São Brás de Alportel mayor reveals plans for river beach

São Brás de Alportel council has revealed plans to create a river beach at Fonte Férrea, an idyllic park located on the banks of the Alportel stream.

The park is considered one of the municipality’s most popular attractions due to its peaceful setting and natural landscapes, and now local officials believe an artificial river beach would make the area even more appealing for visitors.

Mayor Vítor Guerreiro says the council has already applied for funding from the PADRE programme, which could cover 65% of the €600,000 investment.

Speaking to Barlavento newspaper, he explained that the project aims to breathe new life into an area often used for picnics and hikes by the local population.

The site has also become popular among travellers using the EN2 road, which links Faro to Chaves and has been the subject of many promotional campaigns.

The biggest issue is ensuring that the stream has enough water all year round to make the river beach viable.

“It is a fact that during the hottest months Fonte Férrea is often without water,” the mayor admitted. But the plan is to use tanks to retain water to ensure it is always flowing.

“Water will circulate and will be treated to ensure that it doesn’t jeopardise the local biodiversity, fauna and flora,” Guerreiro assured.

He also said that the park’s natural landscape won’t change and that plans are being made to avoid possible floods.

An Algarve company, “with experience in this type of work”, has been commissioned to create the project, said the mayor, who hopes a tender for the construction work can be launched in 2020.

While Guerreiro realises that the project may face some challenges, such as obtaining all the necessary environmental licences, he said that he hopes authorities will “collaborate” with the council as the project could be a welcome boost to the local economy.

São Brás needs a hotel, says mayor
Vítor Guerreiro also spoke about the need for a hotel in São Brás de Alportel in order for the town to be able to welcome more visitors. While tourists can choose rural tourism properties and holiday rental units to spend the night, the mayor believes this isn’t enough because “there is a lot of demand”.

“The council will always be a partner and will facilitate in any way it can,” said the mayor, calling on private investors to consider the borough.

“A four-star hotel would be ideal,” he said.

Meantime, a development entitled Herdade Pêro de Amigos, which has long been on the drawing board, seems to be finally moving forward. Backed by Dutch investors, the project involves building a five-star hotel, luxury villas and a congress centre in the borough.

“It is very important for the economic development of the municipality,” Guerreiro said.


São Brás de Alportel mayor Vítor Guerreiro