With its diversity Portugal is one of Europe’s best countries to visit by car. You don’t have to drive yourself to death to go to places – and there are hundreds of cousy villages with affordable places to stay everywhere.
We must have been almost everywhere since our first visit back in 1995. But still we find places we have to visit. Like the other day when I read the story about Portugal’s Islamic past.
Never heard of it before – which is strange because the coast along Guadiana River from Alcoutim and south is one of the most beautiful roads in Portugal.
We went to Alentejo for a few days and decided to stop over for one night. Unfortunately we had chosen a Monday so most of the Islamic places were closed. Still you feel the city’s Muslim and Mediterranean past.
If it had been possible to drive down to Alcoutim along the river it would be a must to visit Mertola. Now we only recommend it if you already have been Alentejo or Algarve, have a special interest in Islamic culture or are a frequent driver to Spain who need an alternative border crossing.
If you are have both Mertola and Alcoutim on your list and if your time is limited choose the latter.
With its kids size castle, the green river bank and the small river taxi that takes you a selection of Spanish Tapas Restaurants and a huge Moorish castle on the Spanish side in 5 minutes Alcoutim is fantastic for children and childish grown-ups.
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