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Castro Marim in Algarve Portugal, lies in the Eastern Algarve Being the last town on the eastern side on the border to Spain, with the Guadiana River separating the two countries.
On approaching Castro Marim the town has much to offer with the castle beckoning you to explore. There is much history on the town with reference to having association with the Knights Templar the guardians of the relics of the Protectors of Christ. Castro Marim has much on offer, a large monthly market held on the second Saturday of the month. Well worth the visit offering a wide range from fresh fruit and vegetables, to cheeses, hams, and local honey. There is an antiques market on the same day held just up the road in Vila real St Antonio (see Market dates). Heading towards Castro Marim from the west towards Spain,there is a strange array of 5 tall pillars with a windmill sitting above, as well as a chapel on the right hand side. The tall pillars are water fountains which only become clear when heading up towards the windmill.
There is a cultural Centre with small auditorium used when holding music and other events. The windmill is part of the museum, worth going up just for the spectacular views across to Spain with the riverside town of Ayamonte. There are salt beds that Portugal is known for, further along are marshes and wildlife conservation.
Not suitable for the elderly or disabled due to the uneven approach road. But with the Fort of Sao Sebastiao dating from the 17th Century on the other of the town, offers better access for most. The best time to feel how the town must have been back in time, is when Castro Marim holds it’s annual medieval festival is August like most of the fortified town in the Algarve.
Castro Marim comes to life when for almost a week in August re-enacting’ the Moorish period with everyone in costumes’ with music, dancing, sword skills, even a working blacksmiths. Castro Marim is quiet flat with traditional cobblestone streets and pavements; this can be bumpy for wheelchair/pushchair users. A daily covered market, and plenty of good restaurants. Note: for those dining out in the warmer evenings. The nearby marshes the town gets infested with mosquitoes at certain times of the year, (See tip on Mosquitoes). It is easy to find the Center of town with the large white church with a White house style dome crowning the top. Many small narrow cobbled streets with many whitewashed single storey houses.
The town lacks grander merchant’s houses due to Castro Marim being a fortified town, for many years the threat of attacks was high risk and trading merchants would have no interest of settling in the town.