The Castle of almourol Between Tancos and praia do Ribatejo, both cute and typical villages, you’ll find a ‘secret’ gem, standing tall and beautiful right in the middle of the river Tagus.
A small unexpected castle in a strange setting. The small island of which the castle of Almourol was built has roots that go back further than the first century BC when the Romans are believed to have conquered the place.
How old the castle is, is not known but it was used by the knights Templar as a part of their defensive line and it was used during the reconquista (the reconquering of Iberia from the arabs after 700 years of occupation.
The castle came into complete negligence when it was no longer needed and fell into ruin.In the 19th century it was reinvented by idealist romantics and now it stands proud and as romantic as any castle can on an island in the middle of the Tagus river. Kids really love to visit this place as do many grown-ups. A small boat will take you there, leaving you at the bottom of the rock which via paths you can climb, straight up to the castle. The views from the small tower are magnificent.
You will seldom find many tourists there, the biggest rush you’ll find can be groups of scouts or passing canoeists.
Close to the castle boat, there is a cafe with a nice view of the castle, they serve coffees, drinks and snacks.
There is a train station in Almourol but it has only 5 trains a day so its advisable to check times, the walk to the castle from the station is very nice as it’s covered with cactuses and at certain times of the year cactus fruit that you can pick and eat. You’ll meet there a couple stray cats that are being fed at the station.
If you don’t want to be stuck to the rare train times or don’t particularly like cactuses or cats than going by car is a better option, there is plenty of parking space and the cafe is open all year round.