Home – WFA
In 2013, at a juncture of wills and interests, two people with projects in the interior of the Algarve, more precisely in the district of Ameixial (Loulé), pitched the idea of organizing a hiking festival to Loulé Municipal Council and the local district council. The aim was -and still is- to promote the natural and cultural wealth of the area, stimulate the local economy and raise awareness around sustainable development - in this case, through ecotourism and cultural tourism.
The pitch of Walking Festival Ameixial (WFA)/this idea immediately got a lot of support of local, governmental entities, people living in Ameixial and many others. These supporters never stopped contributing to the organization of this event and still visit the festival every year.
Walking Festival Ameixial was inspired by the concept of the "Walking Festivals" that take place in other countries. Its basic principles are: bringing friends together in a certain area to hike, distribute the values of the specific region, to support the local economy, and to make communities and entities aware of the need to safeguard the heritage and to develop environmentally sustainable practices which add value to that area.
The specific choice of escrita do Sudoeste font in the logo, is something typical for the South West, specifically the Serra territory. This was the consensual choice for the identity of the festival. This form of millenary writing is thus the special element that differentiates this festival from the other. Since then he has accompanied us in all editions of the Walking Festival Ameixial and transports us to a territory rich in unique heritage elements.
The first edition was a success and welcomed dozens of participants from all over the Algarve and other parts of the country. Since then, it has been growing and gaining regional and national recognition.
Areas of action
Since 2015, the promotion and organization of the WFA has been the responsibility of QRER (Cooperative for the Development of Low-Density Territories), an official partner of the organizers of the festival. Through this cooperative, the operational and organizational part has been reinforced with the participation of other members and new support, namely from the Algarve Tourism Region.
In 2014, after the success of the 1st edition, the WFA saw other similar events pop up. In that same year, Alcoutim promoted its 1st festival and in 2015 Pampilhosa da Serra also started organizing similar events. In 2018, in a pioneering initiative in the Algarve (and in Portugal), we joined forces with the Municipality of Alcoutim and the Almargem Association. Together, we created the brand Algarve Walking Season, with the aim of promoting articulation between festivals. That same year, a new edition of the “Festival de caminhadas de Alcoutim e Sanlúcar de Guadiana" In order to reach the Western Algarve, Almargem started the 1st walking festival “Barão de São João – Walk & Art Fest". AWS was born, a project coordinated by QRER, with the support of the Algarve Tourism Region, which is still active today. In 2021 a new festival was added to the AWS, the "Monchique Walking Festival".
Today the WFA is not isolated. It is inserted in a small network of other similar events that also seek to promote and support sustainable development of the Algarve. In addition to making a joint effort to promote the events, there is an articulation of dates, activities and a relationship of mutual help for the best realization of the events.
The mysterious writing of the South East
During the Iron Age, the Iberian Peninsula was the place for great technological innovations and cultural transformations distributed in a commercial setting, carried out by sea, between the people of the Mediterranean.
More than 2500 years ago, in Southern Portugal and Andalusia, human communities transformed and adapted the Phoenician alphabet to create their own writing: the writing of the South-West. escrita do Sudoeste.
Concentrated in the mountains between the Algarve and Baixo Alentejo, this writing appeared on stone blocks which were fixed to the ground (stelae). It was written in an arc, from bottom to top and from right to left. It has 27 signs, including vowels, consonants and syllabic characters, some with equivalences to some letters of our alphabet. Even so, the writing of the South-West remains indecipherable and mysterious.
Since the discovery of the first stela with southwestern writing, in 1897, to the present day, 15 stelae with southwestern writing are known in the municipality of Loulé, divided into two groups: Benafim/Salir and Ameixial.
The writing of the Southwest is the voice which brings us closer to the thoughts and ways of life of the past. One of the mysteries and one of the greatest treasures of European archaeology; an archaeological reality of exceptional character; a brand image of this mountain range and a privileged symbol of the historical heritage of the Algarve. It is, after all, the first manifestation of writing in the Iberian Peninsula and is still undeciphered today.
The aspiring Geoparque Algarvensis Loulé-Silves-Albufeira aims to enhance and promote an entire territory and the local and regional heritage at international level, in particular contributing to the study and preservation of geological and cultural heritage.
Based on scientific knowledge, it also intends to contribute to increasing the sense of pride and belonging of the inhabitants of this area; to reinforce the identity of the territory; to encourage the creation of local and innovative initiatives to boost the local economy; to develop new sources of income generated through tourist entertainment activities; as well as provide socio-economic and sustainable development; to encourage people to settle there; and to foster the promotion of their quality of life.
It is in this strategy for greater social and territorial cohesion of the municipalities of Loulé, Silves and Albufeira that a set of policies and initiatives for environmental education and awareness and geotourism activities are planned, which also includes the Walking Festival Ameixial. Walking Festival Ameixial.
Camping with Glamour
In partnership with the company DOMO CAMP, this year we will have the “Glamping Village” available. Tents will be set up, located in a reserved and exclusive place, built with maximum comfort, with “real” beds, with adequate mattresses and bed linen, lamps, fan, cooler and decorated with good taste and access to dedicated changing rooms.
Nunca soube tão bem acampar*!
*The motorhome park will be available for camping and with access to showers.
There are 4 signposted paths that allow you to walk in Ameixial all year round.