Top 10 Algarve
Algarve is one of the favorite destinations for the Portuguese and for many tourists. It is a region where you can find ancient cities by the ocean, modern holiday resorts, and many cultural options. There is no better way to discover southern Portugal than staying at Hotel Riu Palace Algarve or the ClubHotel Riu Guaraná,and take your rest time relaxing in a luxury establishment. Let yourself be pampered by the renowned service Riu Hotels & Resorts.
If your next stop is the wonderful Algarve region, we have compiled a list of the best attractions for you to organize your sightseeing with ease:
- Albufeira: Albufeira is a nice little town in the Algarve, which has many historic buildings and has become a must for many tourists. Its white houses, apartments with sea views, marina and its long beaches of golden sand and blue waters are the perfect setting for a visit. In town you will see some old buildings that survived the earthquake of 1755, plus some that were built later as 1869 Sineira Tower, located next to the Igreja Matriz built in the eighteenth century. You will also see the Torre do Relógio (Clock Tower), which has an iron crown that supports the mechanism.
- Lagos: Lagos was for many years the residence of King Henry the Navigator, main character of the Portuguese period of discovery and conquest in the fifteenth-century. In Republic Square was located the first slave market in Europe. In 1755 there was an earthquake that destroyed much of the city, leaving the Church of Santo Antonio and some historical monuments. On the Municipal Museum you can find memories of the earthquake, and many elements of that times. If you walk along the Avenida dos Descobrimentos will see the remains of the wall that protected the city from pirate attacks, and the Forte Ponta da Bandeira, from seventeenth century. In this area you can take boat trips, and so discover the beautiful Lagos coast.
- Faro: Faro has a part of town that has been completely frozen in time, and it has maintained its appearance even after the plunder in times of war, and after the 1755 earthquake. This is the called Ciudad Velha (Old Town), where you can visit the beautiful old buildings of the historic lighthouse, its walls and its narrow pedestrian streets. To visit Faro we recommend you start by Arco da Vila, the cathedral and the palaces in the Largo da Sé. You will also find places of interest as the Archaeological Museum, which is located in the Praça Afonso III. The museum is in a beautiful building from the XVI century, and has exposed amazing Roman mosaics from the third century BC, representing the god Neptune. Along the bay you can walk around and see the different gardens, traditional restaurants and cafes in the area. Finally, in the heart of the city, are the twin towers of the Igreja do Carmo, where is the famous Capela dos Ossos, built with the human bones of the monks, definitely a unique show.
- Sagres: is a small village on the coast of the Algarve, near Cape St. Vincent, and home to a famous nautical school founded in the fifteenth century, which was very important for the further expansion and conquest of the Portuguese Empire. From its waters started some of the most important maritime expeditions. By its situation on the extreme south west on Portugal, the place was called the end of the world by the ancient Portuguese, and is a symbol of the great discoveries of Portugal in the fifteenth century. You can visit the fortress of Henry the Navigator, at Cape Sagres, where you can still see the batteries pointing towards the sea and a huge Rosa dos Ventos. But what certainly is the highlight of Sagres is its wild and rocky coast, very beautiful, from which you can enjoy an incomparable view over the sea.
- Tavira: Tavira still retains several historic buildings of the eighteenth century, which are interspersed with more modern buildings that were built after the 1755 earthquake. There is a Roman bridge and another modern one, and you can cross to a nearby island, where there is a long beautiful beach. So this small town has become one of the most interesting in the area. If you walk along the streets you can visit the old castle, and Santa Maria do Castelo, a church that was once a mosque. We recommend you visit Tavira, and walk around the narrow streets, where you will find many restaurants, boutiques, cafes and some art exhibitions.
- Portimao: Although most of the buildings were destroyed by the big earthquake of 1755, Portimão is a very visited village, as it is very close to some of the best beaches in the south of Portugal, and is an ideal place to see local pottery and craft shops . Walking through its streets you will find the avenue Largo Dezembro 1, which is decorated with traditional Portuguese tiles, and is a nice visit.
- Vilamoura: If you are a sports fan, Vilamoura is your favorite destination. You'll find some of the best golf courses in the Algarve, and a large marina, where you can book excursions to visit the caves, or to observe dolphins. Near Praia da Marina will find a popular bar called Sete, the shirt number of a famous Portuguese football player: Luis Figo.