23 Jun
algarve events

3 great Algarve events in July 2012

Not only is the Algarve blessed with boundless stretches of beautiful beaches but it is also a hub for creative arts, meaning the southern Portuguese region takes some beating when it comes to having a beach holiday with a cultural twist.

Summer 2012 looks like the Algarve is more determined than ever to provide a string of cultural events for visitors yearning a tad of Portuguese history, heritage and tradition.

Take a look at three of the best cultural Algarve events in July 2012.

The Biker’s Festival

If the legendary Billy Idol rocks your boat then be sure to head to the Biker’s Festival where the pop legend will be headlining on July 21st. The veteran rocker hasn’t been in Portugal for 19 years, so if you’re an Idol fan make Faro a date in your calendar this July 21st for the celebrated Biker’s Festival.

Al-Buhera Festival

From July 20 until July 24 the town of Albufeira will be welcoming back another edition of the Festival Al-Buhera. With craft fairs, live music and gastronomic shows, this popular festival provides visitors with a wealth of cultural delights from the Algarve.

The majority of the activities and shows take place in Albufeira’s Fisherman’s Square, which is certainly the place to head to if you want to experience a true taste of Portugal.

Silves Medieval Fair

From 28th July to 5th August the Silves Medieval Fair will be held in the town of Silves in central Algarve. This festival is one of the biggest cultural events on the Algarve calendar and never fails to attract a throng of visitors from Portugal, Europe and beyond.

People of all ages, tastes and ethnicities take to Silves cobbled streets as long as they’re dressed up in period costume. Food and drink plays a leading role in this medieval festival with the aroma of joints of meats slowly spit roasting in temporary barbecues filling Silves’s quirky streets as medieval revellers make their way up to the town’s magnificent castle.



10 May
Algarve Classic Festival 2012

The Algarve Classic Festival 2012

Whilst October can only be described as being well and truly engrossed in autumn in the UK, in the sunny Algarve, October can be described as being late summer, where the days are still beautifully warm and the nights refreshingly crisp.

If you do have an inkling to escape the onset of winter in Britain and prolong the summer and you want to experience a holiday with a difference, you may be interested to hear about the Algarve Classic Festival 2012, a festival guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping and heart racing.

This annual car rally race is taking place on 18 – 21 October 2012 at the Algarve International Autodrome, and, this year, is being is being re-launched as a major European event.

Talking about the popularity of this major sporting event on the Algarve, Paulo Pinheiro, the Algarve International Autodrome circuit director, told 3D Car Shows:

“Since the Autodrome was completed in 2008, our annual historic motorsport event has become increasingly popular across Europe. Recently, we have heard from a small number of race organisers and racers who were concerned that the event would no longer be run every year, but this is not the case.”

“We can say with certainty that the Algarve Classic Festival is a firm fixture for 2012, and will be an annual event from now on.”

The Algarve Classic Festival 2012 is almost a five kilometre circuit, comprising of several steep climbs and technical corners, provides an exhilarating ride for both drivers and spectators. Various races will take place throughout the four-day event, including the JD Classics Challenge for Touring Cars from 1966 – 85, the Motor Racing Legends Pre-War Sports Car Series, and the Stirling Moss Trophy for pre-61 sports cars and sports racers, amongst many more, meaning spectators will have the chance to see hundreds of legendary and collectible sports cars being handling by the most talented of racing car drivers.

The Algarve International Autodrome is FIA approved and is one of the most modern racing circuits in Europe. Located close to the stunning town of Portimao, which is blessed with beautiful beaches and hordes of shops, restaurants, bars and local events, this world-class racing circuit boasts a lively year-round events calendar, but perhaps the most nail-biting and entertaining of them all is the Algarve Classic Festival.

Why not check out Vintage Travel’s collection of Algarve luxury villas?



17 Mar
Portimao Bridge

Driving in the algarve and the Algarve’s answer to the Eiffel Tower

Forget the Eiffel Tower as Gustave Eiffel came to Portugal first!

For anyone who has driven extensively around the Algarve the chances are that they have crossed the Portimao Bridge. This iron road bridge goes over the Rio Arade between the so-called ‘bedroom community’ for Portimao and Portimao itself, which, along with Faro, is the most populous town in the Algarve.

Although it has been cited as the ‘Algarve’s answer to the Eiffel Tower’, many of those who drive over this impressive iron bridge are oblivious that it was built by the legendary French Structural engineer, Gustave Eiffel, most celebrated of course for building the world-famous Eiffel Tower.

Built at the beginning of his career in 1876, the Portimao Bridge displays many of the key features that Gustave Eiffel developed and applied to his later structures, including the Eiffel Tower. Gustave Eiffel recognised that there was a demand for bridges that could be constructed quickly and devised prefabricated models from wrought iron.

If you drive over Portimao Bridge you will see that the supporting metal structure consists of vertical, horizontal and diagonal elements, which are secured to end posts.

The bridge’s foundations were set deep underwater by a series of hydraulic presses and in curving the edges of the supporting piers, Eiffel created a base on which the bridge has stood for more than a hundred years.

Eiffel’s passion for building bridges in Portugal did not stop at the bridge at Portamao as also in the early years of his career, Gustave Eiffel’s company, Eiffel et Cie, won a contract to carry a railway line across the River Douro at Porto.

The Maria Pia Bridge, more commonly known as Ponte Dona Maria, was built on 1877 and was then the world’s longest arched bridge, spanning 352 metres in length and with a railway track that ran 62 metres above the river.

Eiffel insisted that the bridge be supported by a curved truss of open metalwork, which unlike many of the solid structures being erected by engineers at the time, not only enabled the wind to flow through it but was much less expensive to build.

With its open countryside of undulating plains and rich fertile soil, it wooded hills, vineyards and farms, intermittently interrupted by elegant and historical towns brimming with fountains and quirky cafes, driving through Portugal is a truly pleasurable experience.

Just be sure to plan your trip so that you witness two of the magnificent constructions that helped to make Gustave Eiffel the legendary world-renowned figure he remains today.



13 Jan

The International Golf Travel Market 2012

The Algarve to host the most prestigious international event for golf tourism buyers and suppliers.

Being home to some of the world’s top golf courses, the Algarve has had a long and well-established association with golf. Not only can golfers enjoy a year-round mild climate in order to perfect their game, but they can also relish playing golf in the most stunning of surroundings.

The Algarve was purpose built for tourism in the 1970s and ever since has been a magnet for golfers, both amateur and professional. The region’s 35 golf courses have been designed by some of the biggest names in golf, including Sir Nick Faldo, Sir Henry Cotton and Arnold Palmer.

Given its long-association and world-renowned reputation as being a ‘golfer’s paradise’, it seems only natural that the Algarve is to host the International Golf Travel Market 2012 (IGTM).

Organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions, it was recently announced that the Algarve has been chosen to host the 15th edition of what is considered to be the world’s premier international event for golf tourism buyers and suppliers.

The event will be held from the 12 – 15 November, 2012 and will undoubtedly further Portugal’s reputation as being a first-class golf destination.

Talking about Reed Travel Exhibition’s announcement that the Algarve is to host the 15th edition of the International Golf Travel Market, Antonio Pina, President of the Algarve Tourism Board said:

“It is with considerable pride that Portugal, and more specifically the Algarve, will once again host the prestigious International Golf Travel Market.”

“We look forward to welcoming global golf tourism suppliers, buyers, official dignitaries and media to the Algarve. Beautiful cuisine, fine wines and a warm welcome from the locals will ensure a memorable stay for everyone.”

What more reasons do you need to visit this spectacular region of southern Portugal?



20 Aug

Portugal Masters Golf 2011

The Algarve has often been described as being a golfer’s paradise, with good reason.

With its year-round enviable climate, stunning vistas, warm and friendly locals and more than acceptable prices, the Algarve continues to maintain its position as being one of Europe’s leading golfing destinations.

Given its prominent position on the international golfing stage, it is only natural that Portugal is the location for one of Europe’s leading golf tournaments.

From 13 – 16 October, the Portugal Masters Golf 2011 is taking place at the Victoria Golf Vilamoura, a 13-hectare venue of undulating fairways, well-positioned bunkers, extensive water obstacles and strategic reservoirs, all of which help to make this golfing venue a unique and unforgettable experience to any player, regardless of ability.

This exceedingly successful tournament attracts some of the world’s best golfers, who subsequently attract a huge following of fans, all seeking to watch some thrilling golf in the most serene of surroundings.

The Portugal Masters is live proof that the Algarve is leading the way in the golf facilities and tourism infrastructures that exist in Portugal, and, in attracting a 35,000 strong crowd, allows the nation to open its arms to the world’s most elite of golfing professionals.

Since 2005 the Victoria Golf Course has been the chosen venue to host this important sporting event. Designed by the Palma Design Team, this extraordinary golf course has been masterly created with 18 greens that completely diverge in shape and size.

Local knowledge of the course is therefore a distinct advantage for those participating in the event. Asides from its vast and varied greens is the fact that the Victoria Golf Vilamoura is formed by an exceptional driving range by an enormous putting green area of approximately 2500 m2.

For more information on the Victoria Golf Vilamoura and the Portugal Masters Golf 2011, visit oceanicogolf.com.

Vintage travel has some great properties available during October, none more so than the beautiful Casa Nova Da Eira (pictured above), an Algarve luxury 5 bedroom villa.


14 Aug

Medieval days of Castro Marim festival 2011

From Thursday 25 August 2011 until Sunday 28 August, the ancient town of Castro Marim on the eastern edge of the Algarve will be holding the Medieval Days of Castro Marim festival 2011.

This fun, family-orientated event is free for all and includes many colourful and exciting children’s activities, delicious local cuisine being served in abundance, beautiful handicrafts meticulously crafted by the locals being sold, alongside music, dancing and merriment well into the early hours, making the Medieval Days of Castro Marim an event not to be missed.

The earliest remains of this fascinating town date back as early as 5000BC and for thousands of years Castro Marim was an important town strategically position next to the mighty Guadiana River close to the Spanish border acting in defence of the Algarve.

The Castro Miram Castle stands on the hill overlooking the town and the fort of Sao Sebastiao. The castle dates back to the 10th century and was built by the Moors to protect the Algarve coast.

The castle remains the focal point for the medieval festival with many of the locals re-enacting the medieval era by dressing as queens, kings, knights, noblemen and minstrels and wandering around the castle and the streets of the town on horseback and on foot in authentic medieval clothing.

The food, drinks and music is presented at the castle, as well as many exciting activities including a jousting competition, an exhibition of the torture instruments used in the Middle Ages and many story telling sessions for the children.

The Medieval Days of Castro Marim festival is now in its eleventh year and was started as an initiative by the Castro Marim town hall to promote the history of the town as well as the local produce.

The festival seems to grow in popularity with each passing year, and if you are heading to the Algarve this August, be sure to follow the magnificent Guadiana River until you arrive at this remarkable ancient town and witness it at its most spectacular.


09 Jul

Best value villa holidays are in Spain and Portugal

New research has uncovered that the best value villa holidays are in Portugal and Spain. According to the Self Catering on a Shoestring Report, which was carried out by the Post office and Meon Villas, Spain and Portugal offers the best value for money in terms of purchasing food and drink from supermarkets on self-catering holidays.

The report investigated and compared the cost of 16 common purchases from supermarkets, such as milk, eggs, bread, water and vegetables, in 13 different popular European holiday destinations. The research found that Mallorca was the most cost-effective destination where 16 supermarket items cost £44.23.

The Algarve proved to be the second cheapest country for food and drink, with the 16 items costing a marginally more £44.36. Whilst third place went back to Spain with the Costa Blanca’s supermarket forage totalling £47.28.

Vintage Travel’s outstanding portfolio of self-catering accommodation includes many villas, ranging from the magnificent and modern to the traditional and rustic and includes many properties in Mallorca, the Costa Blanca and Portugal. For example, in the Algarve, a beautiful region in southern Portugal, we have plenty of villas offering sensational views, first-rate accommodation, all with their own private pools.

One such property is 2 bedroom Algarve Villa Gazeio, a beautifully maintained large detached house less than five kilometres from the interesting and historical maritime town of Lagos. Gazeio has been decorated and furnished to an extremely high spec and this welcoming and unpretentious villa is the perfect place to enjoy a ‘budget conscious’ self-catering holiday.

Whilst over in Mallorca, the most economical destination for a self-catering holiday according to the report, Vintage Travel’s portfolio of villas covers many of the stunning island’s diverse towns and villages.

For example, the two bedroom Mallorca villa of Serelleta (pictured) tucked away in the wooden and tranquil slopes of the Ca’n Bosc valley, provides the perfect accommodation for a peaceful, rural getaway in the least expensive European holiday self-catering destination. Serelleta is blessed with sensational panoramic views of some of the most varied and picturesque landscapes on Mallorca.

This two bedroom, two bathroom villa is located several kilometres from the town of Pollenca which is plentiful of bars, restaurants, shops and supermarkets, enabling guests to take advantage of buying the most inexpensive produce in European holiday destinations.



01 Feb

The top restaurants Algarve has to offer

One of the highlights of the Algarve has to be Tavira, here is our guide to Tavira’s tastiest restaurants.

For those who had the pleasure of visiting Tavira on the Algarve, a return visit is almost always definite. With a mighty river running through this attractive and architecturally-inspiring town, which dates back to around 2000 BC, Tavira is one of the prettiest and interesting towns southern Portugal is blessed with.

One feature that stands out in Tavira, other than its attractive harbour, long, sandy beaches, Roman bridge and 37 pretty, whitewashed churches, are the many quant and quirky restaurants that line the cobbled backstreets, serving delicious international and local cuisine.

Below is a snippet of some of the best restaurants in Tavira.


05 Jan

Golf in Algarve – the best Algarve courses

Are you looking for details of the top five Algarve golf courses?

The Algarve has been described as being a ‘golfer’s paradise’. With the main golfing season in the Algarve ending in late spring, now is the time to start planning your golfing getaway in Portugal’s southernmost province.  A ‘golfer’s paradise’ doesn’t get its reputation for no reason, and naturally, with such a complimentary nametag, the Algarve is home to many quality golf courses.

Although the weather may be mild and the days becoming progressively longer in all regions of this beautiful province, the golf courses here can be vary a great deal in quality and price. To help you on your mission to find the best golf courses the Algarve has to offer, we’ve complied the top five…


06 Dec

Possibly the best Algarve luxury villas

Looking for a luxury villa in the Algarve to hire next summer? Check out some of our latest villas right here.

There's lots to explore around the Algarve

Portugal has a lot to offer – culture, romance, stunning scenery, history, adventure and of course an enviable climate of year-round sun. Traversing with rich, hilly valleys and bound by golden sun-kissed sandy beaches, the Algarve, the most southernmost region of mainland Portugal, is a particularly fascinating place to visit. Vintage Travel, with its uncanny knack at locating the most splendid of villas in the most striking of surroundings, has added six new properties to its Algarve portfolio for 2011.