Explore the interior East Algarve and the hills above Tavira! This mountain trip will take you to the Caldeirão Mountains’ surprising landscapes, for an insight view of the rich natural, human, and architectonic heritage of this region.
The Caldeirão Mountains (Serra do Caldeirão) form a protective barrier for the coast, providing shelter from the cold northern winds. This range of small mountains and undulating hills is only a short drive away from the most known coastal resorts, although it seems to belong on a different planet. The landscape is forest green with scattered cork trees and harsh scrubland. In Spring, cistus, gorse, and French lavender bloom in tiny drops of colour, perfuming the air.
Few people live here, mostly an aging population dedicated to traditional activities and to welcoming visitors.
In this region, you’ll find the character and authenticity of an Algarve rich in diversity.
We’ll take you to Cachopo, a typical whitewashed mountain village, where the old ways are still used in daily life. Small hamlets and cork trees parade along the road, rewarding you with panoramic views.
S. Brás de Alportel is a well-preserved small city with an interesting ethnographic museum. We’ll have the opportunity to visit the traditional handicraft exhibit and get to know more about the importance of the cork in the region and its transformation processes. The Costumes Museum is set in the former manor house of a cork dealer.
We then follow the verdant hills bordering the Guadiana River to reach Alcoutim. San Lucar del Guadiana is the Spanish town on the opposite bank.
Alcoutim is a tranquil medieval town, with a rich historical past. From the Castle gardens, which are perfectly cared for, you’ll have an excellent viewing point over the whitewashed village houses and the River. There is a myriad of legends involving the castle. They tell of brave knights and beautiful Moorish princesses, frustrated in their love, becoming enchanted.
There are other secrets in this region, from the times when smuggling across the rocky banks of the Guadiana was very common, which ended up forging close ties with the Andalusian people on the left bank.
Find secret places and special moments off the beaten path and discover the Algarve others do not know about!