Vila Real de Santo António Travel Guide

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Vila Real de Santo António Things to Do

  • Architecture

    Built according to the plans to recover Lisbon after the earthquake, this city is a good example of smart architecture. It's central square and surrounding streets are nice to stroll, with a reasonable commercial use (mainly oriented to Spanish visitors)

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  • Cultural Centre

    A military building to house the troops that protected the border, became later a market. With the construction of the new market, thirty years ago, the building was adapted to work as a cultural center, receiving the name of Antonio Aleixo, a popular poet, and being used since then by the municipality for all kind of events.

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  • Church

    One of the most relevant buildings around the beautiful main square, is the church of "Nossa senhora da Encarnação". Built with the city in the 18th century, by Marquês de Pombal the church suffered several fires that changed it a lot, though a few panels have been saved.

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  • Cacela Velha - Village

    Cacela is a little village in Vila Real de Santo António, but for me is the best thing in there, and one of the best in Algarve. It has little to see, but it is localized on a beautiful high site, and the landscape is everything one could ask for. At night, you can see the stars, Milky Way and when full moon its reflection on the sea.In summer...

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  • Cacela Velha - Praia

    The factory beach or "Praia da Fábrica", is one of the most beautiful and worth seeing beaches in Portugal. It's localized between Ria Formosa and the sea. When the tide is low you can get the by walking (the soil is quite messy because it is almost mud, but it's really fun to walk in, just be careful) and when the tide is high it forms a peninsula...

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  • Centro Cultural António Aleixo

    Housed in the old market building, the Centro Cultural António Aleixo is used for temporary exhibits and events. There is also a museum, Museu de Manuel Cabanas, where you can go to see the works of a local painter and wood engraver.Open: 10.00h to 13.00h and 15.00h to 19.00h (closed Saturdays and Sundays).

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  • Riverside promenade

    Vila Real de Santo Antonio has a lovely kilometre long riverside promenade which is attractively laid out with trees and water features and there is also a marina where you can watch the boats. Part of the Avenida da Republica runs along the front of the town, adjacent to the Rio Guadiana, and is partly cordoned off to traffic in the main central...

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  • Marquês de Pombal Square

    Vila Real has a large town square, 'Praça Marquês de Pombal', which is edged with orange trees and populated with low white buildings, shops, cafes and restaurants. In the centre of the square is an obelisk, a monument to King Jose I, unveiled in 1775.

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  • Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora da...

    Located on the northern side of the large town square, this simple looking church is dedicated to Our Lady of the Incarnation where the cornerstone was laid on 6th August 1774. The simple facade comprises two basic geometric forms: the square and, with regard to the pediment, the triangle. The interior has a single nave that has a triumphal arch...

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  • Lighthouse

    This 46m high circular lighthouse came into operation in January 1923 after many years of discussion about the method of construction, since it is located on sandy soil. The tower, circular, was 40 feet tall and rested on a foundation of reinforced concrete. The original light installed here was obtained by glowing oil vapour and had a range of 33...

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  • Beautiful Windows

    The church is well known for its beautiful stained glass windows – six in total around the chapel and altar. These were installed when the church was renovated in 1949. They were designed by Joaquim Rebocho, an Algarvean.

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  • 18th Century Statues

    The church has quite a collection of 18th century statues including a very well known Our Lady of the Incarnation (Nossa Senhora Da Encarnacao) which was created by Machado de Castro.

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Vila Real de Santo António Hotels

  • Hotel Apolo

    Avenida Dos Bombeiros Portugueses, Vila Real de Santo Antonio, 8900-209, Portugal

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

  • Guadiana

    The hotel is right on the main boulevard overlooking the riverfront with a view to Spain. They offer...

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  • Quinta da Rosa Linda

    Estrada Nacional 125, Vila Real de Santo Antonio, 8900-290, Portugal

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

Vila Real de Santo António Restaurants

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    by keeweechic Written Sep 17, 2008

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    Being an important fishing town, you will find a good choice of fresh seafood dishes such as grilled sardines, cockles and clams, baby cuttlefish and other types of fish in many of the small restaurants.

    If you are looking for the usual fast food outlets, you will be definitely out of luck but there are plenty of local cafe's to tempt you.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel

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Vila Real de Santo António Nightlife

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    by Leipzig Updated May 13, 2003

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    Casino de Monte Gordo is open 4.00 pm - 3.00 am. The casino features 201 slots and sixteen table games.
    I was only 13 when I was in Monte Gordo and not allowed to enter. Instead I played Bingo at our hotel every night. Did not win anything :-(

    Casino
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Family Travel

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Vila Real de Santo António Transportation

  • Getting There

    If you are driving from Lisbon you will strike toll booths. It will take around 3 hrs to drive from Lisbon to Vila Real de Santo Antonio in normal traffic – longer in summer because of stopping at the tolls. There is a route which does not involve tolls which is on the IC1. By Air - The nearest airport to Vila Real de Santo Antonio is at Faro....

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  • Ferry

    Ferries run between Ayamonte (Spain) and Vila Real de Santo Antonio daily from 8.00 am to 7.00 pm. The fare was 130 Escudos in 1992, which is 0.65 €.

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  • Vila Real de Santo António Hotels

    3 Hotels in Vila Real de Santo António

    1 Reviews

Vila Real de Santo António Shopping

  • Riverfront Vendors

    There are several street vendors down on the Avenida da Republica near the marina selling clothes and leather goods.

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  • Spanish Visitors

    Vila Real de Santo Antonio is a favourite spot for Spanish visitors to cross the river and spend a day shopping for bargains.

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  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

Vila Real de Santo António Local Customs

  • Commerce with Spanish

    Taking advantage of its location by the border, this city has a lively commerce aimed to Spanish, that also attracts locals and the many tourists of the nearby beaches. The straight streets are a sequence of small and varied shops for all needs and tastes.

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  • Climate

    The Algarve enjoys the Mediterranean climate of dry and hot summers (even over 40C/100F) so you need to take care with sunscreen and hats especially in July and July. The winters are mild and less rainfall than in other parts of Portugal and most of it falls in November and December.

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  • Feira da Praia

    During the 2nd week of October there is a festival (Feira da Praia) and you will find all kinds of stalls lining the avenue selling anything from crafts to clothing. A popular event with both locals and the Spanish neighbours.

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Vila Real de Santo António What to Pack

  • Leipzig's Profile Photo

    by Leipzig Updated Jan 18, 2004

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    Miscellaneous: Rainy season is between October and Mai, summer is mostly dry and sunny

    Avg. Temp. in Spring: max.: 18 – 21°C ( 64 - 70°F ); min: 8 - 11°C ( 47 - 51°F )
    Avg. Temp. in Summer: max.: 25 – 28°C ( 77 - 82°F ); min: 16 - 18°C ( 60 - 64°F )
    Avg. Temp. in Autumn: max.: 19 – 26°C ( 66 - 78°F); min: 11 - 17°C ( 51 – 63°F )
    Avg. Temp. in Winter: max.: 15 – 16°C ( 59 - 60°F); min: 7 - 9°C ( 45 - 49°F )

    Watertemperature: in winter around 15°C ( 59°F ), in summer around 20°C ( 68°F) in average.

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Vila Real de Santo António Off The Beaten Path

  • Castro Marim

    Located a few kilometres north of Vila Real de Santo António, overlooking the Rio Guadiana, which is the river that divides the Algarve from Spain, Castro Marim is a small town of a population of around 3,000 that is dominated by not one, but two fortresses. Castro Marim has, historically, been an important town because of its position near the...

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  • Last House - Maybe

    I was told.. when passing... that this was the last house after leaving Vila Real de Santo Antonio before crossing the Guadiana International Bridge into Spain.

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  • Windmills of Castro Marim

    During through the countryside between Vila Real San Antonio and Castro Marim, you will see on the hillsides ancient white windmills. You will also see the modern version of those windmills in the wind farms.

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Vila Real de Santo António Favorites

  • River Influence

    In a province dominate by the sea, this city is different - the proximity to Spain gives the river a stronger importance, allowing the city to turn its back to the sea. The bridge built near Castro Marim diverted most of the international traffic, but the river remains as the most important element to Vila Real de Santo António.

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  • Grid system

    You may notice that the streets are all perpendicular to each other in a grid system. Why? Well, the town was designed that way by the Marquês de Pombal who was keen to apply the latest concept of town planning after the sea had eroded all of the original settlements in the area at the beginning of the 17th century. The Royal charter founding the...

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  • Great beach

    Southwest of Vila Real de Santo Antonio is the resort of Monte Gordo. The town is located at the mouth of the Guadiana River, is the last in a long line of Algarvian resorts. Its beach is one of the finest on Portugal's southern coast. This beach has the highest average water temperature in Portugal.

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Explore Deeper into Vila Real de Santo António
Igreja Matriz Church
Things to Do
The Hills
Off The Beaten Path
Castro Marim
Off The Beaten Path
Guadiana International Bridge
Off The Beaten Path
The Guadiana River
Things to Do
Marina
Things to Do
The Old Customs Office
Things to Do
Statue on the Esplanade
Things to Do
Colourful Riverfront
Things to Do
Avenida da República
Things to Do
Cultural Centre
Things to Do
A New Town in 5 Months
Things to Do
Marquês de Pombal Square
Things to Do
Rua Teofilo Braga
Things to Do
The Town
Things to Do
The Tourist Office
Things to Do
Fresh Mussles
Local Customs
Ferry Port
Favorites
Market Square
Things to Do
Ferry Port
Favorites
Small Alleys
Things to Do
Map of Vila Real de Santo António

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