Once upon a time, Ayamonte was the Spanish town where the Portuguese in Algarve went to buy candies (Spanish “caramelos” were a reference, and, together with the cheaper shrimps, a good pretext to cross the river).
Now, there’s a bridge, and Portuguese keep crossing the river, with a new purpose – to refuel their cars.
What to see in Ayamonte?
Well… maybe… you know… … Portugal, just across the river!
Seafood and stuff to Portuguese
In the “good old days” Ayamonte was famous among the Portuguese for selling seafood at a very cheap price.
We Portuguese are better than Spanish cooking seafood, so many people bought there to cook at home.
The prices normalized, and today the visitors prefer to eat in location just to taste the different tastes.
Commerce is not so strong anymore, but buying abroad keeps being a temptation.
In a city that is far from being very beautiful, the main square makes the difference.
Small but well balanced, the combination of typical construction, tiles and garden, becomes very harmonious.
The “ayuntamiento” is a typical building from the 18th century, with an adjacent modern adding.
Located in central square, it shows some typical tiles.
Church of “Nuestra Señora de las Angustias”
The most remarkable detail in the main church of Ayamonte is a virgin’s image from the 16th century, venerated since then.
A legend says that it was discovered by fishermen in the sea, close to Castro Marim.
I never used the beaches near Ayamonte, because they seem identical to those in the Portuguese side of Guadiana river.
Warm water, calm surf, a large stripe of sand, and some wind, are the common characteristics.
The best beach in Ayamonte is Isla Canela, a sandy island close to the city, and connected by a small bridge.
Heavy construction allows a few hotels and many apartments lining the beach at a smart distance.
The marina of Ayamonte seems to be special for its location – it is rather central, with the city unfolding around it.
I never saw many boats there, which means that the economical conditions may be less attractive than its look.
I didn’t feel comfortable in my recent visit to the beaches of Ayamonte.
In my previous visit I saw wild empty and shallow dunes bordering a calm sea. Now, the dunes are there, but lined with heavy construction, at a respectful distance. So dense that we cannot imagine the beaches without it.
It seems a dense residential area, so spread that the few commercial support that I saw seems insufficient.
Next time I will have a more careful look.
Now a funny story:
I’ve been once more in Ayamonte, and once more I confirmed that Ayamonte is not exactly my favorite place in Spain.
Leaving town, Fernanda saw a stony wall, whose cement had exactly the color that she wanted to be used in one of our walls, that was being covered with stone.
I had to make a picture, to show to the mason.
Arriving at home I printed the picture, and, preparing to erase it, I discovered that it is, maybe, the prettiest picture that I have from Ayamonte, and… couldn’t do it.
Funny thing! Now I have a doubt: Is Ayamonte really as banal as I think, or is it me who couldn’t see its beauty?