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 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).
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
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.
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 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.
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 a great many to choose from along the whole stretch this fabulous coastline.
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 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.
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.
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.
Take a boat trip from nearby 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.
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
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 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 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…..
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’.
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.
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.
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