Walking over Roman Bridges on PR1 MFT at Monforte

We parked the car near the Roman Bridge just outside Monforte and set off on walk PR1MFT, c.4.5kms, which took 1.5 hours and included two diversions and photo stops. We did this walk in 2017 but it never made it to the blogsite! This is a wonderful walk but you will need dry weather – we couldn’t repeat the walk in the wet Spring of 2018.

PR1 MFT Walk at Monforte

The walk begins at the impressive Roman bridge over the Ribeiro Grande dates from the 2C-4C and might have had more arches, but it is believed the river has silted up over the centuries.

Roman Bridge at Monforte
Roman Bridge at Monforte
Roman Bridget at Monforte
Roman Bridge at Monforte

It could have been England – grasses, trees, flowers… only some curious and rather nasty sounding red and black insects beetles called ‘oil beetles’ seemed unusual.

Along the way we found the Ponte do Cuba which is not Roman but Mediaeval, and nearby is the 21C equivalent which is rather less easy to use and certainly less elegant.

Ponte do Cuba
Ponte do Cuba
The new bridge over the River Cuba
The new bridge over the River Cuba

There are beautiful old olive trees and cork oaks all along the banks of the rivers – this walk is just a wonderful ramble through a garden!

Old olive trees along the PR1 MFT

Was this an undiscovered anta? After a while one imagines that every outcrop of rock is archaeologically significant!

An undiscovered Anta on the PR1 MFT?

The path is waymarked clearly all through and at this point we hopped across another small river and walked on to find our third bridge of the day – the Ponte Velha. This was surely a Roman bridge?

Waymarking on the PR1 MFT
Waymarking on the PR1 MFT
Ponte Velha over the Ribeira Grande
Ponte Velha over the Ribeira Grande
Ponte Velha over the Ribeira Grande
Ponte Velha over the Ribeira Grande
Ponte Velha over the Ribeira Grande
Ponte Velha over the Ribeira Grande
The Ribeira Grande
The Ribeira Grande

The path crosses the main road on the now abandoned old main road and leads through a pretty meadow which rapidly became a menace, with grass seeds working their way into shoes and socks. The last stretch back to the car was through flowering olive groves.

The old EN18 main road out of Monforte
The old EN18 main road out of Monforte

Grassy field on the PR1 MFT

Flowering olive trees

The track back to the beginning of the walk
The track back to the beginning of the walk

This is an absolutely delightful walk – do take it if you are in the area!

Further information
Another description of the walk, with photos

The Book of Walks description which we used – Book available from Tourist Offices in the Alentejo

 

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