Wherever you look, the colours of the mountains and sea are always with you, creating the impression of a water-colour dotted with highlights of gold, green and blue. The region is an extensive and pleasant one, with a Mediterranean climate, marked by the smell of the sea at low tide and the scent of wildflowers. A stroll through the tangled web of narrow streets, alleys and steps to be found away from the coast is the best way of getting to know this part of the region.
As a result of its convenient access, good infrastructures and proximity to the A22 highway, faro Airport (25km), Vilamoura (5km) and Albufeira (8km), the hills of and around Boliqueime have become a sought-after holiday and residential area over the past few years, where magnificent views to the sea can be seen. The village square with its traditional church as the main feature, surrounded by a few shops and bars is still peaceful and still has its traditional architecture in the more central area, lost in many other such locals that are close-by to big tourist hubs.
Active visitors and residents in Vilamoura have at their disposal, a wide variety of sports and leisure activities: Golf, Mini-Golf, Marina with restaurants and coffee shops esplanades and pubs, quality shops, 2 fabulous Blue Flag beaches fully accessible (Praia da Marina affords easier access), Tennis and Paddle centre, Horse riding centre, Lawn bowling club, Squash, Gyms, Water Sports, Maintenance circuits, Public Bicycles and keep fit circuits and paths and the recently inaugurated Passeio das Dunas, an accessible walkway on the beachfront between Vilamoura and the local town Quarteira (where there is just about about everything).
The Roman ruins with remnants of historic civilizations can be visited at the Museum Cerro da Vila, just a few steps from the Vilamoura Marina. Night lovers will find in Vilamoura one of the Algarve’s most cosmopolitan spots with the Vilamoura Casino, discos, clubs and live music will ensure you a memorable evening.
L O U L É
The evocative battlements of a medieval castle; a maze of narrow, white streets where craftsmen carry on age-old traditions; the vertical lines of the minaret of an old mosque; the broad horizons of a revered sanctuary set high on a hill: just a few facets of Loulé, a town of charming contrasts. Fresh produce markets, formerly true centers of urban commercial activity have regained their importance after undergoing modernisation. Shopping at a market combines the traditional pleasure of searching for the freshest produce with the modern consumer habits of wandering around, looking at shop windows and having a meal. The renovated Loulé Town Market now has an area dedicated to traditional market fare where vegetables and fruits, fish and meat are sold – must to visit.
Sky, sea, soft golden sand. Next, an ochre cliff crowned by the flashing white of the houses. A view of Albufeira that keeps in the mind of those who visit it. Although the municipality’s tourist facilities and its nightlife are perhaps the most famous in the Algarve, these continue to exist alongside another reality: that of peaceful villages close-by where traditional handicrafts are still practised, such as the manufacture of the hand-painted decorative tiles known as azulejos, copper articles or rugs and mats made from esparto grass, surrounded by dryland orchards with almond trees in blossom and brightly-coloured orange groves.