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Discovering the almond blossom

Network of walking trails announced by Odiana

by SOPHIE MCCARRICK [email protected]

Almond blossom, which covers the Algarve in white and pink, has led to the development of The Almond Path, a network of walking trails covering approximately 11 kilometres in Castro Marim, on the banks of the River Guadiana.

Known for its beauty, Almond blossom is one of the first flowers to bloom in the year, throughout January and February, making now the ideal opportunity to participate in a stroll through The Almond Path and encounter natural beauty in the Algarve.

Odiana, the association for the development of lower Guadiana, is a non-profit organisation with the aim of contributing to the social and cultural aspects of the region, supported by the three municipalities of Alcoutim, Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António.

Odiana recommend The Almond Path (Caminho da Amendoeira) to anyone who enjoys “contact with nature, in quiet and peaceful environments”.

With maximum height of 270 metres (minimum 120 metres) and winding track, Odiana also advise the use of running shoes and lightweight clothing, plus a rucksack with water, snacks and binoculars, for those who wish to take a trip along The Almond Path.

The starting point of the trail is located at Cruz de Alta Mora – Largo, Castro Marim, and is accessible via the EN125.

Associated to the Almond tree is an Algarvean tale, the legend of King of Moirama and his Nordic Princess, who longed for the appearance of white snow upon arrival in Portugal.

It was at this time that the King planted almond trees around the castle and when bloom of the flowers occurred, the true happiness of the princess was restored every year in January and February as a field of white surrounded her home.

Following this Algarve legend, Odiana believe that the Almond blossom holds high significance to the region and that its beauty should not be ignored.

In addition to The Almond Path, Odiana also offer 19 alternative hiking trails, which provide a network of roughly 135 kilometres of walk ways that are sign posted, and offer information points explaining the history and natural values of the surrounding areas.

“The 19 routes provide the chance for visitors to rediscover the heritage, landscape and tradition of the Algarve region,” said a spokesman.

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