The main beach of Albufeira is about a 10 minute walk downhill from the house. En route you will pass through the main part of the town with its selection of shops, bars and restaurants.
Take a boat trip from neary Albufeira Marina
See this dramatic coast from the sea as you cruise westwards - rock formations, cliffs and caves, as well as seeing the delightful sandy beaches. You might even spot some dolphins during the voyage! Full day, half day and fishing trips are on offer. Algarve Seafaris. www.algarve-seafaris.com. Tel: 00 351 289 302 318.
Go ride a horse!
Horse riding is available at the stables of the Quinta da Saudade, on the road from Vale de Parra to Pera. The rides take you either across country or down to the beach, although horses are not allowed on the beach in the peak months. Tel: 00 351 963 942 012.
Visit the World of Sand.
This international sand sculpture festival is usually held between May and October. Reportedly the biggest sand city in the world, this fascinating and spectacle will amaze all members of the family! There are sand sculpture activities for children and it is illuminated by night. Take Exit 8 off the A22 (Algoz/Pera), or from EN125 at Pera follow signs.
The village of Guia
is renowned for the number of restaurants famous for serving the typical Algarvean dish of chicken piri piri. Naturally, they all claim to be the best but you can be assured that they are all very good and represent excellent value for money.
Discover the interior of Algarve
on an organised safari trip with a guide. The vehicles are 2 seater buggies, you drive yourself and you explore the beautiful countryside back from the coast. www.buggysafari.net. Tel: (00 351) 289 411 362.
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.
Go to the beach!
There are some delightful beaches close by, Sao Rafael being one of them and just a short drive from the house. This Blue Flag beach is a sheltered bay with white sand and a clear, calm sea. There is parking, toilets, sun beds and parasols for hire and a beach bar/restaurant. There are lifeguards on duty in the summer months.
The whole family will enjoy a day at Aqualand water park.
It is on the EN125 at Alcantarilha, close to Armaçao de Pera. It is open from 29th May to 15th September from 10am to 6pm daily.
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.
The Algarve is renowned for the quality of its golf courses, offering challenges for every standard of player. Just a short drive away is the renowned Herdade dos Salgados course. Tel: 00 351 289 583 030
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.
Wine tasting Visit the Quinta da Miradouro winery near Guia to sample the Vida Nova wines specially produced for Sir Cliff Richard. Tours are available but must be pre-booked on 00 351 968 776 971 or firstname.lastname@example.org but if you simply wish to purchase you can visit Cellar Door Shop. Opening hours for both are Monday to Friday 10am - 5pm (closed for lunch 1-2pm).
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!
Needing some retail therapy?
Visit the Algarve Shopping Centre, which is on the EN125 at Guia and is well signposted. As well as a great variety of shops, there are bars and restaurants for those who need a little respite from carrying those heavy shopping bags and to resting those weary feet. It is open from 10am to midnight 7 days a week.
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.
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 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.
Visit some charming inland villages.
Alte is a popular village with white washed houses and narrow cobbled streets. Explore the charming little shops and then relax in the shade with a picnic by the Fontes and have a refreshing swim in the freshwater pool.
Faro is the regional capital
and has a delightful old town, which is well worth spending an afternoon or early evening having a wander around. Stop for a drink and 'people watch' along the Rua de Santo Antonio, which is lined with shops, bars and restaurants.
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