We decided to do some exploring of the area yesterday. During the last trip I had read about Alte (inland town north of Vilamoura) and in our latest guidebook addition it was listed as one of the Top 10 places to see in the Algarve. It is listed a typical and unspoilt village of the region. It is only about 30 kms north of Vilamoura but the road to get there is a small regional road and so it took us about 40 minutes to get there.
Every time we drive in the Portuguese countryside I am reminded of how similar the terrain is to Mpumulanga province in SA. The trees could easily be acacia thorn. You also have people selling oranges on the side of the road just like you have on the way to Kruger Park.
We arrived at Alte and found a parking on the one side of the town and then walked into the town itself. The one attraction is the spring which produces clear, pure water (apparently). Only Stephen tasted it and he declared it ‘Proper water’.
The town itself is made up of whitewashed buildings and the streets are cobbled and narrow. It is the sort of town where there are a lot of old people and we saw 3 ambulances outside different buildings. I suspect it is a very aging town and will never have many young people in it. There is not really a lot in the town except for the Church (Igreja) and a few shops and believe it or not two museums. Michael wanted to go into the church but didn’t want to go in by himself so Helen joined him (you had to pay €1). They did say it was really beautiful inside. It was built in the 13th century.
You might have read all of that and been impressed. Don’t be. There really isn’t much happening in Alte and while it was good to get out and walk around, the one thing we have learned is that we are unlikely to go back to Alte again. If you’re ever in the Algarve don’t get sucked into it being one of the Top 10 attractions of the Algarve. I can think of 9 better golf courses in the area …
As we had consumed the whole morning (and a bit more) in Alte, we stopped at Burger King and bought lunch. We have to, at least once during the holiday, eat at a fast food restaurant. So that is now ticked off the list of things to do.
The rest of the afternoon was spent watching SA beat Sri Lanka (it would have been embarrassing if we hadn’t). We also wanted to buy some fish for dinner so headed to the supermarket to do that. Very nice fish but no idea what I bought as my Portuguese is non-existent and I could not understand either the sign or the lady behind the counter.
Until tomorrow … P, H, S, M & C