Rota do Contrabandista (Smugglers Route) - Alcoutim
Explore the trails that tell the story of smuggling through two walking paths. Be amazed by the views of the former Fiscal Guard station.
Rota do Contrabandista (Smugglers Route) - Alcoutim
Location
Municipality of Alcoutim
Starting Point
Type of route
2 circular walking paths
Location
Municipality of Alcoutim
Starting Point
Type of route
2 circular walking paths
Water available
Yes
Local corner shops
Yes
Water available
Yes
Local corner shops
Yes
Description of Itinerary

While smuggling activities between Portugal and Spain were generally thought to be easier in "the dry stripe" areas, poverty and a lack of other opportunities also led the inhabitants of Alcoutim to turn to this illegal trade of goods."

Smuggling on the border between Portugal and Spain began in the thirteenth century after the more or less final demarcation of the border between the two countries. This activity was at its peak between the years 1930 to 1960, and especially during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).

The goods smuggled out of Portugal included coffee, sugar, eggs, rice, soap, flour, bread, figs, wool and tobacco, and their final destination was nearby towns, such as El Granado o Villanueva de los Castillejos, as well as much more distant locations such as Valverde del Camino or Huelva. The goods from Spain included corduroy (a fabric not then produced in Portugal), soaps, perfumes, fine apparel,
clothes, cognac and almond filling, which was delivered to local merchants (Alcoutim, Giões, Martim Longo) or to intermediaries.

To avoid this practice, at the end of the nineteenth century the government built a comprehensive network of Fiscal Guard surveillance posts that stretched along the entire right-hand bank of the Guadiana river, and which were matched on the opposite bank by Civil Guard posts.

This "diplomatic understanding" between men pursuing opposite objectives inspired this trail, which is marked by some aspects relating to smuggling in Alcoutim but also to the presence of the Fiscal Guard in the same territory.

Explore the paths that tell the story of smuggling through two walking routes included in this Route.

 

Useful contact information
  • Alcoutim Town Hall: (+351) 281 540 500
  • Alcoutim Health Centre: (+351) 281 540 140
  • Alcoutim Volunteer Firefighters: (+351) 281 540 450
  • National Republican Guard - Alcoutim: (+351) 281 540 010
  • Municipal Civil Defence Corps: (+351) 962 864 914 (COM) / 962 373 348
  • Alcoutim Tourist Information Office: (+351) 281 546 179
  • In the event of an emergency, call 112
  • If you see a fire, call 117
Downloads
Rota do Contrabandista Guide
Track GPX: Percurso Pedestre da Lourinhã
Track KML: Percurso Pedestre da Lourinhã
Track GPX: Percurso Pedestre do Pontal
Track KML: Percurso Pedestre do Pontal