The Algarve is one of Europe’s top destinations and for good reason – it gets over 300 days of sunshine a year and alongside great views, restaurants and bars, has a wide range of exciting and fun things to do. Here are some of the most popular.
The Benagil cave happens to be one of the more famous of the sea caves located in Algarve and is well worth taking some of your time to view this stunning area. It is situated in the Benagil village, which can be found between Armação de Pêra and Carvoeiro. This cave features a circular shape, a colorful dome along with an opening from the top which allows light to flow in. You can access the cave by kayak or boat, while swimming is not recommended due to tides which change fast and sea currents that are strong.
The Fiesa International Sand Sculpture Festival In Pera
This is a unique attraction and one of the top rated attractions to add to your list of things to see and do. In Pera, Sand City happens to be the biggest sand-sculpture exhibition across the globe. It is also the host for the Fiesa International Sand Sculpture Festival. Every year, talented sculptors make use of about 40,000 tons of this unique sand which can only be found in this particular area in order to create massive sculptures to match up to different themes. If you want to make the most out of this experience, visit one hour before the sun goes down to see these sculptures in daylight as well as when they are illuminated by the moonlight. Pera is situated about 15km Northwest of Albufeira.
Castle Of Silves
Silves was previously the capital to Algarve, while the Silves Castle is still standing which overlooks the town spread below. It is known as a castle that has survived the longest in Algarve, and you should definitely visit when in Silves. This castle is a preserved example of the Moorish Castles based in Portugal. This site became a national monument in 1910. This castle is currently seen as remains of defensive systems during the Almohade period of the Muslim rule during the 12th and 13th centuries. From the entrance you will find a statue of the King Sancho I who once had forces that were supported by a Crusader army that was even stronger, who in 1189, conquered and overthrew the citadel of Silves.
Make sure you do not miss out on the opportunity to watch the beautiful dolphins interacting in a natural habitat along the Algarve coast. This area offers various dolphin species which can be spotted close to the coast which include the Bottlenose dolphin, Harbor Porpoise, Rissos dolphin and the Common dolphin. Other sea life that can also be spotted frequently include sea turtles, sharks, the Orca and the Minke Whale. The dolphins usually do not come close the shores, which means the boats usually travel 10 kilometers offshore into the deeper waters. There are a number of Albufeira boat trips that can facilitate this. Dolphin watching tours take between 1 to 3 hours, and run from all the marinas across the coast. These include Tavira Marina, Vilamoura Marina, Albufeira Marina, Portimão Marina or Lagos Marina.
While on your vacation, it is always a great opportunity to discover a few of the tasty and exciting wines produced in Algarve. The climate in this area is ideal to grow vines, which feature 4 primary wine regions. These include Tavira, Lagoa, Portimão and Lagos. In most of the regions you will find an array of vineyards with most that welcome the public.
While many tourists that come to Algarve travel through the Faro Airport, the area itself is frequently overlooked. However, there is much to see and do in this vibrant, yet ancient city. The Faro historic center is enclosed by old city walls, and the actual city center is full of peaceful plazas and pedestrianized shopping-streets. Faro is a gateway to the world-renowned Ria Formosa Nature Park which offers mudflats, saltwater lagoons, along with stunning beaches and deserted islands. This area is also the home to wildlife and migratory birds. When visiting the Cathedral you are able to enjoy an expansive view across the Ria Formosa.
Church Of Sao Lourenco De Almancil
10km to the east of Villamoura is the town known as Almancil, which is the home to a white and small 18th century Baroque style church. The outside of the church may appear ordinary, yet there is a hidden secret waiting inside, with an interior regarded as exquisite. The decorations are exceptional masterpieces of azulejo panesl featuring intricate designs. The primary altar features a gilded-woodwork altarpiece along with walls covered completely in characteristic blue-tiles which display São Lourenço’s life along with his martyrdom that occurred in Rome.
Praia Da Marinha
Surrounded by crystal clear turquoise waters and steep cliffs, it becomes easy to understand while this golden beach is often referenced as a world-class beach destination. Clear waters associated with Praia da Marinha makes it the ideal destination for snorkeling. You can only access this beach by car where you will find this stunning location between Carvoeiro and Portimão. It is important to note, that to access the beach you will need to be prepared to climb down very steep stairs.
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