Im sure there are many reasons for tourists to visit Castro Verde in Portugal .
But for us it was as simple as a needing a park up for the night, a place of rest when in the middle of a an epic winter tour, oh and lure of a Washing machine…
So Verity the Volkswagen is residing in the Parque de Campismo de Castro Verde ( N 37.7048, W 8.08835) very kindly provided and somewhat subsidised by the local community.
Leaving behind the throngs of people in Evora, the drive to reach Castro Verde was wonderful, rural back roads that twisted and turned through a near empty landscape of cork and olive trees with a scattering of farms or wonderful looking gates into empty fields at least.
Within a few minutes came an odd question ‘is that Paul and Michele’ you could have almost knocked us down with a feather, standing in front of us, having appeared from the Van directly behind us were Lyn and Russ, the two souls who are probably responsible for our lives as Campsite Wardens, after we briefly meet in a Random Sosta in Italy, I always said ‘I’d never forgets a man who shares his last English beer’ – Just goes to prove it’s a very small world.
On the surface Castro Verde looks and feels like most other towns in this part of Portugal, Stunning narrow streets, traditional whitewashed houses, a couple of churches and some small leafy plazas sheltering a few of the towns older inhabitants.
But the place’s history, it really important to this Nation, somewhere near here the Battle of Ourique took place.
The Moors defeated, Prince Afonso Henriques claimed the title of Afonso I, King of Portugal, paving the way for the creation of the Kingdom of Portugal in 1143.
It was here that the dream of an independent Portugal became reality, and it is here that later Portuguese monarchs built a church suitably grand to commemorate the victory.
Sadly, it is currently closed for renovations.
Wandering back down the road we chanced upon another church thankfully this one was open, so we popped inside for a look. The Church of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios
It was beautifully decorated in blue and white tiles, as is a lot of Portugal with a fair bit of gold leaf on display.
These were not the only tiles we came across in Castro Verde there were also some lovely azulejos on the fountain near the church.