Monday, 4 April 2011

Things to Do in Portugal - Part 3 Algarve, Portugal

Referred to by some as Europe’s little secret, the Algarve in Portugal with its beautiful beaches that can be found throughout its coastline, is why most people head there.

But a half hour drive away from the coast will lead you to the little village of Monchique, where you will find a relaxing thermal spa, where every treatment harnesses the healing power, thought to be contained within Monchique’s natural thermal waters. This beautiful place and its friendly and welcoming people, make it perfect for a couple’s romantic getaway.

Whilst there visit the “A Charrete” restaurant, offering regional dishes there is no need to book a reservations. You can walk in and seat down. With a beautiful dining area, the average price per person for a full meal is 25 Euros a head. An ideal place for the ravenous, you will certainly leave with your stomach full. Suggestions?, Try the black pork sirloin, it’s to die for! 

As a small mountainside village, Monchique doe not offer much of a nightlife despite a sprinkling of coffee shops and small taverns, it is more about the rest and relaxation. 

Where ever you drive up and down the Algarve coast, you are sure to find several towns and villages that have yet to succumb to tourism, but if you head to the far west of the region, the furthest village on the western Algarve, is Vila do Bispo. A heavenly place for surfers, it remains unknown to the world at large.   

This peaceful village with its rural feel is rich in wheat with several windmills still in operation, these are open to the public to go inside and see how things work. 

The most westerly point in Europe happens to be located in the Algarve – Cabo de Sao Vincente. Known in the middle ages as “the end of the world”. Today the landscape still provides amazing view, with its breathtaking cliffs. If there on a sunny day, you truly appreciate what make it a place that’s “one of a kind” at you stand at the tip of Europe, quite literally. 

The Algarve’s gastronomically strong point is the fish and seafood served in the restaurants all along the coastline. But meat loves needn’t fret, there s alway a good steak to be found! 

A little less well known about the region is its traditional Algarvian firewater – Aguardente de Medronho.  Similar to the Japanese’s Sake, Portuguese Medronho is sure to leave you with a very warm feeling inside.

Over the summer moths, the Algarve is home to literally hundreds of regional parties. Some celebrate saints, some celebrate the founding of a village or town and others, well the others their just for the sake of it. After all if you ask any true Algarvian why they have some many parties and their answer is likely to be “because its summer!”

Diogo Teixeira is a native Portuguese and part of the Bidabooking Team , he enjoys travelling and sharing the best kept secrets. He hopes that his insight into Portugal will help you to see it differently from now on and wishes you a good holiday. 

Enjoy Life, Enjoy Portugal