Situated on the banks of the River Guardiana facing Spain
, Vila Real de Santo António is architecturally like nowhere else in the Algarve, Portugal
. Fabulous Portuguese lodging, accommodations, vacation rentals, villa rentals, condo rentals and apartment rentals are on offer here.
If you stand on the far eastern edge of Vila Real you can easily see the Spanish coastline and the bridge over the river that connects the town to Ayamonte in Spain. 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.
Visitors can staying in a luxury villa rental, apartment rental, condo rental, vacation rental or any of the various budget accommodation options. Vila Real has a large town square, 'Praça Marquês de Pombal', which is edged with orange trees and populated with low white buildings
, shops, cafes and restaurants. Just behind the square there is a space called the Centro Cultural António Aleixo, which used to be the old market. Today it is used for temporary exhibits and events. There is also a museum, Museu de Manuel Cabanas, where you can go to see the works of a local painter and wood engraver.
It is a relaxed and peaceful town and ideal for anyone who likes the quieter side of life.
It’s beautifully quaint, with lots to see and do, particularly for those who like to potter around and absorb the local culture. Like Monte Gordo
, Vila Real is also very flat, so is ideal for walking and cycling.
Vila Real has a lovely open sandy beach
, which stretches for several kilometres uninterrupted towards Manta Rota. Some accommodation, villa rental, apartment rental and vacation rental choices have wonderful views.
A relaxing way to see this eastern end of the Algarve (and the western end of Spain) is to take a boat trip along the Guadiana to Alcoutim. It passes through some beautiful countryside
and changes from the very flat scenery around Vila Real to a backdrop of rounded hills with lush vegetation and a few villas here and there until you arrive at Alcoutim. Here you can see castles on hilltops on both banks of the river as reminders of the past.
Just 3 km north of Vila Real de Santo António is Castro Marim, dominated by its massive hilltop castle built by King Afonso III in the 13th century. Within its walls are the remains of a smaller castle, which was once the headquarters of the Order of Christ.
Vila Real and surrounding areas not only offer wonderful accommodations, vacation rentals, villa rentals and apartment rentals but offers its visitors a relaxing, authentic and historic backdrop.
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