Algarve Things to Do

  • Tavira - Portugal
    Tavira - Portugal
    by solopes
  • Praia da Rocha
    Praia da Rocha
    by Balam
  • The Marina
    The Marina
    by Balam

Algarve Things to Do

  • Old Town

    Albufeira Things to Do

    The crazy construction that disfigured Algarve, has (thanks God!) spared the central area of old Albufeira. Now, cleaned and organized for touristy exhibition, the central Albufeira looks good, and, for some minutes, allows us to forget the insanity of exploitation seeking for euros (or dollars, or... just money!) that grew around it.

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  • Dolphins

    Lagos Things to Do

    Take a trip on the Dolphin Safaris RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat), which leaves from the Lagos Harbour, when we went it cost about 35 euros each but well worth it,The trip last approx 45mins,Taking in the views of the coastline as well,past the grotto's and boats . Their record for finding the Dolphins is excellent and the boat is very fast with jet...

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  • The Castle

    Tavira Things to Do

    Built and rebuilt in several periods, the experts find in this castle and walls signs from the Muslim times and christian changes. Destroyed by 1755 earthquake, most of the walls were dismantled, but there are still disperse elements (walls and doors) in the centre of town.

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  • Cathedral

    Faro Things to Do

    Faro's old town is dominated by the cathedral (Se Catedral). The original Gothic church was built in the 13th century, but severely damaged during the 1755 earthquake. Only the tower and and a doorway remained from that era. From the tower you can enjoy panoramic views of Faro and the coastline. Directions: Faro Cathedral is located at the Largo...

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  • Beach

    Albufeira Things to Do

    Thirty years ago Albufeira was "the capital" of tourism in Algarve and a vacation paradise. Today, it is the center of all the excesses in massive building and loss of quality, but the beach is still there (spreading along the coast), the fishermen keep on working (not much), and with luck, you may get your own space.

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  • Grottos

    Lagos Things to Do

    If this is your first visit to Lagos, you simply must take a "grotto tour". Step into a small fishing boat, let your local fisherman be your guide, and witness from the water, the distinctive and magnificent cliffs that surround the Lagos area. It is truly a sight unseen! Your guide will navigate around and under the intriguing rock formations,...

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  • Republic Square

    Tavira Things to Do

    I like the centre of Tavira - it shows modernity with respect for tradition, it has commercial activity without the stress of many other cities, it is touristy, but... not much. OK. A balanced place that receives well.

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  • Old Town

    Faro Things to Do

    Faro's Old Town is, to use that hackneyed phrase, a little gem. It's small, quiet and wonderfully atmospheric. You enter through the 18th century Arco da Vila ( main photo on the Introduction page) walk uphill through impeccably cobbled streets framed by elegantly balconied houses ( photo 2) and arrive at the Largo da Se.Further on is the Praca...

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  • Zoo Marine

    Albufeira Things to Do

    Zoo Marine is a kind of seaworld/zoo on the Algarve coast,the main attraction being the Dolphin show which is shown several times a day everyday of the week,other attractions include a sea-lion show,Birds of prey show and tropical Bird show.There are other animals such as crocadiles and gaint tortoises and a small aquarium to see as well.The...

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  • Slave Market

    Lagos Things to Do

    One of the darker periods in Lagos’ history is the time when in the 15th century the town sported a market at which slaves, imported from North Africa, were sold on a market. The first African slaves entered post-medieval Europe through this small building that dates back to 1444 although most of it dates to 1691 by request of the 2nd Marquis of...

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  • Roman Bridge - Ponta de Romana

    Tavira Things to Do

    Closed to traffic since the flooding of 1989, this old bridge may be crossed by foot, linking both sides of Gião river right in the centre of town. It is one of the city's landmarks, but, though initially built in the 3rd century, this actual look comes from the 17th, so "Roman" is just an historic name.

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  • City Walls

    Faro Things to Do

    The history of Faro's ancient city walls date back to the late Roman period when they were raised by the Moorish prince Ben Bekr. The walls were severly damaged during an attack in the 16th century and later had to be rebuilt. They are home to two barbican towers and various arches. The medieval city fortification also includes a castle from the...

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  • Slide and Splash

    Albufeira Things to Do

    This water shute I found frightening. It looks so simple. I watched for a while before I was tempted/persuaded to have a go. When you get to the top and its your turn to sit down with your legs hanging over the side you realise the drop is high and almost vertical!!!! The man blows a whistle and you must GO!!! Oh my goodness what an experience, I...

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  • Fortaleza da Ponta da Bandeira

    Lagos Things to Do

    This is my favorite point in Algarve. After a long walk, or a short ride by car, you are at a beautiful natural point, 5 Km from town. Naturism is still possible in Pinheirinhos, one of its secluded beaches.

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  • Misericordia Church

    Tavira Things to Do

    Located just down from the Castle, this is a must see 16th century church said to be one of the best examples of Renaissance architecture in the Algarve. The façade was made by the famous master-mason André Pilarte (finished in 1551) who also participated in the construction of the Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon. The main entrance, a round arch, is...

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  • Churches

    Faro Things to Do

    The Church of Sao Pedro (Igreja de Sao Pedro) was built in the 16th century on the site of a 15th century mariners chapel. After the 1755 earthqauke it underwent extensive reconstructions. It is one of the many buildings in Faro where you can see storks nestling on the roof. Directions: The Church of Sao Pedro is located at the Largo de Sao...

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  • Marina

    Albufeira Things to Do

    Albufeira has a fairly new marina located a little away from the center of town to the west. It´s still in the build up fase, but i think it´s a pleasant part of town to hang out with some nice cafes and restaurants there among the boats and the travel agents. It´s not a huge marine like in Villamoura or Lagos, but it´s a pleasant place to spend a...

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  • Castles

    Lagos Things to Do

    Built in the 13Th century, the castle was seriously dammaged by Lisbon's eartquake. A recent reconstruction effort, rebuilt several hundred meters of walls, respecting their original doors and towers.

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  • Church of Santa Maria do Castelo

    Tavira Things to Do

    Beside the castle, this 13th-century Gothic Church was built on the site of a Moorish mosque but rebuilt by an Italian neo-classicist following earthquake damage 500 years later. However, the architect retained traces of the former church - namely the main doorway, two side chapels and Arabic-style windows in the clock tower. Inside is a plaque...

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  • Marina

    Faro Things to Do

    Faro has a beautiful marina which lies just to the north of the Old Town. I sat at the southern end in the shade and watched the little boats come and go, in and out under and railway line that runs alongside. Very picturesque scene.

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  • Fisherman's Beach

    Albufeira Things to Do

    Right in the centre of the city, this is THE beach of Albufeira. Construction in the area took people form this beach spreading them along the coast, but it didn't loose its sortilege. Now it misses the fisherman's boats that once provided a shade, and acts more as a decoration of restaurants and bars that line it, replacing the original life of...

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  • Statues

    Lagos Things to Do

    Built against a section of the city wall overlooking the square where you'll find the statue of Henry the Navigator, this house was built in 1728. It was refurbished in 1737, the date on the facade and was damaged during the 1755 earthquake. The present house was then rebuilt on the ruins in the 19th century and was turned into the Customs House in...

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  • Church of Santiago

    Tavira Things to Do

    This was the only church of 13 I visited to be open when I visited Tavira one morning. It's located just in front of the larger Church of Santa Maria do Castelo and dates from the end of the 18th century. It was originally donated by King Alfonso III to the Bishop of Silves in 1270, having belonged to the Military Order of Santiago de Espada.

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  • Municipal Museum

    Faro Things to Do

    I visited this small art museum which emphasizes antiquities from the Roman Period in Faro.I saw Roman capitals,stele,and ceramic bowls from the 2nd and 3rd Centuries.There were good explanations in English.This museum also shows life in Faro after the Roman occupation and during the Islamic Period.I also saw fine 20th Century Portuguese paintings...

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  • Oura Beach

    Albufeira Things to Do

    This is a very glamourous beach. There is golden sand, young people, beach bars and restaurants, and plenty of other services. Oura Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Albufeira, and is surrounded by bars, restaurants, and beach bars.

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  • Beaches

    Lagos Things to Do

    Lagos is surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches of Algarve. Dona Ana is one of them, at walking distance from town, but for a frequent use, you'd better find accommodation in nearby hotels, or to use a car (parking is paid and difficult).

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  • Chapel of Sao Sebastiao

    Tavira Things to Do

    I believe this to be the Chapel of San Sebastio. Its a cute little church a few blocks from the river. It was not open when we went to visit it. The origins of the church date back to just before the big Lisbon earthquake in 1755.

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  • Arco da Vila

    Faro Things to Do

    The Arco da Vila is a monumental arch which was designed by the Italian architect Francisco Xavier Fabri. The neo-classicism structure was inaugurated in 1812 on the site of the medieval archway which was destroyed during the 1755 earthquake. A statue of Thomas Aquinas who is the saint of Faro stands in a niche of the arch. Directions: The...

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  • Bell Tower

    Albufeira Things to Do

    This tower is part of the parish church and I am not sure if you can go to the top (even if there are lots of stairs that allow you lol), but we did not had much time to go around, so we only walked around.

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  • Church of Santo António

    Lagos Things to Do

    Lagos' claim-to-fame, this churches plain façade with dissimilar bell towers, dating from 1715, contrasts sharply with the extravaganza of its beautiful and richly decorated interior, which is covered in gold. Its blue-and-white azulejos (18th century) and gilded, intricate wooden carvings (among the most beautiful in the country) fill every inch...

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  • Carmo Church

    Faro Things to Do

    Carmo church is a beautiful white church situated in Largo do Carmo (Carmo Square). The church was started in 1713 by its founder Bishop Dom Antonio Pereira da Silva, who bought the land that the church stands on. The church officially opened in 1719 but work on it continued throughout the 18th Century. The inside of the church is rich with...

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  • San Vicente de Albufeira

    Albufeira Things to Do

    This monument, in honour of the Friar Vicente de St. António, is located in the Largo Jacinto d'Ayet square. Saint Vicente was born in 1590 in the Town of Albufeira and his mother offered him to Our Lady of Orada upon his baptism. During his studies he proved to be a hard worker of acute intelligence which allowed him to leave Albufeira and...

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  • Santa Maria Church

    Lagos Things to Do

    This church is located overlooking the square where you'll find the statue of Henry the Navigator and the slave market. It's origins can be traced back to the 14th century but most of it dates from the 15th and 16th centuries although it was rebuilt following the 1755 earthquake and a fire in the mid-19th century. Henry the Navigator was buried...

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  • Arco de Repouso

    Faro Things to Do

    Located in the eastern side of the city walls, this gate (meaning Resting Arch) was built by the Moors in the 12th and 13th centuries in order to prevent Christian invaders. It features two towers with two side entrances. One of the arches was sealed in the 18th century by the Hermitage of Our Lady of Rest and a new entrance was opened in the 19th...

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  • Marina

    Lagos Things to Do

    This is the place where all the rich tourists arrive by their yachts and boats. Around the marina you find a lot of open-air places to eat and drink and to have a few over the lively scene of the marina.

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  • Bishop's Palace

    Faro Things to Do

    This huge building is located on the northern side of the cathedral in the Old Town and dates from 1585 although most of the original building was trashed by British troops in 1596. It serves as the headquarters to the Diocese of the Algarve.

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  • Museums

    Lagos Things to Do

    This museum surrounds the Church of Santo Antonio which you'll pass through on your way round. To say this museum is a little eccentric is an understatement. It has an amazing haphazardness about it with anything and everything being displayed from Roman items to articles brought back from Macau and even bits of the Berlin wall! There's also some...

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  • Cacela

    Out of the main touristy area, this small village by the sea has invested in serious recuperation work, enhancing its traditional look. It is not comfortable to reach the beach, but the views are great. You may see my Cacela page

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  • Oura

    More than 20 years later I was back to Oura, and I enjoyed what I saw. Algarve was spoilt by heavy construction, and Oura is no exception, but the beach keeps the beauty that makes it one of my favorites.

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  • Altura

    I stayed in Altura for a week 20 years ago. I went back there last month, and... couldn't recognize it. I mean, the only thing that I remembered was the hotel, the only high building in several kilometers of coast. Big construction (with wiser criteria than commonly seen in Algarve) new roads and streets, and a lively place. Altura is a beach that...

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  • Silves

    One of the most historic places in Algarve is one of the least known by the Portuguese, included... me. Beach is the common destination and only foreigners like to travel inland watching the country. It's an error that I will correct. This year I stayed in the eastern side of Algarve, and saw something there (Tavira and Cacela, for instance). Next...

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  • Vale do Lobo

    One of the most exclusive places of Algarve, Vale do Lobo is something that... I don't like. It is exclusive because it is expensive, and it is expensive only to be exclusive. Maybe I was unlucky, but all my few experiences there were negative. I didn't swim, but the beach didn't attract me, and I only used restaurants, and bar for the night. All...

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  • Tavira

    Most Portuguese skip Tavira. When they go to Algarve the essential is... sea, and Tavira is distant enough from the sea to become a top destination. When we "are" in Algarve, and decide to leave the sea, for variation, Tavira is too close to the sea to be the alternative, and we prefer to go inland.That's why Tavira is mainly for foreigner eyes,...

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  • Praia da Luz

    The area west of Lagos is... foreigner land. This means that we, Portuguese prefer to go east of Lagos. Between Lagos and Sagres, the main vacation area is Praia da Luz. English and Nordic people do have here the needed sun, in a not so expensive nor crowded ambiance. But the colder water (1-2º less than in the east), the more windy weather and...

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  • Olhão

    This town at very short distance from Faro is in a second line of touristy destinations, because its good beaches are not very easy to reach, some of them needing a boat. However, Olhão deserves three special references: - It's the best place to watch the typical roofs of Algarve, in a wise respect to the local traditions. - Fish is generally sold...

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Algarve Things to Do

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