Come to know one of the most beautiful panoramic views of Portugal, with mountains and sea and the most outstanding view point over the Ria Formosa, observe the drawing of the islands, discover the outlines of the beaches, channels and tidal flats, realise of the many shades of blue that the Atlantic Ocean sea has, feel in the face the breeze of highlands whilst listening to it sound against the vegetation, discover the different kinds of plants that flourish in here, see the hawk´s flight trajectory… Enjoy nature in Cerro de S. Miguel.

It´s known that in Antiquity Cerro de S. Miguel, or the Monte Figo as it was known, was used as an important reference point for coastline navigation, with allusions to its strategic location on the Portolan charts, literary texts and historic documents by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Vikings, Arabs and other Christian people from North Europe. It was common to attribute to it mystical powers, coming from a fertile imagination very common in maritime people.
Mythologists such as W. Christ and Müllenhoff consider that elevation as a sacred mountain, a kind of Olympus where the maritime deities gather together in secret conference. The eminent archaeologist Prof. Schulten has identified the Zéfiro cape, mentioned by Avieno in his immortal poem Ora Maritima, as the Monte Figo, opinion shared by others investigators like Prof. Mendes Correia and the Spanish Antonio Arriba, that seems to remove the doubts about the relation between the Cerro de S. Miguel and the Zéfiro Tartessian cape.

Sº Miguel

Essentially calcareous, the top has some traces of amber colour, pink and almost hyaline calcite and also rounded stones of quartz and quartzite. An eruptive vein of Basalt contaminated by Olivine crosses the mountain for all its length. On the South hillside near the bottom there are rocks with huge Ammonite fossils.

On the slopes, a great range of flora can be found such as:  Lavender (Lavandula luisieri), Peony (Paeonia broteroi), Thymus (Thymus lotocephalus), Algarve Wild Artichoke, (Cynara algarbiensis), the Rockrose (Cistus albidus), Esparto (Stipa tenacissima) , Mastic (Pistacia Lentiscus).

Cistus albitus

Klasea flavescens

Thymus lotocephalus

As examples of fauna can be found the Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus), the Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), the Genet (Genetta Genetta), the Montpellier Snake (Malpolon monspessulanus), the Common Toad (Bufo Bufo) and the Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius). In a temporary or permanent basis can be watched the Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica), the Iberian Magpie (Cyanopica cooki), the Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), the Short-toed Snake-eagle (Circaetus gallicus), the Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), the Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala), the Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus) along many others.

Photo credit: berniedup / / CC BY-SA
Photo credit: m-idre31 / VisualHunt / CC BY

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  • Distance: 5,2 km

  • Type: Circular

  • Duration: 3 hours

  • Price: 30€/pax


The Cerro de S. Miguel Route map

Photo credit: ferran pestaña / Visualhunt / CC BY-SA
Photo credit: sussexbirder / / CC BY

The Cerro de S. Miguel is located at 8 km north of Olhão city and rises up 411 m above the sea level.

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