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Places to visit in Eastern Algarve
Vila Real St Antonio & Ayamonte in Spain
Vila Real de Santo António is situated on the Rio Guadiana, which is the river that divides the Algarve from Spain. Take a ferry across to Ayamonte in Spain and enjoy lunch abroad!
Guadiana River & Alcoutin
Alcoutin is a pretty village on the banks of the Guadiana river, about 40km north of Vila Real de Santo António, explore the hillside town with cobbled streets, small squares and a paved promenade along the river front, overlooked by a handful of cafes and restaurants. Brave the zip wire across from Spain.
Perched on a low cliff facing, 10km east of Tavira, the whitewashed village is a reminder of how the Algarve must have looked like in times gone by. Apart from a few café-restaurants, there are no tourist facilities, just a pretty church and the remains of an eighteenth-century fort, offering exhilarating views of the ocean. Caçela is highly picturesque and rarely overrun by visitors, the only time the place gets busy is during the Moorish Nights in July – a four-day festival of Arabic food and Moorish-inspired events, including a souk.
Below is the delightful Fábrica beach which does get busy during the summer months, follow signs to “Fábrica”, just west of the village, around 1km downhill. Here a ferryman can take you over to the beach for €1.30 single (daily in summer but only during good weather the rest of the year).
The history of Cabanas goes back to the year of 1734 at the same time the tuna fish fishing activity started, originating a need for the creation of huts (yes cabanas is the Portuguese word for huts) to store all the fishing tools and the growth of the community. Enjoy a walk along the seafront on the newly developed wooden walkway.
Santa Lucia is a small fishing village close to Tavira which specialises in the capture of octopus. The harbour comes alive early in the morning as the nights catch is unloaded and traded, while the rest of the day the pretty village remains quiet and sleepy. The harbour front is lined with numerous restaurants that serve up the fresh octopus overlooking the colourful fishing fleet. Catch a ferry here for Barril beach.
Set on either side of the meandering Rio Gilão, Tavira is a charming town and regarded as the prettiest in the Algarve.
Visit the castle ruins of a hilltop castle, the old Roman bridge and a smattering of Gothic and Renaissance churches are among Tavira’s historic attractions.
Fuseta is a small coastal town, bordering “Ria Formosa” lagoon, which is the nature reserve of the Algarve. In former times a fishing village, Fuseta has a lovely promenade full of lively restaurants, great to dine alongside the locals, cafés, a market hall with fresh fish, vegetables and fruit with access to 2 beaches, one near the town and the other a short 5 minute ferry ride away.
A short hop East of Faro and South of Winniehill on the coast. Olhão (pronounced ol-yowng) is the Algarve's biggest fishing port, with an active waterfront at the marina, a must on Saturday morning. The farmers market is bustling with local Portuguese selling their goods, and the fish market is an experience in itself. Catch a ferry to the Islands of Armona, Colatra and Deserta around the Ria Formosa which in August brings the a fabulous seafood festival, the Festival ‘do Marisco’, four days of fresh cockles, conch, clams, oysters, conquilhas, octopus, squid and music bands, wonderful to while away the warm August evenings.
Explore old town Faro and its picturesque Marina, Algarve’s capital has a more distinctly Portuguese feel than most resort towns, making it a worthwhile visit.
With an attractive marina, well-maintained parks and plazas, and its historic old town full of pedestrian lanes and outdoor cafes.
Within medieval walls, the picturesque Cidade Velha consists of winding, peaceful cobbled streets and squares, reconstructed in a melange of styles following successive battering’s – first by marauding British and then two big earthquakes.
Our nearest town, Moncarapacho is a small agricultural and horticultural town, is locally famous for its carnival festival, held in February. There are 3 great restaurants in the small town, sit in the church square and enjoy the local Portuguese ambiance after a good meal.
Wander quaint streets and cafes and visit the pink palace of Estoi, the Pousada of Estoi, was the result of an old eighteenth century palace now restored to its former glory. In the village you also find the roman ruins of Milreu. In May you can enjoy the wonderful festival da Pinha, a fantastic spectacle with floats and horses and flaming torches.
São Brás is an unpretentious small market town in the hills to the north of Winniehill and slightly east of Faro. The old town, centred on the church and Episcopal Palace, is at its best on Easter Sunday during the Festa das Tochas (Torch Procession) when the streets are paved in fresh wild flowers.
Restaurant Luis dos Frangos serves well know Portuguese Chicken Piri Piri, often visited by Winniehill on Sunday evenings with residents.
There has been a market in Loulé since the middle ages. The Municipal Market is an icon of the city, built late last century incorporating all the classic elements of Moorish design. On Saturdays, local farmers and those from the Alentejo come and sell their produce here and create a vibrant atmosphere for shoppers and tourists. If you want to learn more about this country you should take a wander round the crowded side streets surrounding the market. Host to many festivals including the Loulé Carnival in February.
Beaches in Eastern Algarve and Islands in the Ria Formosa
All blue flag beaches with fantastic expanses of white sand
Our favourites include;
Access by car
- Barril, (Beach train)
Access by ferry
- Tavira Island
- Santa Lucia
- Fuseta (Armona)
- Ilha Deserta
Things to do during your stay at Winniehill B&B
Golf Lessons with the pro
Robin Wilson is Winniehill’s very own resident PGA golf professional, why don’t you have some fun sharpening your skills or even play a round of golf at one of the 40 golf courses in the Algarve
Moncarapaho Virgin Olive Oil
Visit the Olive oil farm in the village of Moncarapacho and sample the delights of freshly made Virgin Olive oil, see the old olive trees and learn the process of virgin Olive oil making, see an original Roman olive oil press still in Situ.
Learn all about one of Portugal’s main industries at the Cork factory near the local town of Sao Bras, cork from the trees is is collected in 8 year cycles to manufacture a wide variety of goods apart from the traditional wine bottle cork tops, a very interesting tour.
RIA Formosa boat trip
Take a boat trip with João a natural from the island of Culatra, from a family of fishermen you can take advantage of his local knowledge of the Ria Formosa.
Learn all about the locally protected bird and animal life of the Ria Formosa, a most enjoyable and informative trip followed by lunch on the Island of Farol.
Visit the sea horses at the Ria Formosa natural park, home to the largest seahorse community in the world!
Aboard a comfortable motor boat skippered by a knowledgeable marine biologist, you will be able to visit the best grounds in the Ria Formosa to observe the seahorses. And you have the chance to get up close and personal with these fascinating creatures with diving mask and snorkel
Take a boat trip and see dolphins out in the ocean beyond the Ra Formosa. You will also have the opportunity to observe seabirds, pelagic fish like sunfish, tuna fish or even sea turtles that inhabit the coastline of the Algarve.
Kayaking and Paddle boarding
If you like water sports then you will enjoy a day kayaking or paddle boarding on the Ria Formosa, explore the islands and the beautiful beaches in the Eastern Algarve.