Alvor - Excursions and Places of interest
Information updated 28 Jan 2015
Morgado da Torre
A treat for wine-lovers, the Morgado da Torre Winery, located near the village of Figueira and just a short drive from our villas in Alvor, offers a chance to sample a range of fine wines from both old and new grape varieties. The estate’s white, rose and red wines are gaining increasing prestige both nationally and internationally and the pretty whitewashed winery shop is located amid stunning scenery including citrus and cork trees as well as row upon row of succulent vines.
With dozens of exquisite coves and breath-taking cliffs along the stretch of coast between Lagos and Sagres, taking to the water on a guided boat tour is an absolute must. Cruises can last from an hour to a whole day, many with opportunities for a swimming stop en route at one of the less accessible beaches. Guides will take you to some enchanting natural caves and intriguing rock formations, such as the delightful grottoes at Ponta da Piedade. Dolphin spotting trips are also very popular and you’ll find numerous operators offering tours from the marina.
Within easy reach of Lagos, the Lagos Zoo was opened in 2000 with an ethos of conservation, education and protection. Now host to hundreds of animals and birds from around the world, from ring tail lemurs to pygmy hippos, ibis to owls, it’s a great place to learn about various species in a relaxed, friendly environment. The zoo is open daily virtually all year round.
Slide and Splash Water Park
Around 20 minutes’ drive from Alvor across the estuary at Portimao is one of Europe’s largest water parks, covering some seven acres and offering fabulous fun for all ages. Huge lagoon-style pools are interspersed with gigantic water slides, tubes and tunnels that vary from gently undulating to fast and furious. Guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s faces, this is one treat you and your family won’t want to miss. Open every day between 1 April and 31 October, the park also runs transport from the main resorts so you don’t even need to take your car.
An hour or so’s drive inland through rolling hills, citrus and olive groves and flowering meadows brings you to the Serra de Monchique, a mountain range that separates the Algarve from its neighbouring region, Alentejo, It’s a world away from the Algarve’s beach culture, with quaint hillside hamlets, lush farmland and spectacular panoramic views. Monchique is a pretty market town nestling between the peaks of Foia and Picota with two beautiful churches and a convent as well as a bustling monthly market. Nearby, just 6 kms to the south, lies the peaceful Caldas de Monchique, home to natural springs of 32ºC that are recommended for their therapeutic properties even today. Both are well worth a visit.
The cheerful, laidback town of Sagres is around 45 minutes from Alvor. With a far wilder, more windswept feel compared to the sheltered coves along the south coast, the Atlantic coastline is breath-taking and dramatic. Scarily steep cliffs are frequented by hardy fishermen eager for a special catch while the magnificent waves on the west coast attract surfers from all around the world. From the town you can visit the barren headland of Cabo de São Vicente, the most south-western tip of Europe, with its red lighthouse and a small but fascinating museum showcasing Sagres’s role in Portugal’s maritime and navigation history.
Other Places of interest
Explore the ancient town of Lagos with its historic city walls, 16th century Governor’s Castle, slave museum and charming old churches. As befits a town with a rich seafaring history, Lagos also has a superb, state-of-the-art marina with over 450 berths and fringed by a smart apartments, chic restaurants and trendy bars.