Portugal City Travel Guide: Alcoutim
Alcoutim, 44km north of Vila Real de Santo Antonio in the Algarve, is a picturesque border town located on the Guadiana River, across from its Spanish rival, Sanlucar de Guadiana.
Alcoutim has a long history as a river port dominated in turn by Greeks, Romans and Moors.
Now a sleepy village with a population of around 3,000 inhabitants, Alcoutim survives on fishing, handicrafts and a small but growing number of tourists, some of whom arrive by boat.
The main sites in Alcoutim are the 14th century Moorish castle, Castelo de Alcoutim, which has spectacular views down over the river and a small archaeological museum (Núcleo Museológico de Arqueologia) at the main gates, which outlines the history of the castle including the battles that were fought at its walls.
Churches in Alcoutim include the Nossa Senhora de Conceição with an 18th century altar and Manueline portal as well as the parish church, the Capela de Santo Antonio, near the river, with its Renaissance features.
North west of town is the pretty Praia Fluvial do Pego Fundo, a beach by the side of a river, ideal for swimming in the summer.
There are boat trips across the Guadiana River to Sanlucar de Guadiana as well as cruises further afield up and down the river.
Alcoutim Tourist Office
Alcoutim Tourist Office.
Rua 1 de Maio 8970-056.
Tel. 281 546 179.
Getting to Alcoutim
Alcoutim is not connected by railway and the nearest train stations are at Beja and Vila Real de Santo Antonio.
Take the N122 to Alcoutim north from Vila Real de Santo Antonio. If you have a hire car it is easy to visit the towns of Mértola, Serpa, Beja, Moura, Castro Verde and Almodôvar which are all a relatively short distance from each other.
Alcoutim has bus connections with Vila Real (1 hour, 15 minutes) with EVA. The bus leaves Vila Real at 5.10pm. There is also one bus a day from Martim Longo to Faro. Alcoutim is very remote and the municipality organizes transport for its citizens who need to visit the hospital in Faro.
Alcoutim has a few good places to stay including the riverside Pousada de Juventude de Alcoutim and the Alcoutim Castle Alojamento. Located across the river in Sanlúcar de Guadiana, Spain is the Casas Rurales Los Molinos and the Los Molinos.
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Many of Alcoutim's cafe's bars and restaurants are located near to the banks of the Guadiana River including the Riverside Tavern, at Avenida Duarte Pacheco, 8970-071. Also at Praça da Republica 8970-055 try O Camané for more of the local cuisine. O Soeiro is on Rua do Município nº4 8970-066 and known for its charcoal grilled fish and lamprey dishes.
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