Algarve is well known for its beautiful ocean beaches. But only a few kilometers from the coast, lush forests, and babbling streams are just waiting to be explored.
To immerse yourself in nature, there is an interesting idea to hike along a rushing stream near Faro and Loule, along the Fonte Benemola route.
The landscape of the Benemola riverfront protected area covers about 400 hectares of hilly terrain. Because of the waterways, the fauna here is lush. Shade is provided by numerous willows, ash trees, poplars, oleanders, rowans, and reeds. This is where you need to start the route CLICK HERE
Leaving the parking area, you will pass a building where limestone used to be burned. Further away, on the horizon appear water mills and extensive former farmland.
Benemola stream is fed by the Olho and Fonte da Benemola springs and is one of the most significant in the area.
It holds 60% of the water level even during the hot summer months and attracts numerous wildlife, including owls, eagles, nightingales, and other smaller species. The limestone slopes of the valley are mainly covered with juniper and rock oak, accompanied by herbs: rosemary, lavender, fennel, or thyme. We also encountered strawberry trees, laurels, wild olives, and carob trees, from which we picked the pods, they smell of chocolate, cocoa, sweet... I add them to coffee or tea, a lovely aroma...
In the early 20th century, the area was very popular for its water chemistry, which had therapeutic effects due to its alkaline pH, sulfate, and bicarbonate levels. It was excellent for drinking, and also popular for bathing, to treat rheumatic or skin diseases. Unfortunately, today the water is not suitable for drinking.
The route is not very long, in fact, it is only about 5km, but you can follow the signs for another 10km along the 7 Fontes trail, and discover other springs and beautiful corners.
PS There is a very good restaurant within about 15 minutes by car - A TIA BIA. The food is local, original, and fresh - the migas in the bread tastes soo good.
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