It’s hardly a wonder that the Costa Vicentina is one the most well preserved natural parks in Portugal. The wild landscape is largely untouched and is mostly populated by small towns. It inspires visitors and locals to engage in a more sustainable form of tourism.
Santiago do Cacém is a city overseeing 8 parish towns in rural Alentejo. Its general character is very simple and hardly feels like a city at all but still serves as a municipal centre for the daily lives of almost 30 thousand people, who depend on Santiago for its hospital, courthouse, council and schools.
Its main livelihood has, since the Bronze age, been mining, naval and agricultural commerce. Santiago’s history has many landmarks that attest to its advantage point past the hills overlooking the coast.
The Bica Santa, is a natural water fountain about 2km outside the town of Cercal do Alentejo. The fountain is still frequently used by the local population and has been revered for its crystal clear quality but also its association with the apparition of Saint Mary after a long drought. The Bica is a pristine natural location on the first stretch of a dirt road outside the town towards the Historical Trail of the Vicentina Route towards São Luís.