The Sinkhole Walk

The best months to go for country walks in this area are from September to late May, after which time it becomes absolutely too hot in the day. To see the spring wild flowers, including tiny wild orchids, go from mid March through April to May. It is tricky to tie down the absolute best times for the wild flowers since a lot depends on the rains. Wild flowers spring up almost overnight once it has been raining for a week or so.

For this walk we start at O STOP Restaurant, Val Centienas, just outside of in Carvoeiro. Walk around to the back of restaurant and walk up the steps on the cliff side in front of the Colina Sol Hotel (the eight story hotel, built into the cliffs).  

 There are many paths leading into the 'wilds', but if you keep to the one on the right you will get the best view of the cliffs, ocean, sink holes and many beaches & coves below. Sink holes are cavities that develop naturally in limestone regions, the cracked limestone allows rain water to trickle down into the rocks. The rain water causes the limestone it comes into contact with to dissolve. As the limestone is eaten away over the centuries, the cracks and caverns grow larger and larger resulting in huge underground caves and sink holes. All the sink holes are protected by wooden fencing so be sure to stay on the path outside the wooden fencing.

Resist the temptation to climb over the fencing for a better photo, as one never knows the safety of the edges around the sink holes. Continue walking up the wall of the valley staying right on the edge of the cliff. At the top of the steps follow the cliff path east, for some more spectacular views. This walk continues past the sink hole, then dips down into another valley and weaves along the valley towards the Rocha Brava Estate. Finally you can follow the path inland toward the bath house and pool at Rocha Brava. You can stop for a coffee in their Café or go to Tropical Helders for a coffee and snack!  

Photos courtesy of : Phil Harbord Freemaps