Portugal is a rewarding travel destination, with many diverse and enriching experiences to be had, making it a country which has something to offer to every type of traveller.
The cultural offer of the Algarve is simply fantastic, with a host of museums, historical sites, monuments, archaeological sites as well as diverse cultural activities and festivals throughout the year. We have narrowed down a few of the best cultural offers in the Algarve to give passengers some food for thought prior to touching down in this sunlight haven.
The Estoi Palace in Faro, is a wonderful option to consider. Originally built in the second half of the 18th century, Estoi Palace (Palácio de Estoi) is considered one of the best examples of civil architecture and which is notable for its eclecticism. The palace is also considered by many scholars to be the clearest example of romanticism in the Algarve and it is said to have been inspired by the National Palace of Queluz in Sintra, in the district of Lisbon.
The Sagress Fortress is also a great option, as well as being a known as a surf town, Sagres also has a significant maritime history which makes the Sagres fortress a popular attraction unlike anywhere else in the Algarve region. This monument offers visitors an opportunity to revisit the period of the maritime discoveries and to enjoy one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. The Fort was ordered to be built by D. Henrique, the navigator and dates back to the 15th Century.
The castle of Silves was classified as a National Monument in 1910 and overlooks the busy town of Silves. “The castle is considered the best preserved of the Moorish castles in Portugal, where it is believed to have been built on the site of late Roman or Visigothic fortifications from the 4th/5th centuries and was occupied by the moors around 715 who expanded it.” This powerful remnant is definitely worth a visit if you are interested in Portuguese history as the castle is an impressive example of Islamic military construction in Portugal.
With great connections at low prices, why not make the journey to Lisbon from Faro and enjoy the capitals varied offer such as taking a tram ride, visiting São Jorge Castle or even enjoying a live Fado performance in Chiado. Additionally, we would recommend taking a short train ride to enchanting Sintra, where some worthwile options are visiting the Pena Palace or the Quinta da Regaleira.
If you are looking for something different, why not visit the beautiful city of Coimbra where you can visit the Capela de São Miguel, or visit Portugal dos Pequenitos where visitors can see traditional Portuguese houses from all over Portugal. The Monastery Santa Clara a velha and a nova, and the Biblioteca Joanina, which is nestled on the famous Paço das escolas are also great cultural experiences. Finally, for those who wish to travel further north you can enjoy the plentiful offer of Porto, where you can cruise the Douro River or enjoy a show at Casa da Musica to name a few things to do.
Additionally, Faro’s proximity to Andalusia, in Spain, is another incredible opportunity to discover, another country with cultural diversity and rich heritage. Seville, the region’s capital, is a city bursting with history and charm intertwined with beautifully diverse architecture.
There are plenty of famous attractions to see, including the Moorish ‘Alcázar Real de Sevilla’ which is the Royal Palace of Seville, which is still in use by the Spanish King. Additionally, you can visit one of the largest cathedrals in the world, which is called the ‘Catedral de Santa Mária de la Sede’, or visit Torre del Oro and the Madonna statue ‘Basilica de la Macarena’ which is an unbelievably beautiful statue and is one of the most famed in the city. For those who enjoy art, there is the Museo de Bellas Artes and the Modern art gallery called Andalucian Contemporary Art Centre to enjoy. Finally, something you simply cannot miss whilst in Seville is watching a Flamenco Show. The district of Triana is historically the centre of Flamenco, so a visit to the Museo del Baile Flamenco is a must. The museum is dedicated to the typical Andalusian Flamenco dance which hosts regular classes, workshops and best of all a chance to see Flamenco in action with various scheduled shows.