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?
Copyright Notice: All material on this travel blog site is the sole property of RetiredAndTravelling. This includes blog posts, pages, design and all photos (whether watermarked or not). Any use of materials from this site without express written consent will be considered copyright infringement.