VILA REAL DE S. ANTONIO

Vila Real de S. António on the Guadiana River, the Spanish border of the Algarve, Portugal

The origin of this town at the Spanish border was a small fishing port, probably dating back to the Phoenicians. After the earthquake in 1755 the town was designed and rebuilt by the Marquês de Pombal, an important Portuguese minister of the 18th Century, who also redesigned the centre of the City of Lisbon.

The popular beach resort of Monte Gordo offers the tourists kilometres of sea washed beach lined with pine forest.

To the north of Vila Real a bridge across the river Guadiana has been built in 1997 connecting Seville in Spain with the Algarve.

Crossing the River Guadiana by ferryboat to visit the Spanish town of Ayamonte is a pleasant and relaxing experience.

Upstream the small charming Portuguese towns of Castro Marim and Alcoutim are also worth being visited. The roots of the Alcoutim area go back to the megalithic culture around 4000 BC