bgoing to Alvor and Armacao de Pera, part of the Algarve
For those considering villas in the Algarve, then an option to be thought about is Alvor. Located 8 km west of Portimão, Alvor became an important port during the time of the Moorish occupation. It once had its own castle, which was built by the Carthaginians in 436 AD, it was attacked and plundered by the Christian Crusaders in 1189, at the same time as the settlements of Silves and Portimão were taken. King João II died here in 1495, after taking the waters at the spa of Monchique in an attempt to cure his dropsy.
The village of Alvor itself is a maze of cobbled streets and a 16th-century parish church with a fine Manueline portal featuring a round arch and beautiful abstract floral motifs. As well as Alvor beach itself, there are some golden stretches of sand towards Portimão, most notably the small cove of Praia dos Três Irmãos with its red cliffs.
Further east are the caves and grottoes at João de Areus and the secluded beach of Praia do Vau nearby. The village of Abidaca, situated on a slope to the east of Alvor, has traces of a Roman settlement. Further to the east, is the bustling fishing port of Portimão, which has many good restaurants and plenty of night-life.
There are many wonderful beaches to choose from, many just minutes away. Children are not left out either in Alvor. There are a number of Water Parks nearby including Slide and Splash, The Big One and Zoomarine. There is also the town of Silves that was once the Moorish capital. In these inland towns and Villages, you can sample a quieter and more relaxed way of life and maybe catch a flavour of what life was like in bygone days.
Another option within the Algarve if you are considering villas Algarve is Armacao de Pera. Armacao de Pera was for centuries a fishing village, a focal point for fishermen attracted by the abundance of fish, especially sardines and tuna, which was salted and sold in the south and in the centre of Portugal. To defend the settlement against raids from pirates and corsairs, a small fort was built in the 17th century at the initiative of a prosperous boat-owner. One of the walls of this old fortification, with a doorway, and above it the royal coat of arms, still stands on a slight elevation overlooking the sea. The chapel inside, which is dedicated to Santo Antonio, dates from the same period. Theses days, the fishermens nets are still to be seen on Praia dos Pescadores or Fishermans beach. But it is to the tourists who come for its broad sands and warm waters the Armação de Pêra now owes its lively, cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Armação de Pêra is a traditional town. The main beach is dotted with colourful fishing boats along the beautiful sandy beaches. The old part of the town has plenty of shops, cafés and restaurants that provides an excellent place to sample the local fish and fruits as well as giving you a flavour of the culture of old Portugal.
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