First and foremost, Albufeira is famed for its beaches, for the countless shades and tones of its rocks and cliffs. This is a place where people live to the rhythm of the great holiday destinations, sunbathing during the day and at sunset flocking to enjoy the restaurants, bars and discos that enliven the night-time hours. Just a few miles inland and everything changes. The green of the countryside is dotted with almond, figue, orange and pine trees and decorated chimneys stand out against the ochre of tiled roofs.
Bucolic villages invite you to experience a way of life rooted in the traquility of nature, to add another dimension to your holidays. Nightlife, sunshine, beaches and lots of animation are just some of the guaranteed features of Albufeira. Here the life has the rhythm of a tourist metropolis and, as the sun goes down, meet the sun lovers at the many discos, restaurants and bars. Sports are also a good reason to come and stay in Albufeira. Tennis, golf, water sports and much more make the delights of the most demanding sportsmen.
is certainly the first city of Algarve that you will discover since the International airport is located between the city and the ocean. Faro, a city where there is lot to see, to enjoy and to remember, next to Olhão and the natural reserve Ria Formosa with astonishing white sand dunes and beaches, reachable by boat.
The walls that surrounded the town of Faro in Moorish and medieval times. The vestiges of the past still to be seen in churches and museums. The refreshing verdure of a garden beside the lagoon and the sea. The outline of noble residences that bear witness to Faro's splendour in centuries past. Narrow streets of whitewashed houses that recall the town's Moorish heritage. These are among the sights to be savoured on a walk around
The streets and houses of this ancient village, with their whitewashed walls, squat chimneys and small gardens full of trees and flowers, retain much of the traditional character of the Algarve.
The beaches around Lagos are some of the most beautiful of the Algarve, like Praia de Dona Ana, which can be reached after a 25 minutes walk from the center of the town, Praia do Camilo, a bit further on, and Meia Praia, whose sands stretch for 4 km (2.5 miles) east of Lagos. However, it is the promontory named Ponta da Piedade and sheltering the bay of Lagos which is most admired by visitors, with its caves, rocks and wonderfully transparent waters. North of Lagos is a wilder area dedicated to agriculture.
– the main city of the area has kept its traditional fisherman character.
- A picturesque village of white walled houses. Nearby there are panoramic views over Lagos bay.
- A fishing port nestling between cliffs, which in spite of being an important tourist centre; it maintains its traditional and typical character.
Ponte da Piedade
- A huge rock formation hollowed out by the sea. The bold colours of the strangely shaped rock yellow, ochre, red - contrast with the crystal blue of the sea. There is access by boat to innumerable beautiful sea caves and hollows.
, the racy, cosmopolitan lifestyle of one of the biggest’s leading tourist centres like Vilamoura, Vale do Lobo
and Quinta do Lago
some of the most exclusive urbanizations around golf courses with many luxury holiday resorts and private villas. A long ribbon of fine, golden sand tucked between the blue of the sea and the bold ochre of the cliffs. The splendour of tiles in a chapel that is itself a work of art. The changing greens of the orchards and the woods of the hills. Wide open spaces where it is possible to rediscover the meaning of solitude and listen to the silence of nature. With all this and more, Loulé municipality is a place of sunshine and colour, fun and excitement. The city of Loulé more in the interior from the top of the first hills of the Sierra is overlooking the area and the blue waters of the ocean.
First the blue sea and its gently lapping waves. Then fine golden sands framed by cliffs and rocks : the famous Praia da Rocha. The cosmopolitan atmosphere of an international tourist destination. This is the Algarve of beach holidays in the sun. Portimão and its municipality have more to offer though. A rich heritage of historical monuments. The eternal natural beauty of the Ria de Alvor.The charm of cultivated fields, of slopes covered with pine trees and wild flowers. The allure of walking up into the hills and looking down on the Algarve from a new perspective.
– due to a proliferation of massive resort construction projects, Portimão attracts large populations of tourists and offers a all year round cultural and nightlife. This is one of the main touristic metropoles of Algarve.
Ria de Alvor
- To one side the sea, to the other the liquid mirror of the vast estuary stretching inland, and between them a long, broad dune. This beautiful setting is the chosen nesting place of dozens of species of migratory bird. The salt marshes also support an interesting variety of animal life, while the local fishermen still use traditional techniques to catch fish and gather shellfish.
- Alvor retains much of the charm of a picturesque fishing village, with streets of white houses and colorful boats which, after a day at sea, congregate around the old fishing market
The Arade Estuary
- For thousands of years, Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors, Normans and Crusaders sailed up the river towards the city of Silves, intent on trade or conquest. Visitors today can take the same course in a boat hired from Portimao. The shady groves along the banks make good places to stop off and relax, as does the island of Nossa Senhora do Rosário (Our Lady of the Rosary), where ruins of an old chapel are still to be seen.
The mythical atmosphere surrounding Sagres and Cabo de São Vicente (Cape St. Vincent), places dedicated to the gods for thousands of years. The unspoilt coastline with its dramatic horizons of cliffs and sea. The many menhirs that bear witness to prehistoric rites. Memories of the Discoveries and the enigmatic figure of Prince Henry the Navigator. Such are the attractions of Vila do Bispo and its municipality, a vast triangle in which the sea is a constant presence, where nature combines with history to create a unique region that is worth taking the time to get to know.
Vila do Bispo
The windmills which recorded the fact that Vila do Bispo was the breadbasket of the Algarve have disappeared. What remains, however, is the charm of whitewashed houses scattered down the slopes of a hill crowned by the looming bulk of a church tower. The narrow streets which surround the main church contain many houses typical of the old Algarve, with whitewashed walls, bands of bright colour, carved stonework around doors and windows.
City with an impressive Fortress - Dating back to the 15ths, and successively rebuilt and repaired in the 16th, 17th/18th centuries. One of the charms of Ponta de Sagres are the broad horizons and varied views of the coast provided be the paths cut along the cliffs, from which the sea has gouged huge caverns and hollows.
Cabo de São Vicente
For the Romans the whole area was part of the Promontorium Sacrum (from which the name Sagres is derived), the most westerly point of the world, where the setting sun made the waters of the ocean boil.
The eastern part of Algarve is still very well preserved in its original spirit. The nice and quiet city of Tavira
is a typical example, with many historical monuments, the castle and the bell towers of a multitude of churches. The river like a mirror reflecting the houses and gardens. The distinctive outline of roofs of the local "tesouro" style. Broad vistas of sea and sand. These are among the charms of Tavira, a city of art and history and an essential port of call on any cultural tour of the Algarve. The lagoon Ria Formosa extends from Faro to the Spanish border making a gigantic sand beach reachable by boat, the back country is still like hundred years ago with fruit tree orchards, olive trees and wild flowers.