It’s worth making a detour to Almancil, 13km northwest of Faro and about 6km south of Loulé, to visit the marvellous Igreja de São Lourenço de Matos. The church was built on the site of a ruined chapel after local people, while digging a well, had implored the saint for help and then struck water.
The resulting baroque masterpiece, which was built by fraternal master-team Antão and Manuel Borges, is smothered in azulejos (hand-painted tiles) – even the ceiling is covered in them. The walls depict scenes from the life of the saint. In the earthquake of 1755, only five tiles fell from the roof.