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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