With so many great destinations to choose from we have made the choice a little easier. We have selected one of the most popular destinations for travel in July.
Portugal’s southernmost region works hard to retain a certain gentility, something a little more tasteful than the Spanish costas. There are lots of luxury beach resorts and charming family-run pensões, as well as budget apartments. More authentic experiences are just round the corner too, in the nearby villages where the way of life remains little affected by coastal mores.
Events and attractions in Algarve
Guadiana boat trips
Vila Real de Santo António, the Algarve’s easternmost town, was designed on a similar grid pattern to Lisbon after the 1755 earthquake destroyed both towns. It’s a pleasant place for a stroll, and also the casting-off point for boats that ferry you north into a different world: the stunning Guadiana Valley. Most end at Alcoutim, a river port since before Roman times and now a delightful town with two ruined castles. Boats stop for lunch and/or a swim.
Caldas de Monchique
First developed in Roman times, this spa in the hills between Monchique and Portimão offers waters at a constant 32ºC with the curative powers of sulphur, and everything from hydromassage to nasal irrigation. Previously rather fusty, it’s been renovated, with several posh hotels attached. For a different kind of cure, try medronho, a local spirit made by distilling the juice of wild berries.
Castelo de Silves
This castle is the biggest in the Algarve and the largest physical legacy of the Moorish period in Portugal: its thick walls, with 11 towers, enclose 12,000sq m. It was fiercely fought over during the Reconquest. Elsewhere, the town walls, medieval bridge and cathedral – with its Manueline (Portuguese Gothic) doorway – are worth a visit. Fábrica do Inglês, a former cork factory, hosts cultural events and, in July, a beer festival.
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