Take a boat trip!
Trips leave from Vilamoura Marina, Faro and Albufeira to the different beaches and the Islands. It is also possible to charter a yacht from Vilamoura Marina and enjoy a day sailing around the beautiful coastline.
Brush up your tennis skills
at one of the many tennis centres and academies in Vilamoura and Vale do Lobo. Take your own racquets. If you are lucky you might be there when some big names are in town to participate in a tournament.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com 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).
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 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.
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.
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.
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 and follow signs.
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 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.
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.
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.
Loulé is famous for its lively Saturday market
where it is possible to buy some great bargains in leather and textiles. It is also well known for its crafts and you can watch artisans wood carving, making lace and painting pottery and tiles.
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.
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.
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…..
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