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.
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).
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 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.
The Algarve is renowned for the quality of its golf courses, offering challenges for every standard of player. There are over 30 courses along the length of the region.
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 over 130 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. There is also a multi-screen cinema here. It is open from 10am to midnight 7 days a week.
Go Dolphin spotting!
Take a boat trip to experience dolphin watching with Dream Wave (Albufeira Marina). email@example.com. Tel (00 351) 962 003 885/ 962 003 801. (They provide jet ski and boating trips to the caves and dolphin watching).
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.
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.
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'.
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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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