: Sao Lourenco
: Beach bar / restaurant
: Beach bar / restaurant
Car: not necessary
Galé/ Vale da Parra,
Approx 4 Km to the west of Albufeira Old Town, are the stunningly beautiful ‘Blue Flag’ beaches of Gale. The beach is around 5km long with clean golden sand. Therefore even in the height of summer one can find plenty of space to sunbathe. The beach is made up of soft sand and is safe for children. It has all the usual water sports one could expect in the summer time. However from November to March it is very quiet and you can walk west, along the Ocean edge, to Armação de Pêra. This walk is about 5 Km long passing soft sand dunes with the Nature reserve of Salgados on your right. As you arrive into Armação de Pêra you will see many quite quaint beach bars along with many fishermen’s boats.
Turning left (east) on Gale beach, the scenery changes entirely, with small cliffs and rock formations where you will regularly see anglers fishing for their evening meal. The cliffs form many intimate coves that give a safe and natural wind break, where children can play in the crashing waves or explore the rock pools. From here it is possible to clamber over the rock and head east to as far as São Rafael beach (recently voted one of the top ten beaches in Europe), passing São Lourenço, Everisto,–Castello and Cohelho beaches, each with their own beach restaurants and character and absolutely stunning. In between these beaches there are many small sandy coves, where you can sit for hours undisturbed. Also the cliff walks between these beaches makes you feel you are on some desert island with lots of species of natural flower and fauna.
To the North of Galé (approx) 2km is the small and pleasant village of Vale da Parra with its restaurants and bars.
Guia has its own very special character. It has a good mix of Portuguese, ex pats & tourists. It is also the home of Chicken Piri-Piri, which is absolutely delicious! There are many Chicken Piri-Piri restaurants as well as others that serve both Portuguese and international cuisine. There are also bars, banks, chemist, post office, fruit and veg. market, bakery and mini market. The small urbanisation's of Barrancos and Quinta dos Alamos are on the edge of the village and only a short walk to the centre.
From Guia it is only a few minutes drive to the Algarve Shopping Centre. Here you will find many shops including a very large supermarket. There are also many cafés and restaurants plus a cinema and bowling alley. So plenty to do!
A five minute drive to the west of Guia is the very popular Zoomarine. This is simply a must for all the family as it has so much to offer. It has a fantastic 4 dimensional cinema which is great fun. There is also a 'Big Wheel' where, once at the top, one can see for miles. Zoo marine also boasts an excellent and educational underwater wildlife tour with all sorts of strange creatures swimming around. The real star attraction though, and the real highlight of your visit, will be the highly entertaining 'Dolphin show'. The Dolphins, which are very well looked after, do all sorts of clever tricks, including leaping many meters out of the water and into the air. All the family, especially the kids will love this!
There are also several high quality water parks within a short drive from the Village.
Albufeira Old Town,
About 10 minutes away by car to the East of Vale da Parra is the Old town of Albufeira. It is, and has been for many years, a favourite destination of the British and the Irish. Although there have been many changes over the years since I first arrived, the 'Old Town still has that magical feel to it. Sitting in a bar or restaurant in the square with a glass of wine or beer in hand listening to the street entertainment is absolutely fantastic.
From the square, it is a very leisurely stroll through the cobbled streets to 'Fishermans Beach'. Sadly, most of the fishermen have now moved to a new site nearer to the modern Albufeira Marina. However, there is an absolutely fantastic golden sandy beach that the kids will love. Also there is several super restaurants serving a range of various cuisine. These restaurants are beautifully shielded from the wind, especially in the winter, and are a real sun trap.