Places of interest
Carvoeiro: White washed fishing village centred around the main beach.
Lagoa: The centre of the wine trade.
Albufeira: The original tourist centre of the Algarve, very busy in the summer with many bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Good shopping centre and the character of the centre has been retained with cobbled streets and small shops.
Alcantarilha: Sleepy old town unspoilt market town.
Silves: This town was the capital of the Algarve during the arab occupation until the XVI century; it has an interesting castle and gothic cathedral.
Portimão: Busy town with good shopping centre, vegetable and fish markets with pleasant walks by the harbour. The traditional sardine restaurants under the bridge have been turned into a tourist attraction.
Monchique: A pleasant drive through pine and eucalyptus forests. Stop on the way at Caldas de Monchique, a small spa town with attractice traditional architecture, local handicrafts and an opportunity to try traditional dishes and sample the spring water. Foia is the rather bleak summit with superb views on a clear day and there are several good restaurants on the way up – barbecue chicken is a speciality.
Lagos: Attractive old town with a fort, castle, medieval walls and several museums. Good for shopping with traffic free cobbled streets and plenty of restaurants with outside seating.
Cape St. Vincent: The most westerly point of Europe, spectacular waves at certain times of the year.
Tavira: An unspoilt Portugese town, dating back to Roman times, straddling the river with many interesting churches and a castle with good views over the town. Take the inland route through Loule and Sao Bras, a scenic country drive.
Ponte Da Piedade: Situated near Lagos and considered to have the most outstanding rock formations on the Algarve.
Loulé: Attractive market town in the hills. Large vegetable market and many local handicrafts.