Eastern Algarve: For Wildlife And Tranquillity
This is a popular region, so for more authenticity, head east of Faro to walk along sandy beaches and across calm lagoons in fishing boats to the islands that make this coastline so distinctive. Enjoy fresh caught food, in traditional restaurants and explore inviting towns with fish and seafood markets.
Visit the desert island-style beach Praia de Fuzeta on the Isla de Armona. Pick up a boat from the quay at Fuzeta, where a fisherman will row you across the lagoon for a few euros.
Mounds of fish and shellfish are caught and bought at the fishing port of Olhão in the heart of the Ria Formosa Natural Park. Look for razor clams, used to make the local dish arroz de lingueirão.
Tavira is a lovely town full of character and pretty houses. From its quay, make the short boat crossing to the Ilha da Tavira which has a long, golden sand beach, laid-back bars and watersports.
Take a boat trip from Faro on the Ria Formosa, a vast lagoon, protected by sea and 60km of beaches and dunes. Explore the river past marshland, mud banks and salt pans to see amazing bird life.
For food, most restaurants offer a set menu at lunchtime, you can feast on caldo verde, (cabbage soup), arroz de marisco (seafood rice) and pudim (crème caramel), with a glass of local wine. Try the traditional speciality xarém de conquilhas – clams and corn mash.
For a comfortable stay, try Monte do Casal in Estoi near Faro, a small hotel with great gardens. Its elegant rooms have large balconies, where breakfast is served each morning. Relax in the heated pool or the spa, have a drink on the terrace and enjoy events arranged by the owners.
Visit the Ilha de Cabanas beach by taxi-boat from the waterfront at Cabanas, to join the Portuguese at play.