Albufeira is the tourist capital of the Algarve.
Located in the centre of the Algarve, summer holidays in Albufeira are all about lazy days on the beach and pottering around the town. Combine the fabulous beaches with an upbeat nightlife; this is a resort with a lot to offer.
Situated about 40 kilometres west of Faro, Albufeira is one of Portugal's most popular resorts, boasting seven beautiful beaches. To the east of the town, there are new hotels, shops, and plenty of restaurants; whereas the old town has a very traditional feel, with its cobbled, narrow back streets. There are acres of golden sand at Praia d'Oura or the smaller, quieter coves tucked beneath the cliffs. Once a quaint fishing village, Albufeira has retained plenty of Algarve charm, but now brims with holiday excitement
A top area for young people and families, it offers first class water sports, a huge range of lively bars, clubs and restaurants along its famous strip and an excellent theme park.
Holidays in Almancil are close to glamorous golf resorts and gorgeous beaches, but tucked away from the bustle of other coastal resorts. For this is a traditional village providing up-market facilities. There is boutique style shops, quality fish restaurants and traditional Portuguese restaurants all wrapped around by frapine forests.
Standing proud in the heart of the village is Almancil's magnificent 18th century church. With every wall decked out in 18th Century ceramic tiles, it's definitely worth a visit from anyone spending their holiday in Almancil.
Almancil is also within easy access to the rest of the Algarve. To the south lie the resorts of Quinta do Lago and Vale Do Lobo, whereas if you follow the road east or west, you'll find historic towns, eclectic fishing villages and flume crazy water parks in less than no time.
Now essentially a tourist town, Lagos is a major port and historically one of the Algarve's most interesting cities. There are still many architectural signs of its ancient past and even a building dating back to around 1445.
It has style, with its sleek boats, designer boutiques, great restaurants and paved promenades. Summer holidays in Lagos aren't short of a beach or two either. For tiny coves and larger stretches of rock studded sand are tucked into the coastline around the old city. Lagos is a town proud of its history with great it's quiet cobbled back streets and great shopping combine to make the town one of the most sought after resorts on the coast.
Quinta Do Lago
Quinta Do Lago is simply a way of life. It is located near Almancil and is the most exclusive golf and holiday resort not only in the Algarve, but in the whole of Portugal.
Synonymous with elegance and privacy, Quinta do Lago has nearly 2,000 acres bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Ria Formosa Natural Park. In and around this privilege location you will find a great choice of local and international restaurants within the beautiful umbrella pines and the tranquillity of lakes.
Quinta Dos Alamos
About 20 minutes from Faro airport, Quinta dos Alamos has retained much of it original charm, with pretty cobbled streets winding around green parks and immaculate white house's punctuated by colourful shops.
Quinta dos Alamos will also put you at the heart of a whirl of fantastic beaches, incredible golf courses and great sporting facilities. However, there are no bars or restaurants here so instead it's just simple peace and tranquillity all the way. That said, it's far from cut off. The lively village of Guia is within walking distance, where you'll discover a tantalizing choice of 20 or so restaurants, as well as being the base for your more practical needs.
Vilamoura is very close by, with Albufeira only a 10 minute drive away. Quinta dos Alamos will find you luxuriating on a long, soft, sandy beach, or spending time wandering idly around a sparkling marina full of white yachts. The enormous Algarve Shopping Mall is a quick drive away, with Zoomarine also nearby, which is excellent for the kids, ages from 1 92!
But if it's the ultimate peace and quiet you're after, Quinta do Alamos is the place for you.
Portimão is located at the mouth of the River Arade, which 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.
A 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. On the river front near the square with the cafés many different boat tours and deep sea-fishing outings can be booked.
The commercially-orientated town of Portimão has been, and still is today, the main shopping town in the whole of the Algarve.
If you want to escape the 'modern' resorts, Tavira is an ancient town dating back to Roman times and is probably the most elegant of the Algarvian towns.
Its architecture provides a pleasant surprise, with its twisting streets, picturesque houses, quaint churches, an exquisite main square and a riverside lined with good restaurants. 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.
The town's beach is huge, giving ample space for playing families, sun-seeking couples and people simply wanting to chill out in the sun with their holiday novel.
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 world's best and most famous golf courses being situated there, but there are also pleasant beaches, dramatic cliff top walks and all manner of water sports.
Holidays in Vilamoura will prove to be everything you expected from the Algarve. Sun, sea and sand are an irresistible combination and there are two large, sandy beaches stretching away on either side of the marina. One is quieter; perfect for getting away from the crowd and watching the inside of your eyelids, in peace. The other Falesia Beach buzzes with life, with its snack bars, myriad sun loungers and colourful umbrellas.
Away from the beaches, there is so much more to do. There are a huge variety of cafes, bars and restaurants, plus fashionable boutiques and shops, as well as a whirlwind of bars, a casino and clubs centred on the chic marina.
Vale Do Lobo
Vale do Lobo may be purpose built but it looks like it's been there for many a-year. Moorish in style with arches, latticed balconies and red tiled roofs aplenty, this exclusive village is a gorgeous place to stay. However, it's the sports facilities which will impress you most of all. The two, 18-hole courses are simply superb. Golf aside, there are plenty of other sports to take part in, including a very good riding school, but if your idea of a holiday is less adrenaline-packed, follow the valley to the sea. There are five kilometres of white sand, and picturesque low red cliffs. In the evening, the handful of restaurants and bars swing into action, with occasional live music and a regular disco on the beach in summer.
Situated just 20 minutes from Faro International Airport in a location of breathtaking natural beauty, the resort offers the ideal environment for your holiday, with top-quality accommodation ranging from modern apartments to luxury detached villas with golf and/or sea views. It's easy to see why this is one of the most popular spots on the Algarve's coast.
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