The Kingdom of the Algarve
There is a symbolic point of reference for those arriving or leaving the Algarve by train. It’s a small, typically Portuguese train station, in a place called Tunes. It’s an isolated rural landscape, but also a symbol of identity and a perfect example of what can be found in Portugal’s most southern region.
Algarve used to be a kingdom. It was part of the Iberian Peninsula's Muslim territories that were conquered by the Portuguese during Portugal’s first centuries, almost 900 years ago. More was kept from the Algarve Kingdom than just the name: its almond trees, typical houses, fortresses and castles and even its symbolic borders tell us that we’re there.
The Algarve is full of places to go to and leisure activities aside its hotels, beaches of recognized quality, fish and seafood, golf and one of the best climates in Europe.
A good example of that is a place called Odeceixe, at the river’s mouth transitioning to Alentejo.
Journeying a little to the south, Algarve’s western end is Cape of São Vicente, with a beautiful lighthouse. It used to be considered the most southwestern point known, long before the Portuguese discoveries and the maps to reveal what was beyond the Portuguese horizon. Next to it, Sagres’ End can be found, place where a fortress was erected that helped protect the Algarve from pirate and corsair attacks.
A few miles to the East lays the city of Lagos, in which according to history Infante D. Henrique, propeller Prince of the Portuguese discoveries, established his sea navigation school with the innovation that made it possible to sail the oceans.
The cities . .. and the mountains
Mountains are also part of the landscape, two examples are Caldeirão or Monchique, location of the highest mountain in Algarve, Foia, with an altitude of 902m. An interesting way to cross it is by bike, its trails will guarantee you adventurous times!
Cycling is an evermore relevant activity, available in a wide variety of trails and services. There are pleasant courses all over the coast with the ocean breeze and the beaches keeping you company that contrast with the green mountains.
However, Algarve’s main icon amidst its natural wonders is Ria Formosa. It occupies a coast that stretches 60km in between islands and sand banks. It is a soaked terrain and has a unique ecosystem, blessed with a rare beauty where hundreds of species live and goes through Loulé, Faro, Olhão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António, including the most southern point in the mainland, the Santa Maria Cape.
From an airborne perspective, Ria Formosa is a maze of lagoons and canals, elevated to the distinction of Natural Park in 1987. The landscape imposes itself on the visitor, but in order to feel it one must venture its guts. A walk through the Ria is no less than a walk through the senses as it provides an endless amount of activities.
One of the Ria's main activities is ornithology, attracting enthusiasts from around the World. Many are the species, some rare like the Purple-Swamphen or the Northern Shoveler and even the Curlew.
The Ria Formosa is also famous for its clams, boat trips, fishing activities, sea-horses and dolphins observation, and for the most romantic ones, a dinner on a sailing boat.
Culture with sea on sight
In this world of nature wonders, there are also cultural places, like the Portuguese poet João Lúcio’s chalet. The building is one of the few that represents the Portuguese symbolism.
Bordering with Spain in the Far East, Vila Real de Santo António is a reference as well. In between traces of the Romans and Moor castles, the city is bathed by the Guadiana river, offering the possibility to sail to the Alentejo for the ones interested in doing so.
The Algarve is no short of entertainment, and the big decision is whether or not missing out on the beach, great for Summer bathing and Winter strolls. No matter where you twist and turn, in the Algarve you will always find yourself returning to the sea, where it all began.
PortoBay Falésia so close to you . ..
Since we’re in the Algarve, where all the paths lead to the long and placid sea, Falésia beach stands at PortoBay’s Falésia feet, located half way between Albufeira and Vilamoura.
With three viewpoints over the cliffs, the view over the sea and over the abundant greens that fell over the rocks is just one of the many advantages that PortoBay Falésia has to offer to the ones that pass by it.
With a direct and easy access to the beach, the rooms get involved with the swimming pools, with the breath-taking views, confortable spots and great gastronomy, with both smell and taste of the sea. Come to us and rest your body and soul over the gold sand and the sea . ..