OPTIONAL EXCURSION IN ALGARVE Departure from Albufeira

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Departure from the Faro. It is the capital of the Algarve since 1756; we will discover the Manuel Bivar Gardens are a beautiful reception area for visitors, where everything overlooks the marina, the Ria Formosa and the sea.
 
The Arco da Vila gives us access to the old town, known as "vila adentro" (into the town). Here you will find the 11th century Arab Gateway, the oldest horseshoe arch in the country, which was the gate through the walls for those arriving by sea. From here, a tangle of streets begins that are well worth meandering through to explore their nooks and crannies. Many archaeological finds that testify to the city's history are to be found in the Municipal Museum at the 16th century Convent of Nossa Senhora da Assunção.
In Largo da Sé, dominated by the buildings of the Bishops’ Palace, we will exteriorly visit the Cathedral, erected in 1251 after the Christian reconquest on the site formerly occupied by the mosque. Inside is one of the most remarkable collections from the 17th and 18th centuries in the Algarve, a period that is also well represented in the Church of São Francisco with its beautiful gilt carvings and tiles. Nearby lie the two watchtowers that protected the Arco do Repouso, so named because, according to the story, it was here that King Afonso III rested during the conquest of Faro.
 
On the way to Almancil, we are going to visit the village of São Lourenço.  The São Lourenço Church dates back to 1730 and its walls are decorated with the characteristic blue tiles which tell the story of its patron saint.  There is also a good collection of 17th and 18th century statues in the church and the sacristy also houses a fine chest with carved decoration. The Centro Cultural of São Lourenço is also worth visiting. This center has been established for many years and is host to regular art exhibitions and music events.
We will stop at local Portuguese restaurant for lunch to enjoy fantastic local kitchen and taste Aquardente de Medronho.
Straight after lunch we will visit a beautiful village Alte with brightly adorned white washed houses where two are never alike. Up the hill we will descover two natural fountains featured in a park and recreation area. The old ceramic chimneys and carved wooden doors are particularly attractive. The area around the church is a delightful snapshot of the real Algarve. Main church - Built in the 13th century by the wife of the second lord of Alte to give thanks for his safe return from the eighth crusade to the Holy Land, the church has been modified on a number of occasions since, above all in the 16th and 18th centuries. The main chapel has a Manueline triumphal arch that is partially hidden by wooden mouldings. The vaulted ceiling is painted with decorated keystones. The walls and vaults are decorated with 18th century tiles. The chapel of São Sebastião (St. Sebastian) contains some notable polychrome tiles made in Seville which date from the end of the 16th century. The carved vestibules in the chapels of Nossa Senhora do Rosdrio (Our Lady of the Rosary) and São Francisco (St. Francis) are good examples of 18th century art; the latter is also decorated with the coat of arms of the Counts of Alte.
On the way to visit ruined castle, erected by the Moors. Then, stop at Loule, craft center and horticulture.
Return transfer back to your hotel.
one twoWe will departure to one of the most authentic spot in Algarve –Tavira. With its inviting long beaches, typical roofs and chimneys, this picturesque town offers a beautiful view over the Gilao river and Roman bridge.  We will visit Church Misericórdia (Renaissance) whose interior is covered with beautiful signs of azulejos of the 18th, the remnants of the Moorish castle which it remains only the crenellated walls encasing a beautiful garden planted with roses, bougainvillea, hibiscus, oleander etc. Then will passing through the Roman Bridge which will allow us to discover beautiful medieval houses, with Gothic windows and portals. In the suburbs.
Lunch in a restaurant in the Region.
We will also visit the Marina of Vilamoura that all holidaymakers should not miss visiting. It is Portugal's largest marina. The marina has a total of about 1,000 mooring places, and its range of services includes daily weather forecasts, a fuelling quay, boatyard, delivery service, transport, internet access, etc.
Catamaran or yacht for a cruise of 3 hours in the sea along the coast in the direction of the beach Gale, you will be able to fully enjoy nature of the region with fantastic Albufeira view from the Oceanside. We are going to have a stop for swim lovers, where they can enjoy swim in clear ocean water.
Return transfer back to your hotel.
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We will departure in the direction of Lagos: Lagos is a former capital city of the Algarve from 1576 to 1756. This charming city is one of the most beautiful and historical cities of Algarve. It’s beautiful walls retain alleys lined with brilliant white houses. It is from here that some of the great voyages of discoverers have begun in the 15th century.
We will also visit the Praça Infante Dom Henrique with a statue of Prince Henry the Navigator in the center looking out to the sea, the old slave market, which was the first market in Europe.
Discovery of Ponte da Piedade located just to the west of the town, this a stunningly beautiful section of our tour. Ponta de Piedade is a fantasy landscape of caves, grottoes and sea arches that nature has sculpted from the cliffs over thousands of years which contrast dramatically with the turquoise blue crystal clear water of the sea. We will have Lunch in a local restaurant.
Continuation to Sagres: swept away by the wind, this beautiful ancient city is located in the extreme southwest of Europe; it is a place full of history and emotion.
Prince Henry the Navigator built his famous school of navigation here.
Discovery of the tip of Sagres, in part occupied by the fortress built in the 16th century. The cliffs rise nearly vertically from the Atlantic and the Cape St Vincent is overlooking the Ocean of 75 m was of any time considered a sacred place (to the Romans called the Promontorium Sacrum).
Return transfer back to your hotel.

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Departure to Silves an enchanting historical town littered with orange and lemon trees. We will have a guided visit of the Castle which reveals some of the historical importance of Silves. The castle offers spectacular views from its path round the castle only beautifully restored and which make many points of views on the city and the surrounding area.
You will be able to discover the cathedral within Silves, with its splendid manueline door.
We will stop at local Portuguese restaurant for lunch to enjoy fantastic local kitchen and to taste famous liqueur of bitter almonds “Amendoa Amarga”.
Continuation to Monchique - small village in the heart of Monchique mountain, called by some people as the “Algarve’s Glorious Eden ". Fóia is the Algarve’s highest peak, where we get to 900m altitude, watching the coast outlined against the blue sky and sea. Return transfer back to your hotel.

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We are going to depart in direction to Olhao, this major fishing town's the most obvious feature is the square-shaped flat-roofed houses, with their Moorish-style terraces. Behind the 17th century church there is the Nossa Senhora dos Aflitos Chapel. The fish market, a long unattractive (to some) building on the waterfront, offers a large variety of locally caught fish every morning. Other than the noisy bustle of the fish market.
Then we will continue towards to Tavira, one of the most beautiful city in Algarve. We are going tol visit the church da Misericordia, Ruins of the Moorish castle and Roman Bridge. Then,we are going to visit the island of Tavira. There, we will stop for lunch to taste various types’ grilled fish in a fantastic local restaurant at the edge of the beach.
Straight after lunch boat will ride for 45 minutes through Ria Formosa to enjoy the fauna and flora of Ria Formosa Natural Park.

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