The Algarve nudges right up against Spain’s western border near Isla Canela so it would be a shame not to pay a visit to the neighbouring country of Portugal during your holiday. This region steeped in history and natural treasures has long beaches, natural bays and dramatic cliffs. There are traditional fishing villages and upmarket resorts.
We set off from Isla Canela and crossed the International Bridge into Portugal heading for the luxury tourist resort and marina of Vilamouro, built from scratch in 1974. We admire the sleek yachts in the harbour and the luxurious waterfront holiday homes. If you are a history buff search out the ruins of the old Roman town just along the coast.
From here we continued to Albufeira, a modern resort just 45km down the coast. The town was originally a fishing village but is now a modern tourist destination with a marina, many golf courses and some beautiful beaches. The town still retains much of its traditional charm and we stopped here to have some lunch in one of the many tavernas.
On the way back we stopped at Vila Real de San Antonio. This former fishing village located at on the banks of the Guadiana River is now famous for its great shopping. You’ll find all the big names here as well as plenty of smaller shops selling typical Portuguese crafts, including beautifully painted tiles. Then we caught a ferry across the slow-moving Guadiana back into Spain. All in all a great day out.