Travel Destinations
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Algarve

Algarve Region

   
   
Gorgeous beaches, warm water and glorious sunshine year-round, Algarve is the dream holiday.


Situated on the extreme South of Portugal, this part of the territory was the last to be conquered from the Moors by the Portuguese king Dom Alfonso III, in 1292. Traces of the Moorish presence are still seen in its unique terraces, chimneys and whitewashed houses.

However, the distance that was difficult to cover back in the 13th century is no longer an obstacle thanks to the modern highway and coastal road and Faro international airport. So why not visit this charming region, with its idyllic temperatures (average temperature in winter of 14C - 24C  or- 57F - 75F  and  in summer, rarely going below 12C - 53F during winter and reaching as high as 28C- 30C or 82F- 86F  in July and August), which are ideal for playing golf and other sports.
Places Of Interest
Faro

The capital of the region, with a medieval wall and a large number of monuments: Cathedral (Romanesque-Gothic origin), Nossa Senhora da Assuncao Convent (Renaissance), Sao Francisco Church (16th-18th centuries). Museums to visit: Infante Dom Henrique, Regional Ethnographic, Ramalho Ortigao and Antoniano (next to Santo Antao do Alto Chapel).  Also worthwhile visiting are the beautiful churches of Sao Pedro da Misericordia and Nossa Senhora do Carmo.  Roman ruins of Milreu in the suburbs.

Lagos

Enclosed within 15th century walls, with its Manueline window, are the magnificent churches of San Sebastian (Renaissance portals and 17th and 18th century tiles), Santa Maria (16th-19th centuries), Santo Antonio (Baroque) and the very old San Jose Chapel (8th-9th centuries). Other points of interest: Regional Museum, Governors Palace, Pau da Bandeira Fortress and the old slave market. Charming marina.

Monchique

Amongst the beautiful houses on the slope stand the mother-church (Manueline),  with a Baroque retable and the Senhor do Poa Cruz Chapel (17th century).  Nearby, look for the famous thermal spa of Monchique (2959 ft high), overlooking the hills and the ocean.

Olhao
The square-shaped flat-roofed houses, with their Moorish-style terraces, are this fishing town's ex-libris.  Behind the mother-church (17th century) you will find the Nossa Senhora dos Aflitos Chapel.

Portimao
In this fishermen''s town,  visit the mother-church (14th century, rebuilt in the 18th century), and the Town Hall. In the suburbs, the renowned Praia da Rocha (with its Santa Catarina de Ribamar Fortress), and the Roman ruins of Abicada.

Sagres

It was here that five centuries ago Prince Henry set up a school of navigation, which played a crucial role in the Portuguese Discoveries. Apart from the Nossa Senhora da Gran Chapel, you can visit the magnificent fortress (originally built in the 14th century, and later altered) and the 15th century rosa-dos-ventos (a 141 ft diameter compass card). Nearby, on the extreme southwestern tip of the European continent, is Cabo de Sao Vicente (Romans Promontorium Sacrum), opening on to a vast horizon of sea and sky.

Silves

Stones of different times and cultures overlap in this town: the castle and walls are of Arab origin; the Gothic Cathedral (having undergone several restoration work) was built on the site of an ancient mosque; the 12th century bridge was built where formerly stood a Roman bridge. The Cross of Portugal also deserves special mention (16th century religious sculpture), as well as the following examples of Manueline motifs: the Nossa Senhora dos Martires Chapel and the Miserica Church. The Archeology Museum is built around an almost unique Arab water cistern, dating from the Almohad period.

Tavira

With its inviting long beaches, typical roofs and chimneys, this picturesque town offers a beautiful view over the Gilao river and its Roman bridge. Churches to visit: Santa Maria do Castelo (13th-18th centuries), Miserica (Renaissance), Nossa Senhora das Ondas (17th century), Sao Jose with Gothic and Manueline elements), Sao Paulo and Carmo (17th-18th-centuries). If you are browsing along the Travessa de Dona Brites, you will see beautiful medieval houses, with Gothic windows and portals. In the suburbs, at the village of Luz there is a Renaissance church, which has been a pilgrimage place for many centuries.