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 different cultures over the aeons. Sometime in the 10th century BC the Phoenicians, in cooperation with the local Lusitanians, established a trading post here. The greeks later followed in their footsteps 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 later following the Punic wars, Alcoutim was conquered by the Romans.
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. Remnants of this Moorish castle can still be found within 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, then later, Spain. During the Restoration War against Spain in 1640, the ramparts were modified to accommodate artillery. Opening in 2000, the small archaeological museum found within the walls of the castle. The Museu Arqueológico de Alcoutim traces the towns 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 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Website
The construction of this church originates between 1538 and 1554 and is considered to be the first Renaissance building erected in the Algarve. During its lifetime, it has been re-built on a number of occasions. Over the porch is the coat of arms of the Marquises of Vila Real and Counts of Alcoutim with the characteristic emblem of interwoven holm oak branches and the inscription "Aleo". This inscription is to commemorate the raising of the Moorish siege of the then recently conquered city of Ceuta by Pedro de Meneses. Within there are three naves, with pillars decorated with handsome capitals. It consists of the main chapel and side chapels with carved retables. Here too there is an interesting collection of sculpted figures. In the sacristy, there are three ogival fanlights. Largo da Igreja 1, 8970-061 Alcoutim, Portugal. | 37° 28' 18.5" N | 07° 28' 17.4" W
Found on a hilltop six kilometres (4 miles) from the village of Afonso Vicente and first excavated in 1998, this large menhir was revealed to be a part of a larger group. Dating from the Late Neolithic or Chalcolithic period, between 3500 and 2800 BC, the structures are believed to be territorial markers or for defining sacred space. One of the stones was eventually moved to the archaeological museum in Alcoutim. The menhirs are embellished with carvings and circles. The tallest menhir (Lavajo I) measures 3.14 metres (10.3 ft) tall, dark grey in colour and phallic in form. The approach to the standing stones is via a gravel path and 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
| Mines of Cova dos Mouros
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.
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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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
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
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
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
GET A GREAT DEAL ON FLIGHTS:
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.
GET A GREAT DEAL ON CAR HIRE:
• 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