Algarve, with an Historical Flavour

When you visit Algarve — the 360º Algarve — you will discover some of the charms and secrets of Portuguese history that time couldn’t erase. It is also a chance to time travel while finding many traces of the different cultures that have come together throughout the history of this region.

From the evidence of the Roman presence to the heritage of the long legacy of the Muslim era, from the Christian reconquest to the epic period of the Portuguese discoveries, you will connect with a distinctive historical past.

 

Old Map of Algarve, 1762

Discovering Algarve Wines

Algarve Wines BOAZ Rentals

Did you know the first vines in the Algarve were planted twenty-three centuries ago, and that the region has excellent soil for growing vines? Until not very long ago, me neither.

The transcendent beauty of the Algarve offers much more than stunning beaches. A vibrant countryside hides breathtaking landscapes that will make you fall in love with the region. It is in the midst of these natural wonders that 2000 vineyards and almost 30 winemakers thrive in an environment with more than 300 days of sunshine a year.

Albufeira, Place to be in the Algarve

Albufeira holiday

Albufeira has it all!

Located in the centre of the Algarve, on a beautiful coastline, at only about 40km from the nearest airport of Faro. Albufeira has become the hub of tourism from where you can easily explore the rest of the Algarve. Albufeira offers all you could wish for: from the most amazing beaches, to an endless choice of activities in and around Albufeira. Going through a wide range of restaurants in the charismatic old town Albufeira, and the possibility to shop till you drop.

Algarve Places to Visit – Lagos, Jewel of the Algarve

Lagos Fort


Algarve Housing rents villas in the Algarve, and we like to tell you about the Jewel of the Algarve, Lagos. We rent two villas,one Town House and onecountry side farm house called Quinta Alfarobeira. More details later.

Lagos Marina


Lagos is a unique little jewel in the Algarve. It has chosen to develop its tourism with taste and class. It offers a balance of the charm and history of the Portuguese culture with a blend of creature comforts and facilities to please the desires of the most discerning tourist. The warmth of Lagos and her people make it difficult to resist falling in love with this seaside town. I can only say that Lagos has a special something that you feel when you spend time here.

Lagos is a city along the Atlantic Ocean, in the Algarve, south of Portugal. Lagos is an ancient maritime town with more than 2,000 years of history. Moorish and Renaissance, from its fortress to its plethora of magnificent churches. While Lagos’ history is rich, it is the area’s fine beaches and beach bars, such as Bahia Beach Bar and Retiro do Marujo, which attract many of today’s visitors.

Lagos Beach


The beaches around Lagos are some of the most beautiful of the Algarve, like Praia de Dona Ana, which can be reached after a 25 minutes walk from the centre of the town, Praia do Camilo, a bit further on, and Meia Praia, whose sands stretch for 4 km (2.5 miles) east of Lagos. However, it is the promontory named Ponta da Piedade and sheltering the bay of Lagos which is most admired by visitors, with its caves, rocks and wonderfully transparent waters. North of Lagos, Barragem de Bravura is a water reservoir offering fine views

Apart from its animated lifestyle, the one learns that this was a fishing village and that its importance grew under the Arabs, which built several fortifications. It turned into an important naval centre in the age of the Discoveries, in the 15th century; became the capital of the Algarve from 1576 to 1756 and was greatly damaged by the earthquake of 1755; thus its beautiful 18th and 19th century buildings. A fine new marina welcomes boats sailing in from the Atlantic.

Lagos Golf


Famous golf courses, looking over the Atlantic Ocean are all a short drive a way.

Algarve Housing rent a beautiful restored luxury town house in the centre of Lagos, called Casa Urbano, that sleeps 6 in 3 bedrooms, and has a beautiful Roman style private pool.

Quinta Alfarobeira, just outside Lagos, is a rustic farm style villa, that sleeps 4, with private pool in a beautiful garden. Please click on photo gallery (slide show) below to see the pictures and contact me for more details.


Would you like to keep updated about Places in the Algarve, Special Offers and Things to do in the Algarve, subscribe to our blog.

Warm Regards,

Michele



Would you like to keep updated about Places in the Algarve, Special Offers and Things to do in the Algarve, subscribe to our blog.

Warm Regards,

Michele

Discover the Secrets of Olhao – East of Faro – Portugal

Ceramic tiles Olhao


Algarve Housing rents villas in the Algarve, and also near Olhoa, time to tell you more about this un-spoilt, un known place in the East of the Algarve.

Pronounced “oll-yow”, Olhão is the Algarve’s largest fishing port. A rare gem, its centre is crumbling, charming, faded, and stuffed full of appealingly batty characters. The occasional tourist wanders about, wondering quite why they’re here. Olhão is a top place for a relaxing. The jewel in its crown isn’t actually in town, but a lovely ferry ride away….

Culatra, board walk to the Beach


Ria Formosa is an estuarine national park, with Olhão at its mouth and the wild Atlantic beyond. Around 80% of Portugal’s clams are fished here, around its four low islands. Farol and Armona are where Lisbon folk maintain their holiday homes; Deserta is a sandy empty place for the Robinson Crusoe in you; Culatra is where the fishermen live, and they are delighted for you to be as active as you wish, as long as that includes watching the waves, counting your toes, playing dominoes, drinking cold drinks, and eating delicious fish….. and enjoying the white sandy, long stretched beaches….

Church in Olhao


Olhoa

There are two market buildings side by side along the water front, which are a ‘must visit’ for the huge variety of extremely fresh fish and sea food straight from the port and the vast array of locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables. Olhão is well known for it’s fish market, in particular and if you haven’t got anywhere to cook some yourself, then try one of the numerous local cafes along the roadside nearby – you won’t be disappointed!

Terraces between the Markets, Olhao


The market halls are surrounded by pavement cafes and it’s a great place to sit and enjoy the view of the boats moored along the water front in the marina and the sand spit beach of the islands Armona and Culatra. Walk along the water front and through the gardens, sit outside a jazz cafe watching the boats, people cycling around and local people going about their day.

Walk into the historic heart of Olhão and the easiest road to follow is directly across from the gap between the market halls. Here, many of the buildings are the elegant merchant’s homes with wrought iron balconies, carved stonework and tile decorations and are such a contrast to the busy port area of Olhão. At the centre of the town at the end of Avenida da República, in  the Praça da Restauração, is the church of Nossa Senhora do Rosário, built in 1698 with contributions from the fishermen when it was the first stone building in Olhão. It’s a very graceful building with a baroque facade and somehow quite a surprise!

In the surrounding narrow, cobbled streets are a wide variety of inviting shops and pavement cafes that tempt you to linger! Well, after the sightseeing you need a break! This historic area of the town is really rather picturesque and gives a totally different view of Olhão from the port and the fishermen’s quarter.

Olhão itself doesn’t have a beach as it is on the Ria Formosa lagoon system but the ferries for the Islands (Culatra, Armona, and Farol)  run from the quayside near the gardens at the eastern end of the market halls. There are regular services throughout the year, although fewer in number during the winter.

Olhao is a place not to be missed, something different and worth a visit. Algarve Housing rent a very nice country side villa close to Olhoa, Quinta Rustica

Please contact me for more information, and if you would like to subscribe to our blog you will be always updated on information about the Algarve, Special Offers of our villas and new special villas we take on,

Warm regards,

Michele


Festival Med – 5 day Music Festival held in Loule (24 – 28 Jun 2009)

The best of the Mediterranean comes to Loulé in the Algarve every summer for a music, dance and arts extravaganza. Festival Med welcomes renowned world music stars from Morocco, Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal for this cultural concoction.

This is a fantastic event, especially for tourists seeking versatility in what the Algarve lifestyle can offer. Additionally to great music, expect to see plenty of other forms of art including hand-crafts, dance performances and street theatre. For 5 days, the historic surroundings of Loulé will tempt you with scents from traditional cuisine from each of the countries taking part in the event.

The MED festival, organized by Loulé Municipal Council, plays host this year to some well renowned music figures, including the Orquestra Buena Vista Social Club ®, La Notte della Tarranta feat. Stewart Copeland and Horace Andy & Dub Asante.

Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club

 

Music, or more specifically World Music, forms the basis of the festival and, after six editions of the event, definitely takes pride of place at the MED. Apart from the two main stages, there will be a further three secondary stages where promising artists will be performing.

To further entice you with this annual event, Festival Med has also been nominated into the category ‘Best Cultural Events’ at the Gala of Events 2009. Decked out with its’ multicoloured decorations, Loulé opens welcoming arms, inviting you to this 5 day festival for you to enjoy during your stay within the Algarve… expect it to be one of the events of the summer!!

Click this previous posting to find out more about the area of Loule itself http://algarvehousing.net/news/2009/03/11/loule-place-to-be/

When:

24 – 28 Jun 2009 (annual)

Where:

Loulé

Algarve, Great Place to Stay in Portugal, Villa near the Beach

Burgau Beach
Burgau Beach

Algarve is a great place to stay, to spent you holiday and Algarve Housing has a nice villa for rent near the beach, in the centre of Burgau, between Lagos and Sagres.

Casa da Praia, is a basic 2 storey villa, has 4 bedrooms, a private little pool and is 1 minute walk form the beach in the centre of Burgau.

Master Bedroom
Master Bedroom Casa da Praia

Burgau is a friendly and peaceful fishing village, ideal for families, nature lovers and walkers. Nestled on the edge of a national park, still a working fishing village, and watching the boats bobbing on the moonlit waters, makes Burgau a place you will never forget.

Casa da Praia
Casa da Praia - Open kitchen

Burgau and its unique charm is the village ability to appeal to everyone, regardless of age or interests. People who have been once usually come back time after time. It has an X factor that has to be experienced.

Heading west from Burgau, the next village is Salema. There’s an interesting coastal road from Burgau, or an alternative access route down an old river valley from the main road. Facing the glorious beach is a small jumble of restaurants and an occasional shop. The old village extends eastwards up a cliff-hugging road. There are several other beaches along this stretch of coast, most with a beach bar and all of them accessible by road. Surfers are recommended to try ‘Boca do Rio’ or ‘Zavial’.

Do you want to know more about Casa da Praia, please contact me for more information and availability.

Algarve Housing has more nice holiday villas in the Algarve, please check our website.

Don’t want to miss any news from Algarve Housing, our special offers or information about any of the beautiful holiday homes of Algarve Housing, SUBSCRIBE to our blog, if is for free, and you get it automatically delivered in your email inbox!

Warm Regards,

Michele


Alvor with its wide, fine sandy beach, one of the best in the Algarve

Alvor wide, sandy Beach

Alvor, close to Lagos has a wide, fine sandy beach, one of the best in the Algarve.

Algarve Housing rent very special villas in the Algarve, the most southern part of Portugal. One of our special villas is Quinta Bem Posta, close to Alvor.

Alvor

Due to Alvor’s peculiar and sensitive ecology, attempts have been made to protect the surrounding area from tourist development, which have only been partially successful. Alvor has, however, managed to retain much of its original style, with low buildings and open surroundings and the lagoon, which is a specially protected area of natural beauty.
The area around the old fishermen’s market has been developed greatly over the past five years. It now has a wide waterfront promenade, with restaurants and bars where one can sit and watch the fishing boats.
Behind the fish market is the old lifeboat station, which is well worth a visit.
Alvor’s main beach is just five minutes’ walk from the town. A favourite among windsurfers, it is four and half miles of wide open sand, offering enough space for beach volleyball, football, frisbee and walking. The beach is backed by dunes and has plenty of facilities.

Alvor, Beach front

Facilities
There are usually life guards on duty and sun umbrellas and sun loungers can be hired at a daily rate. Car parks are close to the beach. Several beach restaurants offer traditional grilled fish, lamb, piri-piri chicken and other delicious foods.
The beach is popular with Portuguese holidaymakers from the north who usually arrive in the Algarve in September, but due to its size Alvor Praia is never packed.
Tres Irmaos Beach, further east, is mostly backed by cliffs, with huge rocks scattered along the shoreline. It leads to Praia da Vau and Praia da Rocha. “Praia” is the Portuguese for “beach”.

Alvor, Church

Still a fishing village
Remember that Alvor is still a fishing village, talk to locals and find out what time the fisherman return from the sea. It’s well worth getting up early and watching them work with their catch. The Octopus is a real speciality.

Algarve Housing rent nice holiday homes in the Algarve, and also near Alvor with its wide, sandy beach! Quinta Bem Posta is only 5 minutes from Alvor. Contact me for availability and more information.

We regularly write articles about our holiday properties, special offers, information about the region and Things to do in the Algarve.

If you don’t want to miss it, subscribe to our News Blog, and keep updated!

Warm Regards,

Michele

Silves, a place in the Algarve not to miss!


Silves is a place not to be missed when you visit the Algarve, the most southern part of Portugal. Most of our villas for rent located close to Silves, time to write about historic town Silves.

Once the capital of the Arab kingdom. A once flourishing city of palaces, gardens and bazaars, Silves may have lost its influence but not its interest. The surrounding area is comprised of mile after mile of orchards – peach, almond and orange trees. The redsand stone fortress is open daily (09:00-19:00). A 13th century cathedral built of red and white sandstone has fine emblazoned tombs and should not be missed.

The best way to start your visit to the city is by going to Silves market in the morning. You will enjoy the aroma of the fruit, vegetables and fresh fish at this crowded, noisy but charming venue where you can buy everything you need to cook a delicious meal.

Silves, with its terraces, minarets, the façade of the Arabic palaces and streets complete with bazaars, make the city a great attraction for all visitors.

Walking on foot over the hills around the city, you will see flourishing orchards of almond, orange and fig trees.

Nowadays, Silves still maintains this medieval charm: from the 7-arched Roman bridge winding cobbled streets lead to picturesque squares fronted by churches and colourful cafes. Bars, shops and restaurants where local cuisine can be sampled at leisure, are interspersed with typical red roofed houses. The Fabrica do Ingles is a more recent social gathering point, offering restaurants, conference and exhibition facilities and during the summer months, concerts, laser shows, and theatrical re-enactments.

Silves has a great deal to offer, blending past and present to create its own unique atmosphere. Magnificent surroundings and the accompanying gentle pace of life combine to provide a memorable and truly remarkable visit.

AlgarveHousing rent various holiday homes in the Silves area, I just mention a few;

Casa Lavender, Casa Vilarinha, Casa Ceramica, Casa da Pedra, Casa Laranha, The Windmills, Casa Eucalyptus,Casa Barradas and Monte Boi.

Please contact me for more information regarding prices, availability or more information.

We regularly write articles about new holiday properties, special offers, information about the region and ‘Things to do in the Algarve’.

If you don’t want to miss it, subscribe to our News Blog, and keep updated!

Warm Regards,

Michele

Loule, Place to be!

Algarve Housing rent many villas in the Loule area. Time to tell you more about this fantastic town.

SLIDE SHOW


An unspoilt town just north of Albufeira in the south of Portugal, the Algarve. The Saturday morning markets are famous for their fresh food and handicraft stalls. The Feira de Loule, a mainly gypsy market is well worth a visit. In the whitewashed, picturesque streets there are many artisans still producing beautiful lace, leather, painted clay, brass and copper goods. Do not forget to sample the local restaurants that offer excellent local dishes at very reasonable prices or just have a coffee in one of the local cafes with a “pasteL de nata” (custard cream tart).

Loule is lively, many festivals through the year, for various kind of people. Just off the top of my head, Festival Med, a 3-day multi cultural musical festival, a big Jazz festival and festival of White (dress code white) and last but not least, the highlight of the year in Loule is Carnival.

VIDEO

Algarve Housing rent very nice holiday homes in the area of Loule, like the farmhouse Quinta do Monte, on the hill of Boliqueime, top luxury villas lie Casa Saborosa, Bay Tree Manor and Quinta Margarida in the Boliqueime area as weel and last but not least luxury farmhouse Quinta Palmeiral.

Please contact me for more information, availability and prices.

Would you like to keep informed about Special Offers, more information about Places in the Algarve and new splendid villas for rent of Algarve Housing, subscribe to this blog.

Warm Regards,

Michele

Holiday Homes Messines

Most of our Holiday Homes lie between Silves and Messines, Algarve Portugal. In hardly any ‘tourist book’ Messines is mentioned, Messines is short for Sao Bartelomeu de Messines and is a turn off from the highway the A22. 50 kilometres from Faro, the capital of the Algarve and 15 kilometres from historic town Silves.

Since 1988 I visit Messines, and to me it is a very special town, not because of its beauty, maybe it is ugly, but ugly can make beautiful! It is pure, it is a farmer’s town, and it is very Portuguese! You can get there everything you want, there is a daily veg and fish market, there are numerous pharmacists, little supermarkets, and a bigger supermarket, open everyday! There is a cinema (!), papelaria where you can even buy foreign papers, and an unlimited amount of pasteleria’s to drink a nice cup of coffee with a pastel de nata, and believe it or not in one of those pastelaria’s they serve a full English breakfast!


Joao do Deus

Messines is actually well known in Portugal because the famous Portuguese poet Joao de Deus (1830-1896) who has born and raised in SB de Messines, therefore there is a museum of his work, the museum is the house he lived and is next to the church. He is also famous of developing an education system for young children, which is still in use today!

Church

A beautiful church with Manueline (16th Century) details based in the centre of Messines, and next to it there is a covered space where the Portuguese man always playing cards, domino, or sit and watch life going by…. But not during almoço (lunch), lunch is the main meal for the Portuguese, therefore many shops will be closed during lunch, streets become quit…. but apart from lunch time, Messines is a lively town, Portuguese have a habit to drink coffee (bica) outdoors, they generally have no coffee machine at home. It is cheap (0.50 per bica) and a social habit. The Portuguese like to talk, talk, talk and drinking a bica outdoors, give them opportunity to hear the latest gossips of town etc…

The Old Man

Apart from the pastelaria’s, there are a million bars, and some do live music in the weekends. A few restaurants, where you can find mainly Portuguese food on the menu like chicken piri, lamb (Borrego) and various fish dishes, like the Cataplana dish which is a stew of shell fish/fish and meat.

Carnaval (February/March) is well celebrated in Messines! Two days long there is in the afternoon a parade with beautiful dressed wagons and people, lots of music, dancing and lots of bars on the street!

Every month there is the so called gypsy market, it is always on the last Monday of the month and also well worth a visit, as well gypsies, but also lots of Portuguese selling there products, from Portuguese crockery, chickens, house hold goods, tools, plants, vegetable and they grilling chicken, and of course you can drink a bica (coffee) or cerveza (beer) amongst the Portuguese. For the Portuguese a nice day out, they come from all over the area, dressed up to meet friends and family!

Messines lies in the centre of the Algarve, only 20 minutes north of, for tourist famous Albufeira, beautiful beaches like Armacoa de Pera, 1 hour from Lagos, Western Algarve, and 1 hour from Tavira in the east Algarve. A little bit north of Messines there are two baragems (artificial lakes), that supply water to various parts of the Algarve. Those lakes have beautiful mountainary surroundings, worth a visit.

A few little nice villages in same area with nice restaurants and bars like Vale Fuzeiros and Amorosa. Mountain village Alte is 15 minutes drive away, and historic town Silves is also 15 minutes drive away, all worth a visit!

So Messines is my place to live, away from the tourism, but close by if you want to visit it, enjoy the famous beaches and then back home to relax and enjoy the real Algarve!

Does this appeal to you? Please have a look on my website; there is a wide choice of holiday accommodations in this area, from rustic windmills to luxury villas! All with private garden and pool, in quit surroundings.