Approved Path - Camping and Mountaineering Federation of Portugal
Extreme heat in summer is recommended
GEOCACHING POINT - START/END PR3
GC1FHBX- Praia Fluvial de Carvoeiro
3000 - Praia Fluvial do Carvoeiro
Set in the parish of the same name, the Carvoeiro Route runs through part of the northern plateau of the municipality of Mação, between ancient villages and the beautiful river beach, and allows you to enjoy in full the colours, sounds and smells of nature. For those looking for a certain introspeção, this is the ideal route. It is likely that, at the end, you will feel like repeating it.
The route starts at the beautiful river beach of Carvoeiro, the most awarded in the whole Middle Tagus (Blue Flag, Accessible Beach Flag and Gold Quality, the latter awarded by Quercus), and continues towards the small village of Capela. Whoever arrives there is not indifferent to the cultivated fields and the products that grow luxuriantly in the surrounding gardens all year round.
At this point of the route the hiker can choose to go towards the village of Maxieira (long route) or to the place of Balancho (short route).
If you choose the shortest route, after passing the most western point of this route, the walker will then turn east following, first to the abandoned village of Laje and then passing by Sanguinheira and Frei João, two places full of memories, uses and ancient traditions, especially linked to pine forest and agriculture.
On the other hand, following the long route, the effort will be compensated by the sighting of Fragas de Degolados, an imposing rock formation that allows a magnificent view over the Aziral Valley.
This is a recommended route for mountain bike lovers as the whole route is cyclable.
In terms of native flora, on the Carvoeiro route you can find a rare forest of holm-oaks, a tree that dates back to the time of the laurel forests in Europe and also species such as willows, myrtle, purple heather, Lusitanian heather, alder, puff pastry and cork oak, among others. Already on the banks of the streams, and there are several watercourses in this area of the municipality, you can find the royal fern which, when in favourable conditions, can measure up to 3m high.
As for the fauna, it is common to find in these mountain streams the famous Iberian frog, an endemic species from the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, an illustrious inhabitant of springs and rivers, especially those with clear, cold and fast waters.
Already in the air you can find the 3 species of woodpecker that exist in Portugal: the green pectoral, the lesser spotted woodpecker and the greater spotted woodpecker. The walker can also be surprised here by the rare black stork or by more common species like the blackheaded warbler. With luck, you may also spot animals such as the doe, the squirrel or, on top of any rock, the lonely bluebird.
Finally, there is a diverse geology with the presence of the Aziral folds and the sedimentary structures in Balancho ball. These structures have been related to the movement of glaciers when this region was located near the South Pole. According to the experts, also the Beheaded Fragas will have formed when this entire region still belonged to the southern hemisphere.
The traditional buildings in the villages that make up the route and the ruins of the small village of Laje are worth mentioning here. Built on a huge lage, the village has even had several residents, who long ago abandoned the field and the houses. When observing the walls and walls of the houses carefully, it can be seen that most of the blocks are characteristic of the geological unit that supports their construction. The popular memory tells that at one time the property belonged to a single family, however it was disavowed by questions of inheritance after the death of the patriarch. The locals say that the solution passed through the division of the property, which is why even today we can see two houses in ruins of larger dimensions.
Around them, depending on the season, you can see fields cultivated with green maize, which the locals use for grazing, the great source of food for the cattle during the colder months. The irrigation is done with water from a large lagoon nearby. Whoever ventures into the interior of the ruins will discover, besides ovens, several support structures for agriculture, probably the main source of income of this family, such as tanks and threshing floors.