The Algarve: a beautiful and wonderful region in the south of Portugal, which, thanks to its landscape conformation, offers breathtaking views and incredible colors, with the magnificent and powerful Ocean in the background. Here, the unmissable places, during the journey in this mythical land quest. A tour, of course, to go strictly On The Road!
Lighthouse is the capital of the Algarve from the 1756, and was born as a fishing village. It is known to the international tourism to be a starting point to discover the bathing places of the Region. Faro, in the course of its history, has undergone influences of the Romans and Arabs (populations that have dominated it); unfortunately it has been the victim of events to say the least bitter during the centuries, as the looting and destruction of the city by Robert Devereux 2º Count of Essex (favorite of Queen Elizabeth I of England) in 1596, or the terrible earthquake of 1755 that destroyed it.
La Cidade Velha (old city) is inside the medieval Arabic city walls, largely covered by buildings. In the center there is the Be, the cathedral built on a site that was home to a Roman temple, a Visigothic church, and then a mosque; the church has a Romanesque-Gothic style of the 1251, then over the years it has been modified several times and only the tower-portico remains of the original complex.
Not to be missed, always in the old part, the Bishop's Palace, eighteenth-century bishop's palace with a patio and interiors with the typical ones azulejos (Portuguese), the remains of Neolithic walls rebuilt by the Arabs and pierced by medieval doors, the church of Nossa Senhora de Assunção of the XVI century, today the seat of the Museu Arqueológico.
A Praça de Libertade you could visit the Regional Ethnographic Museum; it is another interesting museum that takes us back to the traditional modus vivendi of the Algarve region.
Lighthouse It is famous as a seaside tourist resort on the inner coast of the Atlantic Ocean, highly appreciated not only by locals, but also by the international tourists.
The Faro coast is also composed of a lagoon that separates and protects the city from the Atlantic Ocean; the Ria Formosa Natural Park, which extends along the Algarvian coast, from Praia de Faro to Cacela Velha, for about 60 km between the cities of Faro, Tavira, and Olhao.
Here are found islets, marshes, sand dunes to prevent the high tide of the Atlantic; all this, within a perfect eco-system for the fauna and vegetation of these places.
Some info on visits to the Faro museums can be found at the official website: www.patrimoniocultural.pt
Kanoa recommend starting your Algarve tour starting from the city of Faro, to better appreciate all the villages and towns that you will encounter during the journey; moreover, although in Faro a myriad of agencies organize tours, Kanoa advises expressly to dedicate ourselves at least from 4 to 6 days, obviously strictly by car.
Falesia Beach (Olhos de Agua)
As soon as you leave the city of Faro, take the A22 road, and in just under 40 minutes you will reach the beautiful Praia da Falesia: a really impressive show!
Just a few minutes from Albufeira, this longest beach among the most appreciated in the world, is characterized by cliffs red that create an absolutely incredible contrast with the blue of the sea and the white of the sand, which is why it is worth making a trip to the sunset, perhaps sipping a glass of wine ...
The town of Albufeira counts 35 thousand inhabitants, a number that, during the summer months, grows disproportionately; every year, in fact, from April to September is the destination of thousands of European tourists. Albufeira is an ancient Moorish stronghold, whose name, in Arabic, means "sea fortress"; the village, all colored in white, overlooks the ocean from a promontory, from which stands out irrepressible and fascinating.
It is a city rich in historical places.
Absolutely unmissable the clock tower called Torre do Relógio: a true city symbol, where in the nineteenth century an iron crown was placed on top, which lights up for the most important events.
One of the places of greatest attraction is undoubtedly the church of Igreja Matriz, in perfect 18th century neoclassical style; in the church the Cross of Aviz is kept the military and religious symbol of the Order of Aviz and the beautiful statue of the Madonna Conception of the eighteenth century.
Among the other monuments we also mention the Church of Sao Sebastião located in the square of Miguel Bombarda, which has a splendid door in the mandolin style; inside it is particularly appreciated the Sacred Museum.
And again, in particular for history buffs, we point out, the Estàtua de Sao Vicente (a beautiful statue dedicated to St. Vincent), the ruins of the Castle at Rua Joaquim Pedro Samora, the romantic Arch of the Via della Chiesa Antica which is presented in typical Moorish style, the Municipal Archaeological Museum.
For info on the museums and events of Albufeira, Kanoa recommends the official website: www.cm-Albufeira.pt
Do not forget the beautiful beaches of Albufeira, of which the main and most famous are Praia dos Barcos, Praia de Sao Rafael and Praia in Oura.
Opposite the center of Albufeira, the strip of coastline is divided into three splendid and long beaches: Penero, Pescadores and Inatel, all flanked by golden cliffs characteristic of this area. The beach of peñero, Also called Praia do TúnelIt lies just in front of the historical center and can be reached through a tunnel, beyond which there are numerous open-air bars overlooking the beach, perfect for an aperitif at sunset. Praia dos Pescadores it is the continuation of the beach of Penero, whose name recalls the many boats here; visitors can hire boats for pleasant trips to discover the surrounding coastline and especially caves and secluded coves; the beach of Inatel instead, it is hidden between the Inatel complex and the cliff.
Finally, not far from Albufeira, in the hamlet of Guia, you find it Zoomarine, an interesting oceanographic park opened in 1991.
Here you can watch consuenti shows of dolphins and observe closely seals, sharks, turtles and exotic birds; the park is also a rehabilitation center for marine protected species, in which there are many services suitable for the whole family such as restaurants, shops, and refreshment points. Zoomarine is the ideal place to spend a day in harmony, above all it is an extremely pleasant place for the little ones.
Just a few kilometers from Albufeira, do not miss a visit to Sao Rafael, where you can admire natural beauties that the sea has eroded over time: a unique show of its kind.
The sculpted cliffs, the cracks, the natural pools and the lonely cliffs that rise from the water are the main attractions of this beach and are the perfect scenario to take pictures of the author.
Praia do Evaristo it is a beach with rocks and rich, therefore, of submarine life; here, divers and snorkelers can swim together with lots of colorful fish.
Praia do Evaristo is for all tastes: the coast has received the Blue Flag and offers all modern facilities, and it is possible to practice various water sports.
Armacao de Pera
Following the Algarve Tour, it is advisable to stop at least one night in the picturesque town of Armacao de Pera.
It is a beautiful stretch of sandy beach, long more than 6 km and framed by yellow limestone cliffs that form the natural backdrop for many of the beaches on this western side of the Algarve; Armacao de Pera has now become one of the most popular beaches in the area and a modern holiday resort that offers plenty of entertainment.
In addition to kilometers of kilometers of fine and golden sand bathed by warm and calm waters, the promenade that follows the beach, in fact, is full of bars, restaurants and gardens that offer entertainment of any kind to the thousands of tourists that crowd this village.
The historic town of Silves, capital of the Algarve of the eleventh century, absolutely worth a visit. It is located on one of the hills of this mountain range overlooking the river Arade, and is full of restaurants where you can enjoy excellent local dishes.
Kanoa recommends taking the M530-1 road to Lombos and turning south; 15 minutes by car and you will arrive at one of the most renowned beaches.
Praia da Marinha
Of infinite beauty, as well as among the most popular beaches in the world, and set of numerous photo shoots, Praia de Marina will certainly be thrilled by you!
Surrounded by a high cliff carved by the action of atmospheric agents, the beautiful Praia da Marinha it is considered one of the hundred best beaches in the world, due to its preserved nature, almost in the wild.
Before descending to the beach, let yourself be enchanted by the view from the top of the cliff that gives access to the beach: from here, a long staircase will lead you into this hidden paradise.
A few kilometers away Praia Benagil (photo below), is another must.
The caves of Benagil they represent a unique naturalistic spectacle in Europe; they are very close to the homonymous village, in the area of Carvoeiro. The rocky walls, masterfully eroded by the sea, form a sort of dome; during the low tide you can walk in the cave. These and other isolated coves can be reached by boat trips from Benagil Beach.
Praia do Carvalho
A few minutes drive from the caves of Benagil for Praia do Carvalho, an authentic oasis, between rocky cliffs and the ocean; the beach is not very crowded and preserves its wild charm.
Portimao it is a town with more than 40.000 inhabitants; the historical part is all to be visited, with an incredible cluster of picturesque streets and alleys.
Portimao represents a center of great appeal for art, architecture and history lovers; you can admire, in fact, the houses of the end 19th century and beginning 20th century and the walls decorated with the famous azulejos, in addition to sections of medieval walls, still standing.
During your walk downtown, you will see many boats landed at the port: Portimao has a very nice garden, the Jardim Manuel Bívar.
In the immediate vicinity, do not forget to spend some time at the Praia de Rocha, the huge three-kilometer beach that is not far from the center; the center of tourism, in this area, boasts the presence of some interesting rock formations, carved by the sea.
Praia de Rocha it is also the heart of the nightlife of the area: being one of the most "fashionable" seaside resorts of Portugal, it boasts a series of clubs, discos, and casinos in which to spend your evenings.
The beaches of Praia de Rocha are among the most beautiful and equipped in Portugal, intended for a varied clientele with beach volleyball, football, basketball, and even aerobic gym classes.
Kanoa now it is advisable to move towards Lagos, taking the A22 road, and in just over half an hour you will have arrived at your destination.
Lakes is one of the most interesting destinations in the Algarve, which, with its holiday spirit, attracts thousands of tourists all year round, thanks to a perfect climate and a series of beaches of incredible natural beauty, among which stands out, Praia de Dona Ana. Lagos is the city that, p more than all suffered a massive Arab presence.
Kanoa do not miss the church of San Antonio 1715, survivor of the tragic 1755 earthquake; this beautiful church, as it is now a tradition in the religious architecture of Portugal, presents externally a simple and humble facade that hides the rich and decorated interiors.
Another interesting place to visit is the Forte da Ponta da Bandeira, located in Avenida dos Descobrimentos; it is part of the seventeenth century fortress built to protect the possible incursions coming from the city port.
Clearly, the greatest attraction is represented by the beautiful beaches of which this coastal stretch is rich: first of all the long white beach of Meia Praia, which constitutes one of the largest European bays with its 4 km extension! Then, do not miss the beaches of Praia Solaria, Praia da Batata, Praia dos Estudantes, as well as the beautiful (and super busy) Praia da Luz.
A stop at this fantastic tour of "Algarve What to See" is Capo de Sao Vicente.
The Romans called him Promontorium Sacrum and it was the place where the gods consulted about the fate of mortals and where sacrifices were made before embarking on sea voyages.
Capo San Vincenzo is a promontory with cliffs high 80 meters, shaped by weather and time over the centuries; this place enchants itself for travelers and pilgrims, who come so far in the extreme south-west of Portugal, as well as at the end of the Algarve, to admire the infinite Ocean.
On the promontory there are the fort and a convent of ancient foundation (XV century) that house a lighthouse visible at 95 Km away and still considered today among the most powerful in Europe.
The terrace built around the lighthouse overlooking the sea is accessible for free and offers breathtaking panoramic views.
Nothing universal has been said; however, we are sure that you can get more than just a few ideas from this guide. At Kanoa, we always recommend that you follow your tastes and interests ...
Good Journey from the Kanoa staff.