In a province dominate by the sea, this city is different - the proximity to Spain gives the river a stronger importance, allowing the city to turn its back to the sea.
The bridge built near Castro Marim diverted most of the international traffic, but the river remains as the most important element to Vila Real de Santo António.
Favorite thing: Southwest of Vila Real de Santo Antonio is the resort of Monte Gordo. The town is located at the mouth of the Guadiana River, is the last in a long line of Algarvian resorts. Its beach is one of the finest on Portugal's southern coast. This beach has the highest average water temperature in Portugal.
Favorite thing: You may notice that the streets are all perpendicular to each other in a grid system. Why? Well, the town was designed that way by the Marquês de Pombal who was keen to apply the latest concept of town planning after the sea had eroded all of the original settlements in the area at the beginning of the 17th century. The Royal charter founding the town, after the 1755 earthquake, was signed on December 30th 1773, while the marking out of the street plan was started on March 2nd 1774 and by August 6th, the Town Hall, Customs House and barracks had already been completed!
Favorite thing: Vila real de Santo Antonio has always been frontier town to Spain. When merchants or fisherman crossed broder they arrived at this harbour. In these halls fish were traded.
Favorite thing: From the ferry-port ferries run between Ayamonte (Spain) and Vila Real de Santo Antonio daily from 8am to 7pm.