Relax in the Algarve’s inland region
If you’re on holiday in the Algarve, then place your own special emphasis on rest and relaxation by taking a trip up into the region’s lush green hills.
For a day, turn your back on the beach and head inland towards Loulé. As you make your way up to the castle, cast a glance over the special design and layout of the houses, which still betray certain influences from Moorish architecture. At the market, discover the local handicraft, particularly the woven wicker and straw baskets and the special copper cooking pans known as “cataplanas”, which will definitely lend a picturesque air to any home.
When you get to Querença, try the special spicy smoked sausages known as “chouriços”, which are best accompanied by the famous arbutus-berry brandy known as “medronho”. Next, make your way on to Salir for a trip into the past as you visit the ruins of an old Moorish castle, and stop for a few moments of peaceful relaxation at Rocha da Pena, a rocky outcrop in a place of outstanding natural beauty.
Take a stroll through the streets of Alte with their white lime-washed houses surmounted by delicate lace-patterned chimney pots, and choose one of the typical restaurants where you can enjoy an excellent grilled fish. For dessert, we recommend that you let your taste buds run riot as you sample one of the delicious traditional sweets made with almonds. After such a divine meal, the best thing is to enjoy another moment or two of peaceful and quiet relaxation with a visit to the village’s 16th-century church, a real picture postcard that shows some of the Algarve’s surprising beauty.
By the banks of the Ribeira de Alte, relax beside a naturally formed swimming-pool, refreshed by the sound of running water and the river’s mills, or take a dip in one of the reservoirs that are formed by dams, such as the Barragem do Funcho or the Barragem do Arade. We guarantee you that this brief trip into the Algarve hills will offer you a completely different and marvellous day.
Spend the evening amidst the ruins of Paderne castle, contemplating the houses that spread out before you like a crib at Christmas time and the watermills of the Ribeira de Quarteira. The slowly setting sun will still give you plenty of time to discover the town of Almancil, where you can appreciate the traditional local pottery and the magnificent tiled decoration inside the Igreja de São Lourenço.
If you’re looking to enjoy a night of absolute rest and relaxation, then we suggest that you choose the resorts of Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo, where you will find yoga and Tai Chi centres. As you enjoy a tasty dinner, you can make your plans for the next day, which could include a round of golf, a course of health and beauty treatment at a spa or any other activity that will satisfy your desire for peaceful relaxation and comfort.
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