Shopping & Nightlife

Whether you want to splurge on a new holiday wardrobe in an international-style mall or scour the stalls of a traditional Portuguese market for handmade, one-of-a-kind souvenirs, our in-the-know staff can point you towards the best shopping hotspots in the region.

Nightlife in the Algarve comes in many different guises, from early-hours beach parties to mellow backstreet bars that brim with traditional character. Tell our staff what kind of night out you want, whether a glamorous dance-till-dawn celebration or a low-key cocktail or two, and we’ll offer some suggestions.

Cape of São Vicente

This fortress was built in the 16th century in order to protect the coast from the frequent attacks by Moorish pirates. It stands on the site of an earlier medieval convent, which, legend has it, is supposed to have housed the mortal remains of São Vicente (St Vincent).

São Vicente Lighthouse

It is a military construction with a polygonal floor plan, with a gateway crowned by the royal shield and which once had a drawbridge. Inside the for- tress can be seen the lighthouse of São Vicente which was built in 1904 and is still in operation today.

Sagres Fortress

Located on Cape Sagres, Promontorium Sacrum famous for its outstanding beauty, the “Fortaleza de Sagres” owes its origin to Henry the Navigator, who here would institute a village and die in 1460. From the wall built by the father of Discovery little re- mains since the fortress was rebuilt in the sixteenth century and the second half of the eighteenth century, when it was adapted to the defensive system "vauban". The entrance to this bastion fortress is a good example of neoclassical architecture. Inside are in sight some guns, one sixteenth century tower and even the Church of Our Lady of Grace, built in the sixteenth century in the very place where once had been the Church of Santa Maria, founded by Henry the Navigator but destroyed by the English privateer Francis Drake in 1587. One of the most significant attractions of Fortaleza de Sagres is undoubtedly the rose of winds, a sundial that many thinks is contemporary to the infant and the nautical school founded in this Sagres.

Fort of Beliche

Built in 1632 on the site of an older fortress, Fortaleza do Beliche is 4.8km northwest of the town centre, and 1.2km southeast of the lighthouse at Cabo de São Vicente. Although it once housed a hotel, erosion has made the ground unstable and the interior is off-limits to visitors, but you can go through the walls to the sea- ward side and descend a pretty pathway down to near.

Chapel Nossa Senhora De Guadalupe

This is one of the oldest churches in the Algarve. It was founded in the 14th century as a chapel of pilgrimage, and was remodeled in the 15th century, possibly with the sponsorship of Prince Henry the Navigator, who, legend has it, came here to pray.

Aljezur Castle

An Arab military building dating from the 10th century, located on the top of a hill. It has a long stretch of wall with two towers, and on the inside a vaulted cistern of Arab origin, as well as the remains of houses and barracks. Aljezur Castle was taken by the Christians in the 13th century and fulfilled an important defensive role until the 18th century.

Aljezur Chapel

After the 1755 earthquake, the old Aljezur Main Church, a medieval building in the Gothic style, was so badly damaged that the bishop D. Francisco Gomes do Avelar decided to sponsor the building of a new Main Church for the town. The church that can be seen today was built be- tween the end of the 18th century and the first years of the 19th century, in the neoclassical style. It is a church with three naves and a channel, two chancel chapels and two side chapels. In the chancel, there is an altarpiece from the beginning of the 19th century with an excellent statue of the town's patron saint: Nossa Senhora da Alva (Our Lady of Dawn).

Shopping & Nightlife

Whether you want to splurge on a new holiday wardrobe in an international-style mall or scour the stalls of a traditional Portuguese market for handmade, one-of-a-kind souvenirs, our in-the-know staff can point you towards the best shopping hotspots in the region.

Nightlife in the Algarve comes in many different guises, from early-hours beach parties to mellow backstreet bars that brim with traditional character. Tell our staff what kind of night out you want, whether a glamorous dance-till-dawn celebration or a low-key cocktail or two, and we’ll offer some suggestions.

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Excursions & Tours

Our hospitality desk can arrange a wide variety of excursions across the Algarve, from day trips to theme and water parks to guide-led cultural tours. For half or full day wou can choose bewtween the wild countryside

Boat Tours

Explore tunnels, natural sinkholes & a cavern with openings onto the deep blue Atlantic

 

Algarve Golf

The Algarve is a pilgrimage destination for discerning golfers, who come here to experience its world-famous fairways and gorgeously manicured greens.

Santo António Golf Course

The Golf Santo Antonio Golf Course was designed by PepeGancedo, one of Spain most famous architects, whose philosophy of golf course construction involves minimal alteration to the existing terrain. The course opened in 1987, has 18 holes, Par 71 and 5.712 m length.

 

Boavista Golf Course

Boavista Golf, opened in January 2002, was conceived by Howard Swan, the former President of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects and is a stunning course. It offers spectacular views of the city of Lagos, located nearby, as well as the Atlantic Coast and the Sierra de Monchique.

 

Espiche Golf Course

The Espiche Golf is located in an ecological reserve, providing a great golfing experience in a beautiful natural environment. Architect Peter Sauerman conceived the form field to integrate it harmoniously into the surrounding landscape. Golfers who value diversity, charm and challenge in the game can experience great satisfaction to appreciate the many subtleties of this course par 72. The player is required to use a variety of techniques and a smart game is both necessary and rewarded.

The fairways cleverly designed make full use of the natural depressions and rolling hillsides, while brilliantly carved and located greens require the player to use the full range of approximation techniques. There are two starting points from the 1st and 10th tees, both located in the centre of the course, which also includes a clubhouse that has showers, lockers, elevator and accessibility for people with disabilities. This space is still designed for holding parties, birthdays, weddings, etc.

The Espiche Golf has an exceptional responsibility in the way it its maintenance, with a history of environmental research and is committed to an ongoing process for sustainability.

 

Onyria Palmares Golf Course

Pitching ground, putting green, restaurant / bar, panoramic terrace, golf shop, trolleys, buggies and golf lessons. Five of the 18 holes are located in the dunes along the long sandy Meia Praia. The remaining 13 holes are arranged in rolling hills. The 5th hole, par #5, with 550 meters is unquestionably one of the more popular links in Europe.

Most of the other holes share panoramic views over the bay of Lagos and the distant mountains of Monchique. Palmares Golf Course is Par 71, including eleven par 4, three par 5, and four par 3.

The Espiche Golf has an exceptional responsibility in the way it its maintenance, with a history of environmental research and is committed to an ongoing process for sustainability.

 

Salgados Golf

A course for those who prefer, love and respect Nature and want to share unique and magical moments with her. Salgados Golf Course is located in Herdade dos Salgados, close to Albufeira. Alongside Salgados Beach and Salgados Lagoon Nature Reserve, it connects the dunes to the sea, and Humankind to the Universe.

As well as sanctuary for several bird species, some of them endangered, this course provides golfers with an exceptional experience, stunning ocean views and unique bird songs. Walking along the green is recommended, as it is simple, beautiful and almost always flat. It’s a very technical course, more mental than physical. Due to changing wind patterns, this course is never the same.

Here almost every hole is flanked by lagoons, and there is one (hole number 6) that is regarded as one of the most difficult in the world, due to being very long and having plenty of water.
Holes 7, 8 and 15 are among the course’s (and the region’s!) most beautiful.

 

Amendoeira Golf Resort - Faldo & O'Connor

Located in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Amendoeira Golf Resort is the perfect place for a terrific Algarve holiday, guaranteeing absolute comfort and an incredible location.

For the more active, Amendoeira Golf Resort offers, besides two magnificent 18-hole golf courses (championship format) and a 9-hole course (par 3), a gym equipped with machines, a jogging circuit, football and tennis courts and bike rental. For families with children, Amendoeira Kidz Club is a fantastic place to have fun.

 

Pestana Golf Resort - Gramacho, Silves, Pinta, Alto

Pestana Golf Resort, located next to the small fishing village of Carvoeiro, just minutes from the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve and less than 3 hours’ flight time from major European capitals, is the ideal place for a golfing or beach holiday. With 642 acres of unparalleled beauty, it boasts the Monchique mountain range as background scenery. In addition to two prestigious golf courses, the 18-hole Gramacho golf course, co-designed by Nick Price, and Vale da Pinta golf course, also with 18 holes and Championship status, designed by Ronald Fream, the resort boasts a golf academy, driving range, tennis courts, public pools, bars and restaurants.

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Culture, Gastronomy and Heritage

Introductory text...

Sagres Fortress

Located on Cape Sagres, Promontorium Sacrum famous for its outstanding beauty, the “Fortaleza de Sagres” owes its origin to Henry the Navigator, who here would institute a village and die in 1460. From the wall built by the father of Discovery little remains since the fortress was rebuilt in the sixteenth century and the second half of the eighteenth century, when it was adapted to the defensive system “vauban”.

The entrance to this bastion fortress is a good example of neoclassical architecture. Inside are in sight some guns, one sixteenth century tower and even the Church of Our Lady of Grace, built in the sixteenth century in the very place where once had been the Church of Santa Maria, founded by Henry the Navigator but destroyed by the English privateer Francis Drake in 1587.

One of the most significant attractions of Fortaleza de Sagres is undoubtedly the rose of winds, a sundial that many think is contemporary to the infant and the nautical school founded in this Sagres. Place of deep historical and symbolic value, the monument offers visitors the opportunity to revisit the glorious period of the maritime discoveries and appreciate one of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

  • Classified National Monument
  • Open to the public (entrance fee)
  • Time: from 09:30 to 17:30 / 20:00 in summer
  • Closed: Monday, May 1st, 25th December

 

Lighthouse Cape St. Vincent

This fortress was built in the 16th century in order to protect the coast from the frequent attacks by Moorish pirates. It stands on the site of an earlier medieval convent, which, legend has it, is supposed to have housed the mortal remains of São Vicente (St Vincent).

It is a military construction with a polygonal floor plan, with a gateway crowned by the royal shield and which once had a drawbridge.

Inside the fortress can be seen the lighthouse of São Vicente which was built in 1904 and is still in operation today.

  • Open to the public
  • Classified as a Building of Public Interest

 

Mother Church of Vila Do Bispo

The Mother Church of Vila do Bispo dates back to the 16th century. However, the present building was the result of major remodeling work that was carried out at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries.

The body of the church consists of a single nave and a channel with a triumphal arch in front.

The ornamentation on the inside of the church dates mostly from the beginning of the 18th century, so that the church displays an almost perfect aesthetic unity, in which decorative elements in the Baroque style predominate.

 

Church of São Sebastião

A 15th century church with three naves separated by semi-circular arches. On the façade there is a doorway dating from 1612, formed by two fluted Doric columns.

The outstanding features on the inside of the church are the altarpiece in the chancel, typical of the 19th century but with a Baroque tribune, the 18th century altarpiece in the Capela do Santíssimo (Chapel of the Most Holy) and an important collection of statues including one of the crucifixion from the 16th century, and one of Nossa Senhora da Glória (Our Lady of Glory) in the Baroque style.

Finally, another source of interest in the church is the chapel of bones.

  • Classified as a National Monument
  • Open for worship
  • Times of masses: Wednesday to Friday at 5.00 pm,

Saturday at 6.00 pm (October to May) and Sunday at 10 am.

 

Church of Santa Maria of Mercy

Built at the beginning of the 16th century as the “misericórdia” church, it was made the parish church after the 1755 earthquake.

The church has a single nave and a main doorway in the Renaissance style formed by two Doric columns flanked by figures of São Pedro (St Peter) and São Paulo (St Paul).

The main features of the ornamentation on the inside are the collections of statues of Nossa Senhora da Assunção (Our Lady of the Assumption), of São Gonçalo de Lagos, of Nossa Senhora do Carmo (Our Lady of Carmel) and Nossa Senhora da Piedade (Our Lady of Piety), all in the Rococo style, as are the two statues of the crucifixion.

  • Open to the public
  • Opening times: from 8 am to 7.30 pm

 

City of Lagos Walls

The walls date back as far as the Roman period. They were rebuilt by the Arabs and considerably enlarged during the 16th century between the reigns of D. Manuel and Filipe I, because of the need to protect the growing city centre.

The walls had huge strategic significance in the 15th and 16th centuries. They connect nine towers that were built for artillery and there are seven gates.

  • Classified as a National Monument
  • Open to the public

 

Aljezur Castle

An Arab military building dating from the 10th century, located on the top of a hill. It has a long stretch of wall with two towers, and on the inside a vaulted cistern of Arab origin, as well as the remains of houses and barracks.

Aljezur Castle was taken by the Christians in the 13th century and fulfilled an important defensive role until the 18th century.

Despite the fact that the building is not well preserved, visitors can enjoy the wonderful view.

  • Classified as a Building of Public Interest
  • Open to the public

 

Mother Church of Aljezur

After the 1755 earthquake, the old Aljezur Main Church, a medieval building in the Gothic style, was so badly damaged that the bishop D. Francisco Gomes do Avelar decided to sponsor the building of a new Main Church for the town.

The church that can be seen today was built between the end of the 18th century and the first years of the 19th century, in the neoclassical style.

It is a church with three naves and a channel, two chancel chapels and two side chapels. In the chancel, there is an altarpiece from the beginning of the 19th century with an excellent statue of the town’s patron saint: Nossa Senhora da Alva (Our Lady of Dawn).

 

Church of Mercy

A 16th century church rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake. The doorway is in the Renaissance style and it has an art collection comprising a number of pieces of religious art, including the flags of the Irmandade da Misericórdia (Misericórdia Confraternity) and some 18th and 19th century statues. In an annex, there is a small museum of religious art where visitors can see objects connected with the liturgical seasons of the Catholic Church and also some personal items belonging to the patron of the museum, Monsenhor Manuel Francisco Pardal.

 

Silves Cathedral and Castle

Silves Cathedral is located next to Silves Castle, both built with the red-coloured stone typical of this Algarve village. Built in the year 1189 on the site of an old mosque, it was rebuilt after the Reconquista in 1249, and restored on several occasions due to damage caused by the 1755 earthquake. Its monumental structure dates back from the 14th and 15th centuries, with its remarkable exterior highlighting its ogival portal, set in a Baroque façade, and a window in the same style.

 

Archaeology Museum of Silves

Inaugurated in 1990, the Silves Municipal Museum of Archaeology provides essential background to the region’s culture and heritage, and should not be missed by those who visit the Algarve and wish to understand the area’s history and original settlements. The Museum’s crown jewel is the Almohad cistern, an important work of engineering/architecture dating back from the end of the 12th/beginning of the 13th century, classified as a National Monument since 1990.

 

Englishman’s Factory/Cork Museum

The Cork Museum at the Englishman’s Factory in Silves was created in 1999 following the private renovation of an old 19th-century cork-processing factory. Included in its collection are many of the machines that manufactured the history of the Portuguese cork industry, in what was once one of Portugal’s capitals: the city of Silves.

 

Mercy Church of Silves

This church was built in the mid-16th century, after Silves was incorporated into the Queens’ House, by grant of D. João II to the Queen D. Leonor. It was intended to serve the Holy House of Mercy, which was founded at the time. The original structure still retains the Manueline portal, incorporated into an austere façade without any other significant decorative elements. The interior is very simple, with a single nave, where an extraordinary Mannerist altarpiece stands out in the main chapel. It was extensively modified in the 18th century and afterwards, as can be seen in some floral elements and valances in rocaille style and in the coat of arms of King D. João V. The central display depicting the Visitation dates back from 1727/28, according to records found in the Holy House of Mercy’s expenses logbooks.

 

Main Church and Castle of Paderne

The Castle of Paderne is a hisn (Arab-influenced castle), a small rural fortification founded by the Almohads in the second half of the 12th century. When building the walls, which encompass an area of about 2.47 acres now accessed by a single gate, a unique construction process was used that has since been forgotten - military rammed earth: compressed local earth added to aggregates and stabilised with aerial lime, compacted between side boards by means of a fulling technique. Once exposed to prolonged carbonation, the blocks obtained like this acquired the durability of stone, and so have lasted to the present day.

 

Main Church of Albufeira

The church consecrated to Our Lady of the Conception was built in the 18th century, replacing the old parish church, which collapsed in the earthquake of 1755. This church has a longitudinal layout formed by a single nave, in Neoclassical style, featuring 4 side chapels, the baptismal chapel, the choir, two pulpits and two side rooms. Conspicuous at the main altar is the extremely beautiful altarpiece by local Albufeira painter Samora Barros (20th century), which serves as a backdrop to the image of the patron saint of Albufeira, Our Lady of the Conception. Above the main door arch the cross of Aviz is displayed, representing the religious and military order to which Albufeira belonged.

 

Main Church of São Bartolomeu de Messines

The church was built in the 16th century, during the transition from the Manueline style to the Renaissance, and exhibits an interesting Baroque façade, added later, with white walls and red sandstone stonework. The graceful pulpit and accompanying access stairwell, built with local marble, is a minor Baroque masterpiece. The church also contains a valuable collection of images from the 16th to 18th centuries, with emphasis on those dedicated to the Virgin.

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