Much To See On A Day Trip To Loulé In The Algarve
We enjoyed a day trip to Loulé in the Algarve. After getting panoramic views at the Miradouro da Serra do Caldeirao we headed to the small town of Loulé. Wandering around town we saw the Mercedo, Loulé Castle and Ermida da Nossa Senhora da Conceicao.
From Loulé we headed to Olhao on the Algarve coast. In Olhao we learned much when we visited the Parque Natural Da Ria Formosa.
Whenever we stayed in the Algarve, we enjoyed our days wandering in the small towns in the Eastern Algarve.
Panoramic Views At Miradouro da Serra do Caldeirao
On the day we headed to visit Loulé, we planned a first stop high in the mountains at the Miradouro da Serra do Caldeirao. We put the destination into Apple Maps and saw the twisty path we followed.
As we drove through the countryside, we saw harvested cork trees on the side of the roads. We got our first view of this interesting process on our stay in Sintra in Portugal. In one small town we saw a statue made of cork that showed the harvesting process by donkey. And then found a mural too.
When we finally saw the sign for the Miradouro da Serra do Caldeirao we pulled in and parked. It was a wide open space with areas set up with benches and picnic tables. We got a great view out over the countryside all the way back to the ocean.
After a short stop we headed back down the twisty roads on our day trip to Loulé in the Algarve.
Wandering In The Town Of Loulé
We found the signs to Loulé and navigated to the town centre to park. The main square had an interesting fountain. As we moved on we passed the Town Hall and the decorative Mercado Loulé.
We never passed a chance to stroll through a local market and examine the local wares. We found local fresh fish and delicacies from the area. And spent some time with a vendor learning more about local gins.
As we walked around the town, we took in the buildings and the colourful decorations in the town. There were lots of places to stop.
When we wanted a break we found the inner courtyard of the Espirito Santo Convent. A cappuccino and yet another tasty Portuguese tart refreshed our energy to wander in Loulé.
We found a charming town on our day trip to Loulé in the Algarve.
Exploring The Loulé Castle On A Day Trip To Loulé In The Algarve
One of the key attractions in town was the Loulé Castle. This National Monument was used as a fort as early as the 2nd century by both the Moors and the Romans. The castle was extensively restored after the earthquake in 1755.
We wandered around the outside and got a view of the gate tower and three other towers plus sections of the walls that still stood. Then we found the entrance and paid the admission fee to visit the grounds, wander inside and tour the museum.
Our visit started in the inner courtyard. From this vantage point we saw the various buildings that made up the castle complex.
We followed the signs up onto the walls of the castle. We moved to the two towers and saw the walls from this different perspective. It was a great spot for views out over Loulé.
When we came back down through the building, we stopped and looked at two rooms. We saw a room that was a traditional kitchen and another that looked like an official office space.
We next made our way to the Municipal Museum. There were numerous interesting displays that showed the history of the castle and the town. In one section we saw glass on the floor with ruins below.
On our day trip to Loulé in the Algarve we were glad we explored the Loulé Castle.
The Beauty Of The Ermida da Nossa Senhora da Conceicao
The Hermitage of Nossa Senhora da Conceição (Ermida da Nossa Senhora da Conceicao) was on our list to see when we wandered in Loulé. This small temple was said to be beautiful. We found it when we exited the Loulé Castle. If we were not looking for it, we would have walked past.
But as soon as we peeked inside, we were glad we found this gem in Loulé. The gilded altar drew our eyes first. But we were quickly drawn to the intricate blue Portuguese tile work that adorned all the walls. When we looked close we saw images of the life of the Virgin Mary.
When we looked up, we found an image of Our Lady of the Assumption on the ceiling. And through the glass in the floor we saw excavations.
We were so glad we found this small but beautiful chapel on our day trip to Loulé in the Algarve.
Heading To Olhao On The Coast In The Algarve
We wandered back through Loulé and stopped at Pregaria And Cervejaria for lunch. The meat sandwich selections drew us in. And David was delighted he found some good dark beer selections too.
From Loulé we headed back towards the coast in the Algarve. We wanted to wander in this seaside town as we had in many other small towns in the Eastern Algarve. But first we planned to stop at the Parque Natural Da Ria Formosa. The park on the Ria Formosa estuary promised canals, islands, marshland and sandy beaches.
We followed the GPS and finally found the gatehouse for entry to the park and paid our admission for the day. With the map in hand, we plotted our walk through the park and to the shore. On our day trip to Loulé in the Algarve this visit to the park gave us a very different experience.
Wandering In The Olhao Parque Natural Da Ria Formosa
Our first stop was at the Interpretation Centre. There were a large number of displays about the park and the various sights around the park. It was a great spot to prepare for our visit.
From there we headed through the woods and found the boardwalk over the marshes. As we strolled along the boardwalk, we stopped and read the signs. We learned more about the dune and marshes we walked through. Every now and then we were delighted with a pop of colour.
As we walked we saw the salt marshes in the distance and headed towards the water. We got a view of the water birds on the shore.
At the end of the boardwalk was saw the Tide Mill. When we wandered out on the deck, we got views up and down the shore at the Parque Natural Da Ria Formosa.
Looking the other way we looked back over the lagoon. When we walked closer we saw the mud moving. Soon we saw the Fiddler Crabs scrambling on the mud and over each other.
As we wandered along the boardwalk and explored the shore of the Parque Natural Da Ria Formosa we learned a lot. It was a fun outdoor adventure on our day trip to Loulé in the Algarve.
Finishing Up Our Visit To The Parque Natural Da Ria Formosa In Olhao
From the lagoon we followed the boardwalk down along the shore to the pier we saw in the distance. We saw small boats as they passed. And found an old abandoned boat on the shore.
As we circled back towards the parking lot, we saw the aquaculture research station. Earth ponds were used to grow several fish species until they reached commercial size. This site was an experimental unit for research in aquaculture and marine biology of the Portuguese Institute of Sea and Atmosphere.
By the time we finished our visit to the Parque Natural Da Ria Formosa we were tired and hot. We really had no energy left to explore more of Olhao. The Municipal Market in Olhao was on our list to visit. But when we drove past, we realized that the morning was really the best time to visit. And we later learned that Saturday was the best day to see the fresh seafood. On another visit to the Algarve, we will head back and explore more of Olhao.
A Great Day Trip To Loulé In The Algarve
We had a great day trip to Loulé in the Algarve. We found so much to see: the Miradouro da Serra do Caldeirao, town centre of Loulé, Mercedo, Loulé Castle and Ermida da Nossa Senhora da Conceicao. A final stop in Olhao at the Parque Natural Da Ria Formosa brought another kind of adventure to our day.
The small towns in the Eastern Algarve each offered a unique experience. On this visit to the Algarve, our next day trip took us to the charming town of Tavira.
Did you enjoy a day trip to Loulé in the Algarve? Did you get to Parque Natural Da Ria Formosa too?
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Hermitage of Nossa Senhora da Conceição has stolen my heart, especially with those blue tiled walls or are they murals – either way they are just amazing. I would definitely be looking up Loule Castle. The town though small has so much to do – might be worth a while to spend a night here too. Though of course, you have done so much on just a day trip,
We were glad we did not miss the Nossa Senhora da Conceição. The town would definitely be worth a longer visit.
Loulé looks like such a pretty little town. I love the architecture and those beautiful murals. It reminds me a little bit of the white villages in the South of Spain. What a wonderful find the Ermida da Nossa Senhora da Conceicao was. The interior is simply breathtaking. I also love those meat sandwiches you had for lunch. I discovered them in Madeira and had them so often, they were so cheap and delicious.
Loulé was a lovely find in the Algarve. A great small town that reminded us too of many of the small towns in Spain.
The food and array of products from the local market look lovely! The salt marshes look so striking, you had an awesome view from the deck, and good weather too! My mother is very Catholic and has a connection with certain saints, and with the stunning views of Ermida da Nossa Senhora da Conceicao I think it would be so great if I could take her to see this!
We loved the great variety of things we found to see and do in Loulé. A little bit for everyone.
The town of Loulé has beautiful, tall buildings with outstanding design, making a stroll around the area seem like a wonderful experience. I’m happy to learn that Loulé Castle was restored following an earthquake and is still open for visits today. My interest was piqued by Ermida da Nossa Senhora da Conceiço’s interiors, which I found to be really impressive and distinctive. Moreover, touring Olhão Parque Natural da Ria Formosa appears to be pleasurable.
We did love the variety of the sights we found on our day trip to Loulé. Nice to mix some outdoors with city sights.
It’s so nice to read about a town in the Algarve and not just about the beach resorts. Loule looks like a charming find and it’s so cool there is a castle there too! The museum looks fascinating and it seems you had it to yourselves? As always, I like seeing your food photos, I always feel hungry after!
We were not sure what to expect when we got to Loulé but we sure found lots to see and do. And of course we found great food!
What at first seemed like a sleepy town quickly turned to one of contrasts with the castle and that beautiful gilded chapel with the azuelo tiles (similar to those all around Porto). And then the delightful natural park which I have heard of before but not visited. It seems like you packed a lot in your day and I am glad you managed to include the market stops and coffee and cake during your day in Loulé. Perfect!
We did indeed have a packed day when we headed out to Loulé. We managed to see quite a bit in the town and in the nearby area. But we were sure there were other treats to discover on a return visit.
You have given me a reason to visit Algarve – I do love visiting charming towns and discovering the hidden gems. I loved your find in Hermitage of Nossa Senhora da Conceição. The lovely tiles depicting the life of Virgin Mary . I would pause between sights in the same way – portugese tarts and cappuccino!
Loulé was a lovely small town to wander with lots of stops along the way for good food.
I really enjoyed reading about your day trip to Loulé in the Algarve. I visited years ago, but only for a few hours. However I was really impressed back then with the tiles at the Ermida da Nossa Senhora da Conceicao. Your post brought back these memories! Thanks!
Glad to take you back to Loulé. We were glad our friends recommended we visit.
It was like going back in time. We had stayed in Olhao and explored from there. The day trip to Rio Formosa was truly fantastic an experience. Now it seems we should have visited Loule as well. It is such a pretty town and would have loved going around. Especially the Loule Castle. It looks so peaceful with hardly anyone around. The kitchen and office room looks interesting.
We were glad we made it to the Rio Formosa on our day trip to Loulé. There was lots to see in that area for a day trip.
I absolutely love Portugal (the weather, the scenery, the affordability, the food and drink!), but have not yet been the Algarve region. Looks like a great place to relax.
You will definitely love the Algarve when you get to visit. Loulé was a lovely find on our day trip travels.
Man, you guys make me longing for Portugal. In your post, you caught the spirit and vibe of the country and you are illustrating it with wonderful pics: The scenery, the azulejos, the food, the historic structures – everything I loved during my trip. Yes, I definitely need to go back – especially since I didn’t get to visit this part of the country.
You definitely need to get to the Algarve area. A part of it if over-touristy. But there are lots of gems that are easy to find. We were glad our friends suggested we visit Loulé.
You had such a fantastic day trip to Loulé in the Algarve. I had no idea there were many things to do; next time in Portugal, I will add it to my itinerary. I want to see Mercado Loulé and love the charming inner courtyard of the Espirito Santo Convent. Also, Loulé Castle is stunning. I hope to visit this architectural pearl.
I hope you do get to visit Loulé when you next get to Portugal. It was a real gem to find.
You travel to so many interesting places. Great photos! I love how your photos tell the story.
Glad to introduce you to a new spot for travel in Portugal.
Wow look at that, what a beautiful place Loulé is! For my travel project I once did lots of research on the Algarve, but I don’t think I heard about Loulé back then, so I either did a terrible job, or, and this is definitely one of the reasons, there are just too many beautiful towns and places at the Algarve 😀 The Ermida da Nossa Senhora da Conceicao looks absolutely stunning by the way!
We had not heard of Loulé before on any of our trips to the Algarve. So we were glad when our friends suggested we visit. So many lovely things to see in the town and in the area.
It’s high on our list to return to the Algarve for a long visit. Will hang on to this to refer to when we do.
I have a bunch more posts coming on our last visit to the Algarve. Lots for your list. Loulé was definitely a winner.
I love all the art in the area, especially the donkey person in wood. It’s another side of the Algarve that I hadn’t heard about but would be more likely to visit seeing it through your eyes. Thanks for sharing.
We too found the area around Loulé to be a different side of the Algarve than most people see.
Portugal is certainly a country I’d like to see more of. Totally enjoyed reading about your visit to Loulé. Looks like a wonderful location to explore and take in it’s historic castle, natural environment and a visit to the Ermida da Nossa Senhora da Conceicao. Nice find, plus who could even pass eating a local Portuguese tart. Such a delicious treat.
We were glad we wandered off the beaten path in the Algarve and explored the area around the charming town of Loulé. So many lovely small towns in Portugal.
I’ve only seen Loule from the train, but that is the train that makes the Parque centre at Olhau possible as a day drip from most of the other Algarve coastal resorts.
Loulé was a great day trip with so many different things to see and do.
I wish I had visited the Algarve when I was in Portugal. It looks like the coast is amazing and the town you visited had plenty to see and do..
The Algarve has so many great gems like Loulé to visit if you get out of the highly tourist areas.
I haven’t heard of Loule before, it looks like a wonderful place to visit in the Algarve. The Olhao Parque Natural Da Ria Formosa looks so nice to spend time in. You got some really nice shots of birds! Would love to be able to visit this part of Portugal.
We loved the chance to see the small town of Loulé and the Olhao Parque Natural Da Ria Formosa all on the same day trip. A lovely change of scenery.
You discovered so many quaint and charming sites on your visit to Loulé. I’d love to visit the Loulé Castle, Municipal Museum, and Ermida da Nossa Senhora da Conceicao. Algarve is definitely on my list of places to travel to!
The Algarve is a great spot to visit in Portugal. Don’t miss these small town gems like Loulé.
Portugal has beautiful scenery, art, and rich history.. would love to visit someday
We love Portugal and it is great to find the small town gems like Loulé.
We are visiting the Algarve region later this year and I am adding Loulé to my list and hope to explore this pretty little town soon.
I hope you do get to visit Loulé when you are in the Algarve. So much to see and do in the town and the area.
This is a perfect guide to take a day trip to Loulé in the Algarve. So charming and scenic…would love to explore this area.
We do love to head out and discover the small towns like Loulé.
Never made it to Loule in our travels around Portugal – looks lovely,
We were glad our friends recommended Loulé or we may not have ventured to that area.
Loule is still high on my wishlist! Thanks for all your tips! I can’t wait to visit!
Glad to add a tease for you to visit Loulé. We were sure glad we did.
When I went to the Algarve, the only town I got to explor was Lagos, though this one looks very similar. It’s such a lovely area!
There are so many great small towns along the Algarve Coast. Great to get out of the more busy tourist areas and discover treats like Loulé.
Your post brought back lots of great memories from southern Portugal, Linda. That picture of the Percebes (goose barnacles) made me lick my mouth. I had never heard of Loule, but it seems an absolutely lovely city, not too big, not too small, with lots to see.
Loulé was indeed a perfect spot to visit in the Algarve. So much to see and do in this small charming town.