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Villa Dantia

Tavira, East Algarve, Portugal

  Just 40 minutes from Faro Airport

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Castro Marim

Around 25 minutes from Villa Dantia, Castro Marim is well worth a morning of your time, before crossing the bridge into Spain for a Tapas and Sangria lunch in Ayamonte

Historically, it's been an important town because of its position near the banks of the Guadiana and its proximity to the coast. In fact the remains of the first settlements in the area date from about 5000BC.

It has a Medieval Castle on one hill and the Fort of Sao Sebastiao on another with the town nestled between them, showing it's important position in guarding the border from the Spaniards.

For thousands of years it was a port that offered shelter to the ships that sailed the Guadiana collecting metals and other wares from Alcoutim, it was also connected to Lisbon by a Roman road that ran parallel to the river.

IF YOU ARE VISITING IN AUGUST, the last weekend is a must, as it becomes a Medieval town, with no holds barred. It is brilliant, the whole town is transformed, with streets upon streets of music, stalls, street acts and entertainment, food and drinks, even Bedouin tents are set up with camels parked outside!

The castle is the best bit, you trade your money for the currency of the time so that you can buy beer and mead and some really yummy food, then watch the jousting, story telling or just browse through the stalls selling really unusual gifts.

The remains of the castle in Castro Marim, (which dates from 10th to 12th century), stand on one hill overlooking the town and the Fort of São Sebastião on the opposite hill, with the houses of the town in between. From the castle you can get a great view of the river, the salt pans (which are an important part of the economy of this area) and the sea in the distance.

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