the algarve: an afternoon visit to alte

Monday, July 15Alte is a quiet and charming village in inland Algarve.  Its narrow cobbled streets in the foothills of the Serra do Caldeirão boast whitewashed houses with lattice-work and handcrafted chimneys.

Entering the village of Alte
Entering the village of Alte
first views of Alte
first views of Alte

At the eastern end of Alte are the springs (fontes) for which Alte is well-known. We walk down a deserted road to an area around Fonte Pequena (little spring).  It’s quite picturesque with a grassy area on the banks filled with picnickers, sunbathers, swimmers, ducks and a pretty little bridge across the stream.

Waterway from Fonte Pequena (Little Spring)
Waterway from Fonte Pequena (Little Spring)
Cool water nymph
Cool water nymph

There is a pretty paved garden area in front of the Fonte Pequena Inn dedicated to Alte’s famous poet, Cândido Guerreiro. Tiled plaques on the wall feature some of the poet’s works (AlteUncovered.com).

poem by Alte's famous poet, Cândido Guerreiro
poem by Alte’s famous poet, Cândido Guerreiro
signs dedicated to Alte's famous poet, Cândido Guerreiro
signs dedicated to Alte’s famous poet, Cândido Guerreiro

In the garden, we can also see azulejo tiled pictures at Fonte Pequena (little spring).

azulejo tiles at Fonte Pequena
azulejo tiles at Fonte Pequena
Fonte Pequena
Fonte Pequena
Fonte Pequena
Fonte Pequena

We stop for a drink at a little cafe with a view of the bridge.  The man who runs the cafe speaks perfect English and later I see him sitting down at a table with an older version of himself.  It must be a father-son business.  They look exactly alike except for the age.

Bridge over Fonte Pequena
Bridge over Fonte Pequena
me on the bridge at Fonte Pequena
me on the bridge at Fonte Pequena
church in Alte
church in Alte
house in Alte
house in Alte
interesting plants and architecture
interesting plants and architecture

The church is at the center of the village, as is the case in many Portuguese villages.  The Church of Alte (Igreja Matriz de Alte), also known as Church of Our Lady of the Assumption was initially established in the late thirteenth century as a private chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption.  Renovations were also done in the 16th and 18th centuries.

church in Alte
Igreja Matriz de Alte
Igreja Matriz de Alte
Igreja Matriz de Alte

We stop for a drink and a light lunch at a little cafe that doubles as a souvenir shop.  We sit amongst colorful platters, bowls and jugs.  Of course, I’m tempted to buy some, but I know it’s impossible to add them to my suitcase!  Plus, I don’t think Jo would allow it!🙂

Ceramics in the little cafe
Ceramics in the little cafe
view from the cafe
view from the cafe
Jo and Mick :-)
Jo and Mick🙂
kitsch for sale
kitsch for sale
ice cream and souvenirs
ice cream and souvenirs

I love the sign on the ladies’ room door.  The Portuguese definitely have a sense of humor!

the sign on the ladies' room
the sign on the ladies’ room

I am captivated by the doors, windows and walls throughout Portugal, as you will see in most of my posts to come.  They have a kind of shabby chic look to them, which makes them quite charming.  I know people in the USA spend lots of money to achieve this look in their modern homes!

Alte window
Alte window

I’m surprised to see this new and brightly painted building in this whitewashed village, but I like the bright color that is like an exclamation point in the landscape!

a brightly painted house
a brightly painted house

We leave the village and head further west in the Algarve to the lovely village of Silves.

For more about Alte, you can check out Jo’s post: restlessjo: A is for Alte

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13 thoughts on “the algarve: an afternoon visit to alte

  1. No, I wouldn’t. Put it back on the shelf immediately, Cathy🙂 (fortunately it wasn’t really ‘your’ kind of shop- no skirts!)
    House in Alte is mine, all mine- except I couldn’t really live that far from the sea.
    It’s funny seeing some of the same shots we’ve taken. You got the tile photo nice and square (I didn’t) and that last Alte window is a superb shot. Thanks for the ‘ping’. Happy travels🙂

    1. Haha, Jo, you’re right, no skirts there! But I was tempted by tiles and ceramics all through Portugal, as well as those door photos which were in the shop in Tavira. Believe me, I have a lot of desires over and above skirts! Although I do like those a lot lately, especially ones with stretchable waistbands! lol

      Yes, I think you are a nautical kind of girl, Jo, and you need the sea nearby. I miss being near the water too, living in northern Virginia.

      As far as photos being square, sometimes I crop them to make them so! Wait till you see my coming window and door shots; I have soooo many!! Of course I’ll ping you when I can. You saw I pinged your “Meeting Catbird” post yesterday, right?

      1. Yeah, sorry- forgot about that🙂 You’re working pretty swiftly.
        Meant to say to you yesterday- do you know Nicole at ThirdeyeMom? Think we might have mentioned her? Just that yesterday she posted the most beautiful shots of York Water. She’s visiting her sister there. I’ll send you a link later. 🙂
        Have you given up on the house sorting?

      2. I think I may have dropped in on Nicole before. York Water? Where is that? No, I’m still house sorting, but slowing down a bit now that I’m mostly settled. I have some job sorting to do though and that will keep me busy today, I think! Also am trying to exercise but may not get to it today as it’s a little rainy here. 🙂

      1. I was running to catch a train in Munich the week before and my shoe slipped off and my foot hit the pavement sideways. Of course I wouldn’t let something like that stop me from going to Portugal!😉 My photos aren’t very exciting, but at least I got to see the country.

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