Serra do Caldeirão, Portugal 🇵🇹 2019

Date: 4th September 2019

Travelled: 71 kms from Armação de Pêra to Almancil, both in the Algarve

Visited: The villages of Alte and Salir in the Serra do Caldeirão

Stayed: Almancil private aire, + E. €12. N37.07468, W08.03386

Budget: 87 days @ €73 per day

After spending a quiet evening in the paid aire at Armação de Pêra, we decide to move on. It was very warm last night but the Hymer was comfortable and cool thanks to the AC. The beach and township of Armação have no appeal. The crowded apartment buildings and cheap beach shops all look a little tired. The beach is long and sandy, but crowded with what seems mostly local Portuguese holiday makers.

After our usual coffee and fruit we re-load the scooter, service the Hymer and pay our €12. The weather app tells us another hot one today, but we brave the heat driving north to explore the Serra do Caldeirão. Our guide book highlights two villages in the hills about 40 kms to our north.


Map of Inner Algarve, the icons on Alte and Salir


We set the GPS for Alte taking the no tollway option, the N roads. The road soon rises into the Serra do Caldeirão, a series of low hills to about 500m. It’s mostly cork trees and olive groves but as we climb the harsh scrub becomes more evident.


Driving north on the N279, the hills of the Serra do Caldeirão rise before us.
Our first stop is Alte, we are a little surprised to see a couple of campers already here and connected to power.




Alte is something of a postcard village, every building seems freshly whitewashed. No litter or graffiti it’s a credit to the locals.


Another classic from (the motherland) Zundapp, this RX 500 Turismo is looking for a new home. Rebadged for Portugal as a Mobilo.
Lastly as we walk back to the Hymer, our guide book recommends exploring the village spring, so we follow a tourist (brown) sign to this fonte. However it wasn’t working today.

We return to the Hymer via whatever shade we can muster. The mid-day sun and the fading breeze makes for an unpleasant combination. Once the Hymer is rolling west for Salir we thankfully create our own breeze.


We arrive in Salir and find a parking spot across the road from the community centre.

Looking across the valley from the church. It’s arid country, most of the surrounding hilltops appear hazard reduced (from this old firefighters experience).



We see a tourist sign to the Castello and walk up the second of the town’s steep hills. We don’t find much trace of a Castelo, just a small museum with some interesting artefacts.

Inside the museum, come tourist office, we wait for 5 minutes to ask the receptionist a question, whilst she chats to an old friend about her daughter’s boyfriend, who is obviously a cheating bastard. Eventually her friend departs and we step back up to the counter. Half way through me asking the question the phone rings, it’s her hairdresser with some gossip about something or other, so we walk back to the Hymer our question left unanswered



Finally back in the Hymer, we set off down the hill, the GPS set for Almancil and hopefully the beach and a swim. We pass a Lidl, stopping to do a quick shop, whilst enjoying their air-conditioning. Prawn salad is now on the menu for tonight.


Michael and Pam


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