Casa Ferrobo
Self Catering Cottages

Further Afield

There are a number of towns and cities which are worth a visit is you have a hire car:

Faro

Faro is the administrative centre for the whole of the Algarve region with a population in excess of 55.000 people. The city has both Arab and Roman ruins but most of the present attractive older buildings were constructed after the disastrous earthquake of both 1755 and 1532.

The old part of the city is very attractive and is surrounded by Roman walls which date back to the 9th century. Inside a spacious open square that was once the site of the Roman Forum is a 13th Century Cathedral that faces the 18th Century Episcopal palace.

An interesting building is the neighbouring 16th Century Convent that is now turned into the home of the city's archaeological museum. Within it is a section devoted to the Arab occupation.

The "golden" church of Nossa Senhora do Carmois is claimed to be the best example of gold-leaf woodwork in southern Portugal. It also contains a chapel lined with the bones from over 1200 monks!

Monchique

Monchique is situated in between the two high hills, Foia and Picota, the former reaching to 902 metres above sea level, the 10,000 inhabitants of this town have retained the rustic atmosphere with steep cobbled streets and small dark doorways housing various artisan trades. There is a very neglected 17th Century Franciscan monastery overlooking the town from which a visitor has a panoramic view over the beautiful countryside.

Silves

Silves picturesquely situated above the River Arade where its castle looms large, dates back to the Romans. The castle is the Algarve's finest and dominates the old Moorish capital, providing the streets with cool shade. Historically minded tourists will appreciate the city walls and four-arched bridge as well as the castle's interior and archaeological museum.

Albufeira

Albufeira is the tourist capital of the Algarve. Located in the centre of the Algarve, it has a population of approximately 40,000 residents. The cliff lined coast with 23 beaches teamed with its pulsating nightlife, attract tourists in their thousands during the hot summer months. Their days are spent soaking up the hot Algarve sun before treating themselves to the many restaurants, bars and clubs that the town has to offer once night has fallen.

Lagos

Lagos is a major port and historically one of the region's most interesting cities. It has style, with its sleek boats, designer boutiques and paved promenades. Prince Henry the Navigator made Lagos his headquarters but his palace was lost forever in the Great Earthquake of 1755.

Essentially now an important tourist town there are still many architectural signs of its ancient past, even a building dating originally back to around 1445 which is recorded as being Europe's first building used as a slave market. The walls of the town in the most part remain after sections were restored. Attached to the famous 17th Century "gold" church of Santo António there is a small museum of regional items.

Sagres

Sagres is the most unmistakable landmark being Ponta de Sagres, the fortress of Henry the Navigator. The town of Sagres, however, has some pleasant laid-back cafes and restaurants.

Vilamoura

Vilamoura has seen a steady transformation and growth, and this town now includes a huge new marina with berthing for over 600 craft.

Of course, Vilamoura lies at the heart of the Golfing country, with some of the worlds best golf courses being situated there, but there are also pleasant beaches, dramatic cliff top walks and all manner of water sports.

Portimao

Portimao traces its origins back to a small trading port of the Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians. Some historians have indicated that the place was originally the famous Portus Hannibalis named by the famous Roman general, Hannibal Barca. During the following Moorish occupation they renamed the place "Burj Munt". Located at the mouth of the River Arade it provides a natural harbour and has at times been known in its past as a home for smugglers and pirates. The river also provides the sea access to the up-river ancient city of Silves which was once the capital of the Algarve during the Moorish occupation.

The Municipal Museum is housed in an old sardine canning factory and here regular exhibitions are held that cover art, history, and general culture, all of a local and national content. A boat Marina was recently opened adjoining Praia da Rocha and this adds the fascinating sight of the many boats at anchor and a further choice of bars and restaurants in which to pass the evening. When approaching the town from the direction of Faro there is a choice of two bridges to cross. The old one runs along past the harbour but we would recommend take the new bridge. It is so well balanced in design that it can be seriously considered among the most pleasing bridges to the eye built in Portugal in the 19th Century. On the river front near the square with the cafés many different boat tours and deep sea-fishing outings can be booked.

Quinta do Lago

Quinta do Lago is a luxury development adjoining the Ria Formosa nature reserve, best known for its championship golf courses and luxury villas. There are hotels and other sporting facilities on this extensive development.

Olhaõ

Olhaõ is one of the liveliest fishing ports in the Algarve and has some fine seafood restaurants to match. The whole town revolves around fishing, a fact exemplified by the 17th-century parish church, built with donations from the local fishermen. At the chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Aflitos, women pray for the safe return of their menfolk during bad weather. The style of the town's cube-shaped houses, with flat roof terraces and external staircases, reflects the close trade links once enjoyed with North Africa.

Parque Natural da Ria Formosa

Parque Natural da Ria Formosa is a vast realm of marshland, salinas and sand dune islands is home to the rare purple gallinule and the web-footed Portuguese water dog, among others. The lagoon habitat is one of the most important wetland zones in Europe. A purpose-built visitor centre houses an aquarium and exhibition area. Two exciting nature trails, São Lourenço and Quinta do Lago, provide excellent opportunities for observing wildlife at close quarters.

Tavira

Tavira is probably the most elegant of the Algarvian towns. Often described as the 'Algarvian Rome', and more fancifully 'the Venice of Algarve', Tavira stands on two hills on either side of the River Gilao, the two sides of the town being linked by a seven-arch bridge.

Tavira is known as the Town of Churches, since there are a remarkable 22 churches and other places of worship lying within its boundaries.

Vila Real

Vila Real was wiped out at the beginning of the 17th century by a momentous tidal surge. It wasn't until 1773 that Vila Real regained a place on the map. The town's reconstruction was overseen by the Marquês de Pombal (1699-1782), and under his eye the new town was planned and built, making use of a unique grid system. The town attracts day-trippers from Spain, and visitors can easily take in nearby Castro Marim, too.

Monte Gordo

Monte Gordo is the closest Algarve beach resort to the Spanish border and is home to a Casino. The esplanade is fringed by palms and apartment blocks with fabulous views of the ocean.

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