Walking Festival will quadruple the population of Ameixial in April

The population of the village of Ameixial, in the interior of Loulé, should quadruple on the 24th, 25th and 26th of April. […]

Walking Festival PlumThe population of the village of Ameixial, in the interior of Loulé, should quadruple on the 24th, 25th and 26th of April.

The third edition of the Walking Festival Ameixial (walking festival) is already generating a lot of enthusiasm and the perspective is that it will gather more than twice the number of participants from the previous year, as a result of new partnerships, which will motivate unprecedented activities.

With more than a month to go before the festival starts, there are those who have already reserved the days to come to Loulé, namely visitors from Germany and the Netherlands. Thus, there was an effort on the part of those responsible for the event to close the program and put it on the street, something that has already started to happen since last Friday and will continue, in force, over the next few weeks.

There are new features in this year's program, which result from partnerships between the festival and various associations.

“In the first two years, we had about 200 participants. This year, we will certainly exceed 400 or 500 participants. The group of Races on Fridays goes there to promote a race and a picnic, and they bring together a thousand people. We also have the association of trail running, which will promote a competition, which usually brings together a lot of people», revealed João Ministro, from ProActiveTur, the company that organizes this event of the Loulé Chamber and the Junta do Ameixial, in partnership with the Estela Project.

Hugo Nunes: "This is a moment to promote the less inhabited parish of Loulé, but which, at the same time, will be the one that has the best preserved traditions and spaces, which are worth visiting"

Another partner is the association Almargem «which will promote two activities» and the association Urban Sketchers, which «will hold a regional illustration meeting». In addition to these initiatives, there will be, as expected, many walks, with the most varied themes, including one connecting the Via Algarviana.

“The program follows the same logic as in other years. There will be several walks every day. This year, we will also have technical workshops and a stronger connection to the community. On Saturday, we have an evening activity, where we will have the participants make bread,” added João Ministro.

To accommodate so many people in a village where around 140 people live permanently (the parish has less than 450), the organization has the mountain shelter, inaugurated about a year ago by the Loulé Council in an old factory, and with the Motorhome Park, which is already «fairly composed». There will also be a camping area.

«The Ameixial mountain shelter is a small reception center for people passing through, which has all the conditions. This is an opportunity to make this equipment known to those who visit Ameixial», considered the vice-president of the Chamber of Loulé Hugo Nunes.

Walking Festival posterAlso because, he stressed, a major objective of this festival is to make known the potential of Ameixial, particularly with regard to nature tourism.

"This is a moment to promote the less inhabited parish of Loulé, but which, at the same time, will be the one that has the best preserved traditions and spaces, which are worth visiting," he added.

Nowadays, Ameixial is already a popular place for those who like to enjoy nature and get to know the traditions of Serra do Caldeirão.

«There is an increase in people who constantly travel to Ameixial to go hiking and mountain biking», revealed the president of the Parish Council of Ameixial Abílio Sousa.

The Walking Festival turns out to be a turning point abroad, for the population of Ameixial. “Visitors interact with the community and the population welcomes this event because, as the vice president said, it is promoting what we have good”, he added.

In the coming days, those interested in participating will have the opportunity to sign up for different activities, which are all free. To do this, they should visit the page of Walking Festival Facebook, where you can find links to entries for the different activities, as well as the complete festival program.

In 2015, the hiking festival will also be part of the Loulé European City of Sport program. «This festival has many peculiarities that distinguish it from the other initiatives of this event. From the outset, because it takes place in the countryside and will take to Ameixial a group of people who, for the most part, would hardly have gone there, if it weren't for the Walking Festival. That values ​​him a lot», considered Hugo Nunes.

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