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Castro Marim, Algarve: A Travel Guide

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Castro Marim is a small town that’s located right next to the bridge that crosses the Guadiana River, connecting Spain and Portugal together.

Igreja Matriz Castro Marim

The town is small, but packed full of historical attractions like the Castelo de Castro Marim, Forte de São Sebastião, and the Igreja Matriz Castro Marim. Nearby, the natural reserve (Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António Marsh Natural Reserve) is a popular place for walking, cycling, and bird watching.
Ermida de Santo Antonio castro marim

Featured Accommodation in Castro Marim

There are an increasing range of accommodation options available in Castro Marim, particularly guesthouses and small, boutique hotels. Alternatively, you could stay at the nearby beach resort town of Monte Gordo or the riverside town of Vila Real de Santo António.

  • Monte Do Malhao – Rural boutique accommodation with an outdoor swimming pool and gardens to relax in. 
  • Espargosa Monte de Baixo – Stylish rural accommodation with an outdoor pool, hot tub, and a garden with hammocks and a sundeck. 
  • Quinta de São Gabriel – Guesthouse-style accommodation on a farm surrounded by vineyards, this property has an outdoor swimming pool with views of the surrounding countryside. 

Is Castro Marim right for me?

Castro Marim is an incredibly small, quaint and peaceful town. There are only a handful of restaurants here, and even less bars, which may be too quiet for some. If that’s you, you might want to consider the nearby riverside town of Vila Real de Santo António. It’s also 6.5 km from the nearest beach: Praia de Monte Gordo in Monte Gordo

If quaint and quiet is what you’re looking for, however, Castro Marim could be perfect for you. Although most of the town’s attractions can be seen in a day or even half a day, it is surrounded by a beautiful nature reserve, and its location on the far eastern side of the Algarve is ideal for exploring both Portugal and parts of the SouthWest corner of Spain like the town of Ayamonte and the Marismas de Isla Cristina natural park.

As well as Vila Real de Santo António, other towns in this part of Portugal that are worth visiting include Tavira, São Brás de Alportel, and Faro. The Alentejo, and the Parque Natural do Vale do Guadiana, are also just an hour by car from Castro Marim.

Although there are a lot of places around Castro Marim that are easiest to reach with a car, the town has a train station so it’s one of the Algarve towns that you can explore without a car. From here, you can easily get to Vila Real de Santo António, Tavira, Olhão, and Faro, and then onto the Central and Western Algarve as well. You also don’t need a car to get into Spain: there’s a ferry between Vila Real de Santo Antonio and Ayamonte.

Getting to Castro Marim

From Faro Airport

Faro Airport, the Algarve’s regional airport, is situated 62 km from Castro Marim or around 40 minutes by car. 

  • Airport transfer: Several companies, including Welcome Pickups, offer airport transfer services at Faro Airport. This is normally cheaper than taking a taxi when you arrive, and you have the added benefit of the driver meeting you inside the arrivals terminal.
  • Rental car: The area around Castro Marim is quite rural and, although you can get around by public transport, it’ll be much easier to see all of the attractions if you rent a car. If you do rent a car, Castro Marim is very easy to get to: either take the A22 toll road or the N125 non-toll road (see: renting a car at Faro Airport).
  • Shuttle bus: Because there isn’t a direct public transport link between Faro Airport and Castro Marim, many people book a shuttle bus to take them to their accommodation. (Shuttle buses can be booked through hoppa.com).
  • Taxi (or Uber): Taxis are available from outside of Faro Airport, and there are normally several Ubers close to the airport as well.
  • Public transport: There isn’t a direct bus between Faro Airport and Castro Marim. You will need to take the airport bus (bus #16) from Faro Airport to Faro, and then take a connecting bus or train from Faro to Castro Marim.

From Faro

  • By Train: There is a direct train between Faro and Castro Marim. Tickets can be booked on cp.pt, and discounts are available when booked in advance.
  • Transport/Taxi: Welcome Pickups offer transfers between Faro Train Station and Castro Marim. 

From Lisbon & other parts of Portugal

  • By Train: Trains to Castro Marim are available from Lisbon, Porto, and other major towns and cities in Portugal. Tickets can be booked on cp.pt, and discounts are available when booked in advance.
  • By Bus: Long-distance buses to Castro Marim are available from many cities in Portugal, and tickets can be booked on rede-expressos.pt

Last updated in August 2019.
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