A mystery to unravel, Rocha da Pena (479 metres high) is one of the several elevations within the Barrocal region. It is located in between the parishes of Salir and Benafim, which belong to the Municipality of Loulé. Rocha da Pena comprises a 50-metre-high calcareous cornice and a plateau that almost ends up reaching a lenght of 2 kilometres. The water erosion over the limestone has given rise to karstic formations such as the Algar dos Mouros cave, which, according to the legend, might have been a place of refuge for the Moors after the conquest of Salir by D. Paio Peres Correia.
Its geological, archaeological, environmental and landscape importance were a determining factor in the grant of the status of Local Protected Landscape.
What is abundant in this Protected Area is the great diversity of flora, which comprises over 500 species, some of which are endemic, medicinal and fragrant. Due to its geographical location, the Protected Area possesses a huge variety of avifauna. Roughly 122 species have already been spotted. Most of them are resident, although migratory, wintering, summer and nesting birds can also be found there.
There is a lot to unravel in Rocha da Pena, from the caves of calcareous formation to the meaning conveyed by the huge loose-stone 400-metre wall that seems to reproduce a sort of castle wall.
There is a really interesting cliff with various marked climbing areas which become ideal for all mountain climbing adventurers.
Rocha da Pena is an extensive plateau that provides breathtaking views of the green landscpes especially if you are standing in both the amazing local viewpoints: North and South. The 7 km walking trail is an exciting course to experience, starting with a somewhat steep and large climb but getting easier along the way (difficulty level: easy – level 2).