Must-see attractions in The Algarve

  • Igreja de Santa Maria


    The symmetrical Igreja de Santa Maria was built during the 15th and 16th centuries and retains a 16th-century entrance; the rest of the remaining…

  • Arco de Repouso


    You can leave the Cidade Velha (Old Town) through the medieval Arco de Repouso (Gate of Rest). Apparently Afonso III, after taking Faro from the Moors,…

  • Igreja Matriz


    The town’s parish church stands on high ground to the north of the centre. A 15th-century Gothic portal and a gargoyle are all that remain of the original…

  • Quatro Águas


    You can walk 2km east along the river, past the fascinating, snowlike salt pans to Quatro Águas. The salt pans produce tip-top table salt and attract…

  • Biblioteca Municipal Álvaro de Campos


    Architecture buffs should pay a visit to Tavira’s municipal library, which was originally the town prison. Architect João Luís Carrilho da Graça…

  • Pólo Museológico da Água

    The Algarve

    On the village square, this small museum has a model of a waterwheel as well as information panels (in Portuguese) on water use. There's also a tourist…

  • Museu de Arte Sacra


    This tiny museum is housed in the beautifully restored 18th-century Chapel of San Sebastian and exhibits sacred art from surrounding churches that…

  • Parque Zoológico de Lagos


    This zoo is a shady 3-hectare kid-pleaser, with many small primates and a children’s farm housing domestic animals. There are 150 different species in all…

  • Fortaleza da Ponta da Bandeira


    Entered via a drawbridge, this petite fortress was built in the 17th century to protect the port. Now restored, it houses an exhibition on the Portuguese…

  • Praça da República


    For centuries this town square on the riverfront served as a promenade and a marketplace, where slaves were traded along with fish and fruit. Today a…

  • Galeria Trem


    This converted military warehouse displays contemporary art with temporary exhibitions by local and international artists – painters, photographers,…

  • Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Graça


    Within the Fortaleza de Sagres, this small whitewashed church dating from 1570 is a simple barrel-vaulted structure with a gilded 17th-century altarpiece…

  • Igreja da Misericórdia


    The 16th-century Igreja da Misericórdia, opposite the Arco da Vila, was originally built in Manueline (Portuguese late Gothic) style but is now nearly all…

  • Igreja de Santiago


    Just south of Tavira's castle is the whitewashed 17th-century Igreja de Santiago, thought to have been built where a small mosque once stood. The park…

  • Praia das Adegas


    If you're not a fan of tan lines, head to secluded Praia das Adegas. Tucked 350m south of Praia de Odeceixe, it's one the Algarve's four official nudist…

  • Statue of Prince Henry the Navigator


    This statue commemorates the prince of Portugal who used Lagos as a launch pad for many of the expeditions he commissioned. It was inaugurated in 1960 on…

  • Fortaleza da Santa Catarina

    The Algarve

    Praia da Rocha's petite fortress was built in 1621 to stop pirates and invaders from sailing up the Rio Arade to Portimão. Panoramic views extend along…

  • Jardim de Verbena

    The Algarve

    Below what was once a bishop's palace, this pretty garden has an 18th-century covered water fountain with eight spouts, and is a shady place for a picnic.

  • Arco da Porta Nova


    At the southwestern end of the Largo da Sé is this small 15th-century town gate connecting the old town with the waterfront, where some boats depart.

  • Statue of Dom Sebastião


    In the centre of town, this silvery sculpture by João Cutileiro, commemorating the ill-fated founder of the city in armour, was inaugurated 1973.

  • Praia do Homem Nu

    The Algarve

    At the far southern end of the Ilha de Tavira, this nudist beach is one of the few recognised strips of sand for naturists in the Algarve.

  • Porta de Dom Manuel


    Built in 1520 when Dom Manuel I made Tavira a city, this stone archway is one of the few surviving sections of the former city walls.

  • Fortaleza do Beliche


    Built in 1632 on the site of an older fortress, Fortaleza do Beliche is 4.8km northwest of the town centre, and 1.2km southeast of the lighthouse at Cabo…

  • Arraial Ferreira Neto Museum


    Quaint displays at this tiny tuna-fishing museum include a diorama of the complex tuna-netting system, mannequins in period dress, model boats and black…

  • Fortaleza da Baleeira


    Above the fishing port, all that remains of the tiny 16th-century Fortaleza da Baleeira is an archway and part of the walls.

  • Lançarote Gate


    Part of the medieval walls, this archway provides southern access to the old town.