The traditional village of Paderne is quite the hidden gem for history and culture. Paderne Castle still features on the Portuguese flag today and the remains of the 12th Century Moorish Castle is certainly worth a visit. In the village centre, the Corte Real art gallery displays the work of a small group of international artists and is recognised as one of the Algarve’s most innovative and friendly galleries. The village is also home to one or two popular typically Portuguese restaurants and a small number of shops including a minimarket and chemist, while Albufeira and its wide choice of shops, bars and restaurants can be reached within a 20 minute drive.
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With such a large coastline it’s no surprise the Algarve is a great place for all kinds of fish and seafood, with restaurants commonly serving fresh sardines, bream, cod, monkfish and tuna. Another famous dish of the Algarve is chicken piri-piri great for a relaxed atmosphere! Most dishes will be served with served with boiled potatoes and vegetables or salad.
Praia da Luz offers a wide selection of evening entertainment with many bars offering, live music, quiz nights, Karaoke and Cabaret. For a slightly more lively atmosphere you are not far from the resort centre of Lagos.
Boat trips and dolphin watching
Don’t miss a chance to explore the Algarve’s stunning coastline from the water at least once during your stay. Spotting a pod of dolphins is a magical experience and the 2 hr 30 min dolphin searching boat trips operating from Albufeira Marina, around half an hour from Paderne, can also include a visit to the area’s dramatic caves, inaccessible by land, with a refreshing swim stop en route. For more energetic explorers, there are also guided kayaking trips to the caves.
Cleverly combining education with heaps of fun, Zoomarine is both an animal conservation centre and family theme park located at Guia, less than 20 minnutes’ drive from Paderne. The park introduces visitors to exotic habitats and an array of sea and land animals from tropical birds and birds of prey to dolphins, seals and sharks, with shows and presentations throughout the day. Book in advance for a chance to interact with dolphins in person in the unique Dolphin Emotions experience. Besides its wonderful animal encounters, the park provides hours of entertainment with its own waterslides, wave pool and river rafting as well as fun fair rides and a 4D cinema. Open daily from March to October with its own transport service from most of the Algarve resorts.
Located at Alcantarilha, just off the main A22 road towards Faro, Aqualand Algarve offers fabulous fun for the whole family. The park boasts dozens of thrilling waterslides, adrenaline-fuelled rafts and rapids, a wave pool and a dedicated children’s paradise pool that will keep the little ones entertained for hours. With rides sporting names such as Kamikaze, Crazy Leap and Crazy Race, you know you’re in for an exciting day out.
Still represented on the shield of the Portuguese national flag, Paderne Castle was once a Moorish stronghold conquered in 1248. Despite falling into ruins over the years, it remains a site of military architectural interest and maintenance works are ongoing to preserve it. The castle is located around 2 kms from the village of Paderne on the left bank of the Paderne River in lovely countryside that’s very popular with walkers.
Only 20 minutes away is the exclusive resort of Vilamoura with its vast marina, fringed by sophisticated waterside restaurants serving everything from rustic Portuguese seafood dishes to exquisite, Michelin-star cuisine. Gleaming yachts of all shapes and sizes bob contentedly alongside luxury motorboats and racing dinghies while glass-bottom boat tours, day cruises and fishing charters also operate from here. Among the designer boutiques and chic cafés are an assortment of cocktail bars, sports bars and pubs giving the place a vibrant buzz, especially on a balmy summer evening.
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