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Algarve Portugal Information

Albufeira approximately 40 kilometres west of Faro, Albufeira is one of Portugal's most popular holiday resorts. Even though the transformation from fishing village to thriving tourist resort has been swift, Albufeira has managed to retain much of its original charm. As the sun sets, the centre of the town changes its character. A plentiful collection of bars, restaurants and clubs start to fill-up with people, until they spill over into the narrow streets. A fantastic selection of beautiful beaches extends east and west from the town. There is a small museum of 15th and 17th century Ming ceramics and a Municipal art gallery that holds regular exhibitions during the season. A further addition to the town is a new Virtual Archaeological Museum, and a new Marina is nearing completion on the west side of the town and will offer a different and attractive aspect. Other places of interest near to Albufeira include Paderne with its ruined castle, the impressive caverns at Ponte Grande, and the underwater caverns of Grutas do Xorino.

Tavira fairly undeveloped area of Tavira straddles both sides of the River Gil‚o and is located in the Southeast corner of the Algarve approximately 20 miles east of Faro. Probably the most picturesque town in the Algarve with a cosmopolitan atmosphere, Tavira is one of the main historic centres of the region, its past stretching back as far as Roman times. Many of the buildings are from the c18th when the town was rebuilt after an earthquake and include no less than 27 churches. Originally just a fishing town, Tavira has developed its tourism in recent years due to the unspoilt surroundings and the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, as well as the fine beach at Ilha de Tavira. This wide, sand dune backed beach is accessible from the town centre by boat or mini-train from Pedras del Rei. The adjoining and peaceful Cabanas Beach and Barril Island are reachable only by bridge or boat but all these sandy beaches have good amenities. Tavira has some quite good shopping facilities, with stores selling a range of souvenirs made from the local cork, lace and seashells. The "Old Market" is a commercial centre selling local handicrafts and once a month there is a large street market. Fresh fish and seafood eateries abound and are well worth sampling during your stay. Nightlife is low key and mainly provided by the hotels, although there is one night -club for night owls. A regular bus operates into Faro or Vila Real, but to really explore the area, car hire is recommended.

Vilamoura sophisticated resort of Vilamoura has it all with its excellent sports facilities, long sandy beach and varied shopping and dining. The 5 mile long beach at Falesia has excellent facilities including changing rooms and children's playground, plus a variety of watersports including paragliding. This modern resort centred on the sophisticated marina and casino, is just 22 kilometres west of Faro. Vilamoura is the name given to the area which originally encompassed just 177 acres, but has now grown in both directions. This outstanding location is one of the largest single tourist complexes in Europe. The land is flat and has mixed vegetation, some parts covered in pine forests whilst others open recovered marshland- the whole area being encompassed by 3 championship golf courses. The company that owns this complex is extremely environmentally conscious and every effort is being made to protect nature within its continued planned development. As a location specifically designed for tourism, Vilamoura has proved to be a very successful destination for all ages due to the variety of facilities and activities that it provides it's visitors. At night, there are a number of discotheques and bars prviding live music, and of course theres always the thrill of the gaming tables in the casino!

Alvor towards the west end of the Algarve, on the bank of a deep river estuary inlet, which is home to one of Portugal's most valued bird sanctuaries. Alvor is approx. 65 kms from Faro. Originally a Roman settlement, Alvor was a small fishing village before it was discovered and has remained generally less commercialised than many other resorts in the region. The narrow streets of the old village are lined with traditional fishermen's cottages alongside numerous bars and a few restaurants, which mainly serve traditional cuisine. The main beach at Alvor, sometimes knows as Torralta, is long, wide, straight and sandy. Backed by dunes it offers plenty of facilities. Tres Irmaos Beach, slightly further east, is mostly backed by cliffs with huge rocks scattered along the shoreline and offers basic tourist facilities like sunbeds, parasols, restaurant and bar. There is a regular bus service into Praia da Rocha and Portimao where you will find a greater choice of shops, bars and discos. Alvor has wide appeal particularly for golfers and water-sports enthusiasts, and it is also attractive to those seeking a quieter beach holiday.



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