Step out onto the street and explore Ferragudo.
Very much a working village, the quayside is dotted with fishermen’s huts, artisans’ workshops and a sprinkling of excellent fish restaurants. The nearby sandy beach of Praia Grande is home to an excellent windsurfing school. Narrow cobbled alleyways wind their way uphill to the impressive church with great views.
Visit the Sitio das Fontes,
just a few kilometres north of Estombar, between Lagoa and Portimao. This old mill sits on a branch of the Rio Arade and has been made into an ecomuseum and includes the miller’s house, the old mill and the working waterwheel. There is a picnic area, children’s play area, amphitheatre and an environmental education area established to help preserve the surrounding wetlands.
Buy some ceramics to take home.
The region is famous for its wide range of pottery, ranging from simple glazed brown dishes and tableware to the highly coloured and intricate ranges of ornamental plates, jugs and bowls, to name a few. There are several pottery shops to be found all along the EN125.
Play a round of golf.
There are 2 courses nearby - Quinta da Gramacho and Vale da Pinta. For non golfers there are tennis courts, a beauty salon offering massages, manicures, pedicures etc and an outdoor pool, along with bars and restaurants. So, the whole family can enjoy a day of leisure. Tel: 00 351 282 340 900. www.pestanagolf.com
Visit the Museu do Rancho Folclórico do Calvário in Estombar
. It consists of a collection of objects that have been used on a daily basis for craft and agricultural activities. Rua do Rancho, Estombar. Open 14.00 – 18.00 Monday to Friday.
Lagoa is one of the main wine producing areas of the Algarve.
Pay a visit to the Adega and sample some of the excellent local wines. The Adega Cooperativea de Lagoa is located on the EN125. Tel 00 351 282 342 181. Wine tasting tours are from 09.00-12.00 and 14.00 – 18.00
The Portimao Retail Park is worth a visit for some retail therapy
Shop until you drop at the many outlets in air conditioned comfort. It is situated on the Urbanizacao Vale which can be found either by exiting the A22 motorway at Junction 4 or from the EN125 at Sitio de Chao das Donas. It is about 2 kms north west of the town. Also in Portimao, the recently opened Aqua Portimao centre, (located in the centre of the city), offers shoppers over 100 shops including Primark and H&M in an open air environment with various restaurants, bars and children's play areas.
Visit the excellent Municipal Museum in Portimao
Winner of the 2010 Council of Europe Museum prize, a visit is well worth adding to your list of things to do. Located in an old sardine canning factory permanent exhibitions chart the history of Portimao and in particular the importance of the fishing industry. The address is Rua D.Carlos I, Zona Riberinha (riverside), 8500, Portimao - tel: (00351) 282 405 230 and email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Go to Lisbon!
Yes, it is possible to do – the fast train from Faro will take you to the centre of the city within 3 hours, giving you time to use one of the City sightseeing bus tours, which have guided commentaries. You can jump on and off wherever you like, thus enabling you to explore the sights and attractions that interest you.
Spend a day at Zoomarine – one of the biggest attractions on Algarve.
It is both a theme park, Aquarium and there are water shows with dolphins, seals and sea lions to entertain all ages. It is on the EN125 at Guia. www.zoomarine.com . Tel: 00 351 289 560 300.
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.
Try sardines along the quay at Portimao
freshly caught and simply served with salad and local wine. Explore the narrow streets of the old quarter with their fascinating shops, some specialising in leather goods.
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…..
Monchique is a spa town set in the hills planted with cork, eucalyptus and fruit trees.
There are some lovely walks through the woods with stunning views of the mountains. Pamper yourself with treatments in the Spa Hotel Termal in Caldas da Monchique.
Take a leisure cruise and see this magnificent coast from the sea.
The itinerary might include stopping off at a sandy cove for a barbecue and for swimming and snorkelling. Details of all of the cruises on offer can be found along the quayside at Portimao.
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.
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!
For the truly energetic, there are some excellent mountain bike trails and tracks
suitable for all abilities, both coastal and inland. Visit www.themountainbikeadventure.com, who are based in Lagos, for information regarding the hire of bikes and helmets and trails available. Tel: (00 351) 918 502 663.
Explore the town of Lagos,
famous for its sea faring traditions and the former capital of the Algarve. Take a rest in the Praça Infante Dom Henrique and enjoy a well earned cool drink.
For the divers in the party
Dive-time at Lagos Marina can offer daily boats and shore dives, snorkelling or beginners courses. Located on Pontoon L at the Marina. Tel: (00 351) 309 810 623 or 937 659 839. www.dive-time.net.
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