Start in Luz at The Church and take the Espiche Road up the hill past the Spar Supermarket and Belavista Hotel to the EN125 and turn left.
4.4 km Almadena - follow the EN125 straight on
5.7 km Alma Verde - follow the EN125 straight on at the roundabout
10 km Budens and Intermarche - go straight on
11.1 km Parque da Floresta and Salema - follow EN125 straight on at roundabout.
15.1 km Shortly after this last roundabout look out on your right in the valley for The Chapel of Guadalupe. About 1 km after you pass the Chapel you wil see the signpost and road to the Chapel on your right..
Or skip the culture and head on for the beaches.
Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe is located in remote countryside between Budens and Raposeira. There is a spring that is reputed to be 'Holy'. It dates from the 13th century and it is believed to have been built by the Knights Templars.
The Order of the Knights Templar was transformed into the Order of Christ, of which Prince Henry, the Navigator, was Governor. He also lived in Raposeira and regularly attended Mass at the Church.
Guadalupe is one of many Black Virgins of Medieval Europe dating from the 12th century. The original effigy was owned by St Luke however in the 4th Century Pope Gregory the Great took the effigy to Rome. From there the image was taken to Seville and when the Muslims invaded in 711 it was hidden near the River Guadalupe. It was rediscovered in 1326. The Church is dedicated to the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe and is one of the oldest National Monuments of the Algarve.
Between the 15th and 17th Century the Church became an important pilgrimage site particularly for mariners and navigators. The Black Virgin, along with St Luke, is the patron saint of sailors and prisoners of war.
The main facade of the Chapel is a simple Gothic style with a pointed Portal and a rosette on the top. It is constructed on a Romanesque architectural base. The interior is composed of one nave with the main altar covered by a attractive vault. It has recently been restored.
FREE Admission (this might change)
Closed Mondays and National Holidays 1 Jan, 1 May & 25 Dec
Open to public: 2 May to 30 Sept: 10.30 - 13.00; 14.00 - 18.30.
Winter 1 Oct to 30 April: 09.30 - 13.00; 14.00 = 17.00
The reception is in the farmhouse next to the Chapel.
Moving on from Gaudalupe Chapel:
16.6 km At Raposeira turn left signposted for Zavial. This is approx 20 mins from Luz.
17.8 km After 1.2 km turn right following the signs for Megoliticos. Follow this road stopping just before the 2nd house on your right where if you look carefully before the house on the right you will see the Megalith shown in this photograph. There are others in the area that have been knocked down and broken if you get out and walk.
19 Km The Megaliths
The Raposeira area features some megalithic structures which were believed to be constructed around 5 – 7,000 years ago by early settlers and stand 2 – 5 metres high.
Road signs point them out but look carefully! The upright ones are more visible from a distance however many have been knocked down and destroyed over the years. They lie on the ground and are hard to differentiate from ordinary boulders or stones.
Many of the larger remaining stones, too heavy to be moved, have been ‘vandalised’ over the years being inscribed with Christian symbols. All Portuguese megaliths were treated the same and the results of this are evident in the Raposeira examples.
European Megalithic Culture was a prehistoric culture that stretched from the Iberian Peninsula in the south and Sweden and the Orkney Islands in the north, while stretching from the Baltics in the east as far west as the Atlantic from around 4800 B.C.
It is thought that the standing stones were erected to track astronomical phenomena such as the position where the morning star, Sirius, would have risen at the spring solstice. Some people confess to a feeling of tingling in their arms as a result of touching the stone. Stonehenge in Somerset, England is a famous example of the more complicated Megolithic structures that later evolved.
Originally it is believed that there were three intact megaliths in the Raposeira area and legend has it that if one of them disappeared Raposeira would disappear also. The superstitions and culture of the locals meant that these particular megaliths were left standing, however fifty years ago the story goes, that a local man took two of them down to use as building material. This, it is believed, led to him being murdered by local farmers! The third megalith remains.
After viewing The Megaliths follow the road for another 2 kms to Praia da Ingrina. This is one of many beaches that are in the protected National Park. These beaches are not only one of Portugal's best kept secrets, this is also one of the last undeveloped coastlines in Europe.
21 km Praia da Ingrina
Praia da Ingrina is a white sandy beach which is clean and flat but with not much shade. It is good for surfers who are starting out. With the shelter of the bay it is also not too difficult a swim out and offers regular small swells that break close to the beach. There is a beach bar 'Restaurante do Sebastiao'.
After lunch or when you are ready to move on follow the road for another 1 km to Praia do Zavial.
21.9 km Praia do Zavial
Praia do Zavial beach is often used by surfers. It is a small, secluded, sandy beach which is reasonably popular. However as it is really only accessible by car it means that it never really gets too crowded. Some paths have formed around the cliffs with rocky areas for sunbathing. It is also a good snorkelling beach, however caution is advised! There is a beach bar 'Restaurante Zavial'.
To set off home continue to follow the road for approx 4.6 kms through Hortas do Tabual, a sleepy rural hamlet, to the EN125 where you turn right and follow the main road back to Luz or Lagos. It is approx 16.6 kms kms back to Luz Church or about 20 mins drive once you get on the EN125.