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Algarve villa rental near Monchique  *

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Algarve Tourist Attractions

Algarve is relatively small - 160 km across but it is very diverse. The towns nearest Casa Abilheira are in fact the main tourist attraction of the area. However you can easily explore Algarve along the coast and further inland to see more of the rural traditional portugal.

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Monchique

monchique from a distance

The town of Monchique is situated in most beautiful part of Algarve - the Monchique Mountains - and is the nearest to our Holiday Villa, only 4 km away. You will definitely visit it to do your shopping, eating out or just driving through to other tourist sites and attractions. But wherever you stay in Algarve - Monchique is definitely worth a visit. Take a walk through the village and visit the Parish Church.

There is a well marked, interesting walk round the town, laid out by the local council.

Take a drive up to the top of Foia mountain - the highest point of the Algarve (902 metres). You can see splendid panoramic views on a clear day.

Caldas is the famous spa about 1 km down the road to Portimao.

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In the Middle Ages the Moors introduced several important farming methods to the Algarve, which are still in use and can be seen in the Monchique hills today.

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Portimao and Praia da Rocha

Portimao is the Algarve’s second largest town and port. It is situated on the right bank of the Arade river where it forms a natural harbour. Pleasure boats offer short cruises up the river or along the coast.

you can discover center of town with many tourist shops and markets, restaurants and bars and take a break in the shaded squares, relax and watch people. The restaurants in the square behind the old iron road bridge or on the quayside on the far side of the bridge by the old quay serve delicious fresh charcoal grilled fish.

grilled sardines

The new fish market is to the west of the centre and, if you haven't visited a fish market then, this is well worth a visit just to see the wide variety of fish and their size.

There are shady looking people selling gold rings and chains and it is best to avoid them.

The beaches roung Portimao are among the safest in ihe Algarve, but the scenic cliff top walk from above the Buraco da Avo (Grandmother's Hole) tunnel to a couple of kilometres beyond Prana do Vau requires special care in places. The cliff edges are crumbly and sheer.

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It offers spectacular views of the beaches, cliffs and rocks, and you will take some of your best holiday snapshots along the way.

Portimao’s holiday suburb, Praia da Rocha, is built around the magnificent beach. Now three is a marina within the estuary breakwaters, just below the fort.

The Sta Catarina fort, at the eastern end of Prana da Rocha, gives a bird's eye view over the estuary and the new marina. Steps from the fort lead down to the marina

Activities.

Fishing. Portimao is one of the main big game centres in the Algarve, offering the chance to catch fighting swordfish and other big fish. There are also facilities for sailing, wind surfing, para sailing, water skiing and scuba diving.

The golf course set among the pines of Penina is one of the best. Other great courses at Alvor and Vau too.

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Silves

silves castle

Silves, with its medieval castle, use to be the Moorish capital of the Algarve. Now it is a market town for this citrus-growing area and and has a rich historical heritage.

The castle is worth a visit. It reflects the historical battles that took place here between Christians and Muslims in the l2th/ 13th centuries.

Other historical buildings are The Gothic cathedral (13/14th century) and The Chapel of Joao do Rego(15th century).

The local museum is small but it concisely outlines the history of Silves.

On the edge of the town, on the left-hand side of the road to Sao Bartolomeu deMessines, stands the Cross of Portugal.It is a 6m tall.

Walking back to town a few hundred yard you will find a the Fabrica do Ingles (English Factory), so called because it was originally an English-owned factory, processing cork. It has been converted into a complex of popular restaurants and also has an cork museum with fascinating old equipment on display.

The Arade reservior is a nice place to visit and walk around or hire a boat and explore the lake. A short distance past the dam there is a restaurant, where boats can be hired.

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Alvor

alvor lagune

The village of Alvor sits in a sheltered lagune, midway along the curving coastline of the Bay of Lagos. It was founded well before the time of Christ and probably used by the seafaring Carthaginians. It is now a haven for local fishermen and, even more so, for holidaymakers, who mingle in the narrow streets leading down to a big, beautiful beach. All around Alvov is being modernised. There are fine hotels and new complexes. The promenade along the front of the village is new, too, but it adds to the charm of the old village.

Take a look at the 16th century parish church and note in particular the main doorway. It is an example of the Manueline style of ornamental architecture, which reflected the wealth and exuberance that prevail eden Portugal at the time of the late 15th century discoveries.

A good place to sit around and watch people is down by Alvor's fish market at one end of the new promenade

The Alvor lagune is a must see for nature lovers and birdwatchers. Small roads are leading to the quiet side of the lagune.

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Omega Parque Zoo

omega park zoo monchique

Omega Parque is a zoo set in beautiful mountains of the Algarve. It is specialising in endangered animals such as limos, crowned sifakas, bamboo lemurs, cheetah, oryx etc. It offer a great day out both educational and entertaining.

Directions: On the main road from Portimao to Monchique, on the right hand side look for sign & parking area before village of Caldas. You can also take the Frota Azul Monchique bus from Portimao.

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Slide and Splash aqua park.

aqua park

Slide & Splash . The aqua park is rated high in Algarve. There are a great variety of rides for all ages & a jacuzzi for mum, and large gtreen ground for rest, games and recreation. There can be queues for refreshments in the busy season, so maybe take your own picnic, and do watch out for sunburn and keep replacing the suncream.

Directions: Situated on the E125 about 5 minutes from Lagoa.

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ZooMarine

omega park zoo monchique

Zoo Marine The main attraction are dolphins who give three shows a day in a large arena. The shows are roughly half an hour each, and there's enough of them to last you a day. The shows are very entertaining and original, which makes it good value. It is possible to join dolphins in the water for a "dolphin experience" but you must pre-book. There are seals & sea lions also giving three shows a day and you can also see the aquarium with numerous sea creatures and small tiger sharks. There are also parrot shows, a play area, theme rides and a swimming pool.

Directions: Zoo Marine is situated on the E125 near Albufeira on a very dangerous corner on the left hand side. There is a loop road which allows you to cross the road and join traffic going in the opposite direction so that your turning is a simple and safer right turn but even then it is pretty scary!

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Krazy World

Nile crocodile at krazy world zoo

Krazy world is just an ideal family outing place. Some people like it so much that buy an unlimited pass. There is a huge mini golf, swimming pool, a petting farm where you can make friends with llamas, deer, wallabies, camels, and more. There are quad bikes, pony rides, a crocodile park and several other attractions which are addae regulary. In summer their are live shows showing different animals.

Directions:From Portimao - Take the IP1 motorway (becomes the IC4) towards Faro. Leave motorway at Algoz, Follow the signs to Krazy World, Turn LEFT at the "Heavy Trucks Only" sign when approaching Algoz, Follow the signs RIGHT to Krazy World through Algoz, Turn LEFT at the T-junction, Cross the railway line,Drive past "Churrasqueira Rodrigues" restaurant and bar on your left hand side.Cross the "one-car" bridge.Turn right into Krazy World (approximately 500 metres after the bridge).

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