Two weeks ago I was so distracted by all the wildflowers I never got round to talking about Alcoutim, well yesterday we took my wonderful sister-in-law Lisa up into the hills. Again we stopped at our favourite pull in just before the village of Fonte do Penedo and I found myself in macro mode for a short while, but for once I took more photographs in Alcoutim than I did on the journey there.

You do need a car if you are visiting Alcoutim for the day as it is impossible to travel by public transport on a Sunday and almost impossible to get there and back in a day on a weekday. However if you have access to a car it is a relatively easy and quick drive up as long as you are not like us and get distracted by the views and wildflowers! Alternatively the river is navigable between Vila Real de Santo António and Mértola, so you could always arrive by boat. Would love to do that one day. Another way to arrive if you happen to be in Spain is by zip-line! Just check out this video from Joage Soares.

Alcoutim as with many of the towns and villages on the Guadiana has a long history of human habitation from the neolithic period through to Romans, the Visigoths, the Moors and finally the Christians.  Signs of the various occupations are evident in the churches, castle and chimneys. I particularly though love the tiles which depict more recent history.

Even on a Sunday in winter there is plenty to do in Alcoutim: there’s the castle, the river beach and enough cafes to while away a couple of hours. You can also take the 10minute ferry ride to Spain or simply do what we do which is stroll around this pretty town. My other love when in Alcoutim are all the cats. I miss my cats when here in the Algarve and so am a sucker for all the friendly faces here.