Tag Archives: portugal
Even though it seems that only bleak news is coming out of the Algarve, today we’re talking about the Trans-Guadiana protocol, which has been signed between the various traders in cities that line the Guadiana River – which separates Portugal’s Algarve region from Spain’s Andalucia region – which has been the source of some positive feelings amongst business owners on both sides of the river.
The town of Albufeira is one of the Algarve’s most well known resort towns. Like many other destinations in this sun drenched and sea kissed part of the coast, Albufeira started its life as nothing more but a small fishing village, only developing into a major tourist destination relatively recently.
Many holidaymakers return to Albufeira city Portugal when they’re looking for a specific type of atmosphere which mixes great climate, lovely beaches and a plethora of eating establishments.
Vila Real de Santo Antonio, Portugal is located on the Guadiana River which is the natural border between Portugal and Spain. From the extreme eastern part of Vila Real one can plainly see the Spanish coastline as well as the river that connects to Ayamonte in Spain.
Those who will be heading here will notice how easy it is to get around the town thanks to it having been built on a grid system, which is something that not many other Algarve settlements can boast. With the help of our small Vila Real de Santo Antonio guide you should get a better idea of what it is that the town can offer you and whether or not you should seriously consider vacationing here.
The town’s grid system was designed by the Marques de Pombal who was rather keen on testing this new type of town planning after all the original settlements in the area were eroded by the beginning of the 17th century. The Royal charter founding the town was signed on the 30th of December 1773 and by August 6th of next year, the Town Hall, Customs House and the barracks were already completed.
The town of Tavira, Portugal is a beautiful and elegant settlement, some consider it almost surreal in some aspects of it. Tavira is still an Algarvian fishing town, that much stays the same, however visitors might find what they see at odds with that particular notion seeing how unique this town is from most of the surrounding resorts.
Just like the rest of the region, Tavira spent quite a few centuries under Arab rule, in this case it was between the 8th and 13th centuries, after which it was conquered by the Knights of the Order of Santiago in 1242. Then between the 16th and 18th centuries, Tavira was the main trading port in the region. As you can plainly see, a very rich history, and we’ll try to give you a general overview on the place with this short Tavira guide.
What makes the town of Tavira stand out from most of the other Algarve towns is that it managed to somehow stave off the influence of mass tourism and preserve its unique traditions and handsome character. Part of this character is the seven arch bridge which spans the Gilao river; while its current appearance dates from the 17th century, the bridge itself is believed to have been built by the Romans. Severe floods affected the bridge back in 1989 and ever since it has only been open to pedestrian traffic, so you can still get to cross it, only you’ll be doing it on foot and some might argue that this is a much better way.
Silves, Portugal sits on the banks of the Arade River, a town littered with lemon and orange trees, Silves is a place full of history and wherever you’ll look, you’ll find some small or large thing that adds to this place’s enchanting atmosphere.
The settlement that is today known as Silves, has always been an important one in the region because thanks to its positioning, it lay at the entrance to the inland areas of the Algarve. Going there now, you can’t really see it, because the river is now too silted up to allow large vessels to travel it, but in centuries past, that was not an issue.
Any Silves guide is pretty much obliged to mention the most prominent monument in the city, namely the Castelo de Silves. This is now the best preserved castle in the region and it towers above the town alongside the nearby Cathedral. Being a fortress it was built on an overlooking hill, obviously so the views from the battlements are quite spectacular. The castle features eleven towers, two of them being barbicans, and its thick walls still enclose an area of about twelve hundred thousand square meters. Four of the towers were rebuilt during the 14th and 15 centuries and as such feature Gothic doorways.
The city of Olhao is located in the eastern part of the Algarve, not far away from the capital of Faro, and is the largest fishing port on the Algarve coast. Similar to the other Algarve cities and resorts Olhao is rich with Moorish-style houses, however having been a port city for so long, it also shows influences from Africa thanks to its commercial links to the northern African coast.
Although the city was first mentioned in a document in 1378, it only became an important town during the 19th century, however it was sufficiently important in the 17th century to need the building of the fortress of Sao Lorenco in 1679 to protect it from pirate raids. Our short Olhao guide will try to give you a bit of an idea of what to expect from this town of many faces.
We said many faces because depending on where you approach it from, Olhao, Portugal will look different. For instance if you approach it from the side where the fishing port is located, it will look very industrial, and hence not extremely attractive to tourists. However if you’re driving to Olhao along the water front road then you’ll get a different view altogether. You can use Olhao transfers from Faro Airport to get here right from the airport.