Vila Real de Santo António, Castro Marim and Alcoutim, the three main Eastern Algarve municipalities, have become recognized for their beautiful environment, where sun, sea, river and mountain create unique and special experience for every single person who visits.
On top of a hill, overlooking the sea and the easternmost lagoon of the Ria Formosa, this charming, tranquil fishing village is certainly worth a visit, home to an 18th century fort, pretty church, beautifully calm beach and excellent seafood.
Castro Marim has, historically, been an important town because of its position near the banks of the Guadiana and its proximity to the coast. The remains of a castle stand on one hill overlooking the town and the Fort of São Sebastião on the opposite hill, with the houses of the town in between. From the castle enjoy a great view of the river, the salt pans (an important part of the economy of this area) and the sea in the distance. Castro Marim is a laidback town, comprising typically Portuguese houses, cafés and wide streets. The area is quite flat, making it ideal for bike rides or walks.
Reach Alcoutim, on the banks of the Guadiana, by boat or a short 30-minute drive from Vila Real de Santo António; this pretty hillside town comprises cobbled streets, small squares and a paved promenade along the riverfront which is overlooked by a handful of cafes and restaurants. As early as 2,500BC, the region around Alcoutim attracted people because of the deposits of copper, iron and manganese and in Roman times a number of mines were established.
Tavira´s foundation dates back to the late Bronze Age, thus there is a great deal of interesting history about this town; there are several churches from different centuries which have left their mark behind, an old castle and a charming town center which is divided in two parts by a river. Using the nearby footbridge Santa Luzia, you can easily reach the islands and beaches of Tavira.