Alcoutim Castle lies is the village of Alcoutim in the Algarve province in Portugal. It is locally known as Castelo de Alcoutim. The village of Alcoutim lies on the west bank of the Guadiana river. This river forms the border between Portugal and Spain. Directly on the opposite side on the river lies the Spanish town of Sanlúcar del Guadiana with its own (larger) castle ruin. There is a ferry between the two villages but only for pedestrians.
Not much is known about the Moorish origins of Alcoutim Castle. There was an earlier Moorish fortification one kilometer north of the present village which was deserted in the 11th or 12th century. In 1240, during the Reconquest, Alcoutim Castle was taken for King Sancho II. In 1304 the castle was reconstructed by King Dinis.
It was probably in the castle where, in 1371, a peace treaty was signed by the Portuguese King Fernando and the Castilian King Enrique to end the first Fernandine War.
During the reign of King Manuel (1495-1521) the castle was again reconstructed. It are the remains of this reconstructed castle that we can see today.
During the Restauração wars (1640-1688) Alcoutim Castle was damaged as a result of artillery fire from its Spanish counterpart.
The castle occupies a little hill in the village and was built here to control the traffic on the river. It has a rectangular shape of about 50 by 40 meters. It never had a keep but there were several buildings in its interior, built against the walls. None of them remain nowadays.
When I visited the castle it had just closed for the day so I couldn't view its interior. Too bad, because there is a small archeological musuem inside. Although the castle itself isn't very spectacular the views of the Guadiana river certainly are. The village itself is just dusty and quiet.