Alte

Some villages are cute; Alte is definitely one of them. Located in the steep hills (road inclination can reach 13%) of the Serra do Caldeirão, it’s surrounded by fields of flowers and orange trees. It was the birthplace of poet Cândido Guerreiro and is best known for its fontes, natural springs. Enjoy the Algarve tells you what not to miss when visiting Alte.

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine May 2016

Pictures by Kyle Rodriguez

 

Explore the town

From the tiny mercado to the tree-lined streets with built-in stone benches and from its church (the Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora da Assunção to be precise) to shops selling ceramics and handmade natural soaps, Alte is a romantic place. The narrow one way streets are best explored on foot – just leave your car on the parking at each end of the city. Do have a look at the street signs when walking around; not just to get your bearings, but also because they’re pretty.

 

Admire old collections

Alte-inhabitant José Saturnino (84) has been collecting stuff for all of his life and has turned his house into a museum. It’s filled with all sorts of things: ancient pull showers, azulejos, newspaper clippings, cutlery, clocks, cups, keys, sewing machines, cigarette lighters, photos, etc, etc, etc… Since the collection is so random, some might call him a hoarder. However, the common theme of the museum is that all things on display are old. “I like old stuff; it’s pretty,” the ex-shoemaker says. José’s oldest artefacts are two bracelets that were found in a nearby grave, which are believed to be over 4,000 years of age.

The museo regional & original, aka José’s house, can be found on Rua do Prior 8A. Entry is free, but a small donation is appreciated.

 

Learn about Alte’s most famous inhabitant

Fancy a more conventional museum? Have a look into the Pólo Museológico. When turning left after entering, you’ll get to the tourist office, the local library and a changing exhibition (which, at the time of visiting, consisted of meditation-inspiring stone and wood sculptures by Francisco Silva). Turn right to get to the exhibition about local poet Francisco Xavier Cândido Guerreiro, who was born in Alte back in 1871. It includes pictures, statues and books of other authors who were dedicated to him.

The Pólo Museológico can be found on the Rua Condes. Entry is free.

 

Read some poetry

The work of Cândido Guerreiro can’t only be found in the museum, it’s also displayed in the town itself. Make your way down to the fontes (the natural water sources at the eastern end of the village), where several of Guerreiro’s poems are written on a set of azulejo panels near the Fonte Pequena.

 

Feed the ducks

Or maybe, don’t feed the ducks as they’re fat enough. Several black ducks and geese are swimming in the river, eager to come out of the water at the smallest sight of breadcrumbs. With a few bridges, the area around the Fonte Pequena makes for a charming and quaint riverside. Swimming is best done at the Fonte Grande.

 

Take an outdoor shower

Did you know that negative ions from waterfalls are thought to make people happy? This is certainly the case for the Queda do Vigário. It’s not the Niagara Falls, but it’s pretty impressive, especially after a period of rain. Jump in the pool below the waterfall or lie in the grass, listening to the sound of thousands of litres of water cascading down and feel zen. To get there, park at the cemetery and follow the path. It’s a steep 10 minutes’ walk down towards the Queda do Vigário, not good in high heels or flipflops.

 

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine May 2016

Posted in One day in ....