Barragem do Arade

Turn left at this road sign [Silves to Messines road] Driving instructions:

Approximately 25 km. from Carvoeiro. Head towards Lagoa, continue to Silves, turn right after the bridge towards Messines and drive until you see the sign pictured on the left. Photo courtesy of Mr. N. Crocker

Barragem do Arade

Barragem do Arade seen on you way back.

Turn left againContinue towards the barragem until you see this building and turn left just before it.

When you're ready to leave you can do so by crossing the dam, stay right and you'll end up at the same building, having seen the dam from two different locations.

The Barragem do Arade was built in the years between 1944 and 1956. It is one of the main reservoirs of water in the Algarve and is irrigating more than 2.300 hectares of citrus trees.

The water level is max.46 meters above ground and the dam itself is 246 meters wide

The dam also produces 1,35 GWh of electricity You can find more facts about the dam here [in Portuguese - opens in new window].

In a 4 wheel drive vehicle you can make some interesting excursions into the wilderness behind the dam, but please be careful as the tracks are extremely dangerous.

Pillar The pillar to the left is a tribute to the engineer who built the dam, at the bottom you'll see the name of Salazar, the former dictator of Portugal - it is often defaced as you can see on this picture!

Salazar - not too popular!

Following the tracks going up from the dam you'll get spectacular views and be able to enjoy the unspoilt nature.

Auto campers is often seen on the parking area behind the dam and seems to be accepted.


Barragem do Arade - seen following the tracks inland

Barragem do Arade

The nearest restaurant/cafe/bar to the dam is now Cafe Rainha, about 1.5Km along the road to the barragem from the N124 junction.

It is possible to walk from the Barragem do Arade, following the track to the west side of the lake, over the hills to the newer Funcho Barragem.  It is a pleasant walk, with some steepish climbs, about 2 1/2 hours there and back (using the same route) over about 9Km.


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