Alvor, Algarve, Portugal
Alvor is a quiet fishing village just outside the busy resort of Praia da Rocha. There are many restaurants and bars situated along the promenade and around the harbour. The resort does have one disco so if you are looking for somewhere a bit livelier at night you could take a taxi to neighbouring Praia da Rocha.
Alvor is a lovely fishing village just outside the busy resort of Praia da Rocha. It boasts a long stretch of golden sand beach and a pretty village centre with excellent restaurants and bars playing live music. Best suited to couples, families, or those seeking lazy days and a short taxi ride to lively Praia da Rocha. Transfer time approx 1hr 20min.
The beach at Alvor (Praia de Alvor) is more of a sandy outcrop, separating the Atlantic Ocean from the lagoon of the river. There is plenty space to play beach sports or to simply lie and relax, whatever you fancy. There are sunbeds and umbrellas for hire and there are a couple of restaurants should you need something to eat or even just a drink. There are also many watersports available here, such as sailing, windsurfing, pedalos and motorised sports.
Beach of the three brothers (Praia dos Tres Imaos) is situated at the Eastern end of Alvor and gets it's name from the three tall rock formations that rise from the ground and tower over the sands. There are rolling sand dunes to the back of the beach which back on to the lagoon formed by the Alvor River. The many walkways over the dunes are perfect for cycling and nature spotting.
Things to Do
A popular activity for both residents and tourists is cycling. The flat, clear roads make for perfect conditions and it is a great way to explore the village and the different landscapes. It is also a great place for those who enjoy walking and there are many tracks so that people can get to see a lot of the resort on foot. Horse riding is also popular here and there are many centres which provide lessons and trekks for beginners and the more experienced rider.
For the more active, there are many tennis courts where it is possible to either hire or purchase tennis equipment. Sticking with the sporting theme, there are tons of golf courses in the region, many of which are in Alvor. There are 30 courses already with even more planned for the future. Golf is very popular here and many people come from all over the world to enjoy the beautiful courses.
Built at some point before the 12th century, the Alvor Castle is one of the main historical landmarks and worth a visit. Only the turrets and two sections of the wall remain intact but it is still an important historical attraction. Igreja Matriz Divino Salvador, one of the most attractive churches in the Algarve is situated in Alvor. The church is a great example of Manueline architecture and presides over the whole town. There is also the ruins of the Roman Villa Abicada which are situated just outside the town centre. The ruins are in great need of restoration but certainly of interest to any history buffs.
Out and About
There are plenty of restaurants on offer in Alvor, so whether you fancy trying some freshly prepared seafood in one of the harbour front restaurants or you would rather stick to something a little more traditional, there is something here to suit. As Alvor is quite family orientated, you will also find something to suit the little ones.
From cocktail bars, to Irish bars and wine bars, there is a bar to suit everyone and the entertainment can last well into the night so be prepared to party. There are also a lot of traditional bars if you just fancy a quiet drink.
There are plenty of markets in Alvor which is great for those who choose to go on a self catering holiday. There is a great choice of fruit and vegetables and not to mention freshly caught fish, at great prices. There are the normal touristy shops in Alvor but you will also find some nice little jewellery shops and other shops selling ceramics and basketware.
There is lots to do in the surrounding area but one of the more popular things to do is a visit to Lagos Zoo. The zoo is aimed at conserving the environment and it's habitat while educating it's visitors on conservation and is home to many different species of animals and plants. Although it is a small zoo, you will get the chance to interact with some of the animals in the petting zoo. There is also a children's playground, picnic area, snack bar and restaurant here which makes it the ideal place for a family day out.
Another popular family day out is the Slide and Splash water park in Lagos which is said to be the largest water park in Portugal. Not only are there some large, scary rides, there is also a jacuzzi, an Olympic sized swimming pool and plenty of rides and attractions for younger children. The many slides and water related activities make this a favourite with the whole family.
If you want to combine water and animals, take a trip to Zoomarine, Portugal's only animal and marine park. There are dolphin shows, sea lion shows, water birds, birds of prey, a great aquarium and also an alligator compound. You can also take some time out and relax by the pool or have some fun on the amusement rides, whatever you choose to do, the whole family will have a great day out.
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