Aqualand

Out and About

The Algarve remains one of the British family favourites, with consistently good beach resorts from the Spanish border to Cape St Vincent. While summer temperatures may reach 30C plus, the Atlantic breezes on the western and southern coast make Portugal's climate comfortable, especially for children.

Visitors choose to combine relaxing days in the sun with beach activities such as shark fishing, scuba diving and banana boating, amongst others.
Day trips away from the beaches include visits to renowned golf courses, horse-riding schools, water parks, museums and Moorish castles.

Restaurants

The Algarve offers an array of international and local cuisine. The famous Chicken Piri-Piri is sold in many restaurants across the Algarve, however, the town of Guia is said to have the best Piri-Piri houses on the Algarve - this spicy dish is enjoyed by locals and tourist alike. Eating out is so affordable on the Algarve, lunches tend to be long and leisurely. Restaurants on this southern coast are extremely child friendly, allowing you to relax and enjoy the cuisine. The Algarve is a great place to enjoy seafood and fish. Grilled sardines are a great speciality along with swordfish, bream, squid, clams and many more. From the simple chargrilled sardines to gourmet lobster, the Algarve has a wide variety of good food to offer and promises to be outstanding in quality.

Wines

The very cheap wine prices are a bonus. There are many different Portuguese wines to choose from. Some of the more notable ones being 'Dao, Vinho Verde, Reguengos and of course Port'. Sir Cliff Richard's 'Vida Nova' wine can be purchased from the singer's winery in Guia (to the rear of the 'Algarve Shopping' - Look for 'Quinta do Miradouro' and press the bell marked 'shop'). This opened early in 2005 and the shop is equipped for wine tasting tours of the vineyard and winery and can be pre-booked. Contact 00351-289-572 666. Take advantage of the low cost wines, liqueurs, spirits and cigarettes. There is no limit on what can be taken home for personal consumption.

Shopping tips and what to look for

The best buys on the Algarve include leather goods which are locally made, pottery, decorated tiles, crystal, copperware, embroidered tablecloths, filigree jewellery and cork products. The leather goods ie. Bags, belts, shoes can be purchased everywhere from local markets and smart boutiques - usually at a fraction of the cost to English prices. Pottery is sold in shops that are along the N125 (old coastal road). They will pack your shopping and will sometimes arrange international carriage.

Entertainment

Aquashow Family Park

Visit one of the best parks near Quarteira, Loule, Algarve. Enjoy all the attractions, slides, pools, waves, exotic birds and Europe's biggest watercoaster, 23,5 meters high! Dare you!

Boat Trips

Small fishing boat trips are available from Carvoeiro and Benagil allowing you to admire the beautiful coastline and grottos. Some of the larger vessels are available from Portimao offering Big Game Fishing trips, pleasure cruises, and grotto with secluded beach trips (some of them include lunch, which usually consists of grilled sardines, bread and wine).

Fishing

Big Game Fishing from Portimao offer the chance to catch Marlins, Swordfishes, Bill fish, Tuna, Bonitos, Blue fish, Large Bass, Giant Conger Sea Breams and different kind of sharks; blue sharks, Mako sharks, Hammer-heads, Copper sharks are roaming the waters. Usually a lunch is provided consisting of Chicken Piri-Piri, chips, bread and fruit. Cold drinks can be bought on board. The best period of the year to fish is June - September.

Go Karting at Almancil

This Karting track in Almancil is fun for all the family. The Kart circuit is situated 12km from Faro Airport and 8km from Vilamoura. The circuit was inaugurated by Ayrton Senna, and it is a replica of the 'Jacarepagua' Formula 1 circuit in Brazil. The Almancil Karting is surrounded by a 'Western' Theme Park. There is a bar offering snacks, table top games and computer games, picnic tables, bungy trampolines with purpose built safety harnesses allowing you to experiment with acrobatic movements with a feeling of defying gravity from great heights! There are motorised rides on water for infants.

Horse Riding

Horse Riding lessons for beginners and advanced riders, for children and adults. Well trained horses are available for lessons or hacks into the wonderful and scenic hills.

Jeep Safaris

Generally well rated, the jeep safaris are all but boring! They will take you on a journey along the Algarvian Mountains with a few stops to taste the typical Algarvian Medronho (firewater). Normally the tours include lunch at a chicken piri-piri restaurant. Bookings can be made at the tourist information office in your resort.

Krazy World in Algoz

There is krazy golf, a swimming pool, petting farm, pony rides, quad bikes, fairground, crocodile park and many other attractions. Great for the kids and a good family day out!

Lagos Zoo

Located in its own beautifully landscaped gardens between Bara de S. Joao and Bensafrim, Lagos Zoo has a 60m long flight tunnel for the observation of exotic birds and children have the opportunity of close contact with a variety of domestic and farm animals. The zoo has a souvenir shop and restaurant offering meals and snacks.

Monchique Mountains

From the peak, named Foia, 3000 feet above sea level and a few kilometres uphill from the town, the most breathtaking views of the Algarve can be seen. Monchique spa water has been famous since Roman times, and over the centuries the hot mineral springs have eased rheumatic pains of kings and paupers alike. Monchique is also noted for its varied craftwork and its cottage industry of distilling medronho a very strong alcohol from the fruit of the arbutus tree. There are many restaurants on the eucolyptus lined roads to the summit.

Portimão

Portimao is a fishing port where many fishing trawlers bring in the catch of the day. You can stand on the quayside watching fishermen hurling wickerwork baskets of fresh fish from the deep in the hold all the way up to the ice trays. Pleasure boat trips and shark fishing can be booked at the quayside. Summer visitors flock to the sardine restaurants in the square near the bridge. The town has one of the best fish markets in the algarve and a busy modern shopping precinct excellent for shoes, leather goods, and souvenirs.

Slide and Splash

The Slide and Splash park at Estombar is between Lagoa and Portimao and offers lots of thrilling rides, soft slides and children's water fun playground with restaurants. A fun day out for all the family.

Surfing

Surfing, wind-surfing and kite-surfing goes on around the Algarvian coast with a number of outlet surf shops dotted throughout the region offering equipment hire, (your local tourist information centre will be able to help you as to where to hire your equipment). Generally, it is acknowledged that the west coast offers the most in terms of surfing. Surfing is becoming increasingly popular in the region with centres throughout the Algarve offering lessons and equipment hire.

Vilamoura Marina

A vibrant yachting marina situated in one of Europe's biggest private tourist developments. Offering many bars, restaurants, casinos, boutiques and fantastic golf courses. Many trips can be booked from Vilamoura including Dolphin watching and family fun rides, Parascending, Big Game Fishing, Pleasure cruises and Yacht charter. Vilamoura has plenty to offer all the family - day and night!

Events

Beer Festival

The Silves Beer Festival is held in the Fabrique do Ingles for 2 weeks in early July each year. There are many restaurants and live entertainment throughout the summer months including state of the art laser shows.

Fatacil

The fatacil is an annual event which takes place every August for 10 days. It is an important commercial and rural produce fair which exhibits products from all over Portugal and can be found on the N125 in Lagoa. The occasion provides enjoyment for visitors and locals. National bands with their singers entertain late into the night. Animals, handicrafts and food are just a few of the exhibits displayed in the show.