Surroundings

A small selection of some our favorite beaches:

Praia do Manuel Lourenço
Praia do Manuel Lourenço This area of sand is smaller than the beaches to the west, but it is a very diversified area because of the many recesses and shelters provided by its sinuous and jagged rock formations. The shapes formed by these rocks are quite unusual, especially to the west, originating from the corrosion and wear and tear that they have suffered over the years. Snorkeling is also recommended amongst the submerged rocks. There is a tarmac road signposted to the beach from the road between Guia and Galé. There is a fairly large and organised car park 100 meters from the beach and the restaurant.
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Praia do Barranco das Belharucas
Praia do Barranco das Belharucas Located between the small village of Olhos d’Agua and the Sheraton Hotel, this is the beach you will only find if someone tells you about it. Carefully drive down the valley and you will be rewarded with a view of a small headland to the west and limestone cliffs to the east. Parking here can be tricky, especially in the high season. You can also park your car at the top of the small ravine and walk down, admiring the many species of birds, including bee-eaters, along the way.
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Praia da Falésia
Praia da Rocha Baixinha (Praia da Falésia) This beach is extremely vast and stretches eastwards for over more than three kilometres, backed by the continuous line of high cliffs with the typical colours of this region, either deep ochre or brilliant white. You reach this beach taking the tarmac road through Aldeia das Açoteias. There is a fairly large parking area at the western end and a smaller parking area 250 meters from the beach at the eastern end.
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Praia do Almargem
Praia do Almargem (Cavalo Preto) The typical red cliffs of this stretch of the coastline are interrupted to accommodate the final stretch of the Ribeira do Almargem, which does not always manage to pass beyond the bar of sand and flow freely to the see, so that it floods the surrounding land and created a peaceful sheet of water that is very inviting for water birds. The wetland vegetation of reeds and rushes mixes with the European beachgrass of the incipient sand dunes. The beach is very quiet and peaceful in comparison with the neighbouring beaches of Quarteira.
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Praia do Farol
Praia do Farol (Ilha do Farol) From Faro, catch the boat out to Ilha de Farol for a wonderfully relaxed day out. The boat ride takes about 30 minutes and offers an impression of the Ria Formosa nature reserve. Upon arrival at the dock you can opt to either install yourself on a towel on the river-side of the island or cross it, in between the quaint, small houses and set up camp on the seaside. A great place for some clams for lunch is the restaurant run by the resident’s association. It is possible to go diving and surfing on the island.
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Praia do Barril
Praia do Barril If you have small children this beach is great fun because there is a small train travelling to the beach from Pedras D’el Rei. The beach itself features a former tuna factory that has been turned into a restaurant. The many anchors on the beach itself offer great material for stunning photographs. The adjacent Praia do Homem Nu is officially a nudist beach.
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Praia de Odeceixe
Praia de Odeceixe This beach on the west coast of Portugal is much more rugged than the south and of an exquisite beauty. The road to the beach runs through a green valley, along the Ribeira de Ceixe. Near the beach, on the top of a headland, you will find a small settlement with predominantly holiday homes. There are a few great eateries that offer a brilliant view of the beach and the high-rising cliffs of black schist.
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The Algarve offers a rich gastronomy with plenty of fresh fish and seafood on offer. Most restaurants literally have the fish up for grabs, displaying the catch of the day such as robalo (bass), dourade (sparid) to linguado (sole) and delicious camarão (prawns). Do try the famous cataplana, the wellknown Portuguese stew available in a thousand and one different variations. Not to be missed out on, accompanied by a chilled bottle of Jõao Pires or Planalto wine!

Preparing meat is another forte of the people in Southern Portugal. Typical for this region is the spicy chicken piri-piri, which many restaurants have on the menu. The village of Guia is known as the chicken piri-piri capital of the country. Delicious together with homemade chips and a tomato salad with onion and oregano.

Below is a list of some of our own favourite restaurants:

O Golfinho
O Golfinho – Barranco das Belharucas beach (next to Olhos d’Agua)
Drive down the small ravine until you reach the splendid beach and restaurant. Thanks to the slightly elevated location on the edge of a dune this restaurant offers a great view along the vast sandy beach and impressive cliffs towards Praia de Falesia. In summer this place is packed every day, booking in advance is advisable. Order the feijoada de camarão (prawn and chorizo stew) with white rice and a drop of piri-piri sauce and dig in while the kids play on the beach.
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Ramires
Ramires – Guia
Frango piri-piri means juicy, grilled and spicy chicken and Ramires has made quite a name for themselves serving just this. Pull up a chair and order a portion with or without piri-piri, with a side dish of chips and a tomato salad. A no frills and affordable dinner plus guaranteed the best chicken you have tasted in a long time!
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Pizzeria Casavostra
Pizzeria Casavostra – Almancil
The best thin-crust pizza for miles, baked in a large stone oven plus several pasta dishes on the menu as well. This restaurant is situated inside a modern interior design shop. Attracts big crowds all year round so booking in advance is recommended. Features a very nice outside area at the back of the restaurant.
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O Retiro
O Retiro – Boliqueime
This recently renovated restaurant boasts a lovely wooden bar with stools to sit and enjoy one of the many great wines they stock. There is a small covered outside area, next to the large outdoor grill. Try the grilled prawns or the picanha (grilled roastbeef). The same owner also runs O Retiro na Praia, on the beach in Vilamoura.
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O Tasquinho do Manel
O Tasquinho do Manel – Vilamoura
At the far end of the Vilamoura marina, surrounded by modern apartments, you will find this small restaurant with a corrugated iron roof where you can sit outside, have wonderfully fresh grilled fish while enjoying the view of the boats sailing by.
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Veneza
Veneza – Paderne
The very best meat and fish the Algarve has to offer, accompanied by great wines. Pork liver with onions, crab with boiled prawns or Iberian pork and for dessert for example carob cake with orange or a cheese platter containing a variety of choice including Nisa, Serpa and Castelo Branco.
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Tuttapanna
Tuttapanna – Vilamoura
Can’t decide between sushi, pizza or maybe even something else on the menu? No problem, this trendy little place in Vilamoura has it all. There is a small outside area, which is great for watching the parading tourists pass by.
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Chá chá chá
Chá chá chá – Olhão
Little gem, for a coffee or lunch after a visit at the Olhão Market or at warm Summer evenings outside diner under the shades.
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Golf

The Algarve has 34 golf courses with international appeal that are frequently being used for (international) golf competitions. In October the Algarve welcomes the annual golf event Portugal Masters, considered as one of the most important and biggest tournaments worldwide.

Vale do Lobo Ocean and Royal Golf Courses
Vale do Lobo Ocean and Royal Golf Courses
The Vale do Lobo Royal golf course a remarkable championship course that offers players of all abilities an unforgettable golf experience. The Royal fairways travel inland on the front nine and towards the ocean on the back nine and are lined with pine trees, lakes and wild flowers and then surprises players with exhilarating sea views. A well-known symbol of the Algarve, his cliff top par 3 16th is one of the most photographed holes in Europe and in the opinion of some professionals, the hole is rivaled only by the 17th ‘road-hole’ at St. Andrews.
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The Old Course - Dom Pedro Golf Collection
The Old Course – Dom Pedro Golf Collection
Often described as the Grande Dame of Algarve courses, the Oceanico Old Course is the oldest and most popular of the five Vilamoura courses and renowned all over the golfing world. It is laid over and around gentle sloping hills with tree lined fairway sit meanders throughout impressive pine trees — the principal hazard – over gently undulating natural terrain, and poses quite a stern test and forces you to put the emphasis on accuracy and course management ahead of length.
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Penina Hotel & Golf Resort
Penina Hotel & Golf Resort
Penina is a truly magnificent golf course. The challenging layout will test every golfer’s shot-making ability, a very well maintained course, played through Eucalyptus trees and clumps of palms trees to mainly elevated greens. An excellent golf course to walk as it is quite flat but be aware with the various streams, ditches, water hazards, bunkers and out of bounds that you will encounter during your round; a demanding test of golf for players of all abilities.
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Pinheiros Altos Golf Course
Pinheiros Altos Course
Located within the well-known Quinta do Lago estate, Pinheiros Altos course enjoys a solid reputation. The golf course has an unusual layout with three nines of contrasting character, ‘The Pines’, ‘The Corks’ and ‘The Olives’. The Pines, as its name suggests, meanders through typical Algarvian pine woods whereas many water hazards must be negotiated coming home. The rest is much flatter but the holes work their way through a series of lakes requiring accurate driving and precise iron play.The golf course embraces part of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, making this another course of beauty and challenge for players of all standards.
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 Benamor Golf Course
Benamor Golf Course
Benamor was the first golf course built east of Faro in the Algarve, with views to the Atlantic and Tavira Island to the south and towards the hills and valleys in the north the golf course is set in groves of olive, cork, carob and almond trees on the lower slopes of the hills.The rolling terrain and widely varying holes provide an interesting test of your game, there are many strategically placed bunkers and water hazards so precision off the tee and on the approach shots is an absolute must.
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