Our camper adventure in Portugal has successfully started with our unforgettable visit to Portugal’s rock village, Monsanto. Now, we were aching to see more of the country. Our next target destination was Castelo de Vide, hoping that this place could, if not surpass, at least be a good follow up stop after Monsanto.
CASTELO DE VIDE, A SURPRISE
Castelo de Vide is our first official stop in our exploration of the Alentejo Region in Portugal. Our initial impression about the village was remarkably good. Having no specific expectation, we were genuinely surprised to learn that there is also a castle in the village, and a Jewish quarter too! So after gathering some important information from the tourist office, Hans and I spent the rest of the day in the exploring the place.
Here are some of the sites that we visited in town:
1. Igreja Santa Maria da Devesa
Our first sightseeing stop was the Igreja Santa Maria da Devesa. Located at the town center, this religious building was built in the 17th century and is probably one of the largest churches in the Alentejo region.
2. The Castle
The castle, which stands at an elevated place looking out over the village under it, was a living witness to the town’s history. At present, only two towers remain, both of which offer amazing views of the town. Located inside the castle compound is a museum, which was unfortunately closed when we were there.
3. Jewish Quarter
The existence of a Jewish Quarter in Castelo de Vide surprised us! We learned later that Jews who were expelled from Castille (Spain) came here to live. There is a synagogue which we visited, which showed the Jewish community life in the 14th century. A remarkable features of the quarter are its narrow and steep streets decorated with flowering plants. These streets end up one way or another in Fonte de Vila.
BARRAGEM DA POVOA
Not far from the town of Castelod de Vide (16 kms) is a big water reservoir (dam) called Barragem da Povoa. Its construction started in 1925 and two years later, it was inaugurated. It was built to produce hydrothermal energy especially for the region of Alentejo. Nowadays, it is a perfect place for relaxation and to enjoy nature as well, as it is home to some bird and reptile species.
We spent our weekend here actually before driving down to Castelo de Vide. And ew could say, we had a really amazing weekend! It was then busy with other campers, but it stayed quiet. There is a short walking trail of 7 kilometers from the parking area, passing along the water and ending up to the opposite part of the dam. We walked this path, amusingly with a co-walker, a dog which stayed with us during the walk. It was a nice pleasurable walk and the weather was really cooperating. The rest of the times that we were here, we just stayed on the vicinity of the water, sat outside, enjoying a drink or two. We even biked to the nearby village of Povoa e Meadas which was 3.5 kilometers away.
- Castelo de Vide Town
Parking 7, Avenue R. Francisco Bogalho
7320 Castelo de Vide
Coordinates : N: 39.41033 W: 7.44935
It is a free mix-parking located beside the municipal sport building, next to Estadio Municipal Manuel Rodriquez. It is about 10 minutes walk to the town center, and also 10 minute walk (in the opposite direction) to a big supermarket Pingo Doce. Wifi is via Castelo_Digital.
2. Barragem da Povoa
Parking, Area de Autocaravana
M1007 Castelo de Vide
Coordinates : N : 39.48394 W: 7.5476
It is a free parking area speacially reserved for campers, with at least 10 places. Parking outside the reserved areas and near the lake is tolerated. Camper facilities with public toilets are available; and so are picknic tables, bbq facilities and sport (badmintonvolleyball) net.
Our customary pictures together