Best Day Trips in The Algarve away from The Beach

Best day trips in the Algarve away from the beach

Experience a different Algarve away from the beaches, visit the fortress of Prince Henry the navigator, or Silves, ancient Moorish capital of the Algarve or explore ancient Roman ruins in Estoi, these are just some of the experiences the region has to offer. Here are several day trips in the Algarve, sure to leave a lasting impression.

Tavira

Located in the eastern Algarve, Tavira is full of Portuguese charm. A great place to visit if you’d like to experience the historic nature of the region. The medieval castle offers stunning views of the town and is a must-visit. Tavira is home to numerous churches including the 16th century Igreja da Misericórdia, one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in the region. The museum in Tavira encapsulates the Islamic heritage with many items dating from the 11th century.

Loulé

Loulé is a typical inland town north of Faro. The focal point is the Moorish inspired covered market. A trip to the local market town is always on our agenda because we love the hustle and bustle of the market especially on Saturdays when it expands to include the surrounding streets with farmers from Alentejo and Algarve region selling their produce. Artisan traditions such as pottery, woodwork and basket making still survive.

Alte

A picturesque village nestled in the hills of the Algarve. It makes for a lovely day trip and a good choice for those wanting to steer clear of the overcrowded areas near the coast. Whitewashed houses, cobbled streets and traditional chimneys are just some of the attractions.

Monchique

Monchique is the main town of Serra de Monchique, the mountain range that separates the Algarve and Alentejo regions. It is known for its pure spring water available to buy in shops and supermarkets all over the country. 6km south of the town there is a delightful spa set in the foothills of the mountain, in wooded surroundings. The hot curative waters have attracted the sick since Roman times. Book here

Silves

Silves is a great place to visit at any time of the year.  It used to be the ancient Moorish capital of the Algarve. An an inland town, 15km northeast of Portimão, on the banks of the river Arade. It is a short journey by public transport from the main tourist areas.

Take a step back in time and visit the pretty rural town of Silves. It is a great place to get away from the bustle of the coast. Things are much slower here small narrow streets not many shops, but lots of cafés and restaurants. Visit the mighty red sandstone castle of Silves visible for many miles around. There is parking near the castle, but if you park downtown you face a steep uphill climb.

One of the best kept examples of Moorish castles in Portugal. It offers nice views over the town and the surrounding countryside and onwards to the Monchique mountains. The entrance fee is not expensive and the views are amazing. There are lots of steps, but it is very enjoyable to walk around. There are pleasant gardens with modern sculpture and a trendy bar/café very reasonable with good food for lunch. You should also visit Silves Cathedral beside the castle.

During the medieval festival in the middle of August for ten days the town is buzzing with the locals dressed in medieval dress. There is a street market, food stalls and a variety of good food to try. The festival comes alive at night with snake charmers and camels. It is one of the biggest summertime events. We’d highly recommend it to all.

RELATED: Loulé – A Lovely Inland Town in the Algarve

Sagres Fort and Cabo do Sao Vicente

Sagres is the most western point in Europe and not to be missed. It is about an hours drive from Faro, the capital of the Algarve and  a 35 minute drive from Portimão. An area of great natural beauty.

The mighty Sagres Fort was the headquarters of Prince Henry the Navigator. Prince Henry was a leading figure in the  15th century Portuguese empire. He created the first global explorers. Ships set sail from Sagres to Africa discovering India and Brazil.

The fortress is impressive, built in preserved sandstone form the 15th century. Inside the fort you can see the large wind compass that was used for navigation many years ago. The views from the cliffs are spectacular you get dramatic views of the cliffs, fishermen and surfers. The perfect location to watch the sunset.

Estoi

A favourite day trip from Faro is to visit the pretty village of Estói. A walk downhill from the main square leads to the Roman ruins at Milreu  just outside the town with mosaics and a basilica from the 4th century. Estói palace, built in the 18th century and with later additions has magnificent tiles (azulejos) dating from the 19th century.

The main towns are serviced by a train that runs along the coast from Faro to the boarder town of Vila Real S. Antonio.

We hope you get a chance to experience a different Algarve away from the beach.

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