Discover the true Algarve
A haven of unspoilt beaches and picturesque, white-walled villages, the Algarve is a place of medieval castles, cobblestone streets, captivating cuisine and golden sands, where the warmth of the Portuguese people comes from a genuine pride in their home.
A safe and secure destination boasting 300 days of sunshine per year and 850 kms of splendid Atlantic beaches, Portugal is the perfect holiday destination all year round.
The time-forgotten fishing village of Salema is home to some of the most famous rock formations in the region as well as some of the warmest of welcomes. This is a place where we discover that by enjoying the simplest of pleasures, life need not be so difficult.
With some of the most impressive beaches of the Algarve, Galé is a place where the days seem that little bit longer and the stars shine a little bit brighter. Despite its vibrant bars and restaurants, it still offers the peace and quiet we need to gently immerse ourselves in the sights and sounds of the ocean.
Authentic Little Fishing Village
Salema is a small town of Budens parish, located in the municipality of Vila do Bispo, in the most western part of the Algarve. Salema is located at the base of a cliff around the beach with the same name and is part of the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Algarve coast.
The village of Salema is one of the few communities that has a small indigenous fishing fleet of traditional colourful boats, still launched from the beach (but now with the help of a tractor), which is cast into sea to catch snapper, mackerel, sardines and octopus that you can taste freshly grilled at local restaurants on the same night.
The sandy beach is gently sloping, ideal for swimming and safe for children. There is a service of lifeguard in the summer months. The sea water quality is excellent.
At either end of the beach are yellow limestone rocks dating around 150 million years. Above them are the more recent red limestone rocks, contrasting beautifully with the azure blue sky. It is among these that you will find deeply entrenched remnants of shells and scales and even the footprints of dinosaurs.
There are a couple of bars and restaurants in Salema, a handful of gift shops and some convenience stores. There is an ATM in the back side of the oval building in the main square. The city of Lagos to the east and Sagres to the West are just 15 km away. The west coast of the Algarve can be reached in about 15 minutes by car. There you can find sandy beaches stretching down the cliffs for miles. If you want to do more than just lie on the beach there are golf, tennis courts, spas, horseback riding, boat and walk all within a few miles. From the beach cliffs there are also great launching points for practicing paragliding.
About 300m beneath the waters of Salema Beach you can also visit the French warship L'Ocean, sunk during the Seven Years' War.
Simple pleasures redefining luxury
Galé is a quiet and peaceful area close to Albufeira, the hot-spot of the Algarve, and boasting some of the most impressive beaches in the region. It is said that the name Galé originates from a galleon (galé in Portuguese) that was shipwrecked on the beach in old times.
You have a great choice of beaches in Galé. The main ones are Praia da Galé Oeste and Praia da Galé Leste – the west and east Galé beaches, which stretch all the way from Armação de Pêra in the west and continue along for miles up towards Albufeira. See how far you can walk along the beach or enjoy water sports, beach games or simply lie back in the sunshine and enjoy the Algarve weather.
On the small Praia do Manuel Lourenço just to the east of Galé you will find a quiet beach with some amazing rock protrusions that you can admire from the sands or from one of the many beach restaurants in the area. A horseback ride along the beach offers a different way to explore the beaches.
Golfers will be pleased to know that the Salgados golf course is only a swing away, complete with all the water challenges, while anyone looking for some nightlife can head into nearby Albufeira where a huge choice of late night bars, clubs and restaurants is on offer to suit all budgets and ages.
There are great restaurants in Galé, with simple family eateries, traditional Algarvian restaurants and even the choice of the Michelin starred restaurants if you are looking for something truly memorable.
Some of the best fun activities and themed parks are located in this area including Zoomarine, Aquashow, Aqualand, Krazy World Zoo, horse riding, scuba diving, golf, boat trips, water parks, sightseeing, sailing, go karting, water sports, mountain biking, jeep safaris, and many more!
Armação de Pêra
Caught in Time
Armação de Pêra is a parish in the municipality of Silves, located about 45km from Faro airport. Once the official Moorish capital of the Kingdom of the Algarve, today we find some of the biggest legacies of this culture in the municipality of Silves.
From the spectacular limestone cliffs to the secluded fishermen’s chapel, Armação de Pêra is a place deeply rooted in nature and history. This seaside village is one of the last places in the region where traditional fishing boats are still launched from the Praia dos Pescadores, and recovered from the actual beach as there is no harbour - perhaps the most visible link to the old days. It is also a launch pad for cruises to caves on the craggy coastline west of the town, where many of the skippers are fishermen during the winter, running cruises for the tourist season.
With many places of heritage to visit in Armação de Pêra, like the Main Church of Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes, the Chapel of Santo António das Areias, the Fortress, the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Rocha, as well as the nearby Silves Castle and the gothic Silves Cathedral, this little village is a place where you can culturally enrich without having to wander too far.
The greatest natural reef in Portugal is directly in front of the village of Armação de Pêra. Its crystal clear and calm waters make it ideal for snorkeling and very safe for families to enjoy. The local sea caves and coastline are extraordinary, especially on sunny days when the yellow rock is layered with red and orange tones. Be sure to visit the Gruta de Benagil, illuminated from an opening in its ceiling like a natural skylight. At the west end of the village is the Salgados Nature Reserve, one of the natural habitats of the European flamingos which can be spotted between November and March, is ideal for birdwatching, hiking and jogging.
With many local artisans established in the area, art is part of the region’s lifestyle, and not just home for jazz music with wine tastings, but also for unique art galleries and crafts.
Although wine production is still not as eminent in the Algarve as in other regions in Portugal, in the past few years, the production has been flourishing. Local producers are just as proud as avid to showcase and share their passion for winemaking. Several wine estates, including Adega do Cantor, Sir Cliff Richard’s renowned wine estate, are just a short driving distance.
Themed parks, such as Zoomarine in Guia, where you can swim with the dolphins, and Krazy World in Algoz, where you can interact with exotic animals, as well as horse riding on the beach, are some of the many attractions available in the area for the whole family to enjoy.