Welcome to Lagos, Luz & Sagres - Further Afield | Day Trips in the Algarve

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Algarve day trips and other fun activities outside the Lagos to Sagres area
Although there is tons to do in the area this website covers occasionally one can feel the need to go further afield on your Algarve holiday. On this page we provide details of some interesting day-trips available, some activities that even the Lagos to Sagres region do not offer, and a list of some of the main nightclubs in the Algarve.

For all the excursions we cover here you will need to either hire a car or arrange taxis. Public transport in the Algarve is not the greatest in terms of frequency or ease-of-use, although it is dirt-cheap, reasonably punctual and the trains are clean. We would not advise you to rely on buses or trains if you are running to a very strict timetable. If you intend to use a taxi when coming back late be aware that prices are slightly higher than day rates and also be sure to book - there is nothing worse than waiting for an hour for a cab when you're 'tired and emotional' and everyone else has gone home. All the main taxi firms speak English so it's not difficult and you will find their contact cards displayed every place you go.

In addition, we strongly warn you about drink-driving. There has been a concerted campaign in recent years to deter this activity and the punishment if you are caught over the limit is severe, including a five year prison sentence if you cannot pay the monetary fine. It used to be the case that you could proffer a couple of 10,000 escudo notes if caught (about £100) and with a wink and a nod to the arresting officer, skulk back home. But those days are now over so best to play by the rules.
 
 
Great Days Out
A Day-trip to Monchique
Monchique is both a town and the name of the surrounding municipality. Less than an hour away by car, the 'Serra de Monchique' is the mountain range inland from the coast and it is a verdant, cool, tranquil area, offering some lovely hill walks, charming villages to explore, great restaurants and shopping for local handicrafts. Monchique is also famed for being the birthplace of the traditional Portuguese dish of chicken piri-piri. Restaurants line the road of Foia and all serve this mouth-watering spicy food. Your itinerary should include:
  • Monchique town; A picturesque collection of white-walled buildings, fragrant gardens, green spaces and churches framed against the steep hillsides of Foia mountain and Picota hill.
  • Caldas de Monchique; About 4km down from Monchique town you find this Spa village that people travel to from far and wide to take the waters. After a gentle stroll around you can head to the centre of the village to the cafes where you can relax with a drink or two.
  • Alferce; Water fountains, cafes and woodland line the road to this charming village with medieval origins. Here you will discover the Cerro do Castelo ruins, an old fortification with concentric walls that was probably built by the Romans. At the top of Picota can be found forests of Medronha Berry Trees (or 'strawberry trees') the fruit of which is used to make the local schnapps.
    For more information click here for the Virtual Portugal website which has loads of pictures, maps and activity ideas for the area.

    Zoo Marine Oceanarium at Albufeira - ZooMarine - Aquarium museum, seal and sea-lion shows, adventure park with loads of rides (seriously large ones for the older members of the group - tamer ones, such as the log flume, for the smaller ones), swimming pools and water slides. The 'Dolphin Interaction' programme is an educational and exhilirating chance to swim with bottlenose dolphins under the supervision of specialist professionals. You get thirty minutes in the water with the dolphins and can participate in some aquatic manouevres with them.

    Fun in Faro
    The capital of the Algarve is more than just an airport and it's a shame that many tourists never consider it for a day-out since it's a proper city with all the amenities you would expect - plus its own beaches. In the Old Town check out Largo de Sé, a grand square with a magnificent cathedral and the Teatro Letts, a small theatre built as a miniature La Scala by an Italian, which often holds classical concerts.

    Spain
    Actually, more than just a day should be given for a trip over the border to Spain, since it's a good three hour drive away and a major city with loads to explore. But local coach companies do offer day-trip itineraries (leaving at the crack of dawn and returning about midnight) or you can hire a car and its autoroute all the way so not a complicated journey. Seville is a great town with a great atmosphere and lovely people and you must must MUST order some tapas when you stop at a bar for a swift half. Seville is also the bullfighting capital of the world so if you're not morally compromised about such things, and you're there during the fighting season, grab a ticket and make a Hemingwayesque evening of it. More information on travelling to Southern Spain.

    Algarve Shopping in Guia and Vilamoura Marina
    'Algarve Shopping' is the name of a large, modern mall just outside of Guia (close to Albufeira) on the EN125 - a kind of mini BlueWater or Lakeside Thurrock. Over 80 outlets and restaurants, easy parking, it carries most of the major Portuguese and Spanish brand name stores, individual boutiques, a massive supermarket and a food hall with loads of options for the kids. There is also a cinema, a bowling alley and wifi hot-spot connection is available. When you're satiated there, head over to the Marina at Vilamoura for the early evening. There are plenty more shops (if you really must) plus many cafés or restaurants where you can rest your feet, order a nice chilled bottle of vinho verde and watch the yachts sail in and out.

    Safari (so goody!)
    Badoca Safari Park, (Herdade de Badoca, Vila Nova St Andres. Tel. (269) 70 88 50, is a huge African-themed nature reserve, about an hour up the A2 towards Lisbon (Santiago Cacem / Sines exit). An open-sided train winds around the park. Giraffes, deer, tigers, monkeys, and various species of birds.
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    Algarve Holiday Half-day excursions
    Algarve karting fun Crazy golf at Family Golf Park, Vilamoura Tel. (289) 30 08 00 Relaxing and funny, facilities include an esplanade with café, a kids club and a gaming room. Family Golf

    Krazy Karting at Almancil - Tel. (289) 39 98 99 Karting Almancil (Sitio das Pereira, Amancil). Go-karting on a track that's supposedly based on the Brazilian motor-racing circuit called Jacarepaguá.

    Krazy World at Algoz - Tel: (282) 57 41 34 In the centre of Algoz, it's a tame sort of 'kraziness' (petting farm, pony riding, reptile house (with real alligators!), two large swimming pools, krazy golf, bumper cars) but we rate it a really good day for families with younger kids. They lay on buses from the main tourist centres. Click here for Krazy World website.

    FIESA at Pera - From May to September Usually open from 10.00am until midnight, FIESA is a 'sand festival' where 'sand artists' sculpt and carve and create a huge themed-park out of 30,000 tons of sand which you can walk around and admire. There's a different theme every year (e.g. 'Mythologies' or 'Space') with light shows, concerts, dance shows and other events.
     
    Nightclubs and Dancing
  • Jailhouse (Rua do Escondadinho 9, Praia do Carvoeiro) - Live music starts around 10.30pm, followed by a late-night pub / disco with dancing till dawn.
  • Vilamoura Jazz Club (Largo Cinema Ed Piramides) - Feeling sophisticated? A venue with live jazz and latin music with dancing most nights.
  • 'The Strip' - Albufeira - Feeling unsophisticated? The 'Strip' is a mile long street full of bars and clubs in Albufeira old town and is basically a shit-hole full of chavs - Portugal's version of Torremolinos or San Antonio. But it's good for drunken sessions, stag / hen nights and dancing, with pissed up Brits, Dutch and Germans causing chaos but having a laugh.
  • GiV (Praia da Oura, Albufeira) - Located at the southern end of 'The Strip' this is a 'cool' alternative to the rest of the mayhem in Albufeira. Ambient, house and club grooves. Occasional celebrity spotting opportunities. Click here for GiV website.
  • On the Rocks (Avenida Tomas Cabreira, Praia da Rocha) - Good dancing fun, friendly crowd, with plenty of sweaty bodies inside grooving and bopping and an outside terrace providing a nice cool spot. Not too far from Lagos so easy to taxi home. - Tel: (282) 41 61 44
  • Cocktail Strip Club (Avenida Rocha Vau, Praia da Rocha) - Does exactly what it says on the tin. 'Special prices for groups' apparently, though we of course wouldn't know anything about that... Click here for their website.
  • Kadoc (Estrada Vilamoura Boliqueime, between Albufeira and Vilamoura) - A huge five-floor mega-club which can hold up to 10,000 party-goers and (occasionally) attracts top name DJs. Click here for Kadoc's website which will show you which DJs are playing and any themed nights - although the general theme seems to be foam, foam and more foam.
  • T- Clube (Quinta do Lago, Almancil) - One for the rich, the trendy, the beautiful. Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo fancy themselves as sort of Puerto Banus for the Algarve so lots of gold and designer labels are on show.
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    Day trips, excursions and night clubbing in the Algarve, Portugal | Contact us: contact@lagos-luz-sagres.com | ©2005-2011 Lagos-Luz-Sagres.com