Costa del Sol
Sao Rafael is a small seaside resort that has kept its natural beauty and charm with a sheltered beach and a choice of friendly bars and restaurants. Besides Sao Rafael Beach, you can easily visit the neighboring coves of Coelha and Castelo which are equally as lovely. Villa Plus has a choice of villas both close to the beach and in the hillside above in an area called Cerro d'Aguia with wonderful views down to the coast. When you want to see some more of the Algarve’s many attractions, Albufeira Old Town is just 10 minutes to the east and the marina is even closer.
Whether you are staying close to the beach or in Cerro d’Aguia, you’ll have a mini market close to your villa. For a bigger shop, you'll find a supermarket in less than 5 minutes' drive. For souvenir shopping, try the old town of Albufeira, as well as Praia d'Oura. For serious shoppers, there is Algarve Shopping, a commercial centre in Guia. For those who want to shop like a local, visit the municipal fruit, fish and vegetable market between Praia d'Oura and Albufeira. It is open every morning except Sundays and is the perfect place to buy ingredients for a BBQ at your villa.
Sao Rafael has a wonderful beach restaurant offering excellent lunchtime or early evening menus including locally caught sardines and other fish, salads and grilled meats – perfect with a chilled bottle of Vino Verde. There are also good quality beach restaurants at Coelha and Castelo. Further afield is the old town of Albufeira with many bars and restaurants to suit a range of tastes spread along narrow cobbled streets. For cocktail bars and upmarket dining, try the marina in Albufeira.
Sao Rafael Beach - one of several beautiful beaches in the area - is walkable from some of our villas and a 5 to 10 minute drive from the rest. It's a scenic spot where you can hire a sunbed and parasol and take in the views of the golden cliffs or enjoy swimming in the sheltered cove. The Sao Rafael Beach Cafe is a lively spot with a good choice of drinks, snacks and light meals. Other beautiful beaches close to Sao Rafael are Coelha, Castelo and Gale, all set in coves protected by high cliffs and stunning rock formations. For a longer beach, the expansive Praia Grande in Armacao de Pera has plenty of watersports and a choice of restaurants and bars along the promenade.
Zoomarine, an exotic marine life theme park in Guia, is a short drive from Sao Rafael and is home to hundreds of fantastic and fascinating sea creatures, birds and tropical fish.
If you love waterparks, you can visit Aqualand and Splash and Slide, both within 20 minutes’ drive of Sao Rafael.
For dolphin watching boat trips, visit the Albufeira Marina 10 minutes' drive away.
Or, if you are feeling energetic, there’s Parque Aventura in Santa Eulalia, Albufeira, consisting of a paintball centre and various adventure courses through the trees made up of zip wires, bridges and ropes.
Across the Algarve there are small wine producers, including one, Adeja do Cantor, just outside Guia. You can have a guided tour and sample some of their produce before choosing a bottle or 2 to enjoy at your villa.
Another traditional product is the distinctive hand painted pottery you’ll see decorating restaurants across the Algarve. You can visit an authentic Portuguese pottery in Porches and pick your own piece to take home.
Wildlife lovers can explore the nature reserve just behind Salgados Beach where dozens of migratory and native birds can be seen. Salgados also has an excellent golf course with views of the ocean.
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