A series of longer walks in the southernmost province of Portugal.

Getting to Start-points – the Algarve Road system

There are only a few major road routes, one or other of which will take you close to the start of most of the walks. Some minor road navigation is required as you approach the start points. Some of the more prominent dirt roads are public roads with road signs.

East-west.

Three main roads cross all or most of the Algarve from the west coast to the Spanish frontier.

- The N125 is the longest, crossing the whole region from Vila do Bispo in the west to Vila Real do Santo Antonio on the Guadiana estuary. It has a bad reputation for accidents, especially in the central area, and is best avoided if at all possible. Most of the walks are located well to the north of the 125.

- The A22 motorway runs from Bensafrim in the west to the Guadiana bridge at the Spanish frontier. Exit points are limited, but it is by far the best and quickest way to get from one side of the Algarve to the other. It is a toll road. For visitors, do get to know the payment system if you want to use it.

- The N124 runs from Portimão to within a few kilometres of Alcoutim on the Guadiana. The section between Portimão and Silves is badly surfaced currently, but after that the road links many of the places that feature largely in these walks – from west to east, Silves, Messines, Alte, Benafim, Salir, Barranco do Velho – and on to the east. Many of the smaller towns and villages are accessed from the 124.

South – North.

- The N268 runs up close to the west coast, from the end of the A22 at Bensafrim to Odeceixe on the border with the Alentejo, the next province north, giving access to coastal walking routes.

- The N266 runs from Portimão to the hill town of Monchique, where some of the most strenuous walking is to be had.

- The N124-1 links the motorway north of Lagoa with the 124 at Silves.

- The IC1 runs north from the 125 near Albufeira, past Tunes , Messines (link with the 124) and São Marcos da Serra. This is also an important road for access to many of the walks.

- The A2 motorway can be accessed from the A22 near Albufeira, but there is only one exit, at Messines, again connecting with the 124.

- The M525 connects the large inland town of Loulé with the market town of Salir, giving access to several walks in that area.

- The N2 goes north from Faro via São Brás de Alportel, to Barranco do Velho (junction with the 124) and Ameixial on the Alentejo border.

- Two other roads, the N397 from Tavira to Cachopo, and the IC27 from Castro Marim to Alcoutim and beyond, complete the major road lineup.

© 2016 onfootinthealgarve.com