Only a few minutes from Spain is another fabulous because that makes me love the Algarve even more. Excellent for its sand, for its clear waters, for the open space and, above all, for its temperature. It is one of those beaches where one can spend eight hours without even realizing that the time has passed, by enjoying, and swimming from time to time. Beware, though, it is quite hot. It is not difficult to park, the Praia Verde offers public parking. For lunch you have two options, the Panoramic Restaurant Infante (fancier but with better views) or Na Areia Pezinhos Restaurant (on the beach and with great charm). Another of the beaches you have to visit in the Algarve, not for anything special, just for enjoyment.
It was a little crazy to venture into this field at 45 degrees in the sun, but it really was worth it. Got to enjoy unique landscapes. The various stages through which water passes marshes until separate salt can be seen in this place. On the horizon you can easily see the picturesque castle of Castro Marim once a defensive bulwark of Portugal. The few plants live in these extreme conditions (halophytic plants). Taking Root to practically the edges with the Guadiana, the natural border with Spain we can see the bridge linking the two countries (Spain and Portugal).
The municipalities of Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo Antonio are located at the mouth of the Guadiana, which forms a marshy area declared a Nature Reserve and a Special Protection Area for Birds. It's a great marsh of 2,089 acres, with lots of fish, crustaceans, amphibians, reptiles, insects and molluscs, as well as thousands of birds such as white storks, flamingos, herons and cormorants. The dry areas have lots of vegetation including fig and almond trees. There are different routes you can take to get to know this natural reserve in depth, watching the local birdlife and the salt production process.
Small village near Faro (Portugal) the road is notable for its castle, on a hill, which made me go off from my main route to go for a moment to find out. There I found a charming little church and the castle, which was founded by the Order of the Knights Templar and later belonged to the Order of Christ. Definitely an unexpected stop on the road, but I liked the time I was in the village. On a second visit, this village or town printing was even better than the first.
The village of Castro Marin sits in a hollow protected by 2 hills where there are paths (the Castle and Fort San Sebastian ) with their respective walls. You can take a walk through the parapet of the wall surrounding the castle, and see 360 ° around the landscape, which is part of the Nature Reserve Sapal . From here there are great views of the mouth of the Guadiana, Guadiana International Bridge of enjoy by Revellín Hill that is directly in front of Fort San Sebastian , and the courtyard of the castle itself and its wall cubes. We can also see the typical white houses of the people at our feet and Mother Church.
Built inside the revellín San Antonio, this chapel was constructed by King Joao IV around the year 1640. Originally Baroque was a quadrangular building with an altar dedicated to St. Sebastian, but it has had many changes throughout its history. The inside has a nave covered by a barrel vault decorated with murals. It has 2 side altars from the 18th century, dedicated to Our Lady of the Conception and St. Elizabeth. The altarpiece of the main altar is from the 18th century and has the image of San Antonio in the central part. Surrounded by 5 canvases framed between columns. In the Gospel side can be seen 7 tables with paintings that depict the life of the saint.
The Church of Mercy is the first building you encounter when you enter the walled Castle. It is a small church from the seventeenth century, which once was the Mother Church of the city (now the Church of Our Lady of Martyrs). Its appearance does not say much, just highlights the Renaissance façade. Apparently the most beautiful is the interior (although it was closed): The dome decorated with 17th and 18th century murals and the altarpiece with seven panels of wood and a set of images from the XVIII.
The Fort of San Sebastian is in the Revellín Hill, compared to Castle. Construction is after this, the 17th century, and was integrated into the system walls surrounding the city. Its function was to supplement the medieval castle defense provided to the city. It has an irregular plan, adapting to the terrain, with five bastions and main door facing north (communicating with the castle). Is in the process of being classified a National Monument. You can not visit.
Revellín Hill is right in front of the castle's hill. Named because here was based a small fortification (revellín), commanded by Joao IV erect. This space was fully recovered in the year 2009 as a green area, where they built a park, an outdoor amphitheater and a building that houses a coffee bar and Territory Interpretation Centre. Also on this hill are a number of buildings, such as the Fort San Sebastian, Ermita de San Antonio, and a former Windmill, which has also been refurbished. From here there are good views of the Sapal Nature Reserve.
Interpretation Center of the Territory, in a building in the [poi = 310661] Revellín Hill [/ poi], also houses a coffee bar. Built using local materials such as adobe natural earth pressed or handmade bricks. Tries to be a visitor reception center and starting point for visitors. In the center a model of the city, and on the walls a series of panels about the environment. In addition, large windows that act as lookout to 360 º around the surrounding territory, part of the [poi = 310631] nature reserve Sapal. [/ Poi] Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 to 17h. Free admission.
This park is the first thing you see when entering Ctra Castro Marim from EN 122. It is a big green area where there is grass, abundant trees, children's play area and a decorative fountain that is interesting, and that becomes a makeshift pool where the kids have a great summer. Its use is free. The park was constructed in 1999 and received the National Award "Image of the City" by this successful recovery of the riparian zone.
No doubt the Castle (Castillo) is the signature building of the small Portuguese town of Castro Marim and is a National Monument in Portugal. It's medieval, built in the thirteenth century (although there are structures dating back to the Bronze Age) on a hill overlooking the mouth of the Guadiana. It has an irregular quadrangular shape, defined by 4 semicircular cubes in each corners and a courtyard with 2 entrances (north and south). It was part of a fortress and defended by a wall, within which was the castle itself, the Church of Mercy and other buildings now in ruins (the church of Santiago, the Santa Maria, the magazine, etc.). Within the enclosure a medieval festival is held in mid-August. You can visit the Museum Centre which displays archeological findings from this hill. The entrance to visit all the premises is € 2/person. Schedule: April to October: 9 to 19, November to March: 9 to 17.
This windmill is in the Revellín Hill and has been recently recovered to be considered a unique building of heritage value. It is a circular building and conical roof covering a machine moved with cloth sails. It was used to grind grain into flour.
Opened in 2007 on the premises of Castro Marim Castle, this small museum displays finds from archaeological excavations on the hill where the castle stands. It's a historical and archeological museum that displays pottery, coins, tombstones, etc. from different historical periods (Bronze Age, Iron, Roman) and evidence of early human occupation in Castro Marim. Hours: 10-12 and 15-18. Admission is free, but first you have to pay € 2 to enter the grounds of the Castle.
Because of its strategic location (at the mouth of the Guadiana River, which borders the Castle and next to Morocco) Castro Marim suffered many attacks and invasions in the past, so it implemented a defensive policy in the thirteenth century - a fortified wall atop a hill overlooking the city with a Castle inside. The fort has a triangular irregular shape that adapts to the shape of the hillock where it sits, the largest vertex faces south. It has parapet walls around the perimeter that you can stroll watching the panorama. To the west, facing the Guadiana, is a stronghold defended by a low rise revellín. To the south, the wall is crenellated for artillery and points to Fort of San Sebastian.