Guadiana River – the hidden Algarve
The Lower Guadiana marks the border between Portugal and Spain. Navigable between the mouth and Mértola, it was an important waterway, notably to transport the ore exploited in the mines of S. Domingos, from Roman times. In a region where water is scarce, this river and its tributaries are an attraction for wildlife and human beings. The Guadiana River is about 40NM navigable and covers the territory of Lower Guadiana in Algarve. The route crosses 3 municipalities (Alcoutim, Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António) and travels for 16 locations that represent the typical characteristics of the mountain, the barrocal and the coast, with the ex-libris of the territory: Guadiana, the great river of the south.
The ends in Vila Real de Santo António and continues to Castro Marim towards Foz de Odeleite, Laranjeiras, Guerreiors do Rio and Alcoutim. After Alcoutim the landscape changes. The river is narrower and the margins are green full of vegetation. After Alcoutim the river continues passing thought Pomarão that used to be the port of the São Domingos Mine where whose operation began in 1854, at the initiative of the “Mason & Barry” mining company, which continued to operate it until 1966, with around 108 years of regular operation extracting more than 20 million tons of ore (copper, zinc, lead and sulfur).
There are several things to explore in this remote place away from the massive tourism destinations. Landscape, heritage, ethnography, gastronomy, physical activity and fresh air are the secret of this great place. Feel the aAdventure in Lower Guadiana river! Note: until the thirteenth century, Guadiana was called Ana. In Arabic, river was uádi, resulting Odiana. The Castilian language has turned w uádi into Guadi resulting in Guadiana.