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The Algarve
 

Albufeira
This is the most popular resort in the Algarve, with its many thousands of visitors each year. Albufeira old town was once a small fishing village which has now expanded to accommodate the increasing number of tourists that visit every year. The centre still holds its old charm with narrow streets and whitewashed cottages leading into squares with market stalls and numerous cafes and restaurants.

The old town is friendly and bustling day and night with an array of traditional Portuguese and European restaurants and bars. At night time the centre comes alive with street entertainers and music which can be enjoyed by all ages.

On the western outskirts of Albufeira a new marina has been constructed and is now in use with a few nice restaurants / bars.

Visitors choose to combine relaxing days in the sun with beach activities such as shark fishing, paragliding, scuba diving and boat trips, amongst others. Daytrips away from the beaches include visits to renowned golf courses, horse-riding schools, water parks, museums and Moorish castles.

Zoomarine
Located in Guia, just a few kilometers from Albufeira, you can watch presentations with dolphins, seals and sea lions, with tropical birds and birds of prey. Here you find also an amazing aquarium with sharks, various habitats, 4D Cinema, attractions, amusements and swimming pools. Unique sensations on a journey through a world of knowledge and adventure where adults and children discover the mysteries of marine life in a day full of surprises and emotions.

Waterparks
The Algarve currently has 3 waterparks - Slide and Splash, Aqualand and AquaShow. All have a variety of fun rides for the adventurous and the not so bold! A fun day out for all the family.

Golf

The Algarve leads the world as a golfing holiday destination and includes 26 championship-standard courses. The climate is ideal, sunshine with a slight breeze from the Atlantic ocean and the fairways offer spectacular views. 22 of the courses lie to the west of Faro and 4 to the east. All are less than ten miles from the coast with the exception of the two courses, Morgado and Alamo. The terrain is excitingly varied, from the steep climbs of Parque da Floresta to the sea-level flats of the Salgados course. Thanks to the weather golf is played all year round. The busiest season is from late autumn to late spring, this is outside of the main tourist season. Be prepared for occasional rain and cool mornings. Dress code regulations require short or long sleeved shirts with collars, golf shoes with soft spikes are required at most of the Algarve courses. Very few clubs allow jeans to be worn.

Watersports

There are a vast selection of boat trips on yachts, catamarans, fishing and speed boats. Dolphin spotting, fishing, relaxing aboard or swimming and barbecuing.

Also the nearby beaches have a wide range of water sports including paragliding, jet skiing, scuba diving and snorkelling.

Fiesa Sand Sculptures

The international Sand Sculpture Festival held in Pera takes place every year from May - October. There is a different theme each year and the exhibitions are an impressive sight both during the day and when they are lit at night.

Algarve beaches

One of the Algarve's greatest attractions is its beaches. Whether you prefer long sandy stretches with ample facilities, or tiny isolated coves, you won't be disappointed. Nowhere in the Algarve is far from a beach.

Albufeira, for example, has eight within a short drive. There are another eight in the vicinity of Carvoeiro. Sagres has four, Monte Gordo has only one, but it continues under different names for almost 20km.

All of the Algarve's sandy beaches are of a golden colour not found in the Mediterranean. They are swept clean by the tides of the cooler, but far less polluted Atlantic.

In the eastern half of the province, between Vila Real de St Antonio and Quarteira, the beaches are all long, open strands. They are mostly on low-lying islands. Between Quarteira and Sagres, long beaches with dunes are outnumbered by bays and coves, backed by fantastically eroded cliffs. Up the west coast, from Sagres northwards, the cliffs are darker coloured and more formidable. The spectacular beaches here lie exposed to Atlantic rollers and surf.

The least crowded beaches are on the west coast, and those on the south coast which are difficult to get to.

You can virtually step out of your car on to most beaches provided you can find a parking spot. This is not always easy in high summer. Reaching some of the beaches between Armacao de Pera and Lagos involves a long or steep walk.

From early June to the end of September many beaches have life-guards and a safety flag system.

Here are some of the more local beaches to our properties. A full beach guide is in the information book in each property.

  • Olhos d'Agua - in addition to the beach immediately in front of the village, there are a couple of small secluded beaches a little to the west.
  • Balaia - a wide tranquil beach backed and flanked by low cliffs. Good for exploring among the rocks. Access is through the Hotel Balaia complex.
  • Praia da Oura - a busy beach backed by cliffs, at the end of the famous "Strip", 3km east of Albufeira. Walk eastwards to explore smaller, secluded beaches.
  • Albufeira (Fishermen's beach) - on the eastern side of the town, this is the beach shared by sun bathers and fishermen attending to their nets. At the far eastern end, steps in the cliff lead to a small, secluded beach.
  • Albufeira (Peneco) - a large popular beach in front of the town, most easily reached through the tunnel.
  • Sao Rafael - a wide protected beach ideal for children; 3 km west of Albufeira on the Pera Road.
  • Castelo - a small protected beach, good for exploring and cliff top walking at its eastern end.
  • Gale - a long strand of beach with fantastic rock formations that runs to Armacao de Pera.
  • Armacao de Pera - a large family beach with easy access right in front of the town; always fairly busy in summer. The eastern part, a vast golden dune, and the west a series of rocky coves.
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Wiltshire, BA14 6EU England

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