The Eastern Algarve is maybe the least explored part of Southern Portugal, making it a very attractive region to explore. It harbors some very fine beaches, a lot of which are only accessible by boat, giving them that extra touch of adventure. The water is often warmer and calmer, making it an ideal destination for families with small children.
Beaches East Algarve
A lot of the beaches are sandy islands nestled in the Natural Park of Ria Formosa. Ferry boats, water taxi’s or sometimes fishermen will take you there for a small fee. A short ferry ride from Olhão is Culatra island and Armona; from Tavira town, you can reach another popular beach, Barril, with some bars and restaurants for those looking for refreshment, but with its 11 km long stretch of sand also a paradise for those looking for more quietness.
Faro is the entrance port and capital of the Algarve. Most people fly there, but do not bother to visit the town Faro in East Algarve. A shame, because this old harbor town has a very interesting historical center, of which the Capello dos Ossos is the most impressive place of interest, and a leisurely feeling you only find in sea-side towns. It has plenty cozy restaurants and streets full of shops that will keep you busy for the day. You can also take a boat trip with one of the many tour operators that offer a diversity of trips in the Ria Formosa area, to spot birds or have a great feel of the ecosystem of this natural area.
One of the biggest fishing ports of the Algarve, this no-nonsense town in East Algarve, and is popular with tourists exactly because of that feeling of authentic Portuguese culture. You will find old, derelict buildings hand-in-hand with new boutique hotels, and a central market-place that comes especially alive on Saturdays, a feast of sea-food, meat, cheeses, fresh fruit and veggies and all kinds of local delicacies.
Considered to be one of the most scenic towns of the Algarve, with its ancient Moorish influences, Tavira extends along the banks of the Gilão River and is an absolute must-see for anyone in the Eastern Algarve. It’s a pure delight to just wander through the white stone-tiled streets and spend the evening dining alfresco in one of its many tasteful restaurants in the old city centre of Tavira.
Salt Spa at Castro Marim
The local salinas of Castro Marim in the very east of the Algarve, where salt has been produced for more than 5000 years, not only produce some of the finest hand-made salt, but also offer a spa-like experience, though purely natural. Plunge into salt pan for a mud-bath full of minerals, surrounded by nature, and feel how insanely soft your skin will be after that unique experience.
The Guadiana River
Marking the border with Spain in the East Algarve, this river is home to a very extended and unique ecosystem. From Vila Real de Santo Antonio, there is boat trips up the river that will allow you to snif in the diversity of nature along the riverbeds. Another nice thing to do is take the ferry boat across the Guadiana River to Ayamonte, and enjoy some Spanish tapas.
This article about the East Algarve has brought to you by Algarve Housing, villa rental company for better holidays in the Algarve. Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further details regarding the Eastern Algarve, or properties for rent in Portugal.