The cozy and picturesque Algarve is mostly known for its resorts and numerous clean beaches. However, this is not all of the advantages of the region. The Algarve is bright and contrasting enough to please everyone who comes here for the first time. The Algarve offers unforgettable traditional recipes, national patterns and entertainment. In addition to the classic beach attractions, the region amazes history and architecture lovers. The largest of the Algarve's towns can be counted on their fingers, but there are so many historical monuments, architectural masterpieces and endless seascapes that it is simply impossible not to explore all the charm of ancient defensive structures and beautiful white churches, along with a wonderful relaxing holiday on the Algarve's paradise beaches.
Today we will begin our acquaintance with this region full of passion, with an ancient Roman fortress.
Not far from Faro are the ruins of an ancient Roman villa. Here you will not only discover the ancient Roman way of life in the area, but also get closer to the characteristic architectural direction, a special design with a peristyle. This place is a real treasure trove of new knowledge for connoisseurs of architecture. In addition to the villa itself, the visitors are attracted by the covered colonnade surrounding the entire open space of the patio, as well as interior details such as geometric and marine motifs in the decorative friezes adorning the inner courtyard of the room. The museum is closed on Mondays, but on the rest of the days you can visit it from 10.30 to 13.00 and from 14.00 to 18.30.
In the middle of the small town of Estoi, this is a well-maintained and well-cooked place. Feel at ease no matter what kind of service you are used to. Every guest is always welcomed here, taking into account their preferences and serving the freshest dishes and quality wine. Please note that the restaurant is open daily from 7pm to 12pm and is closed on Sundays.
Today you will move to another hotel, discover the two temples of the Blessed Virgin Mary, walk across the bridge, explore the Faro, park with the peacocks and have tasty lunches and dinners in Portuguese restaurants.
Have breakfast at the cosy Pastelaria Veneza coffee shop. This institution will help to charge energy for the first half of the day, as well as raise the mood of a romantic atmosphere: a pleasant view of the river and the city, pleasant music, friendly waiters.
Not far from the café is one of Tavira's brightest attractions, the small snow-white church of Santa Maria do Castelo, with its bell tower overlooking the town. The church is a national architectural monument with unique stylistic features. The building was built on the site of a former mosque in the era of Arab domination. This fact has not been proved archaeologically, but historical sources claim that this place was the main mosque of Tavira.
After visiting the church, take a walk towards the Gilao River. To do this, cross the picturesque Ponte Romana bridge, which offers stunning views of the river itself and the two banks of the river that frame it. Despite the fact that the modern bridge was rebuilt relatively recently, after it was destroyed by a severe flood in 1989. This is where the ancient bridge used to be used in important strategic maneuvers of the medieval defense of the city.
For lunch it is better to come by reservation, as the restaurant is quite popular among locals and tourists. Due to the fact that on Wednesdays "Zeca da Bica" does not work, and on other days of the week it opens in the afternoon only from 12.00 to 15.00, carefully plan your time to visit the restaurant. Despite these features, it is worth visiting the restaurant, because it is an excellent place to prepare national Portuguese and world cuisine. It's worth trying out the chef's variations for cod-based recipes. If you are a connoisseur of good wine, you should order it here, as the menu has amazing options for home wine.
Tonight, we're gonna let you visit Faroo. Start your walk from a building built on the site of the ancient city walls as well as elements of the Moorish period of the country. Features and interesting facts about this building are not only related to the history and the opportunity to climb to the observation deck. This is the only place in the city that the storks like to see their nests here.
The Cathedral of Faro or the Church of Our Lady is considered to be one of the most important architectural and historical monuments of the city and is also included in the list of monuments of national importance. The building is located in one of the squares of the old town surrounded by orange trees. The church was built in 1251 in the Gothic style. From the original building it has only a bell tower and two side chapels. It is these parts of the building that remember the time when Christians took over Faro from the Moors. Historians believe that the modern church is built on the site of an ancient mosque.
Walk outdoors before dinner and visit the peacocks that walk through the park.
Dinner at this restaurant will be remembered for a long time not only for its impeccable service, but also for its unusual design, entertainment program and variety of original Mediterranean dishes and various dishes of world cuisine. "Tertulia Algarvia" will appeal to everyone who appreciates not only good cuisine, but also the atmosphere of the restaurant and serving dishes.
Today you will make a trip to the westernmost part of Europe, visit the Sagres fortress and enjoy the vast expanse of the ocean.
Today, in your car or in a car with a driver organized in advance, go to the most southwestern edge of the country. Enjoy the ocean in the warm season or walk along the beach in the cold.
Fresh air always awakens appetite, so the next point of the script is lunch at the restaurant "GIGI". The institution meets all simple wishes of the guests: friendly staff, fresh dishes of Portuguese and world cuisine, cozy atmosphere. The institution is closed on Wednesdays, and on other days it works from 12.00 to 15.00, and after that from 19.00 to 22.00.
The Sagres fortress was built back in the 15th century by order of Henry the Navigator in order to provide support and protection to fishermen in the region. At that time, Sagres was an important strategic region, as well as a node where all the Mediterranean and North Atlantic countries were connected. The fortress was destroyed many times, including by the strongest earthquake in 1755. Inside the fortress today you can see the former monastery of the XVI century and the chapel of the XIV century. The strongest impression is made by the "wind rose" - a diagram that indicated the wind mode. Its diameter is more than 40 meters. According to some reports, it was in the fortress that the navigation school of Henry the Navigator was located.
Enjoy breathtaking views of the ocean and feel the immense element that takes you back to the past when people like you were standing by the ocean and thought they were at the westernmost point in Europe.
On the way back to the hotel, stop by the Al Quimia restaurant. This is a real laboratory of gastronomic alchemists who create incredible dishes. The restaurant's chef is a Michelin star winner, each dish is a work of art, and the special sets offered to visitors take into account the diversity of interests of each guest. The menu differs with variety and creativity of each dish. There are also special tasting sets, such as a selection of wines with delicious snacks. The institution doesn't work on Sundays and Mondays. It is better to book a table all week in advance to fully enjoy the gastronomic experience that this restaurant will offer you, as its opening hours are from 19.00 to 22.00.
Enjoy the beauty of the Ashtoy Palace and the beautiful garden around it.
Walk through the magnificent garden of the Estoi Palace, in the area of the oak trees, pay attention to the landscapes and preserved architecture of Portugal in the XIX century.