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 fishermens 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.
Nearby Carvoeiro is a bustling village with an attractive sandy cove beach,
framed by ochre coloured cliffs on either side. This is a popular spot for families and has a comprehensive range of restaurants to suit all pockets.
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.
Visit the Sitio das Fontes, just a few kilometres north of Estombar,
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 millers house, the old mill and the working waterwheel. There is a picnic area, childrens play area, amphitheatre and an environmental education area established to help preserve the surrounding wetlands.
The hamlet of Sesmarias is a very short drive from two golf courses,
Quinta da Gramacho and Vale da Pinta. For non golfers there are tennis courts, a beauty salon offering massages, manicures, pedicures etc and an outdoor pool, along with bars and restaurants. So, the whole family can enjoy a day of leisure. Tel: 00 351 282 340 900. www.pestanagolf.com
Visit the Museu do Rancho Folclórico do Calvário in Estombar.
It consists of a collection of objects that have been used on a daily basis for craft and agricultural activities. Rua do Rancho, Estombar. Open 14.00 18.00 Monday to Friday.
Anyone for tennis?
Tennis courts are available at the Carvoeiro Clube de Ténis at Mato Serra, Sesmarias. Tel: 00 351 282 357 847.
Lagoa is one of the main wine producing areas of the Algarve.
Lagoa is one of the main wine producing areas of the Algarve. Pay a visit to the Adega and sample some of the excellent local wines. The Adega Cooperativea de Lagoa is located on the EN125. Tel 00 351 282 342 181. Wine tasting tours are from 09.00-12.00 and 14.00 18.00
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 new 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.
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.
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.
Monchique is a spa town set in the hills
Monchique is a spa town set in the hills planted with cork, eucalyptus and fruit trees. There are some lovely walks through the woods with stunning views of the mountains. Pamper yourself with treatments in the Spa Hotel Termal in Caldas da Monchique.
When in Rome...dont 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, its a great way to preface a supper of freshly grilled sardines!
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. Also in Portimao, the recently opened Aqua Portimao centre, (located in the centre of the city), offers shoppers over 100 shops including Primark and H&M in an open air environment with various restaurants, bars and children's play areas.
The delightful town of Tavira is well worth exploring
as it is considered by some to be the most charming town in the region. It is sited on two sides of the River Gilão and spanned by an elegant Roman bridge. As you wander around the narrow streets, take note of the portas de reixa, which are Arabic style lattice panelled doors. One of the claims to fame of the town is that it has some 40 churches!
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
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) 96 67 30 356
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 whole family will enjoy a day at Slide and Splash water park.
It is on the EN125, just west of Lagoa. It is open from the beginning of April until the end of October and open from 10am to 6pm daily.
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