Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Algarve gems - 2

Nobody guessed where I took the photos for my "Close-up" post - Pigletinportugal thought it was Monchique and Gertygiggles thought it was Alte. While they both qualify in my book as Algarve gems, this one is by the Arade River, near Silves.
Arade River, Algarve
View of the Arade River, from the Silves-Estombar road
Stream, born of a spring in Estombar
The water springs from the middle of the rocks and forms a stream
Natural pool, Estombar
After a bend in the stream, a long natural pool, with the old watermill in the distance
Natural pool, Estombar, Algarve
The pool in high tide, as seen from the watermill
Portuguese watermill
The old watermill
Little waterfall, Estombar
View from the other side of the water mill
Old Portuguese miller's home
The house where the miller used to live
Picnic area, Estombar
Part of the picnic and barbecue area, with a view of the estuary/river
The locals call it "O Sítio das Fontes" (the place of the springs) and my neighbour, not a local there but an authority on all things natural in the general area, didn't know about it, which came as a big surprise to me.

This gem, officially known as "Parque Municipal das Fontes" (Municipal Park of the Springs) or "Fontes de Estômbar" (Estômbar Springs), is a park that surrounds a major spring on the left bank of the Arade River.

It is situated north of the town of Estômbar, not far from Silves.

The park began as a picnic site on the Arade River. Then in 1989 it was formally recognised as an important ecosystem site. The watermill and the miller's house were restored, parking areas were organized properly, an open-air amphitheatre was built and a route for physical exercise was created and sign-posted. 

The day we had a picnic there, it was very hot so I couldn't convince any of my companions to go for a walk along the physical exercise route through the little wood. Maybe next time...

It is definitely worth a visit. 
The GPS coordinates are: 37º 09'42.17''N 08º 29'02.27''W

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  1. We did a levada walk north of Silves one time and I think came upon this place, but it was a while ago and I can't be sure. Looks pretty.

    1. I've always missed the Silves walks. Was it a walk with Julie Stratham?


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