Walking path to the chapel of Our Lady of Aracelis, with a view of the landscape below and birdwatching.
From the rural village of Salto, the path leads you towards the hill of Our Lady of Aracelis, crossing a sparse forest area with some cork and pine trees along the way, but mainly steppe fields. These natural landscapes provide an ideal habitat for several bird species, including the Great Bustard, Common Crane, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Great Spotted Cuckoo or European Roller.
As you reach the top of the hill, there is a short staircase that leads to the hall in front of the chapel of Our Lady of Aracelis (from Ara Coelis the ancient Latin name for the altar of heaven). The views over the landscape are very pleasant and the place is an important spot for bird watching, where you might be able to spot species such as the Iberian Imperial Eagle or the Lesser Kestrel. After taking in the view the path will start descending in the direction of Salto to conclude your hike.
Tips, hints and links
The right turn before the short climb to the Hermitage of Our Holy Lady of Aracelis is signposted but it can be easy to miss, so look carefully.
You may get there from Castro Verde or from Mértola, heading in the direction of the village Salto or following the signs in the direction of Our Holy Lady of Aracelis.