East Algarve
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madaboutportugal.com welcomes you to the enchanting Eastern Algarve, a hidden gem laying between Olhão and the Guadiana River, the natural border separating Portugal from Spain. This region, lovingly known as Sotavento, is where nature enthusiasts, beach lovers, and history buffs converge to discover a serene yet vibrant corner of the Algarve.

The Eastern Algarve is blessed with the Ria Formosa, a stunning natural reserve stretching over 50 km (31 mi), featuring an intricate lagoon landscape teeming with rare bird species and diverse flora. Birdwatchers, hikers, surfers, and beachgoers will find paradise here, with endless stretches of quiet, sandy beaches on the Atlantic side. The best way to explore this unique haven is gently by bike, kayak, or on foot, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in its beauty. For those who fancy a round of golf, there are ten exquisite golf courses scattered throughout the region.

East Algarve Map

|  East Algarve Map © Mad About Portugal. All rights reserved.

The Eastern Algarve’s coastline is characterised by long, narrow sandbank islands that protect a delicate lagoon ecosystem bursting with life. Hidden behind these natural barriers are quaint fishing villages and hamlets that seem frozen in time. As you venture further east, you’ll discover picturesque towns with elegant Renaissance churches, Roman bridges, and Moorish castles, all underlined by distinctive pyramid-shaped rooftops. The sparse interior of this region is a natural preserve, boasting a culture and heritage that have remained unchanged for centuries, offering a glimpse into a world that has stood the test of time.

Explore the Eastern Algarve, and you’ll find a region rich in natural beauty, cultural heritage, and endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation.

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A lost gem along the Guadiana River


East of Faro, known for its fishing port


East of Stª Luzia, a historical town with picturesque streets

Vila Real de Stº António

On the border with Spain


São Brás de Alportel

Seven kilometres (4.5 mi) north of Estói, in the heart of the Algarve's cork production region, the sleepy village of São Brás de Alportel is renowned for its costume museum - the Museu Etnográfico do Trajo Algarvio. Housed within a nineteenth-century palace just off the town's main square, the exhibits consist of traditional costumes, agricultural items and local domestic cultural artefacts. Several annexes in the museum's courtyard house larger items such as ancient donkey carts, looms and cork-cutting equipment.

Monday - Friday: 10h00 - 13h00/14h00 - 17h00, Weekends: 14h00 - 17h00
61 Rua Dr. José Dias Sancho, 8150-141 Sõo Brás de Alportel, Algarve, Portugal.
37° 09' 11.76" N | 07° 53' 7.71" W
+351 289 840 100 | geral@museu-sbras.com |  Website

The village of São Brás de Alportel maintains an unrushed lifestyle where friendly locals stand in the doorways of traditional low white-washed houses decorated with azulejos, iron verandas and ornate stonework. Other village highlights include the Igreja Matriz de São Brás de Alportel church dating from the 15th century and the Jardim da Verbena gardens on the grounds of a former 17th-century episcopal palace.

Igreja Matriz de São Brás de Alportel

|  Igreja Matriz de São Brás de Alportel


|  Moncarapacho


Moncarapacho is a charming village in the Algarve’s highland Barrocal region, east of São Brás de Alportel. Cradled amongst gentle hills, this picturesque town is surrounded by bountiful fig, almond, and pomegranate trees. Despite its tranquil countryside vibe, Moncarapacho is brimming with amenities and retains a delightful small-town charm.

The village is lively thanks to the bustling Casa do Povo, the local association that offers an array of activities and courses. Whether you're interested in yoga, painting, or learning Portuguese, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

A short trip from Moncarapacho will take you to the top of Cerro de São Miguel. At 411 metres, it is the highest point in the Eastern Algarve and provides breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Cerro de São Miguel is a must-visit for nature lovers and offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.


This delightful coastal town is only 10 km east of Faro. Olhão is rich in history and charm, blossoming from its fishing roots in the 17th century and continues to be a key port in the Algarve. It was here, in 1882, that the first canning factory opened, igniting a trend that swept along the coast. Canned tuna and sardines quickly became the Algarve’s economic backbone, making Olhão a significant player in the industry.

The town's vibrant fish market on the waterfront is a must-see. Bustling with life, it offers a treasure trove of local produce, from fresh fruits and vegetables to honey. However, the star of the show is the vast array of fresh, locally caught fish.

Olhão’s old quarter exudes a unique Moorish vibe, with its square whitewashed houses, flat terraced roofs, and box-shaped chimneys. Wandering through its narrow streets feels like stepping back in time, with every corner revealing a slice of the town’s rich heritage.

For those seeking a slice of paradise, hop on a short ferry ride to the sandbank islands of Ilha da Culatra and Ilha da Armona. These serene spots boast some of the Algarve’s quietest and most stunning beaches. They are an idyllic escape where you can unwind on pristine sands and bask in the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Every year, during the second week of August, Olhão bursts into life with the Festival do Marisco. This lively event celebrates food and folk music, offering a feast for the senses and a fantastic opportunity to experience local culture. | [ More About ► ]

Olhão Market

|  Olhão Market

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The Ria Formosa Natural Park is a long natural feature that runs 60kms along the Algarve coastline from the town of Ancão west of Faro to Tavira. This protected landscape consists of five barrier islands (Culatra Island, Barreta Island, Island of Armona, Island of Tavira and Cabanas Island) and two peninsulas (Peninsula of Ancao and Peninsula of Cacela). This coastal habitat has an area of roughly 170 km² and is comprised of lagoons, mudflats, salt marshes and golden beaches. The Ria Formosa reserve is a sanctuary for migrating birds and thriving flora and fauna. It's considered one of the seven wonders of Portugal, and rightly so. It remains undeveloped by humans and visited by those who wish to experience its tranquil beauty away from the crowded beaches. Activities available on the Ria included walking/hiking, bird watching, boat trips, scuba diving. paddle boarding, kayaking and cycling. [ More About ► ]

4 Stops 4 Islands & Ria Formosa Natural Park - From Faro

4 Stops 4 Islands & Ria Formosa Natural Park

From Faro
Explore the Algarve's Ria Formosa Natural Park during your time in Faro on this half-day excursion. Join a small group and visit four of the islands in the park— Deserta, Farol, Culatra, and Hangares—via a catamaran. Spend your day swimming in the warm waters, observing local marine life with your snorkel, and learning about local village life.
•  Learn about oyster cultivation in the region
•  Upgrade to include a typical Algarve lunch in Culatra
•  Observe wildlife like herons, storks, and spoonbills
•  A small group means more attention from your guide

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Dolphin Watching + 2 Islands Tour - From Faro

Dolphin Watching + 2 Islands Tour

From Faro
pend a day out at sea searching for dolphins and visiting the islands of Ria Formosa Nature Reserve on this full-day excursion. Join a small group and board your vessel for your journey out into the Atlantic Ocean. Stop at Farol and Deserta islands to observe their landscapes and take in the sights before heading back to Faro via a different route.
•  Learn about the area’s ecology from your guide
•  Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, turtles, and birds
•  A small group means more attention from your captain
•  A central meeting point makes for a seamless start

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Ria Formosa Natural Park Birdwatching Segway Tour from Faro

1.5 Hour Segway Tour

From Faro
Experience nature up close and personal on a Segway, during this 1.5-hour birdwatching tour in Ria Formosa Natural Park, departing from Faro. During this tour, explore Ria Formosa Natural Park and spot native and migratory birds feeding in freshwater lagoons, tidal flats and other ecosystems. Catch glimpses of flamingos, the rare purple swamphen, and other bird species as you learn about their natural habitat from your expert guide.

•  Upgrade to include pickup/drop-off from your hotel.

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The coastal settlement of Fuzeta remained a hidden gem until about a decade ago when it started catching the eye of Northern Europeans yearning to wake up to the sea breeze. Unlike many other Algarve seaside towns, Fuzeta boasts not only a picturesque island, Ilha da Fuzeta, but also a wider beachfront that invites leisurely walks along the shore, even in the chill of winter, with no need to ferry over to the islands.

Fuzeta's vibrant charm lies in its bustling little town centre, teeming with life and brimming with bars that lure in locals, tourists, surfers, and water sports enthusiasts alike. The town’s fish market is a culinary delight, offering a fresh catch daily, and the local restaurants serve up mouth-watering Portuguese dishes at unbeatable prices. It's a seafood lover's paradise where the quality is high, but the prices remain delightfully low.

Every month, Fuzeta hosts a lively second-hand market, perfect for those who love to hunt for treasures or unique souvenirs. Whether you're looking for vintage finds or just want to mingle with the locals, this market is a must-visit. Conveniently located, Fuzeta has its own train station, making it easy to explore the surrounding area. The enchanting towns of Tavira and Faro are just a quick 15-minute drive/train ride away, making Fuzeta a perfect base for those who want to explore the best of the Algarve. In summary, Fuzeta is an inviting seaside retreat where the sea, sand, and local charm combine to offer a relaxed yet vibrant holiday experience.


|  Fuzeta

|  Santa Luzia

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Santa Luzia

Situated just east of Fuseta, Santa Luzia is a quaint fishing village that has become a beloved spot for both locals and tourists. This charming village is known for its mouth-watering seafood, especially its renowned octopus dishes, earning it the nickname "Octopus Capital" or "Capital do Polvo" in Portuguese.

Santa Luzia is a laid-back paradise that offers a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle, with its picturesque waterfront dotted with fantastic seafood restaurants. Here, you can savour the freshest octopus prepared in a variety of delicious ways, all while enjoying the tranquil atmosphere and stunning views of the Ria Formosa lagoon.
A visit to Santa Luzia isn't complete without exploring its beautiful beaches. The village boasts two main beaches: Barril and Terra Estreita. The breathtaking Barril Beach, known for its Blue Flag status, is a must-visit. You can reach it by a charming little train, adored by children and adults alike, or by taking a pleasant 10-minute walk from the mainland. Terra Estreita, the village's second beach, offers a more secluded experience and is accessible only by ferryboat, adding to its allure.

Santa Luzia's appeal extends beyond its seafood and beaches. The village's pretty church square and relaxed lifestyle makes it a perfect place to unwind. Each August, Santa Luzia comes alive with the Festa dos Pescadores, a lively local festival featuring concerts, an array of Portuguese street food, and stalls showcasing local artisans. This festival attracts visitors from near and far, adding to the village's vibrant charm.

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|  The - Roman Bridge, Tavira

Tavira Island

|  Tavira Island

Occupying both banks of the meandering Rio Gilão, Tavira is often hailed as the Algarve's most charming town. With a population of around 30,000 permanent residents, this once-sleepy town has blossomed into a lively community that retains its authentic Portuguese charm, making it an ideal home for those seeking a true local experience.

In recent years, Tavira has welcomed a growing number of Northern European residents, infusing the town with a cosmopolitan vibe while preserving its distinctive character and heritage. The influx of new residents has brought a burst of energy to Tavira, with restaurants and cafés now bustling year-round. Despite this growth, Tavira has managed to avoid the trappings of mass tourism, maintaining a warm, welcoming atmosphere that locals cherish. The relationship between the Portuguese and the foreign community is incredibly warm and friendly, adding to the town's unique charm.

Tavira offers a delightful blend of traditional Portuguese heritage and deep-rooted Moorish influences. The town's beautiful cobblestone streets are adorned with picturesque squares and traditional tiled houses, featuring the iconic pitched “4 águas” roofs. Strolling through the town, you'll find family-run restaurants, a daily market brimming with fresh fish, fruits, and vegetables, and over 30 decorative churches and chapels that add to Tavira's rich cultural tapestry.

Each year, Tavira's town hall invests heavily in entertainment, particularly in the main square adjoining the Roman Bridge. Here, you can enjoy daily concerts, theatre plays, and performances by various artists. The town's magnificent New Year's Eve fireworks display attracts thousands, turning Tavira into a dazzling spectacle.

Beach lovers will find paradise on the island of Tavira. A short, five-minute ferry ride across the Ria Formosa lagoon takes you to Ilha de Tavira, home to pristine beaches, seafood restaurants, and laid back bars perfect for a lazy lunch or a refreshing caipirinha. If you have a passion for life and an appreciation for timeless beauty, Tavira, often called the “Venice of the Algarve,” might just be the perfect place for you.
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Best of the East: Faro, Olhão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António

Best of the East: Faro, Olhão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António

Embrace the magic of the East Algarve during a guided day trip to Faro, Olhão, Tavira, and Cacela Velha, leaving from the Algarve region. This tour visits the charming Old Town in Faro, the elegant capital of the Algarve. Explore architecture like Tavira Castle, a ruin considered to be from the Neolithic era. Then, enjoy free time to relish the mellow atmosphere in the fishing town of Olhão. Finally, pass by the Gilão River and absorb panoramic views in Cacela Velha, where your tour concludes. Make use of a hotel pickup and drop-off service that covers the Algarve region.

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Private Photo Session with a Local Photographer in Tavira

Private Photo Session with a Local Photographer in Tavira

Want to capture your amazing honeymoon? or a family holiday while the kids are still small? or maybe your perfect couples retreat from everyday busy life? Stop searching, we got you here! We are the largest network of local holiday photographers in the world! We always make sure that every special moment of each client is captured well. Free money-back guarantee.

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Two-Day Private Tour In the Algarve from Lisbon

Two-Day Private Tour In the Algarve from Lisbon

Two-day private tour in the Algarve from Lisbon, perfect for those who wish to visit the Algarve region, but do not know exactly where or how. During these two days we suggest the visit to some of the most important places among them; Faro, Tavira, Albufeira, Lagos and Sagres, always with the historical accompaniment of each place and their main curiosities, this private tour can still be adjusted according to your interests or curiosity.

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A mere five-minute drive east of Tavira, the serene villages of Cabanas and Conceição de Tavira seamlessly blend together to form a charming parish. These idyllic spots offer a warm and homely atmosphere.

Picturesque Cabanas sits gracefully along the seafront, where a quaint, bustling promenade is lined with numerous cafes, making it a favourite hangout for those looking to soak up the sun and enjoy the view. The harbour, a focal point of the village, provides a gateway to adventure. From here, a small ferry whisks visitors away to the tranquil, deserted beaches of the “Ilha de Cabanas,” an ideal escape for a day of relaxation.

Just a stone’s throw away, Conceição is renowned for the prestigious Benamor 18-hole golf course, which boasts a welcoming clubhouse, perfect for golf enthusiasts. Unlike Cabanas, which experience a seasonal ebb and flow, Conceição offers year-round appeal, with an increasing number of people choosing it for permanent residence. Conceição is well-equipped with all the necessary amenities and offers excellent public transport links, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer not to drive. | [ More About ► ]

Avenida de Ria Famosa - Tavira

|  Avenida de Ria Famosa - Tavira


|  Cacela Velha

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Cacela Velha

Not far from Cabanas is the beautiful village of Cacela Velha and its stretch of golden sands. People have lived in this area since antiquity, and archaeological finds have been discovered dating from the Roman and Almohade periods. This modest fishing village attained importance during medieval times and was granted a Royal Charter in 1283 by King Dinis I. One gets the impression nothing much has changed since then. There's a 17th-century fort here which affords great views out to sea. Within the grounds, there's a church. The Igreja Matriz de Cacela Velha was built in the 16th century over the ruins of a much older construction. Below the village sits Praia de Cacela Velha to the west and Praia da Manta Rota to the east. Well-signposted footpaths lead you down the embankment. From here, depending on the tide times, you can either wade across the channel or catch a boat to the main beach. The beaches here are undeveloped with no amenities. There are public convinces ashore by the fort.

Vila Nova de Cacela

Just 10 km from Tavira lies the charming parish and town of Vila Nova de Cacela, a hidden gem that has gained popularity for its stunning beaches at Manta Rota and Praia da Lota. Traditionally a quaint fishing village, Vila Nova de Cacela offers attractively priced properties, making it an appealing option compared to other coastal towns in the Eastern Algarve.

Manta Rota, a delightful holiday village within the parish, boasts various restaurants and cafés. The village buzzes with activity during the holiday seasons, creating a lively yet relaxed atmosphere perfect for vacationers. Golf enthusiasts will find their paradise at Monte Rei, home to a prestigious Jack Nicklaus-designed championship golf course.


The quaint village of Castro Marim was once a key fortification guarding Portugal’s southern coast. This historic locale was the initial headquarters of the Order of Christ in 1319 and boasts a monumental castle built by Afonso III in the 13th century. Despite the devastation of the 1755 earthquake, the castle’s impressive ruins offer breathtaking views of the bridge to Spain and the surrounding countryside. It also becomes the heart of vibrant activity during the Medieval Days Festival in late August, where medieval life is vividly brought to life with reenactments and entertainment.

On the opposite side of the village, the smaller São Sebastião Fort also provides panoramic views, adding to Castro Marim's charm. After exploring, you can unwind at a relaxed cafés on Rua de São Sebastião or enjoy a meal at the simple yet delightful Eira Gaio on Rua 25 de Abril, just across from the tourist office.

Surrounding the village is the picturesque Reserva Natural do Sapal, a marshy haven where flamingos gather to feed. This natural reserve is also home to the elusive Mediterranean chameleon, a fascinating and endangered lizard species with its unique swiveling eyes and opposing toes. Castro Marim is a delightful destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers, offering a unique blend of medieval charm and natural beauty.
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Castro Marim - Aerial

|  Castro Marim - Aerial

Monte Gordo

|  Monte Gordo

Monte Gordo

West of Vila Nova de Santo António, Monte Gordo is one of the most popular beach resort towns in the eastern Algarve. Known for its extensive and beautiful sandy beaches, this town attracts a diverse mix of Portuguese, Spanish, and international visitors. The beach of Monte Gordo is a vast expanse of powdery, almost white sand stretching for around 1.5 kilometres, nearly reaching the Spanish border. The central strip of beach in front of the resort is lined with cafes, bars, and restaurants, providing everything you need for a fun-filled day in the sun.

Monte Gordo is also home to one of the three casinos in the Algarve, adding a bit of excitement to your beach holiday. As a Blue Flag beach, Monte Gordo ensures a safe and clean environment with supervised swimming areas and ample amenities, including accessible features for those with mobility issues. Whether you’re sunbathing, dining, or trying your luck at the casino, Monte Gordo has something for everyone.


Located in the most easterly point in the Algarve, Vila Real de Santo António is a charming town with a captivating history. Originally, this area was a bustling settlement until the early 17th century when monstrous tidal waves swallowed it, wiping out much of its heritage. But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the town was reborn in the late 18th century thanks to the vision of the Marquês de Pombal. He redesigned it with a modern twist, implementing a grid system inspired by the Baixa district in Lisbon, giving the town its unique and organised layout.

Today, Vila Real de Santo António is a delightful destination that effortlessly attracts Spanish day-trippers from Ayamonte, just across the serene River Guadiana. This easy access has made the town a hot spot for sightseers from both sides of the border, creating a lively blend of cultures and a bustling, friendly atmosphere.

Visitors to Vila Real de Santo António can enjoy leisurely walks through charming squares lined with orange trees and experience the town’s vibrant café culture. The beautifully paved pedestrian streets are perfect for exploring boutique shops, enjoying local cuisine, or simply soaking in the relaxed Portuguese vibe. The town's unique layout and charming whitewashed buildings make it a picturesque place to explore, while the proximity to the river offers stunning views and opportunities for leisurely boat trips.

Beyond its delightful streets, Vila Real de Santo António also serves as a gateway to the pristine beaches of the Algarve. The nearby coastal beauty spots provide endless opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports, making it an ideal base for both relaxation and adventure. [ More About ► ]

Vila Real de Santo António - Aerial

|  Vila Real de Santo António - Aerial


The Eastern Algarve is a paradise for beach lovers, offering an array of stunning coastal gems, each with its own unique charm. Here is madaboutportugal.com's guide to the must-visit beaches in this beautiful region.

Ilha de Tavira. Stretching 11 km west from Tavira, Ilha de Tavira is a magnificent sandbank. Reach it via a 10-minute ferry from Quatro Águas or hop on a mini railway from Pedras d’el Rei resort. This beach is perfect for those seeking sun, sand, and sea. Ilha da Armona. A favorite among independent travellers, Ilha da Armona boasts lovely beaches facing inland, complete with bars and restaurants. It’s just a 15-minute ferry ride from Olhão, offering a laid-back vibe ideal for a relaxing day out. Ilha da Culatra. For those craving splendid isolation, the beaches of Ilha da Culatra are a dream come true. Often frequented by nude sunbathers, this tranquil haven is a 45-minute ferry ride from Olhão. Ilha da Fuseta. You can walk to Ilha da Fuseta at low tide, where you’ll find exquisite beaches and calm lagoon waters, popular with windsurfers. It’s a tranquil escape, perfect for a peaceful beach day. Praia do Farol. Located on a long island bank, Praia do Farol is a stunning sweep of sand accessible by a 45-minute ferry ride from Faro’s Porta Nova wharf. Regular ferries also depart from Olhão, making it easily reachable for a day of sun and fun. Praia Verde. Named after the lush pine forest that fringes its sands, Praia Verde offers a beautiful contrast of green and blue. This beach is part of Monte Gordo Bay’s picturesque coastline and is a perfect spot for sunbathing. Praia de Cacela Velha. Overlooked by the charming Fortaleza Cacela Velha, this lagoon-fringed beach is a secluded haven for sunbathers. Its serene atmosphere makes it a hidden gem worth discovering. Ilha da Barreta. Known as the “deserted island,” Ilha da Barreta is a wildlife enthusiast’s delight. Accessible by boat from Faro’s Porta Nova wharf, this beach offers a unique blend of nature and tranquillity, with O Estaminé providing refreshments. Praia Fluvial de Alcoutim. Locally known as Pego Fundo, this unique river beach fringes a tributary of the Guadiana. It’s the only river beach in the Algarve, offering a refreshing change from the coastal options. Praia de Ilha de Cabanas. For a quieter beach experience, head to Praia de Ilha de Cabanas. Less crowded and more secluded than its neighbours, it’s a perfect retreat for those seeking peace and pristine sands, accessible by continuing west from Praia de Manta Rota.



|  Odeleite


In the far eastern Algarve, Odeleite is a charming village by the namesake reservoir, Barragem de Odeleite, and just a stone's throw from the Guadiana River. Odeleite is a 20-minute drive from Vila Real de Santo António, making it an easily accessible daytrip.

In the past, Odeleite was significant due to its zinc, lead, and copper deposits. Today, it's a serene spot perfect for relaxation and nature enthusiasts. The village centre boasts a mini-market and three cosy restaurants, covering all your basic needs. The village is set in a picturesque valley, and from the entrance, you get a breathtaking view of the quaint houses and the charming church, which has earned the status of a cultural heritage site. It's especially enchanting in the morning when the sunlight casts a warm glow over the area.

Looking west from the hill, you'll be treated to an impressive view of the Barragem de Odeleite. The valley's typical vegetation includes rock roses, olive, carob, and fig trees, adding to the idyllic atmosphere. Odeleite is perfect for those who love the outdoors, offering fantastic walks, hikes, and mountain biking adventures. On the 7th of September the village comes alive for its annual festival, a local highlight worth experiencing.


Tucked away along the serene upper reaches of the River Guadiana, Alcoutim is a picturesque hamlet crowned by the remnants of a 14th-century castle, still standing guard over this idyllic setting. On the opposite Spanish bank, you’ll find the quaint village of Sanlúcar de Guadiana, mirroring the tranquillity of Alcoutim. Once fierce adversaries, these two villages now share a peaceful existence, symbolised by the castle where a fleeting peace treaty was inked in 1371.

A charming ferry regularly carries visitors between Alcoutim and Sanlúcar, offering a serene way to experience the river's gentle flow and the stunning landscapes on either side. For those seeking a dash of adventure, a unique zip line allows you to soar across the river, providing an exhilarating way to bridge the gap between these once-warring neighbours.

Steeped in history and surrounded by breathtaking scenery, Alcoutim is a hidden gem perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in the peaceful beauty of the Algarve. With its charming cobbled streets, historic fortifications, and riverside views, this delightful village offers a serene escape, where time seems to stand still and every moment is a chance to soak in the serenity. Tucked away along the serene upper reaches of the River Guadiana, Alcoutim is a picturesque hamlet crowned by the remnants of a 14th-century castle, still standing guard over this idyllic setting. On the opposite Spanish bank, you’ll find the quaint village of Sanlúcar de Guadiana, mirroring the tranquillity of Alcoutim. Once fierce adversaries, these two villages now share a peaceful existence, symbolised by the castle where a fleeting peace treaty was inked in 1371.

A charming ferry regularly carries visitors between Alcoutim and Sanlúcar, offering a serene way to experience the river's gentle flow and the stunning landscapes on either side. For those seeking a dash of adventure, a unique zip line allows you to soar across the river, providing an exhilarating way to bridge the gap between these once-warring neighbours. [ More About ► ]


|  Alcoutim Castle

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Faro (Gago Coutinho International Airport) is the bustling gateway to the sun-drenched Algarve! Situated only four kilometres (2.5 mi) west of Faro city, the capital of the Algarve and a major travel hub. Faro Airport is a hive of activity, welcoming millions of travellers eager to explore the region’s stunning beaches, historic towns, and vibrant culture. Arriving here is a breeze, with plenty of convenient amenities to kick-start your adventure. From swift car rentals to relaxing cafes offering a taste of Portuguese delicacies, Faro Airport ensures a warm and hassle-free welcome. Whether you're heading to the golden sands, the serene landscapes, or the golf greens, Faro Airport is the starting point for your Algarve escapade. Website


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To travel onwards from the airport, you'll need to head to central Faro where bus services and trains will whisk you off to your final destination. The easiest way to get there is by airport taxi. Before stepping into the cab, agree on a price with the driver to avoid any unwanted mystery tours. There are mini-bus services available, but they should be booked in advance. Private hire cars are also an option and can be pre-arranged here on madaboutportugal.com


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Since joining the EU Portugal has seen a vast improvement in it's road network with the addition of fine motorway network which speedily take you from the major cities to the area you want to visit. In 2015, the country's road network was named as being the best in Europe and the second best in the world. For the more adventurous drivers there's plenty of more rural windy yet very scenic roads available.


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Regional train services (comboios regionais) run from Lagos in the west to Vila Real de Santo António on Portugal's eastern border:
• Lagos - Vila Real de Santo António line: Timetable | Website

Intercity, Inter-Regional and Alfa Pendular services to and from Lisbon, Coimbra, Aveiro and Porto operate from Faro: Timetable Tickets can be purchased on the Comboios de Portugal website beforehand: CP Tickets

• Eva Transportes run services across the Algarve linking the main resorts and towns, as well as a hostess service to Lisbon. Also worth considering are their tourist passes if you're planing to visit different places: Website
• Rede Expressos operates countrywide services: Website