Portugal is a country with a rich culture and beautiful landscapes that will take your breath away. The Algarve, the country’s southernmost region, has these attractions in abundance. It is a destination of contrasts and one that offers plenty to see and do no matter what your interests may be.
The popular and more developed central region of the Algarve offers lively coastal resorts, first-rate tourist amenities and some of Portugal’s best golf courses. Further east, a string of sandbar islands and lagoons form part of a beautiful and protected natural park and a distinctly Spanish atmosphere pervades the border towns and villages. Over to the west, a very different Algarve beckons. Wilder and more remote, this is a place to escape the crowds and where surfers seek communion with a restless Atlantic Ocean.
In our latest blog we have highlighted our Top 10 Cultural attractions from the region. As you will see, there is more to discover in the Algarve than just its famous coastline.
Walks – Rota Vicentina.
These popular walking and cycling routes are protected within the southwest Alentejo and Vicentina Coast Natural Park. Stretching from Cabo de Sao Vincente in the most western point of the Algarve region right up to Santiago Cacem in the Alentejo, they offer peace and tranquillity and are a lovely way to explore the region.
Fortaleza de Sagres
This 15th Century Fortress is a short walk from the village of Sagres with views overlooking the beaches of Praia do Tonel and Praia de Mareta. The views from the single walled fort are absolutely breathtaking and exploring this can take a couple of hours. It’s approx. 3 euros to enter, and well worth it for the picture opportunities.
Cape St Vincent, Sagres.
The wild, rugged landscape of Sagres and the force and attraction of the sea continues to enthral visitors. The lighthouse of Cabo de Sao Vincente marks the end point to the municipality of Sagres. Standing since 1520, it was built on the site of a convent. It was eventually changed to a visitor centre and museum and is open to the public on Wednesday afternoons. Just watch out for the strong winds in the summer months!
Faro Old Town & Walls.
There is a stark but welcome difference between this and the new town. The pace is slower, exploring each lane you will see history in the buildings and intriguing doorways. The narrow little streets house shops selling local handicraft and are dotted with cafes so you can sit and people watch too. If you look up, you’ll see that many high points are largely inhabited by pelicans with giant nests.
Fuseta – East of Olhao.
This small fishing village is the Algarve’s least discovered resort. It’s not the most beautiful town, but has a certain traditional charm. Daily the fishermen line up their brightly coloured boats along the town’s river with their catch. Various beaches can be reached from here, including Ilha da Fuzeta beach, reached by taking a boat across the lagoon.
Fort of Cacela – view over Ria Formosa.
The Fort of Cacela affords one of the region’s most stunning natural views, over the lagoon and ocean. It is picture perfect and so quiet. The quaint village of Cacela Velha itself is also worthy of a visit.
This breathtaking Cathedral sits beautifully in the traditional town of Silves. Built as a Mosque during the Moorish rule of Iberia, and later converted into a Cathedral, this is considered the main Gothic monument in the Algarve.
This Estuary trail lets you walk the beach path without stepping on the sand. With plenty of covered seating along the way, starting at the fishing huts you can watch the sardine fishing boats come in and catch sight of the many species of birds along the way. You’ll never go hungry or thirsty as there are numerous cafes and restaurants along the walk.
The Cathedral was consecrated in the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the late 13th century by the Archbishop of Braga. It has been the seat of the Diocese of Faro since 1540, replacing Silves Cathedral, and is a national monument of Portugal.
Boat trip – Ria Formosa Natural Park.
The Ria Formosa Natural Park consists of a cluster of islands and is the natural habitat for many species of bird and wildlife. The landscape here is unspoiled and tranquil, and best experienced from the water on a local boat tour.
The rich mix of resorts, culture and wonderful climate makes the Algarve a consistently popular choice for holiday makers. Discover the real Algarve with Sunvil this year. All of our holidays can be tailored to your taste.
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