The East Algarve’s coast is tranquil and serene. Let’s discover the Ria Formosa, teeming with birds and sea life, where the rhythm of the tides still commands centuries’ old traditions. We then follow the coast to the frontier with Spain.
We’ll take you to Cacela Velha, a tiny pearl nested on top of the only cliff of the East Algarve, facing the ever-changing Ria Formosa.
This is the beginning of the Natural Park, a system of lagoons and barrier islands enclosing a vast area of marshes, salt pans, and creeks. The Ria is fronted by sandy ocean beaches, accessible by boat, and quaint fishing villages.
Cacela Velha, surrounded by this wonderful scenery, is a white and blue jewel that has remained untouched over centuries. In the main square, there is a medieval cistern. The fortress was built in 1794, and we highlight the Renaissance doorway and the fine collection of religious art displayed in the Main Church.
We follow the coastline towards Spain, to visit Castro Marim, one of the oldest communities in the Algarve, and an important centre of Arab power until 1242.
The strategic position on the border and the need to repel the Moorish attacks from North Africa were the reasons to build the Castle, the Fort, and the walls, very well preserved and worthy of a tour.
From the battlements command, there’s an excellent view over the surrounding area, spanning to the magnificent salt-pans reflecting the sunlight in their white expanse, where traditional salt is produced. At far, the Guadiana River meanders.
It’s not hard to find genuine handicrafts that will delight people who appreciate popular arts.
Find secret places and special moments off the beaten path and discover the Algarve others do not know about!