Vila Real de Santo António
“Royal Town” of Santo António is surrounded both by sea and river and sits in the extreme southeast of the Algarve before crossing to Spain. It’s geographical location has always been considered to be strategic in the defence of the territory. In the 19th century it was well known as a major canning centre for sardines and tuna, and the port was busy with the ships that sailed the Guadiana river. The town and the views are truly delightful with extensive streches of golden sandy beaches.
The Castle and the many church steeples, the mirror of a river where houses and gardens are reflected, the triangles of the treasure roofs, the horizons of the beaches, sea and islands make up the charms of Tavira, a city of art and history, a must-see when travelling to the Algarve.
Situated at the heart of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, Olhão has developed as a result of the harmonious interaction between man and nature. Originally populated by seafaring nations that were attracted to the wealth of its marine life, Olhão has managed to keep it’s well known reputation of giving you the best fish and shelfish in the eastern region and the marvellous examples of diverse flora and fauna have all combined to add to the timeless allure of this attractive Algarve region.
You haven’t even had a chance to step foot on algarvean soil and have already experienced a breath taking moment when landing, as you glide above what has recently been elected one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal, the Ria Formosa is a unique coastal lagoon which is constantly changing due to the continuous movement of winds, currents and tides. Also considered one of the most important wetlands of Portugal, with an incomparable heritage classified as a Natural Park, the Ria Formosa covers an area of 60km consisted by many many beautiful islands, where one can observe a variety of birds, a diverse marine life, archaeological remains, among other points of interest.
Faro is the capital of the Algarve, it’s historical area is quite rich and it’s islands of extensive white sanded beaches connect the city to the sea. Faro has a more distinctly portuguese feel than most resort towns which makes for an enjoyable stopover. It has a small attractive marina, well-maintained parks and plazas, an historic old town full of pedestrian lanes and outdoor cafes. Marvellously preserved medieval quarters harbour curious museums, churches and a bone chapel. The lagoons of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa and nearby beaches, including the islands of Ilha de Faro and Ilha da Barreta (also known as Ilha Deserta), add to Faro’s allure.
Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo
Lying on the Algarve's famous Golden Triangle and sitting amongst 2,000 acres of the picturesque Ria Formosa Natural Park and its unique beaches, Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo offer its residents and guests an unparalleled location benefiting from a year-round temperate climate. One of the most desired addresses in Europe, Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo is a unique destination where 5 magnificent championship golf courses and grand villas blend with green umbrella pines, the tranquility of lakes, the beauty of sandy beaches and the wildlife from the Ria Formosa Natural Park.
This luxury resort in the heart of the Algarve has been built around the international award winning Marina and has everything you need, fantastic beaches, shops, restaurants and a vibrant atmosphere. Experience the finest golf in the Algarve, Vilamoura boasts 5 championship golf courses, blue flag beaches and much more.
This characterful town is a traditional portuguese market town that is one of the most popular day trips of the central Algarve region. It makes for an enjoyable excursion, it´s unique town centre of busy shopping streets, tree lined plazas and narrow cobbled side-streets provides interesting historic monuments, a lively market and a traditional portuguese atmosphere. The town’s focal point is the Moorish inspired covered market, this market on Saturdays, expands to include the surrounding streets. Other sights in Loule include the museum, the “castle”, the Conceição chapel with its beautiful tiles and the Espírito Santo convent complex.
With it’s original name of Al-Buhera, meaning “Castle of the Sea”, with what started off as a small fishing village Albufeira is today considered the Capital of Tourism. It attracts thousands of visitors every year with it's pretty cobbled streets lined with restaurants, bars, cafes and shops, also offering an exclusive lively nightlife and a marina with sugar candy coloured apartments and shops and last but not least a variety of beautiful sandy golden beaches. Althought this city has lost a lot of it’s original character you can still finds the historical hidden gems as you walk through the cobbled narrow streets from the Old town to the Marina.
Here the past merges with the present. On the coast, the traditional lifestyle of fishermen is still kept alive and the blue sea beaches attract visitors in search of warmth and relaxation. Inland, colourful citrus orchards and rolling hills from a landscape that invites to discover and taste the rurality of the Algarve. In the city of Silves, history and heritage enrich the tourist experience, this was once the Capital of the Algarve, sitting on the banks of the Arade Rive the importance of Silves lay in the fact that it was the main access to the inland areas of the Algarve because of its river location. The most prominent monument is “Castelo de Silves”, which is now the best preserved castle in the Algarve. The castle and the Cathedral beside it are the first buildings you see as you approach Silves, as they sit on the hilltop above the town.
Located towards the western end of the Algarve, is one of the largest towns on the coast. Portimão was revived by the fish-canning industry in the 19th century, nowadays Portimão is the second most important fishing port and the second largest town in the Algarve set on the Rio Arade estuary. It’s best known for it’s award winning beaches and charming Marina.
Lagos is a city that played an important role in the epic maritime discoveries. Holder of a relevant cultural heritage, it is also characterized by the natural beauty of it’s coastline. It lies along the bank of the Rio Bensafrim, with 16th-century walls enclosing the old town’s pretty, cobbled lanes and picturesque squares and churches, the town’s good restaurants and the range of fabulous nearby beaches add to the allure.
Overlooking the Algarve’s most dramatic scenery, the small, elongated town of Sagres has an end-of-the-world feel with its sea-carved cliffs and decomissioned wind-whipped fortress high above the frothing ocean. Here the temperatures are milder than other parts of the Algarve, with Atlantic winds keeping the summers cool. The town has a laid-back vibe and simple, cheery cafes and bars, it's particularly popular in with the surfing crowd. The towns most important legacy is its association with Henry the Navigator, who lived near here and chose Sagres as a location for his legendary school of navigation and the departing point for the first caravels on their continent discovering journeys of the 15th century. Outside town, the striking cliffs of Cabo de São Vicente make for an enchanting visit. You can also visit the port, still a centre for boat building and lobster fishing.