Explore Algarve Coast Villages
Tips for Muslim Travelers
The Algarve is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Europe. Blessed with a superb coastline and some of the country’s loveliest beaches, the province enjoys hot dry summers short mild winters and a warm sea temperature that is delight. The Algarve is a region of contrast, there is something to see and do for everybody. Its central villages are the most popular and developed, offering coastal resorts,quality amenities very succesful like golf courses. Further east, a string of sandbar islands and lagoons form part of a beautiful and protected natural park. Over to the west, a wilder and more remote land laying in front of the Atlantic Ocean. Here a selection of some of the most interesting villages to explore in Algarve.
Faro Old Town deserves a visit, enclosed by sturdy defensive walls, Faro’s Cidade Velha sits on Roman and Moorish foundations. The town was badly damaged by the great earthquake of 1755, and what you see today dates mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries. A warren of cobblestone streets and leafy squares surround the landmark cathedral. Find lovly coffee shops tucked between rows of tidy houses and artisans workshops. An excellent museum exhibits some interesting items. The nearby esplanade harbors a small marina, beyond which lies an expanse of lagoons and wetlands teeming with marine life. This beautiful natural park is also composed of numerous islets and enormous sandbars with their own fabulous beaches.
Tavira is located on both sides of the River Gilão, is a destination celebrated for its historical heritage shaped by the Romans and later by the Moors, whose settlement by the river was topped by a castle. Is one of the region’s prettiest towns. The hipped roofs of Tavira’s architecture are unique to this part of the Algarve. So, too the number of churches 21 in all!. Straddling the river is an Roman bridge, built in the 17th century. A walk along the river front is definitely one of the best ways of appreciating Tavira. In summer its palms gardens are flecked with colorand a nearby market is filled with fresh fruit and vegetables. Ferries depart from the quay to the Island of Tavira, a top destination Alternatively, you can join a sightseeing cruise along the Ria Formosa, a beautiful and unspoiled waterway and part of a protected natural park.
Loulé has always been a lively commercial spot. Arab influence is everywhere. The Moors built on Roman foundations to create a thriving center of commerce and constructed a castle here in the 12th century to protect their interests. Walk the ramparts for really nice views over the old town. Up there you will find a small museum as well. Backstreet the ruins of an Islamic bathhouse, the hammam de Al-‘Ulyà. Also impressive is the 16th century Capela Nossa Senhora da Conceição, decorated with stunning azulejos tiles, part of the floor reveals the foundations of a 12th-century Moorish house. Matriz de São Clemente church is also recomedend, it’s bell tower originally served as a minaret.
Lagos is the western Algarve most popular resort town. It’s has als o an historical significance. Prince Henry the Navigator launched Portugal’s Age of Discovery from Lagos in the 15th century. His extraordinary vision and the intrepid explorers who set sail for uncharted waters, helped place Portugal on the world map. bThe town’s medieval collection of castle walls, churches, and stout sea defenses. The coastline is stunning: cliffs, caves, grottoes and spectacular rock formations contrasting with sparkling azure waters. Scenic beaches perfect to appreciate tby boat. Great offer of sightseeing cruises and dolphin safaris here. Shopping is also good and cheap and variety of coffee places to chill.
Lying across a hill overlooking a fertile valley embroidered with orange groves, olive trees, and vineyards, Silves is one of the most scenic towns in the Algarve. The landscape, however, is dominated by the town’s splendid castle – the grandest monument to Islamic rule in the region. Built by the Moors in the 11th century on Roman foundations, the castle’s dramatic profile is enhanced by its copper-red walls, sections of which extend into the town below. This was Xelb, the Moorish capital of the al-Gharb (“the west”). Another fine example of Islamic presence can be seen in the Museu Arquelógico, where the star exhibit is an impressive Arab water cistern with an 18-meter-deep well.
Silves is worth exploring at leisure. Downhill from the fortress is the Sé (cathedral), built between 1242 and 1577 on the site of Xelb’s Grand Mosque. Opposite is the 16th-century Igreja da Misericórdia, replete with a fine Manueline side door.
Five championship golf courses cluster make this upmarket coastal resort a favorite with those who want to practice their swing. Some hotels offer their guests preferential green fees and other services with the clubhouses. Vilamoura is also synonymous with Portugal’s largest marina facility. The esplanade is lined with designer boutiques and fine restaurants, and is fabulous for people watching, especially in August when Lisbon’s jet set tread the boards. Is also a family friendly destination with plenty of activities for kids. The boardwalk is plenty of water sports activities, and you can hire pedalos on the sand at Praia da Marina. If you want to look for history of this place, there are features Roman ruins, a 2nd century villa complex, Museu Cerro da Vila, complete with sunken baths, salt tanks, and striking mosaics.