Sines – my visit

A change of scenery was needed so I looked for a town that I hadn’t been to. About 100 miles north of Albufeira is the town of Sines, a port on the Alentejo coast. I knew it as the birthplace of the explorer Vasco da Gama and that it is one of Portugal’s biggest commercial ports but other than that it’s just a dot on the map.

Sines is far from being a holiday resort. Although it has a nice looking beach, it is one of Portugal’s biggest and busiest commercial ports. There is a large container facility, a liquid natural gas terminal, bulk liquids and petro-chemical terminals with the latter linked by a 50 metres wide mass of pipelines to a refinery a couple of miles inland. There is also a working fishing port.

The port is rail connected with container trains and bulk loads of coal leaving daily.

Sines lost its passenger rail service more than twenty years ago, so the only way for me to get there was by coach. I try avoid long coach journeys along bumpy roads but this one had the appeal of the trip along the scenic N120 road through relatively unspoiled countryside.

And at only €12.10 each way for a 3 hour trip from Portimão it seemed good value.

After leaving the coastal tourist area of the Algarve the route goes up into the hills passing through or by just a few small towns. Traffic is almost nil. Up and down hills, round sharp corners and switchbacks it’s a very pleasant run. Every now and then the coach would  pass through a small place where the elderly men sit on the benches, watching the world (or in this case me) go by with a look that says the passing of the coach is the most exciting thing that has happened in days, possibly weeks!

Arrival in Sines was ten minutes late but no matter. It was only a few minutes walk to the Sinerama Apartment hotel where I had booked three nights. Spent the first night catching up on email and listening to a football commentary. It was Manchester United’s game so that pleased me!

I spent the following day walking around town. The town sits on top of a cliff so to get down below means a stiff climb back up afterwards. I spent some more time in town the following morning then because it was raining I took a bus to the next town of Santiago do Cacém, of which more in the next post.

Here are links to the pictures I took in Sines. There may be one or two more to add.

Sines port

Sines old railway station -some very nice tile murals

Sines town and area

More in a day or two


Sines – my visit

Tagged: , , on March 4, 2014 by cubsur51

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