Scattered Lives in Caldeirão Mountains – Portugal

Posted: February 13, 2013 in Portugal
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I came across this place during a short distance hiking journey in the mountains of Caldeirão, a solid chain which cuts the region of Algarve off the rest of the country in most of its length. In the Summer of 2012 all this region was devastated by a significant wildfire which did the devil work around here for about endless six days. As we are quite seasoned in the difficult art of dealing with these kind of fires, not many people lost their homes. But somehow I suspect one of the houses of this abandoned village has people living in it before the fire.

When I arrived and started exploring I thought this was just another sad story of rural communities which vanish due to the ageing of population. Always the same tale: youngsters follow the call, they move out, go to the big city or to a distant foreign country. Parents stay behind, used as they are to their little world. And when they finally die, one by one, also their dear village dies. Well, I suspect there was still one person alive here. Perhaps a couple. Because all the houses but one are total ruins. Still, you find plenty of personal belongings in one of the houses. The roof collapsed and you can tell it was because of the fire. Lost amongst the debris, one will notice… those nice hand painted plates, assorted pieces of silverware, mouse traps, bowls, cooking pans.


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Outside, an old chair slowly getting rotten still has hanging a man’s hat (see picture above). Another sign of a sudden departure. In of of the rooms, obviously used as a storage space, an old motorcycle was destroyed by the fire. A pile of rusty parts, no tires as rubber went with the flames. Well, usually I wouldn’t consider this for an Urbex website, but I have to admit the place impressed me. You see, it’s these random traces of life still present there, testimonials of a past which can still be imagined with their help. The loneliness, the long winters, the wind, the rain hammering the roof. The memories of the good old times, the first son born, the successful crops. And then, slowly approaching, the idleness of old age. The empty days coming one after the other, the long wait for the by now desired end. So, all of this made me decide to publish this post. I like the pictures anyway.




I didn’t even found the name of this hamlet. Perhaps I could knock on the door of the nearby villa, featuring a nice swimming pool and a modern car outside. I bet some crazy expat decide to settle down here. But anyway, the place has no name. At least to me. I can tell the area is called Águas de Tábuas. Or perhaps Águas de Tábuas it’s this hamlet? It’s marked as such in Google Earth, but then we all know that Google Earth is not bright labelling places. Either way, here are the coordinates of it:

37° 12.459’N   7° 49.005’W






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  1. B.Esteves says:

    “In the Summer of 2013 all this region was devastated by a significant wildfire”, you mean 2012!

  2. june says:

    Fell on your site by chance – do you go looking for deserted places? What a shame this is all left to fallow, however mother nature can claim back her land. I will be looking at more of your deserted finds very interseting and gives lots of food for thought

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