The municipality of Alcoutim is situated in the Northeast of the Algarve, separated from Spain by the River Guadiana and from Alentejo, in the North, by the River of Vascão.
To the South and Westwards, it is bordered by the municipalities of Castro Marim, Tavira and Loulé. Alcoutim is one of the only three municipalities of the Algarve which doesn't have access to the sea. The municipality maintains many cultural demonstrations whose roots are lost in time: the low white washed or bare schist houses are abundant examples of the traditional architecture.
The origins of the village go back to the Age of the Bronze. The Romans occupied these lands in the 2nd century BC having given its name. The Byzantines were also there until the arrival of the Arabs (8th century) who fortified the village (they built the Old Castle, which was rebuilt in the 10th century by the Calif Omiad of Cordoba) and transformed it into one of the most important places of their domains beyond the River Guadiana.
In the 13th century (1240), King D. Sancho II conquered Alcoutim to the Arabs and integrated it in the domains of the Portuguese Crown.
The architectonic patrimony of this municipality is of great historic value. The Neolithic tombs (menhirs) and important archaeological remains of the Roman and of the Arabic presence outstand. It must be referred that in the Parish of Alcoutim. The mother church of Martinlongo (16th century), is one of the best examples of the Manueline-Gothic style which exist in Portugal. The Neolithic tombs of the Lavajo, the Roman village of Montinho das Laranjeiras and the Calcolithic settlement of the Cerro do Castelo are testimonies of the ancestors of the people from Alcoutim (Alcoutinejos), who were in these places over three thousand years ago.
In Alcoutim one lives with the virgin vastness of the valley of the River Guadiana and with the dazzling ondulating views of the ondulating mountains, having the sky as a limit.
The village is about one hour distant from Faro and about 30 minutes away from Castro Marim.
The villages and "montes" (small settlements) of Alcoutim are unique places for one to enjoy with an intense calmness the hospitality and kindness of the people of the mountains of the Algarve.
In the main places of this municipality (the headquarters of the Parishes) and in the nearby places, it remaining easy to find excellent opportunities of acquiring a traditional "monte" (a piece of land - which may be in ruins), where one can build a pleasant holiday house, away from the bustle of the coast, but, nevertheless, sufficiently near the best beaches and the excellent golf courses of the Sotavento Algarvio and near Huelva as well.
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