ALUT - Algarviana Ultra Trail we can't explain, you have to feel it!
ALUT – Algarviana Ultra Trail – is a trail running sports event that will demand athletes to cover the 300 km between Portugal’s eastern and western extremes, always through inland and mountain trails.
This event aims to promote sports practice in the Algarve, particularly focusing on trail running, and reinforcing the world class qualities of this region for sports practice, mainly during low season. Additionally, it intends to awareness of its territory, its natural, cultural and patrimonial richness.
Based on this triangle – sports, culture and tourism – and via sports practice, ALUT’s main goal is to contribute to keep territorial cohesion, to stimulate fragile economies of the Algarvian inland (barrocal) and to tackle seasonality and desertification of these inland areas.
The ATR – Algarve Trail Running team, responsible for ALUT’s organization and coordination, is known by its experience on other trail running events, e.g., UTRP – Ultra Trilhos Rocha da Pena and Trail Ossónoba.
Most of the trail follows Via Algarviana, a long distance walking trail, classified as Grand Route (GR13).
Covering more than 300 km, ALUT stretches from River Guadiana to Cape São Vicente. The route crosses the municipalities of Alcoutim, Castro Marim , Tavira, São Brás de Alportel, Loulé, Silves, Monchique, Lagos and Vila do Bispo and the mountains of Serra do Caldeirão, Espinhaço de Cão and Monchique. Featuring mostly forest areas, it passes through villages and hills where the Algarve’s ancient culture and traditions are still vivid.
The original concept of this path was inspired by São Vicente’s pilgrimage routes. São Vicente was a holly man of the early 4th century AD, who was martyred in Valencia after refusing to offer a sacrifice to the pagan gods, during the Christian persecution in Iberia ordered by the Roman emperor Diocletian. His death might have occurred in the year 304 AD. After the Arab conquest, São Vincente’s body was transferred to the Promontorium Sacrum (Sacred Promontory in Latin) which became São Vicente’s Cape. Since then, and for the following centuries, it became a pilgrimage site. In 1173 AD, Afonso Henriques, Portugal’s first king, ordered the relocation of his remains to Lisbon. The mystique of Cape São Vicente, however, prevails since the Neolithic period until today.
In addition, Prince Henry, the “Navigator”, chose Cape São Vicente to host scholars from Europe and from the known world – Christians, Muslims, Jews – who were keen to study navigation, charts and ship building. This group became known as Escola de Sagres (School of Sagres) and its role was extremely important in the development of navigation tools such as the astrolabe and the cross-staff, and the construction of the caravels.
Via Algarviana is much more than just a typical walking route, as it follows the road of history, nature and geomorphology of the Algarve. It is an encounter with our deepest roots that prompt us to overcome the challenges found when facing uncharted territories.