The nearby village of Estoi is famous for its Roman ruins at Milreu
dating from the 2nd Century. They are about a 10 minute walk out of the village. The 19th Century Estoi Palace and Gardens are also well known and attract visitors to see the ornamental fountains and the blue and white tiled terraces.
The delightful town of Tavira is well worth exploring
as it is considered by some to be the most charming town in the region. It is sited on two sides of the River Gilão and spanned by an elegant Roman bridge. As you wander around the narrow streets, take note of the portas de reixa, which are Arabic style lattice panelled doors. One of the claims to fame of the town is that it has some 40 churches!
Explore the nearby sandy beach of Olhos d’Agua,
which is flanked by cliffs topped with umbrella pine trees. Visit when the tide is out and you should see the unusual spectacle of fresh water springs amongst the rocks.
A delightful beauty spot to visit is Quatro Aguas,
just southeast of Tavira, which has lovely views of the lagoon. There are some very good seafood restaurants to try. The regular ferry departs here for the Ilha de Tavira, the sand dune island stretching 11 kms, popular in the summer months for its excellent swimming
The Algarve is a stop off point for migrating birds and as such is a haven for birdwatchers. One of the most important sites is the Parque Nacional do Ria Formosa, close to Faro and the wetlands are considered to be amongst the most important in Europe in terms of birdlife. Amongst the species that have been spotted are white stork, flamingo, hoopoe, stone curlew, Caspian Tern, Iberian Chiffchaff…..
Capture the atmosphere of Faro,
steeped in history, by taking a walk around the old town, which is encircled by medieval walls. Evidence of the rich history of the town can be found in the Museu Arqueologico including a Roman floor mosaic and a collection of Moorish oil lamps. A visit to the Cathedral is a ‘must’.
Explore the very local town of Loulé
and witness craftsmen at work in many traditions such as copper, tin, brass and wrought iron mainly in the streets around where the market is held. Other items manufactured locally are shoes, cane furniture, pottery, wax candles and harnesses. Many a fascinating hour can be spent watching the craftsmen plying their trade.
Learn about the traditions of the area
- visit the museum in Sao Bras de Alportel which houses a collection of traditional Algarve clothing throughout history and an exhibition about how cork is produced.
It is worth taking a trip to the border with Spain at Vila Real de Santo Antonio,
on the banks of the river Guadiana, which forms the border with Spain. Explore the twin castles of Castro Marin which were strategically placed to protect the settlement for many centuries.
Visit a water park.
There are several along the Algarve coast, the nearest to the property being Aquashow Algarve at Quarteira. (Tel: 289 389 396). Open daily from 10am – 5.30pm (7pm in August). It is also a bird park with birds of prey and tropical birds such as parrots and macaws.
For a day out with a difference, visit the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa,
which stretches along 37 miles of coastline east of Faro from Olhao to Tavira. It was created to protect the ecosystem of the area and is an important breeding area for wetland birds.
Visit the most south westerly tip of Europe at the Cabo de Sao Vicente,
which has reputedly the most powerful lighthouse in Europe. To watch the sun setting here is a truly memorable experience.
Horse riding and trekking are available at Cegonha Vilamoura,
with rides and trekking for all abilities. Also nearby is Pine Trees at Vale do Lobo, situated on the road between Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago.
The castle town of Silves is worth spending a day exploring.
The Cathedral, built in red stone, and the Moorish castle both offer beautiful views over the orange and almond groves below.
Brush up your tennis skills at one of the many tennis centres and academies in Vilamoura
and Vale do Lobo. Take your own racquets. If you are lucky you might be there when some big names are in town to participate in a tournament.
When in Rome...
don’t forget to sample the many different types of port wine! Chilled white port makes an interesting aperitif and can be a serious rival to sherry. Accompanied by some delicious local olives, it’s a great way to preface a supper of freshly grilled sardines!
Visit the Pego do Inferno
7kms northwest of Tavira this spectacular series of waterfalls stretch over 2 kms is well off the beaten track. It can be reached by a series of wooden walkways and wooden bridges. There are picnic areas and the pool is a great favourite with families who can enjoy a dip in the crystal clear waters.
Loulé is famous for its lively Saturday market
where it is possible to buy some great bargains in leather and textiles. It is also well known for its crafts and you can watch artisans wood carving, making lace and painting pottery and tiles.
Explore the town of Olhao,
one of the most important fishing ports along this coast. The town once had close trade links with North Africa which is reflected in shape of the town’s cube-shaped houses with flat roofs and external staircases. Reward yourself with a fantastic lunch of the day’s catch of the day at one of the many seafront fish restaurants.
The Big Night Out!
Located right in the heart of Vilamoura, the Casino Vilamoura is an ideal choice for a first-class night out. There´s plenty to choose from and the casino offers something for everybody´s taste.
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