Portugal - Algarve and Albufeira Horse Riding Travel Guide

If you like to travel, include Portugal in your plans. Besides the breath-taking landscapes you can enjoy in safety, you will find nice, welcoming people who will make your trip unforgettable. For a small country, Portugal has a diversity of landscapes that lie within a short distance of each other, so that your stay will never be monotonous. You will be able to travel between mountain landscapes and beaches, or from peaceful plains extending as far as the eye can see to the bustle of the cities in a short space of time, meaning that you can make the best use of your time here.

The Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost region, is known for its Atlantic beaches and golf resorts. Whitewashed fishing villages on low cliffs overlooking sandy coves were transformed in the 1960s, and now its central coast between Lagos and Faro is lined with villas, hotels, bars and restaurants. The region's western Atlantic coast and rugged interior are less developed.

Our riding centre is close to Albufeira which is the Algarve’s most popular beach resort, boasting beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife and an extensive selection of bars and restaurants.

Please take some time out to explore this area while on your horse riding holiday.

 

Things to do and see

Non-riders will have plenty to do within a very close area to the riding centre .

  • Play a round of golf, renowned for its golf courses, the Algarve has a huge range. Green fees vary between courses, so it is worth shopping around to get the best deal. Very close by is the Pine Cliffs Golf Course which has 9 holes and is a very well maintained course. It is located virtually on the cliff top near Albufeira. The challenging prize of the course is its ninth hole played from the tee over a ravine with beautiful views down onto the sandy beach. This hole has been given the local nickname of the 'Devils Parlour'.  
  • Visit a church - The simple, whitewashed churches that dot the Algarve landscape give no indication of the riches that lie within. Often covered with ancient, hand-painted tiles (azulejos) from floor to ceiling, many also have opulent gilded altars. Doors and windows are frequently Manueline, a style of late-Gothic architecture named after King Manueline (who reigned from 1495 to 1521) that was funded by the vast wealth brought to Portugal from the spice trade. Just outside Almancil is the tiny, 18th-century São Lourenço Church, considered one of the gems of the Algarve. The blue and white azulejos, finished in 1730, cover the cupola, the walls, the nave and nave vault to such striking effect that the richly gilded altar is completely overpowered. Address: Rua da Igreja, São Lourenço, 8135-Almancil  tel: 289 395451
  • Get out to Sea - Algarve Seafaris offer a variety of programmes, including deep-sea fishing, reef fishing and cruises along the coastline, exploring caves and secluded beaches. The choice of transport ranges from large catamarans to smaller yachts and cruises begin at Vilamoura Marina. Stops are made to swim and dive as well as venturing into some of the more impressive caves. Seafaris, Vilamoura Marina, tel: 289 302 318
  • Kayak or Paddle Board  Cave Tours - Praia De Sao Rafael, 8200-613 Albufeira, Portugal tel:+351 926 823 579
  • Zoo Marine - This is the Algarve’s biggest visitor attraction. There is a strong emphasis on conservation and education and many opportunities for children to interact with the animals and birds at close range. The dolphins, sea lions and seal shows are excellent and children aged six and over can swim with dolphins in small groups. There are also water slides and merry-go-rounds. Address: EN 125 - Km 65, Guia, 8201-864 Albufeira  tel: 289 560 300/1
  • Water parks - It’s hard to miss the water parks in the Algarve, as several of them are landmarks. Children absolutely love them and spend entire days there. The closest ones are: Aquashow Park Hotel, Quarteira - Popular for its 50ft-high snake slide. Address: Estrada Nacional, 396 Quarteira tel: 289 315 129. Aqualand, Alcantarillha - The kamikaze, which takes just four seconds for you to slide 120ft, has the longest queues! Address: E.N. 125 Sitio das Areias Apartdao 11, 8365 -908 Alcantarilha tel: 282 320 230
  • Watersports - The west coast provides perfect conditions for surfing. There are various schools for beginners, including Sagres Natura (lessons from €50/day; 282 824072), which picks you up and takes you to whichever beach has the right conditions for the day. Waterskiing can be done in the calmer waters off Quinta do Lago (289 394929 or 96 403 8472), as can banana boat rides, jet skiing and other watersports.
  • Shopping - Local pottery makes an attractive souvenir to take home. The best choice and most beautiful workmanship can be found at Porches Pottery, on the main N125 near Lagoa. Plates in all shapes and sizes are hand painted with flowers, fish, dragonflies and more in blues, turquoises, greens and yellows. Coffee and tea sets, lamps, butter dishes, soap dishes, plant pots and candle sticks can all be shipped home if required. Browse at leisure and enjoy a delicious salad at the Bar Bacchus, perhaps in a corner of the shady garden. Porches Pottery tel: Porches 8400-451; 282 352 858

 

 

Where to Eat and Drink

 Albufeira - has the largest number of bars, restaurants and nightclubs compared to anywhere else in the Algarve! Although famous for 'the Strip', this is only one small part of Albufeira (away from the centre). Actually in the centre of Albufeira, there are many bars and restaurants in the main square, on the beachfront, and dotted around the side streets as well as places to eat and drink at the marina. There are several night clubs and many of the bars in Albufeira have a late licence, so there's a brilliant nightlife! There are restaurants offering every type of cuisine you can imagine and you can pay as much, or as little, as you like to eat out, with a range of different priced restaurants; the cheaper local Portguese restaurants or cafe-bars, where many of the locals eat out, or there's fine dining at the top end, but a huge amount of well-priced restaurants in the middle.

Olhos de Agua – is even closer to your accommodation, this is a delightful Portuguese fishing village, centred around a sandy cove, where fishing boats are still pulled onto the golden sands and old fishermen tend their nets in huts that line the shore. On the beach front there is a wide variety of restaurants and bars.

Weather

What's the best time to go to Albufeira in Portugal? Here are some average weather facts collected from historical climate data: Albufeira has dry periods in May, June, July, August and September. On average, the warmest month is July. The average annual maximum temperature is: 20.0° Celsius (68° Fahrenheit)

On average, the coolest month is January. The average annual minimum temperature is: 13.0° Celsius (55.4° Fahrenheit).  January is the wettest month. The average amount of annual precipitation is only 417.0 mm (16.42 in).

 

 

How to get there

Regular flights to Faro from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Belfastfrom only £40. to Flight time from London 3 hours and transfer to Albufeira 50 km and takes under an hour. Transfer cost is €30 one way.

In Albufeira the bus station is 1.5km north of the historic centre, while the train stops 6km from the tourist centre. The bus and train station are in Faro city centre so a bus journey is required from the airport – these bus and train services do not operate in the evenings after 20.00hours.

All the popular car hire companies operate from the airport.

Taxi

Tropical SunBay Transfers +351 966 118 392 or +351 289 585 189

Jodie from Curious Miracle +351 915 119 549

Radio Taxi Albufeira +351 289 583 230 Vilamoura +351 289 300 160

Pine Cliffs Golf Course

São Lourenço Church Almancil

Kayaking along the coastline at Albufeira

Zoo Marine Albufeira

Water Park at Albufeira

Beach and Restsaurants at Olhos de Agua

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