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.
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.
Go to the beach!
The Algarve is renowned for its wonderful beaches of soft golden sand. Most have parking areas, toilets and restaurant facilities and during the peak months most of them have lifeguards on duty. There are so many to choose from and it is fun exploring this delightful coast and seeing the variation of intimate sandy coves and long sweeping stretches of golden sand.
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.
Visit the Museu dos Frutos Secos in Loulé
an unusual museum, which focuses on early harvesting methods for figs, carob and almond fruit. Indulge yourself afterwards at the exciting Pastelaria Baguetomania, just off Avda 25 Abril. You only pay as much as your plate weighs.
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.
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.
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.
A church with a difference
A church with a difference Visit the spooky Chapel of Bones, (Capela dos Ossos) at Alcantarilha near Guia whose walls and ceiling are clad with approximately 1,500 skulls. The chapel adjoins the church.
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.
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).
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. Why not start your evening in style by dining at the elegant restaurant and sampling the international cocktails at the exclusive Arabesque Bar and for entertainment, head to the Miralago Lounge, where you can enjoy the glitz and the glamour of the spectacular International shows.
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.
Take your budding Lewis Hamiltons go-karting.
Karting Algarve at Almancil offers karts for adults and children along with other activities such as mini boats, trampolines and radio controlled cars. An exciting day out for all of the family. Located on the EN125 at Almancil. Kartodromo de Almancil. Tel: (00 351) 289 399 899. www.kartingalgarve.com. Open from 10am daily.
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.
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'.
Take a boat trip from 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.
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..
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.
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.
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