Play a round of Golf!
The Western end of the Algarve has a selection of golf courses including the nearest, Morgado and Alamos, plus Penina, Parque da Floresta, Boavista and Alto Golf which are an easy drive from the property.
Pamper yourself with treatments in the Spa Hotel Termal in Caldas da Monchique.
Tel: 00 351 282 910 910 for details of treatments and prices. Afterwards, have a wander around the little shops selling handicrafts, locally produced honey and medronho.
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.
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.
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.
On your bike!
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.
Go ride a horse!
Horse riding around the area of Bensafrim, just north west of Lagos, among the almond and cork oak trees makes a lovely outing. Quinta do Paraiso Alto riding centre. Tel: 282 687 596.
All at sea!
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.
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.
There are fantastic opportunities to be enjoyed at Praia da Marinha, just by Portimao, a sandy cove backed by warm-coloured limestone cliffs. There is a diverse range of marine life to be explored such as sea anemones, starfish, octopus and cuttlefish, to name but a few.
The hills around Monchique are where you will find the best Medronho on the Algarve
The red berries of the arbutus shrub grow in abundance around here. They are picked in the autumn and left to ferment for 3 months or more, producing the strong, clear spirit, similar to schnapps. When in Rome……!!
The Autodromo Internacional do Algarve opened at the end of 2008. It is just off the A22 between Portimao and Lagos and is well signed. Check out the events for this forthcoming season on www.autodromodoalgarve.com for both cars and motorbikes. The petrol heads in the party will love the experience.
Visit the attractive fishing village of Ferragudo,
which sits at the mouth of the Rio Arade, on the opposite banks to Portimao. 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 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
For a day out with a difference drive inland to the Barragém da Bravura
which is a huge man made lake just north of Lagos. Surrounded by woods of cork oak and eucalyptus, it is a great place to enjoy a picnic by the side of the lake and enjoy the sight of fields of wild flowers.
Cabo de Sao Vicente
The Fortress of Cabo de Sao Vicente was built in the 16th century in order to protect the coast from the frequent attacks by Moorish pirates. From here it is possible to see the famous lighthouse, which was built in 1904. To watch the sun set here is a truly memorable experience.
Explore the area known as the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina, a wild and rocky nature reserve. For nature lovers and bird watchers it offers great opportunities to spot a variety of birdlife – up to 200 species have been identified - and perhaps even the Iberian lynx!
The Costa Vicentina
This wild coastline is a favourite for surfers and body boarders, in particular the beaches of Arrifana, which boasts a blue flag, and Monte Clérigo. For the less energetic, these spacious beaches are an ideal spot to relax with a good book or take in the dramatic scenery from the cliff tops.
Take a drive and explore the town of Aljezur – climb up through the narrow steets lined with white washed cottages and take the path that leads up to the ruins of a 10th century Moorish castle and marvel at the far reaching views out to sea.
Visit Faro - the regional capital
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’.
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