Things to do during your Algarve holiday
Design Holidays have carefully selected only the very best villas and resorts to rent in the Algarve from the fabulous Vale do Lobo & Quinta do Lago resorts of Four Seasons , Monte da Quinta to the chic Vila Vita Parc & Sheraton Algarve Pine Cliffs resorts. Imagine rolling landscapes untouched by mass development.
If you want to see more than the, admittedly magnificent, beaches and sea of the Algarve, we suggest some places you really should not miss:
The region’s capital boasts some splendid monuments – the Cathedral, the Convent of Nossa Senhora da Assunção, and some extremely interesting museums such as the Museu Infante Dom Henrique and the Museu Etnográfico.
Lagos was formerly the capital of the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula, and was the last port before the Portuguese caravelas set off for their long sea journeys, during the great Discoveries of the 16th century. The Governor’s Palace and the Portas de Portugal e do Postigo are attractions not to be missed. Other places of interest are: the Museu Regional, the Pau da Bandeira Fort and the old Slaves’ Market. The Lagos Marina is the first stopover for boats coming in from Western Europe to the Algarve, and is thus much sought after on the way in and out of the Algarve by sea.
Wander amongst the charming townhouses, clustered on the hillside, discover the wealth of little churches and stop for a refreshing break at the nearby Monchique Spa.
In this fishermen’s town, a visit to the main church (Igreja Mãe) and the Town Hall is a must. Just outside the town, you cannot miss the bustling Praia da Rocha, but do not forgo the lesser-known Roman ruins of Abicada.
Five centuries ago here in Sagres, Prince Henry the Navigator founded the Navigation College, essential to the Portuguese Discoveries and seafaring future. The famous Sagres fortress with its wind rose – a giant rose-shaped compass, of 43 metres in diameter, is well worth a visit. At continental Europe’s south westernmost tip, the imposing St Vincent Cape stands guard, a vast horizon in which sea and sky are one.
Apart from the irresistible golden beaches nearby, Tavira itself is authentically and vividly picturesque with its views over the River Gilão and its Roman bridge. The typical Algarve rooftops and chimneys are unique – stroll along the Travessa de Dona Brites, where the medieval houses with Gothic doors and windows will enchant you.
The Algarve’s main bustling resort is where it really all happens: beaches, marina, bars, restaurants, shopping arcades, casino, innumerable hotels, several golf course, riding centre, tennis courts and shooting range. Who could wish for more?
Visit Quinta shopping (in Quinta do Lago)or visit the Marina de Vilamoura’s shopping arcades and certainly make a trip to Faro.
A breathtaking fun-filled sea-world park, with dolphins, seals, sharks, turtles, exotic birds and fish, crocodiles and tropical fish.
Slide & Splash
Considered one of Europe’s best waterparks, it is located a few minutes away from Lagoa, Praia do Carvoeiro, Portimão and Praia da Rocha and has fun and games for all the family.
Visit Alte – (afternoon)
Pass through the magnificent Algarve inland scenery until you reach Alte, one of Algarve’s most picturesque villages, and stop over at Querença, a small village, half-hidden on the hillside.
Jeep Safari (with lunch)
Experience the thrill of true 4 by 4, across rivers and streams, or relax and swim in the crystal clear mountain lakes and streams.
The Real Algarve
A guided tour in the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa, passing through OLHÃO, with its Moorish influences, the fishing village of SANTA LUZIA, the Roman ruins at ESTÓI and the charming SÃO BRÁS DE ALPORTEL (Museu Etnográfico).
Departing from the Marina de Vilamoura, discover the marvellous beaches and rock formations of the Algarve coast, on board a catamaran, with the utmost comfort and safety.
Seville (1 day)
Spend a day discovering this fascinating historical city, founded by the Romans, with its unique people and culture.
Historical Algarve – (1 day)
Visit Silves’s Moorish Castle, the Cork Museum, Monchique with its handicrafts, Lagos, so closely linked to the Portuguese Discoveries and Sagres.
Trip up the Guadiana River
An unforgettable 2 in 1 trip combining cruise and safari, along the Guadiana River.
For more information on the Algarve, visit this website for the Algarve Tourist Board www.rtalgarve.pt