This site existed as a stronghold in Carthaginian times, and when the Romans occupied the Iberian Peninsula they turned it into a Castro or Fort. When the Romans left, it was taken from the Arabs by Bishop D. Soeiro with the help of the crusaders, who gave it to the order of St. James (S. Tiago). However little by little it fell into ruins and the village was prey to Algerian pirates who ransacked the place several times. The Castro was completely rebuilt during the early part of the Spanish occupation in 1590; indeed the walls you can see today are of that period. When the pirates no longer threated the coast, there was no more reason to keep the defense up and time did its job-it became a ruin. The government sold it at auction in 1906. There were three owners before 1939, when Dom Luis de Castro e Almeida bought it in a complete state of ruin and restored it in its present shape. From 1959 on, he began to receive paying guests with whom he shared his motto: Life without friends is not life". The heirs of Dom Luis motto continue the unique atmosphere of friendship, at the "Castelo" refurbished in 1998.