English - This cache is located at the most south-eastern point of Continental Portugal, the "Ponta de Santo António".
You are in Vila Real de St. Antonio, a very old village of fishermen, located near the Portugal/spanish border, at the mouth of the Guadiana River, in the right margin. This town was from origin - probably in the days of Phoenicians - a small fishing port (up to 1755 had the name of Villa de San Antonio de Arenilha). After the great earthquake of 1755, the town was completely re-designed, built and founded in 1774 by the Marquis of Pombal. He was an influential minister of king D. Joseph I (1750-1777), and had here a role similar to that of downtown Lisbon, where he designed almost all the town in straight and perpendicular streets, with many similarities to downtown Lisbon.
The city is an important historical testimony because it was built from scratch in just two years, according to pre-production and standardization technics used by the "House of Public Works" since the reconstruction of Lisbon.
The end of 19th century and following decades were of prosperity to Vila Real de Santo António. The presence of sardines and tuna in the waters off the Algarve coast turned the town into a major canning center, while the harbour was busy with boats going up the Guadiana River to load the ore in the mines of Santo Domingo (in the port of Pomarão, Mértola). VRSA is the first town in the Algarve to have gas lighting (1886).
The history of the county does not begin, however, with the founding of Vila Real de Santo António. This area of coast has been inhabited since ancient times, as some pre historic findings show (at Nora, Cacela). The Romans and later the Arabs, have made Cacela an important village. Taken its castle, in 1240, by D. Paio Peres Correia, Master of the Order of Sant'Iago, Cacela was the starting point for the reconquest of all the Algarve.
The architectural rigor of the Marquis of Pombal is still present and fully integrated into the urban axis. The Marquis de Pombal Square, together with the historic "Pombal" style streets, is the main shopping area of the city. At th Square there is an obelisk , four turrets delimiting the vertices and the Town Hall and main Church.
Along the river, the Customs building, first to be completed, along with the old buildings of Fisheries Societies, divides the city into two symmetrical halves, and finishes the set by two towers that were used to guard the village.
Places to Visit
The Historic Area Pombalina, the Marquis de Pombal Square and Obelisk, and the lighthouse near the cache.
The natural heritage includes the Natural Reserve of Sapal de Vila Real de Santo António, the Natural Reserve of Mata de Vila Real de Santo António (between VRSA and Monte Gordo) and Ponta de Santo António - named after the (now gone) village of St. Anthony of Arenilha, on the path to the cache!
Across the Guadiana is the town of Ayamonte, the Ferry is the connection. If you prefer you can drive through the new bridge over the Guadiana, about 6km north of VRSt.António.
3km to the north is the town of Castro Marim with its imposing castle of Arab origin. Every last of August a major medieval fair, not to be missed!
4km to the west of VRSA is the old fishing center and now major tourist center: Monte Gordo. Situated between a large pine forest and the sea, it was a pioneer in farm tourism in the Algarve, with the construction of one of the first hotels in the region, in the 60s. There are long and beautiful golden beaches, a mild climate and several pedestrian zones.
A few more kms to the west, you should also visit Cacela Velha and its fortress, the oldest area of the county.
The cache is at Ponta de Santo António. Drive until a couple hundred meters from the cache and walk. At the cache you will be considered the person most in the southeast continental Portugal!:).
It is a small container, hidden in a location sensitive to the state of the sea, so be careful in its replacement, and leave it well stuck. Thank you!