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Ensconced along the serene banks of the Guadiana River, forty kilometres (25 mi) north of Vila Real de Santo António, Alcoutim is a picturesque gem in the Algarve that offers a peaceful escape from the bustling coastal resorts. This charming riverside town boasts a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and traditional Portuguese culture, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic experience.

Alcoutim's idyllic setting invites visitors to stroll along its tranquil streets lined with whitewashed houses and colourful flowers. The town is dominated by its medieval castle, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of the river and the Spanish border just across the water. History buffs will delight in exploring the castle's ruins and learning about its storied past.

Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of the Guadiana River for kayaking, boat trips, or simply relaxing by its banks. Alcoutim's surrounding countryside is perfect for hiking and birdwatching, providing an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature.

The town's vibrant local culture is evident in its traditional festivals, markets, and artisanal crafts. Don't miss the chance to savour delicious Algarve cuisine at one of the town's cosy restaurants, where you can sample regional specialities like cataplana and fresh river fish.

Alcoutim offers a delightful blend of relaxation, adventure, and cultural immersion—perfect for anyone seeking a tranquil retreat in the heart of the Algarve.


Alcoutim Castle

|  Alcoutim Castle

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The 14th-century castle stands on the spot where a Castro once stood. This iron age defensive structure would have witnessed the coming of many cultures over the aeons. In the 10th century BC, the Phoenicians established a trading post. The Greeks later followed in the middle of the eighth century BC and attributed to the growing population. The Carthaginians entered the Algarve in the sixth century BC and, following the Punic wars, Alcoutim became part of the Roman world.

The Roman garrison here was called Alcoutinium and the town steadily grew in wealth and importance. However, following the invasion of the Alans in 415, the town fell into decline. When the Moors arrived, they built a new defensive structure and Alcoutim's wealth grew once more. The remnants of a Moorish castle are found inside the 14th-century structure, built on the orders of King Dinis I.

It has since played a crucial role in defending Portugal's border and has encountered many skirmishes with Castile and later Spain. During the Restoration War against Spain in 1640, the ramparts were modified to accommodate artillery. A small archaeological museum within the walls of the castle opened in 2000. The "Museu Arqueológico de Alcoutim" traces the town's long and chequered history and houses many interesting artefacts.

April - September: Daily 09h00 - 19h00, October - March: Daily 09h00 - 17h30
Adult: €2.50, Concessionary: FREE
Rua 1º de Maio, Largo do Castelo, 8970, Alcoutim, Portugal. | 37° 28' 13.7" N | 07° 28' 18.5" W
+351 281 540 509 | | Website


The church originates between 1538 and 1554 and is thought to be the first Renaissance building erected in the Algarve. During its lifetime, it has been rebuilt numerous times. Over the porch is the coat of arms of the Marquis of Vila Real and Counts of Alcoutim with the characteristic emblem of interwoven holm oak branches and the inscription "Aleo". This inscription commemorates the raising of the Moorish siege of the city of Ceuta by Pedro de Meneses. There are three naves inside, with pillars decorated with handsome capitals. It comprises the main chapel and side chapels with carved retables. There is also an interesting collection of sculpted figures. In the sacristy, there are three ogival fanlights. 1 Largo da Igreja, 8970-061 Alcoutim, Portugal. | 37° 28' 18.5" N | 07° 28' 17.4" W

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Igreja Matriz Alcoutim

|  Igreja Matriz Alcoutim

Vale do Guadiana Nature Park


Located in the valley of the River Guadiana, the Nature Park winds its way through narrow riverbanks dotted by age-old watermills and sharp ravines covered in Mediterranean undergrowth and offers magnificent landscape views. The area of the Nature Park also includes towns that exemplify well-preserved traditional architecture. On the northern border of the Park, in a place of exceptional natural beauty, we find the steepest natural gradient in the course of the River Guadiana. Here you'll find the waterfall of Pulo do Lobo (Wolf's Leap), so named after the proximity of the rocks on the two sides. Visitors can discover the Nature Park by following walking routes although sensible footwear, clothing and, in the summer, protection from the sun.


Menhirs of Larajo

|  Menhirs of Larajo

The Menhirs of Larajo sit on a hilltop six kilometres (4 miles) from the village of Afonso Vicente, northwest of Alcoutim. A large menhir was unearthed in 1998 before discovering fragments of two smaller standing stones in the same cluster. The stones date from the Late Neolithic or Chalcolithic period (3500 - 2800 BC). It's believed these structures were territorial markers, or to delineate sacred areas, according to some beliefs. One stone was moved to the archaeological museum in Alcoutim. The carvings and circular designs that embellish the menhirs are a testament to the skill of the ancient artisans. Standing tall at a height of 3.14 metres (10.3 ft), Lavajo I is the tallest menhir, and its phallic shape and dark grey colour are notable characteristics. The approach to the standing stones is via a gravel path. The menhirs themselves are protected by a perimeter fence. The gate may or may not be open.
Alcoutim e Pereiro 8970, Portugal. | 37º 30" 05.9' N | 07º 32" 06.3' W

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The current building dates back to the 18th century. The current building dates back to the 18th century. It replaces a 16th-century construction, remnants of which can be found in the Manueline portal. Completed in 1573, it was the last work of master architect João de Castilho who died before completion. It was commissioned to be a funerary pantheon by King John III. At the time of construction, the hermitage was considered innovative. An ornate baroque stairway allows access to a spacious atrium, which offers magnificent views over the town and the surrounding countryside. Its whitewashed walls and round cupola, along with the bell over the main portal, are typical Algarvian features. Inside is the Núcleo Museológico de Arte Sacra (Museum of Sacred Art), a collection of Sacred Art dating from the 16th to the 19th century, acquired from various churches throughout the municipality of Alcoutim.

Tuesday – Sunday: 09h00 - 13h00/14h00 - 16h30, Monday: CLOSED
Adult: €2.50, Concessionary: FREE
8970 Alcoutim, Portugal.
37° 28' 11.9" N | 07° 28' 23.1" W | +351 281 540 509 |  Website

Hermitage of Nossa Senhora da Conceição

|  Hermitage of Nossa Senhora da Conceição


Roman villa remains at Montinho das Laranjeiras

|  Roman villa remains at Montinho das Laranjeiras

Five miles out of Alcoutim is an archaeological site comprising an old roman villa and estate. There are also remains of a Byzantine church in a plan of the shape of the cross. The ruins were exposed following a great flood of the river Guadiana in 1876. Excavation soon followed by eminent archaeologist Estácio da Veiga, yet it wasn't fully archaeologically documented until 1990. The site has "monument of public interest" status and is open to the public all year round free of charge. | 37° 24' 15.9" N | 07° 27' 38.1" W

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Nineteen kilometres (12 miles) west of Alcoutim in the parish of Vaqueiros are the Cova dos Mouros Mines, close to the Chalcolithic settlement of Santa Justa. The park takes you back in time, starting around 2500 BC when mining for copper at this site was essential for the bronze age economy. Local archaeological finds in the area include scoria and clinker remains, casting crucibles, moulds and copper artefacts such as axes, saws and chisels). From the Iron Age inscribed funerary gravestones have been found and tombs and two fortified "Villas" from the Roman occupation dating from the 1st century BC. As visitors walk the 750-metre trail, they'll encounter replica dwellings, tools, a forge and model figures designed to recreate and follow the evolution of metallurgical here millennia ago, through the Roman era to the 19th century.

Low Season: 10h30 - 16h30, High Season: 10h30 - 18h30, Monday: CLOSED
Adults: €6.50, Children 5 - 10 yrs €5.00, OAP: €6.00

Parque Mineiro da Cova dos Mouros, 8970 Vaqueiros, Alcoutim, Portugal.
37º 23' 04.3" N | 07º 43' 43.8" W | +351 212 188 398

Mines of Cova dos Mouros

|  Mines of Cova dos Mouros

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HI Alcoutim – Pousada de Juventude

HI Alcoutim – Pousada de Juventude

This youth hostel located in Alcoutim offers a large outdoor swimming pool and features views of the Guadiana River. This hostel provides free WiFi. The beds are in gender-specific dormitories, mixed dormitories and, for guests wishing more private, there are twin rooms with access to a private or a shared bathroom. All rooms have high-quality wooden furniture and windows with views of the surrounding landscape. Pousada de Juventude de Alcoutim features a shared kitchen where guests can prepare light meals. In addition, there are laundry facilities available as well as a games room and meeting facilities. Guests can relax at the shared lounge or the terrace with sun loungers by the pool.

Pousada de Juventude de Alcoutim, 8970-022 Alcoutim, Portugal. | 37° 28' 27.9" N | 07° 28' 31.3" W

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Hotel D'Alcoutim

Hotel D'Alcoutim

Located in Alcoutim, a short walk from the Nossa Senhora da Conceição Church, Hotel D'Alcoutim provides accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a bar. With a shared lounge, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk, room service and luggage storage for guests. At the hotel, every room has a desk and a flat-screen TV. All units include wardrobes. A continental breakfast is available daily at Hotel D'Alcoutim.

Avenida de Espanha, 8970-052 Alcoutim, Portugal. | 37° 05' 12.7" N | 08° 15' 14.3" W

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Villas de Alcoutim Triplex casa de Férias

Villas de Alcoutim Triplex casa de Férias

Located just 200 yards from Nossa Senhora da Conceição Church, Villas de Alcoutim Triplex casa de Férias c/ PISCINA 6PAX+2 provides accommodation in Alcoutim with access to a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, as well as valet parking.

6 Rua das Portas de Mértola, 8970-063 Alcoutim, Portugal.
37° 28' 15.4" N | 07° 28' 24.0" W

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Restaurante 'O' Rio

Restaurante 'O' Rio

clean and modern restaurant provides it's clientele great food at reasonable prices. The staff are friendly and welcoming with smiles as generous as the large portions served here. Those with moderate appetites might consider asking for a meia dose, or half portion. The menu has a good selection of meat and fish dishes as well as a suitable wine list.

Daily: 12h00 – 15h00/18h00 – 23h00
Av. Prof. José Maria Mendes Amaral 15, Alcoutim, Portugal.
37º 28" 11.9' N | 07º 28" 23.1' W

Beira Rio Cafetaria e Tapas

Beira Rio Cafetaria e Tapas

An idea spot for a light lunch and a fill-in meal. A relaxed atmosphere with great riverside views. No need to any hurry here. The service is friendly and attentive without being intrusive. Ask about the Daily specials, you wouldn't want to miss out on something special.

Daily: 09h30 – 23h00
8 Avenida Duarte Pacheco, Alcoutim 8970-071 Portugal
37° 28' 16.3" N | 07° 28' 16.4" W

O Soeiro

O Soeiro

A homely atmosphere and welcome awaits you. The food is local cuisine and Tuesdays are dedicated fish days which is then grilled to perfection. Dinners on the terrace are treated to magnificent views over the river.

Daily: 12h30 - 14h30/18h30 - 22h30
Rua Do Municipio 4, Alcoutim 8970, Portugal.
37º 28" 17.7' N | 07º 28" 16.7' W | +351 281 546 241

Only 96.1km (59.6 miles) east of Faro Airport Website


Drive east from Faro along the A22 all the way to Vila Real de Santo António and then turn north onto the IC27 to Alcoutim.
Latitude - 37º 28" 17.7' | Longitude - 07º 28" 16.7'


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Regional train services (comboios regionais) run from Lagos in the west to Vila Real de Santo António on Portugal's eastern border:
• Lagos - Vila Real de Santo António line: Timetable | Website

• Eva Transportes run services across the Algarve linking the main resorts and towns, as well as a hostess service to Lisbon. Also worth considering are their tourist passes if you're planing to visit different places: Website
• Rede Expressos operates countrywide services: Website