Places of Interest In Algarve

The Algarve has so much to offer besides its pristine golden beaches and restaurants with a fantastic seaviews. There are several beautiful churches traditionally decorated and dotted with lovely paintings. Discover one of the many traditional markets in the popular resorts and small villages where you can purchase fresh fish, local delicacies including custard tarts and much more. The Algarve is also renowned for its many championship golf courses.

Ferragudo Tranquil Ferragudo is well worth a visit on your villa holiday because of its two excellent beaches and traditional ambience of an Algarvean fishing village. Ferragudo is a reminder of how unspoilt this part of Portugal was just a few decades ago. Nearby are two fortresses, Catarina de Ribamar, built in 1621 to defend this coast of Portugal against the Moors, and the beige-coloured Fortaleza de Ferragudo, which looks like a giant sandcastle.

Sand City Fiesa The Sand City, held in Porches, celebrates a different theme each year and takes the 50 international artists 8 weeks to prepare for! The exhibitions are an impressive sight both during the day and at night when the sculptures are illuminated with coloured lights. The exhibits are fantastic and are created by artists from all over the world - great fun for all the family!

Tavira Tavira is a very attractive city set on the banks of the Gilao River. Painted boats, palm trees and benches line the promenade along with four hundred year old houses. Take a stroll to the ancient bridge which provides a good place to take in the view.

Its history and architecture is also notable as it played host to battles and inside the 13th century church, you can still see the tomb of seven knights killed by a Moorish ambush. The castle offers a panoramic view of the surrounding area while the Church of Mercy is regarded as the finest Renaissance building in the Algarve.

Faro Faro is the capital of the Algarve, and well worth a visit. The city’s tourist attractions include long beaches, Farol and Culatra Islands, the Roman ruins at Milreu, a long artistic heritage and many museums and restaurants. The 20th century new town includes luxurious middle class residencies, epitomized by the Palacio Fialho.

Loule The ancient town of Loule is renowned for its Saturday market and attracts eager bargain hunters from all over the Algarve. During the rest of the week, visitors shop in a variety of handicraft stores along the narrow white streets. Sightseers marvel at the imposing castle on the spur of a hill.

The St Clement Church is also worth a tour as its interior and three side chapels have notable carved and gilded decorations. There are also many other smaller churches and a museum.

You'll find a good selection of authentic restaurants and special dishes in Loule include hare in white wine, Loule-style chicken (boiled and then fried). Also keep an eye out for goat’s cheese and woodland flower honey brought in from the hills.

Alvor Alvor was an ancient coastal village in Portugal and is now a very popular holiday location with live music bars and different types of restaurants in the main streets. Leading off from these there are still memories of the older fishing village.

Alvor is a well located village for a villa holiday, facing a natural lagoon opening onto the sea. There is a choice of a long sandy beaches and a number of small coves tucked under the cliffs. The attractive 16th century parish church is a prime example of the Manueline era of architecture and worth a visit on your holiday.

Silves As if paying tribute to a turbulent history in the middle ages, the blood red walls of mighty Silves Castle overlook the surrounding countryside. The largest military monument to the Islamic period in Portugal, it remembers a different past in the Iberian Peninsula.

The Old Cathedral (which features gargoyles from over 500 years ago) city walls and medieval bridge emphasise Silves as an historical town. An historical town would be incomplete without a museum which in this city contains an 11th century well!

Visitors may wish to take a trip through time by sailing down the Arade River to the sea, passing vestiges of Roman and Viking presence.

Salema Salema is set on a wide attractive bay with an attractive laid-back town which is close to several small secluded beaches that included Praia de Salema, Praia da Figueira and Boca do Rio. Overlooking the Praia de Salema is the popular Restaurante Atlantico offering a sumptuous variety of fish dishes.

Sagres Established by Prince Henry the Navigator as the town from which to discover the world, Sagres sits at the helm of Europe. Surrounded by sea on three sides and whipped by fierce winds, its cliffs and fortifications present an austere landscape to visitors.

Sagres The Fort Known locally as Fortaleza de Sagres, the fort in its present form dates from 1793. Just inside the gate to the impressive building is a 141 foot wind rose for measuring the direction of the wind, excavated in the 18th century. As with many ruins, building has taken place on top of the original stonework throughout the centuries. In this case until as late as the 1950s in preparation for the 500th anniversary of Prince Henry’s death and beyond. For example you will find a very old church and lighthouse near a modern museum hall. The fort is open daily between May and September.

Buganvilia Plaza Situated at the end of Vale do Lobo and before the entrance to Quinta do Lago, Buganvilia Plaza shopping complex includes boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, bars and a sizable supermarket.

Algar Seco The cliffs, grottoes and rocks of Algar Seco are the most famous in the Algarve. One kilometre to the east of Carvoeiro, this geographical wonder is best reached by local boat. It is also a magical part of the world for avid snorkellers. Well worth a visit if you are in the vicinity.

Ria Formosa Nature Park This vast protected area covers some 71 square miles. It was established to preserve the natural resources on which the local population depend for most of their traditional activities such as fish and shellfish farming, traditional fishing and salt production.

Amongst other natural attractions, the nature park is home to wetlands, indigenous fauna and flora and migratory species.

Cerro da Vila Roman site In 1963 an archaeologist made an exciting find on the northern side of the marina when fragments of Roman mosaic were spied in the soil. The spot turned out to be the remains of Cerro da Vila, where Romans, Visigoths and Moors all left their mark. Take a look at the water piping system and the surviving mosaics and enjoy the museum containing coins, vases and other artefacts uncovered here.

Lagos Marina Your first view of Lagos is often from the long riverside Avenida dos Descobrimentos, which divides the old walled city from the port. Across the river is the marina, where fishermen work on handsome anchored boats. From here a fabulous view can be had of the city from above its walls. Visitors can see these mixed Roman and 16th century ramparts, taking in views of the marina and the sea.

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