São Brás de Alportel
With its origin of prehistoric times of the Romans, São Brás de Alportel was by the 16th century a small village with a Hermitage. As of the 17th century onwards it was the summer residence of the bishops of the Algarve and in the 19th century it became the crossroad of the routes linking Loulé to Tavira and Faro to Almodôver. In this century the area's extensive plantations of cork oak provided a spring board for commercial and industrial development and for years São Brás de Alportel was the biggest cork producing centre in Portugal and the world. Nowadays it has become a secret place within the very popular tourism in the Algarve.