Fun Exploring Small Towns In The Algarve
We enjoyed several day trips exploring small towns in the Algarve. The cliffs and caves of the Algarve always drew us for the stunning natural beauty. But we discovered the culture and history of the Algarve when we enjoyed some time in the small towns.
On a cruise port stop, we enjoyed a day wandering in Portimao and wished we had more time in the fishing village of Ferragudo.
Our day trips took us east along the Algarve Coast and we added many more small towns. Meandering through Loule, Tavira, Ohao and Cacela Velha, we marvelled at the great sights we found.
Visiting Aljezur On Our Way To The Atlantic Coast
On our first visit to the Algarve Coast, we headed out on a day trip to the Atlantic shore. Our stop along the way was in the small charming town of Aljezur. We enjoyed some time in the market for a coffee break before we explored the town.
The blue Portuguese tile art we found showed the town nestled under a hill. When we wound our way up the hill, we found the fort at the top. From there we got a panoramic view over the town and out to the Atlantic coast.
We loved exploring the small towns in the Algarve when we headed out for day trips.
The Fishing Village Of Sagres
After we visited the most southwest point in Portugal at the Farol do Cabo de Sao Vicente we continued back along the southern shore of the Algarve. We stopped at the Forte do Beliche. Wandering on the cliffs we explored the fort. And got a view of the small fishing village of Sagres in the distance.
As we continued along the coast we stopped and admired the cliffs. And the long stretches of sand beaches we found. The cliffs are a big draw for visiting Sagres.
When we reached Sagres we went right to the port. And were captivated with the colourful fishing boats moored for the day.
We loved the variety we found exploring the small towns in the Algarve.
A Day Wandering In Portimao
When we cruised from Barcelona to Lisbon with Oceania Cruises our first port stop in Portugal was in Portimao on the Algarve Coast. There were many great cruise port excursions available. But when we cruised in and saw the golden glow on this port city, we wanted to wander in Portimao to explore on our own.
The shuttle bus took us into town. We wandered along the promenade and meandered along the cobblestone streets in the old town. We found lots to see along the way. And were amazed with the colour and art that decorated the city.
Across the bay from Portimao we saw the charming fishing village of Ferragudo perched on the cliffs. Sandy beaches, whitewashed cottages, the local church and larger villas looked intriguing. But we sadly ran out of time to discover more on this first visit to Portimao.
Discovering new gems was always a treat when we went off exploring the small towns in the Algarve.
High Above The Algarve Coast In Monchique
For a different perspective on the Algarve Coast, we spent a few days at a resort up in the Monchique hills. Day trips took us up to the Foia for the highest point in the Algarve at 902m (3000 feet). We got stunning panoramic views down to the coast.
When we wandered into the small town of Monchique, we were intrigued by the fun sculptures we found in the main square. Even if we never found a great spot for lunch with a view.
Sometimes exploring the small towns in the Algarve we got a very different perspective.
Finding The The Town Of Loulé Gems
On our second stay in the Algarve, we headed off several times and explored the small towns in the central Algarve. One day we headed to Loulé. We parked by the interesting fountain at the roundabout and then wandered to the Town Hall and the decorative Mercado Loulé.
The National Monument Loulé Castle was one of the key attractions in town. We spent some time wandering around the outside and entered the inner courtyard. Climbing to the top of the walls gave us a different perspective on this small town.
When we came back down from the walls we wandered through several preserved rooms and then around the Municipal Museum. A great way to learn more about the history of the castle and the town.
There was one more treat to discover when we wandered in Loulé. We were glad we looked carefully and found the Ermida da Nossa Senhora da Conceicao. This small church was a stunning visual treat.
Exploring small towns in the Algarve we were glad we planned to visit all the gems in Loulé.
Eating Our Way Around The Different Areas Of Tavira
On our first visit to the Algarve, we drove East along the southern shore of the Algarve. As we wandered we discovered the Cabanas de Tavira right on the water. There were lots of water tour options but we were there for a seafood lunch. After we checked out the reviews, we headed for Sabores Da Ria for the seafood rice.
When we returned for a longer stay in the Algarve, we got a great recommendation for a lunch spot in the town of Tavira up in the hills. The A Mesa Restaurant in Tavira was even in the Michelin Guide! We had a tasty selection of treats on the patio.
Fully fuelled, we headed off and explored the lovely town of Tavira. We walked to the Gilão River and crossed over the Ponte Romana pedestrian bridge. Turning at the large open Praça da República square, we headed up the small cobblestones streets.
The steeple and church bells of the Igreja de Santiago church drew us up. And when we arrived in the square beside the church we found the gates to the Tavira Castle. This was the highest point in this region of the Algarve and at one time this fortress protected the town from North African raiders and pirates.
We ate well on visits to two different parts of Tavira and were glad we planned enough time exploring small towns in the Algarve to find all the gems.
Discover Olhao Exploring Small Towns In The Algarve
When we wandered along the coastal roads in the Eastern Algarve, we were always delighted with the small towns we found. One day we wandered into the port town of Olhao in search of a coffee stop. This small port town was the spot to visit if we wanted to head over the the beach at Culatra Island. And if we visited on the right day, we could even visit the great fish market in the local mercado.
Sometimes exploring small towns in the Algarve we found some great outdoor sights too.
A Stop At The Village of Cacela Velha
Before we reached Faro and the border with Spain, we discovered the tiny village of Cacela Velha. Our first stop was at the small church and cemetery. We often visited cemeteries to learn about the history of the area. This cemetery had none of the fancy sculptures we saw touring the cemetery in San Juan in Puerto Rico. But we were reminded of the cemeteries of New Orleans when we saw the larger crypts.
We wandered through the pretty, small town and found flowers in bloom everywhere. When we walked by the water we saw the tide was low and fishermen were camped out in the sand.
Our stop in Cacela Velha gave us a good view of local life when we went exploring small towns in the Algarve.
A Great Time Exploring Small Towns In The Algarve
When we stayed in the Algarve we always enjoyed the beaches and the stunning cliff views. But we learned so much and found such a variety of sights exploring small towns in the Algarve. We explored fishing villages, saw historical sights, marvelled at the architecture and ate our way along the coast.
On different visits to the Algarve, we headed out for day trips. We wandered in Aljezur, Sagres and the small town of Monchique on the western side of the Algarve. On a port stop on our cruise from Barcelona to Lisbon we discovered Portimao and put the fishing village of Ferragudo on our list for a future trip. Day trips east on the Algarve Coast we enjoyed Loule, Tavira, Ohao and Cacela Velha.
We know there are many other small towns on the Algarve Coast for many future return visits.
Did you enjoy exploring small towns in the Algarve? Are there some others we should put on our list?
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