The Algarve is a region that is rich in culture, nature and beaches.
Most times, the beach is the calling card but those that visit the Algarve soon find out that the beach is not everything here. There is a rural Algarve by the mountains that separates this region from the rest of the country, where authenticity is a daily occurrence and wellbeing is a priority, where you can walk and hear only birds and peace.
The Algarve offers immersive experiences, designed for those who enjoy places with few people, typical activities and trying local tastes.
The best part? The countryside is very close to the beach! And it is possible to have the best of both worlds.
There are several viewpoints in the Algarve and tours that take you to see the Algarve from a higher point such as the famous Foia, the highest point in the Algarve and Serra de Monchique. It is 902m high and on a clear day, you can see the Atlantic Ocean. It’s unmissable!
Another suggestion Algarve Fun has for you is the walk up to Cerro da Cabeça.
A 15 minute drive from the fishing village of Olhão is one of the most typical villages in the Algarve: Moncarapacho.
In Moncarapacho, lifestyle is still slow and most residents work in the fields or plant nurseries. A lot of English, Dutch and Belgian immigrants also live in this village, choosing this village as their second home due to the natural beauty.
There is a scent of citrus in the air, you can walk or cycle the paths. There are several caravan parks and it is no wonder this place epitomises relaxation and slow-living.
Besides reading, relaxing and cycling, there is a very special thing you can do here: go to the Cerro da Cabeça viewpoint.
On a day with clear skies, you can see from Monte Gordo to Faro, the fields, the coastal cities, some islands and the immense blue sea.
This viewpoint is located at Cero da Cabeca, the most Easterly mountains on Serra de Monte Figo. Although less important than Serro de São Miguel, it is a mountain made of rocks from the Late Jurassic era that cradle the view and allow for vegetation to grow in the cracks sculpted by the rain over the centuries.
Orchids top this scenery off in the Spring.
How to get to Cerro da Cabeça?
After stopping to visit the centre of Moncarapacho village, the main church and enjoy some coffee in a sunny terrace, make your way by foot up Rua 5 de Outubro towards M1332 or leave your car at the bottom of the hill (37.103095, -7.775017).
The trail (2.5km) is marked with trail signage, the terrain is dirt and rocks and very easy to walk on, the last 100 metres are a staircase of about 80 steps.
On your way, you’ll be able to see old lime kilns and halfway there you can already see the dunes on the islands of Ria Formosa.
There are several caves but they are only accessible for organised caving activities.
When you arrive there is an abandoned house and you can still climb a bit higher up a watch-tower where you will feel like you are in the clouds.
It is a very comforting nature activity and of medium difficulty. It is a great way to see the Algarve.
Bring your camera, sunhat and comfortable shoes!
The best time of the day to complete this walk is in the morning as the sun lights the sea. At sunset it is also amazing but you should be careful as the path is not lit and it can get dark quickly on the way back down.
After your trail, how about a typical lunch?
We recommend Restaurante António in the centre of the village, which has a fireplace and is decorated with artisan utensils. You’ll be able to try homemade interior Algarve cuisine and regional products.