Pilgrim trail Stage 5

Cabeça Gorda - Beja

Pilgrim trail · Alentejo
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Turismo do Alentejo, ERT
  • Beja
    Beja
    Photo: Upstream, Turismo do Alentejo, ERT
It is a short and relatively flat stage until Beja, the capital of Baixo (Low) Alentejo. This will allow us to dedicate some time to discover its immense heritage and culture wealth and to recover from the greatest effort of the previous days. We are in the middle of the plains of Beja’s rich red lands, which have been disputed over the centuries by the various peoples who have occupied them. So don't be surprised if, along the Way, you find a team of archaeologists revealing more traces of Neolithic, Islamic or Roman Castle of Beja's Door Castle of Beja people's occupations, with many stories and legends associated.
easy
Distance 15 km
3:45 h
108 m
9 m
290 m
183 m

We leave Cabeça Gorda and turn right, through Rua Machado dos Santos, until its end, and then flank the Laverda warehouse building on the left. Shortly after, we arrive at a crossroad with an asphalted road, which we cross and go straight ahead by the dirt road. After some 5 km, we find on the right the hill of Herdade dos Falcões. Next to that property, the road bifurcates and we have to pay attention to follow the path on the right. It is certain that the Path is well marked but, especially for those who go faster, by mountain bike, the natural tendency would be to go to the left... We continue 1 km slightly up until the end of the road, at a crossroad, and then we descend to the left and, just below, next to the stream, we enter a narrow passage on the right, at the end of the fence. We are in a "barranco" (a word commonly used here to designate the valleys of the small streams), called Vale de Mértola, along which is another infinite plantation of perfectly aligned olive trees. We wander through the plantation, for 2 km, until we reach cultivated fields from where we can see Beja in all its magnitude. Shortly after, we arrive at the district capital, Beja, and follow the signs to Rua de Beja, which crosses the small Bairro de São João. On the right, it is impossible to miss the amphitheatre with the large tank, to supply the rides, the wash house and several water spouts, which were very frequented by watermen in the 19th and 20th centuries. Called "Tanque dos Cavalos" (Horse Tank), it was the meeting point for riders who, in celebration of Saint John, made a pilgrimage known as "Cavalgada" (horse ride). It included banquets and live music, and was forbidden in 1835 due to the violence of the equestrian games. The Path continues straight along Rua Bento Jesus Caraça, which can only be done on foot or by bicycle. We enter Beja, a city full of traditions and student life. Please choose from the many available accomodation options, and then take the opportunity to taste the region's delicacies.

Author’s recommendation

A great diversity of reptiles and amphibians will make the herpetologists delight. Some species of great interest occur in the area of the Municipality of Beja, such as the false smooth snake (Macroprotodon cucullatus) or the Bedriaga’s skink(Chalcites bedriagai). Although at low densities, it will be possible to observe the rare Mediterranean gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus) and the European pond tortoise (Emys orbicularis). Among the amphibians, the Iberian parsley frog (Pelodytes ibericus) and the Iberian midwife toads (Alytes cisternasii) are worthy of note. There is also an enormous diversity of insects, as the region's Mediterranean climate is conducive to outbreaks throughout practically the whole year, offering endless possibilities for nature photography in the discipline of macro photography.

In the Alentejo you really have to try the typical delicacies. The Alentejo bread, the olive oil, the wines. The starters with olives, a cheese board and delicious smoked ham. The Alentejo soup (there are several). Savour the açordas and the migas, the lamb and pork. Why not a sericaia, which is a conventual sweet for dessert, for example? But the menu is diverse. See where you can taste the Alentejo gastronomy. And because when travelling in Alentejo, restful nights are a must. Here you will find many options where you can rest and relax.

Difficulty
easy
Stamina
Highest point
290 m
Lowest point
183 m

Track types

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Safety information

For information regarding conduct, recommendations and self-safety, please refer to this page.

Tips and hints

Useful contacts:

  • Santa Cruz Parish Council: +351 963 713 025
  • Santiago and São João Batista Parish Councils: +351 284 313 100
  • Salvador and Santa Maria Parish Councils: +351 284 313 100
  • Beja Fire Department: +351 284 311 660
  • Portuguese Red Cross: +351 284 322 484
  • GNR − National Republican Guard: +351 284 310 770
  • PSP − Public Security Police: +351 284 313 150
  • Beja Civil Protection: +351 284 313 050

Start

Main square of the village, Cabeça Gorda (190 m)
Coordinates:
DD
37.924687, -7.793329
DMS
37°55'28.9"N 7°47'36.0"W
UTM
29S 606052 4198145
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Destination

Rua Bento Jesus Caraça, Beja

Coordinates

DD
37.924687, -7.793329
DMS
37°55'28.9"N 7°47'36.0"W
UTM
29S 606052 4198145
w3w 
///elector.festive.hunky
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Always carry water, supplies, sunscreen, a hat, waterproof, comfortable shoes, and a map.

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Difficulty
easy
Distance
15 km
Duration
3:45 h
Ascent
108 m
Descent
9 m
Highest point
290 m
Lowest point
183 m
Multi-stage route Cultural/historical interest Fauna

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  • 4 Waypoints
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