Alte: one of the most typical and beautiful villages in the Algarve

28 September 2023
Alte: one of the most typical and beautiful villages in the Algarve

Far from mass tourism, crowded beaches and tourists who only seek sun and sea, there is an Algarve that still manages to keep alive its most typical villages. Alte, in Loulé, is one of those good examples. Alte does not lose its identity and as a result of careful investment by the municipality to be the target of maintenance and preservation processes, it keeps its traces intact.


In this regard, it should be noted its Mother Church, which is believed to have been built around the year 1500, as the most emblematic reference at the historical level. However, the records on the site of the church are predated this year. In this is also noteworthy the majestic entrance with portal of Manueline style, as well as a coating of tiles of blue and white colors in the vault. 

But in Alte is also remarkable the transition between the fertile landscape Barrocal and the Serra do Caldeirão. In fact, agriculture is a very visible activity with regard to the fertile fields glimpsed along the stream of Ribeira de Alte.


The valley below the Ribeira de Alte is closely related to two fountains, the Fonte Pequena and the Fonte Grande. The village of Alte, Fonte Grande and the surrounding area are picturesque places that attract many visitors. And it is well worth it due to the gastronomy of the area, but also for the traditional handicrafts, where you can highlight the wooden toys, the pottery and the esparto.


Knowing that the Algarve stands out for its beaches and villas by the sea, Alte is clearly an exception to this rule. To justify this countercurrent situation, several details can be highlighted, such as the typical white houses and their traditional chimneys, as well as its historic center of great beauty.

The historic center of Alte is objectively imposing and from it should be valued the already focused Mother Church, but there are other very interesting places in this village such as the old water mill dating from the twelfth century, in addition to typical handicraft shops in which local products are purchased.


The natural pools of Alte should also be valued being a place where you will easily spend a very pleasant day. In the same vein, the Fountains of Alte characterized by clear and crystalline water are an invitation to relaxation, fully justified and reinforced, beautiful, excellent surrounding wooded area.


By Alte there is also the possibility of visiting the Museum Cândido Guerreiro e Condes de Alte, which resulted from the use of an old manor. Of the exhibited pieces it is worth mentioning a set of objects by the writer Cândido Guerreiro and pieces by the Counts of Alte.

This village is marked by its relationship with water, because in addition to the already mentioned Fontes Pequena and Fonte Grande, there is also the Ribeira de Alte that lends a freshness to the look, also promoting a characteristic sound in the village. The springs have marked this area for centuries, having been very important for the dynamism of the place. This dynamism is today closely associated with two activities: agricultural and tourism.


In Alte it is possible to spend excellent moments, enjoying the rest that the Algarve Mountains make attractive. Of this situation there are also places to highlight such as the Cascata de Alte, better known as the Queda do Vigário, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Algarve. This is imposing in its 24 meters of height where the water plummets to form a large lake characterized by immeasurable beauty. Of what are the typical products that can be purchased there is to highlight some Algarve delicacies resulting from manual production. These are, for example, honey, cheese and regional sweets.

What to visit near Alte?

Of the places near Alte that we can highlight, it is of elementary justice to think of the Serra do Caldeirão. Here, it is possible to find an uncharacteristic Serra environment, as it is entrenched in a border area, namely between the Algarve coast and the plain of the Baixo Alentejo.

And if we want to add uncharacteristic situations when we think of a mountain range, there is still the possibility of talking about a low-lying area. Still, it is of the most elementary justice to say that lovers of photography, gastronomy and natural heritage have a paradise here.

Regarding photography, the Serra do Caldeirão has a unique heritage of enormous interest, where levadas, windmills and even sites classified as the Rocha da Pena that makes precisely the transition between the Barrocal and the Serra Algarvias, in the municipality of Loulé. There are almost 500 meters of altitude in a formation that constitutes a singular plateau worthy of record, and that potentiates spectacular images.

However the Rocha da Pena is a geologically very peculiar structure, because its limestone constitution implies the formation of zones of cracks and caves by the chemical change that happens over time. Which is another reason for great attraction.

Of the gastronomy of the Algarve Mountains it should be highlighted that the use of some characteristic ingredients as decisive. Of these should be mentioned olive oil, aromatic herbs and even typical fruits and vegetables. All this will lead to divine dishes such as stewed rooster with potatoes, corn porridge, meats with grain and the honey pudding itself.

As for nature, the possibility of looking for species of great beauty in terms of its flora and fauna stands out. In the part of the vegetation of the Serra do Caldeirão, this is characterized by species such as strawberry trees, holm oaks and cork oaks, but it should be noted that over time the forest area has given way to other activities such as agriculture and livestock itself.

Also the fauna of the mountain has been over time undergone modifications, but there is a lot of grandeur that can be seen, and can easily stand out species such as the deer, the wild boar, the Iberian wolf or the Iberian imperial eagle. Towards the end we purposely left a mythical species, namely the Iberian lynx.

In fact, it is in the Serra do Caldeirão that it is said that the feline, already considered as the most at risk of extinction worldwide, has its place of preference. Since this is a priority habitat of this species, it is of the most elementary justice to reference it in this space.


by Vortexmag

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