Alto do Formosinho
This linear trail runs along the northern and southern slopes of the Arrábida Mountains as far as Portinho da Arrábida, passing through the highest point of the mountain range, Alto do Formosinho, marked at 501 m. This route, with the highest level of difficulty, is the one that comes closest to mountaineering conditions, due to the steep slope and the characteristics of the terrain. It is one of the most charismatic routes in the region, because of its connection to the first ancestral villages of Arrábida (rock formation Moors Castel) and the pilgrimages of devotion to Our Lady of Arrábida, which still occur, much due to the challenge of reaching the peak, through dense vegetation, gravel and rock climbing areas, and also due to the breathtaking landscapes that link the Sado Estuary to the Tagus Estuary and to the border of the land with the ocean.
Sitting on the edge of the protected area of Parque Natural da Arrábida (Arrábida Natural Park), it stands out for its Mediterranean vegetation, with its shrubby savannah vegetation, and for the inhospitable characteristics of an unaltered location. On the final stretch of the trail, we find the Arrábida Convent, located on the southern slope of the Arrábida Mountains, which dates back to the 16th century. Nearby, there are several watchtowers, the Bom Jesus Chapel and the Old Convent, which are worth a visit. The latter is owned by Fundação Oriente, and requires booking in advance.
It begins in Vila Nogueira de Azeitão, at Praça da República (Rossio), next to the Azeitão Tourism Office.
It ends at the EN379-1, near the intersection for Portinho da Arrábida.
The terrain demands shoes with strong grip. Given the predominance of rocky and clay-like terrain, this trail is not recommended during the rainiest months, such as December and January.
Before starting the ascent, supplies are available at the Picheleiros Campsite and, at the end, at Portinho da Arrábida.
Type of trail | Linear
Recommended season | september to june
Recommended Direction | Vila Nogueira de Azeitão - Portinho da Arrábida
length | 8.3 Kms
estimated Duration | 3h20
total altitude variation | 1129m (544+/585-)
Min/max altitude | 65m/499m
This route is physically very demanding, similar to mountain ones, either due to the slope of the terrain or because of the dexterity that it implies. On the ascending section, you will find a very steep rock wall and, on the descending section, short climbing sections and a very steep path. Also in the descent, in rainy months, it becomes very slippery and demanding.