Having read your article on the Via Algarviana, I decided to explore the trail as I have lived here for years but have never ventured on a hike.
As I live near Portimão, I decided to try the trail between the Mexilhoeira Grande train station and the Ria de Alvor and was surprised for mostly good reasons.
I was quite happy to see the trail relatively well signposted and providing a nice variety of the countryside and the coast.
Understandably, I saw no other people walking on the trail as we have been experiencing nearly unbearable heat. Still, I wonder if enough is being done to promote this trail, as I had heard little about it before reading your article.
This leads me to ask – how much money is needed really to maintain the trail?
It doesn’t seem like it would require that much, apart from keeping the trails clean and making sure the signs are in order. So, is Almargem causing a storm in a teacup, or are other entities being cheap and refusing to pitch in with funding?
I would think it is in the regional tourism board’s interest, if not duty, to help out. While it may not attract nearly as many people as the coast, it is still an important attraction that presents variety to the Algarve’s touristic offer. And we often hear tourism officials speak about their intentions to promote nature tourism.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, as it is worrying to think that such a large walking trail will be left to abandon because no one wants to step up.