If seen from above, some say, the Odeleite Dam has the shape of a blue dragon. Located in the municipality of Castro Marim, in the Algarve, the Odeleite Dam was built on the Odeleite river, which rises in the Serra do Caldeirão and is a tributary of the River Guadiana.
In 2015, an aerial photograph showed that the dam’s reservoir is shaped like a blue dragon. This is an important symbol of power, strength and good luck in Chinese culture, besides being a pattern traditionally used by emperors throughout history. Therefore, in recent years, international attention has been drawn to the so-called “Blue Dragon River”, especially from Chinese tourists.
The picture was taken by a traveler on a flight between Amsterdam and marrakech, which flew over the Algarve. The user posted the picture on Reddit and that was all it took. The image went viral and reached Sina Weibo, a social network in China similar to Twitter. Thereafter it appeared on the Chinese television channel CCTV, and other social media networks elsewhere.
Next to the dam, lies the small town of Odeleite, which has several points of interest such as the Mother Church built in 1534. There are also some Roman archaeological remains and several water and windmills, typical of this region of the Algarve. Moreover, you can enjoy the Algarve at its best, from walks to beaches, from gastronomy to trails.
For those who wish to spend good moments, go hiking, or simply relax enjoying a splendid view, inhaling the tranquility and the pure air of the Algarvian hills, the Odeleite Belvedere is the ideal place to do so. You can also use the tables and benches to have a nice family picnic.
The castle of Castro Marim is also usually a point of interest, providing its visitors with a new cultural space designed to enhance the archaeological heritage: the Núcleo Museológico do Castelo de Castro Marim. The archaeological excavations carried out over the last three decades have made it possible to recover abundant testimonies of human occupation from various historical periods.
Visitors can also choose to explore the Moinho das Pernadas, located on the right bank of the Ribeira de Odeleite, which is part of the region’s architectural heritage.