A monument of national importance situated on the Ponta de Sagres
The huge fortress is located south-western of the village of Sagres on a massive rock, Ponta de Sagres. This is most likely the place of the legendary school f navigators, erected by Henry the Navigator.
Neolithic and Chalcolithic graves and settlements in the municipality of Portimão north of Alvor
In the third millennium BC, the focal point of the territory stretching from north from the Alvor inlet to the foothills of the Monchique range was a settlement measuring over 10 hectares located at the end of a once navigable section of the Torre river. This settlement stood on a hillock next to what is now Alcalar, some five kilometres from Mexilhoeira Grande, in the Portimão area and in the midst of the Algarve’s barrocal (limestone coastal strip). Other inhabited sites grew up around this central settlement and around eighteen megalithic tombs were built in different groups on the surrounding low hills, forming a necropolis with a wide range of architectural styles. Monument 7, a funeral temple built in the third millennium BC, is the best preserved tomb in the necropolis and has been the focus for conservation and restoration work. It consists of a cairn – a mound of stones around a tholos, a construction with a corridor and a crypt covered by a vault. The mound is surrounded by a low schist wall that continues over the stone filling to form a pathway that runs all around the monument. The diameter of this circular building reaches almost twenty-seven metres and has a straight, east-facing façade with the only access to the monument in the centre. Access to the crypt itself is then via a long, narrow east-facing corridor covered with large slabs of limestone. In a clear attempt to restrict access to the crypt, the corridor is divided into ever-narrower sections, marked by vertical monoliths and raised door-stones. The crypt, whose flooring is covered by a limestone slab, lies at the geometrical centre of the tomb. This text is an extract of the article published by IPPAR - Instituto Português do Património Arquitectónico in its website.
Ruin of a fortress on the Rio Guadiana opposite Sanlucar de Guadiana
The castle, erected in the 14th Century, bears witness to the armed conflicts between the Algarve, Portugal and neighbouring Spain in former times. Alcoutim is located at the place where the Guadiana river becomes tidal, so people wanting to ship their goods had to wait here, until the conditions allowed them to sail down the river. Thus structures to support and defend this business where needed. During the 17th Century it was fortified to cope with the increasing artillery threat and only in 1878 was its military use terminated. Today, the castle is host to a museum, exhibiting the remains of the old walls and archaeological findings.
Ruin of a Moorish castle overlooking the village
Aljezur is a small market town with two parts divided by a fertile river valley of the Ribeira de Aljezur, situated in the natural park of the Costa Vicentina, the western coast of the Algarve. Its hilltop Moorish Castle offering nice views to the surrounding countryside dominates the old part. It was settled by the Moors in the 10th century and re-conquered in 1246.
Almancil: Igreja de São Lourenço
Baroque church near Almancil, completely decorated with tiles
Built in the first half of the 18th century, the charming Chapel of São Lourenço dos Matos provides the very best example of Algarve baroque decorative tile work, in itself sufficient to justify a visit to the town of Almancil, in the municipality of Loulé. Considered to be one of the finest art treasures in southern Portugal, this church has a single longitudinal nave, with side chapels and a quadrangular chancel surmounted by a dome covered in figurative tiles, the whole combining to create a fine example of religious architecture. The tiles, in tones of blue and white, covering the walls of the nave and the vaulted ceiling, create a striking visual impression as they remind visitors of the story of St. Lourenço. The breathtaking eight panels of 18th-century tiles were designed by Policarpo de Oliveira Bernardes and depict the various phases in the life of the saint after whom the chapel was named. A highly theatrical composition, the panels feature billowing curtains, angels bearing medallions and garlands of flowers and leaves, creating a highly dynamic impact and an overall effect that is very rich in detail. In the chancel, in addition to the tiles, attention is drawn to the carved and gilded wooden altarpiece, also baroque in style, and the representation of São Lourenço, believed to be the work of Manuel Martins, the greatest woodcarver and sculptor in the Algarve at that time. The decorative effect of the chapel is further enhanced by the harmoniously carved religious images from the 17th and 18th centuries. This information is extracted with friendly permission of RTA from their Website.
The sources Fonte Pequena and Fonte Grande of the Ribeira de Alte
The springs are situated on the outskirts of the village of Alte in a picturesque landscape forming the transient area between the Serra and the Barrocal of the Algarve
Alto do Malhão: Stupa and Mosteiro de Mú
Buddhist monument and meditation centre Mosteiro de Mú in the Serra de Caldeirão (Serra de Mú)
Alto do Malhão is an elevation of 537m in the Serra north of Loulé. From there you have a marvellous view to the surounding mountains until the neighbouring Alentejo. The Mosteiro de Mú, a small Buddhist centre of meditation and recreation, is situated on the highest elevation adjacent to an old white wind mill. You can hear the colourful flags fluttering in the wind already from afar. Below the centre a Stupa has been erected in 2008, an impressive Buddhist monument of rose granite symbolizing the enlightened being. Walking around it clockwise in a good and positive spirit is said to have healing and beneficial effects. The elevation Alto do Malhão is also a popular destination for cyclists. in 2016 it was the finish of the The "Volta ao Algarve", the most important cycling event in Portugal.
Little fortress on the coast between Sagres and the Cabo de Sao Vicente
The fortress, situated on the Algarve coast near Sagres between the beach of Beliche and Cape St. Vincent had been erected to protect the strategic important harbour of Sagres.
Cabo São Vicente
Europe's most south-western corner: sacred ground from time immemorial
Cabo de São Vicente (Cape St.Vincent) near Sagres in Portugal and the Ponta de Sagres together form the south-western corner of the Algarve and the European continent. The cape consists of a steep cliff of about 69 m with almost no vegetation. It was already sacred ground in Neolithic times, as standing menhirs within the area attest. The name of the area it is located in still recalls the Promontorium Sacrum (or Holy Promontory) of the Romans. The Ancient Greeks called it Ophiussa (Land of Serpents), inhabited by the Oestriminis. The early Christians followed that tradition and dedicated this last part of the known world to St. Vincent, giving name also to the neighbouring coast (Costa Vicentina). According to the legend the relics of the martyr Saint Vincent were transported from the Holy Land to the cape by ravens. The impressive lighthouse which provides a guiding beam to ships passing the cape is open for visits. Although this is one of the most frequented seaways in the world, ships have to respect such distances for security reasons, that they can barely be seen on the horizon. On the surrounding cliffs, beaten by the strength of the vast Atlantic, local fishermen risk their lives wedged on dramatic perches with the thundering sea below. Year by year some of them, as well as some imprudent tourists, meet their death here. This article is based on an article Cabo de São Vicente from the open encyclopedia Wikipedia under the GNU license for free documentation. A the list of authors is available on the Wikipedia site.
Fortress and picturesque village on the Ria Formosa between Tavira and Vila Real d.S.A.
Cacela Velha is situated directly on the Ria Formosa lagoon between Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António. This picturesque little village is only a few miles from the EN 125 main road. Access by car is allowed only to residents - visitors can park the car at the village entrance and easily explore it by foot. Cacela Velha’s few buildings are surmounted by the church and an impressive castle, that was part of the border fortification against neighbouring Spain. Today a toll authority resides there, and thus the castle is not open to visits. There is, however, a route called "Itinerário de Castelos do Baixo Guardiana", on which you can follow the former fortifications on the lower Guadiana river.