The municipality of Aljezur is situated in the Barlavento Algarvio (Windward) on the Atlantic Coast, between the cliffs of the Vicentine Coast from Bordeira as far as Carrapateira. In the North it borders the municipality of Odemira, on the Sotavento (Lee-Side), it borders Lagos and Monchique and in the South it borders Vila do Bispo.The village of Aljezur is the headquarters of the municipality. It was founded by the Arabs in the 10th century, and it was integrated in the Portuguese Crown by the King D. Afonso Ill, who conquered it to the Moors in 1249.
During the 17th century, Aljezur, as well as many lands of the Algarve, suffered a lot with the attacks of the Moroccon pirates. The attackers landed on sheltered beaches by the cliffs, and from there they robbed the nearby places. They killed the populations and imprisoned the younger ones whom they later sold as slaves in the Moroccon markets.
The fortresses of Arrifana (1635) and of Carrapateira (1673) are testimonies of the military response of the Crown (King D. Afonso VI and King D. Pedro II) for the protection of these lands.
As happened around all of the Algarve, the great Earthquake of 1755, destroyed most of the Village. Under the drive of the Bishop D. Francisco Gomes de Avelar, the village was almost rebuilt in front of the Castle, around the new Church (N. Sra. de Alva or da Misericordia).
The natural wealth of Aljezur comes from its diversified landscape with an ondulating persistent height, and from the cliffs of the coast as far as the buttresses of the Chain of Monchique (Serra de Monchique).
The beaches are the ex-liliris of the municiplaity, but the windmills are the elements, which are most noticeable in the landscape of Aljezur.
The Castle, the fortresses of Arrifana and of Carrapateira, the churches of N. S. da Piedade (the mother church of Odeceixe), N. Sra. de Alva (mother church of Aljezur), N. Sra. da Encarnação (mother church of Bordeira), are the most valuable references of the historic and cultural patrimony of Aljezur.
This municipality, as well as the neighbouring Vila do Bispo, have most of the territory which is integrated in the Natural Park of the Vicentine Coast. The stricht laws for the management of the Natural Park, transfer very tight restrictions to the economic activities which interfere with the use of the land, namely activities of construction outside the perimeters of the urban aglomerates. This circumstance makes it especially attractive for the investment in the reconversion of small family buildings in tourist houses, namely in the interior of the urban nucleus of the municipality.
Aljezur is little over an hour from Faro; relatively close from Lagos and Portimão, and at short distance from the golf courses of Barlavento. It is also near the most searched places for sportive fishing and for nautical sports. Aljezur can be an excellent option for those who wish to be, at the same time, very close to the cosmopolitan environment of the shopping centres, near the Marinas and near the Casinos, and surrounded by the nature of a Natural Park.
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