YOUR ALGARVE ATTRACTIONS
Whether you are looking for sunshine and wonderful sandy beaches, tranquillity in the countryside, or an activity holiday, the Algarve is one of Europe’s top holiday destinations and has something for everyone!
Here are just a few suggestions to give you a taste of the wide variety of attractions, the local Tourist Information centres will provide brochures on a host of activities and tours to ensure a fun filled and memorable visit to the beautiful Algarve.
Algarve boats trips, many companies are located in the various Marinas, explore the beauty of the Algarvean coastline, rocky outcrops and secret grottos, enjoy a boat tour or barbeque cruise, book a sport fishing trip, visit www.algarve-seafaris.com
O Mundo de Areia (The World of Sand) go to Pera on the EN125 and take the Algoz road. This exhibition is truly a hidden gem, with themes changing every year, wonder at the creations carved out of sand by international sculptors. Open from May until October, check their website on www.fiesa.org for details of this year’s designs.
Ceramics and Handpainted Pottery – Dont miss the famous original Porches Pottery, founded in 1968 by the Irish artist Patrick Swift and now run by his talented daughters. Watch the Portuguese painters decorating traditional handmade terracotta pieces, enjoy a coffee, lunch or a glass of wine on the terraces of Cafe Bar Bacchus and admire the hand painted murals on the walls. More information on www.porchespottery.com
Also take time to visit Estudio Destra in the historic town of Silves near the Church, and admire the beautifully painted murals by ceramic artist Roger Metcalfe. Consider comissioning a bespoke handpainted tile mural that will enhance the character of your home in a truely distinctive manner. Details can be found on www.studiotiles.net
Zoomarine and Dolphin Emotions on the EN125 near Guia home to one of the the Algarve’s most popular attractions, marvel at the dolphins, sea lions and visit the aquarium. Click on www.zoomarine.com for full details.
Algarve Jeep Safari – visit the Alternative Algarve and enjoy a spectacular day out going to places you would never find on your own! Book your place on one of the 4 x 4 jeeps and experience an adventure visiting tiny traditional villages, driving through orchards and across river beds, sample medronho at a distillery and tuck in to chicken piripiri at a local restaurant. Portitours offer a range of exciting programes, view online on www.portitours.pt
Corte Real Art Gallery – hidden in the Algarvean countryside in Paderne, this wonderful venue hosts exhibitions of artwork by local artists, has unusual gifts and is certainly worth a visit to experience the beautiful gardens and a coffee on the terrace. Open at weekends, more information can be found on www.corterealarte.com
Nature Parks, areas of ecological interest and outstanding beauty are in abundance along the Algarve showcasing a wonderful variety of fauna and birdlife. Visit the Costa Vicentina Natural Park on the West Coast, covering an area of 76,000 hectares located between Odeceixe Beach and the picturesque fishing village of Burgau. Stop off at the pretty town of Praia de Luz and walk along the promenade to the Forte de Luz. The Ria Formosa Nature Park stretches along around 60 kilometres of the Eastern Algarve coastline. An easy access point can be found at Quinta do Lago, walk along the river and climb into the hides, watch the flamingos, kingfishers and herons, and then drive along the coastline between the Ancao Peninsula and the Manta Rota Beach. Find out more on www.visitalgarve.pt
Golf Courses – the enthusiastic golfer will be spoilt for choice – there are over 30 golf courses on the Algarve, Vale do Lobo Ocean Course and Palmares near Lagos have stunning sea views.
The Oceanico famous ‘Old Course’ in Vilamoura is one of the oldest along with the Sir Henry Cotton at Penina. Pestana Vila Sol and Quinta do Lago Golf Courses have hosted the Portuguese Open. The Golf Course at San Lorenzo is consistently ranked amongst the best in Europe, enjoy a game at Monte Rei with its tranquil ambience and beautiful country scenery. Head west to the hilly challenges of Parque da Floresta or book 18 holes at Boa Vista near Lagos. An excellent website is www.ispygolf.com click on Portugal and you will find all the information you need to enjoy an Algarvean Golfing experience.
Visit a Vineyard – book a tour at the Adega do Cantor (Winery of the Singer) and home of Sir Cliff Richards famous Vida Nova label. Close to the Algarve Shopping Centre at Guia you will be able to find tour details on www.winesvidanova.com
Krazyworld near Algoz is a fun day for kids with many great activities including interaction with the animals, tree climbing, educational presentations, mini golf, bouncy castles and swimming pools. Visit www.krazyworld.com and book your tickets online.
Lagos Zoo is open all year and located close to Bensafrim near Lagos. Families and animal lovers will enjoy a day to Lagos Zoo with over 120 different species of animals, one of the main attractions being the primates, and the petting zoo is a great favourite with children. Explore the various activities on www.zoolagos.com
Scenic Drives – on a clear day drive up to the Mountains of the Monchique stop off at Caldas Monchique to admire the old roman waterways using natural spring water. Further up the hill, the centre of Monchique has many narrow cobbled streets and the centre of this quaint town boasts a paved square with benches, trees and a lovely water feature, traditionally a meeting place for the elderly Portuguese to catch up with friends. Drive to Foia where you will enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Algarve. Monchique Uncovered www.monchiqueuncovered.com will give you an insight into the history and culture of this North Western area of the Algarve.
Aqualand at Alcantarilha is a world of water attractions for the whole family to enjoy, from adrenaline rushes to moments of relaxation in the landscaped gardens. Click on www.aqualand.pt
Surf Camp and Surf School – Atlantic Riders is a company based over on the Western Algarve close to the small coastal village of Bordeira, in an area of outstanding beauty. Full details of courses and camps can be found on their website www.atlanticriders.com
SPORTS – Try something different book a bike and go road racing or mountain biking with Tom Swift at www.swiftmomentumsports.com Tom is our local cycling hero and is in the Portuguese Team. Sports Momentum offers tailor made training sessions, camps or a fun day cycling in the Algarve.
Your Algarve Attractions – pick up a copy of the Algarve Resident or Portugal News where you will find ‘Whats On’ listing exhibitions, markets, fairs and festivals, details on walking groups, Algarve bike rides, local church services, music events , workshops and local sports clubs.