting sections of slightly busier roads near to the start.

START: (N37 09 748: W007 54 197) Turn right out of Casa Ferrobo, shortly pass-by the village wash-house and follow the road (keep right in Farrobo village) until you meet the main S Bras / Alportel Rd.

Turn left towards Alportel and continue to the signposts to St Romao, Fonte Ferrera, etc., just past the triangular junction and the Sao Bras Inn on your right. At this point turn left (N37 10 106: W007 54 421) along the road, shortly ignoring the turn for Cerro de Alportel to right. In a further 200 yards turn right just beyond a wooden-post waymarker (N37 10 055: W007 54 631). The path almost doubles back to run beside a stone wall (left). The path is very uneven underfoot along this short section but it soon becomes a gravel track past houses on your left. At the T junction turn left and follow the road round a sharp left hand bend into a No Through Road. Rise up the hill and continue through the hamlet of Cerro de Alportel.

On reaching the end of the tarmac road at the head of the village, walk ahead for 20 paces or so and turn right (N37 10 164: W007 54 933 ) on a path which runs along a stone terrace, a wall on your right. There are exceptional views as you go along this old mule trail, lined with carob trees, an area also rich with wildflowers. The track rises gently before starting a long, easy descent along the side of the wide vale, presently reaching a junction of tracks marked by a waymarked post.

(N37 10 266: W007 55 223) Turn right and rise to pass in front of a derelict house. As the track swings right there are more lovely views to be had along the line of shapely, wooded hills. Continuing downhill, note an ancient well on the right as you pass by. The track winds round to a junction with a tarred lane at a sharp corner.

(N37 10 394: W007 55 033) Turn right and walk up the gently rising hill for 200 yards to find a waymark post. Just past this, and opposite the driveway for Casa Penzer, turn left towards a white, gated house, Quinta do Fonta. There's a memorial cross just to the right of the gates here, a short detour past this gains an old wash-house and pump. Retrace your steps to the cross (dated 1865) and turn left along the narrow, sunken path (N37 10 425: W007 54 947). This is initially rather uneven underfoot, but when it bears right beside a field corner it becomes easier walking. Eventually the path becomes a pleasing walled path between cork oaks, presently reaching a graveled road with housing to the left.

(N37 10 475: W007 54 651) At the junction with the road turn right towards Alportel and pass under the bridge into the centre of the village. Keep directly ahead here, mini-mart on the corner on your right, passing by an old blue & white painted villa on your left. In 300 yards you'll reach a pedestrian crossing, here fork right along the gravel track (N37 10 542: W007 54 424). Keep right at the fork at black gates, passing through an area of small vineyards and continue on the winding track past a gated entrance to a playground signed "Welcome to Hell." In a further 200 yards the track again forks. Immediately before this is a narrow walled path on the right, turn right up this past a large cactus, in just a few paces more turn right onto a wide earth track which threads a way through this area of scattered old olive trees. Remain on this, eventually reaching a tarred lane, turn right to reach the main road.

Turn left and walk the short distance to the triangular junction near the Sao Bras Inn. Immediately past the road signs for Almargens, Tesoureiro, etc., turn right on a narrow tarred lane between buildings. In 70 yards this turns left to run beside a long building before becoming a pleasant track lined by cork oaks. Bending right, then left, it reaches a clearing amidst groves of oaks. Various ways diverge here, you should select the middle one, which rises to pass left of a villa. Bend left and climb the steep gravel lane to reach a tarred village road. Go left, then turn right at the fork, up through a narrowing of the road and down to a junction. Here turn right to walk downhill, then back the remaining 500 yards to Casa Ferrobo.

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