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Easter in the Algarve: what not to miss

The Algarve is a region that offers countless options, where nature and culture merge. To enjoy Easter with family or friends, discover some suggestions that will take you travelling to the other side of the Algarve and its traditions.

Religious celebrations

Religious celebrations take place all over the Algarve. In the city of Loulé, Easter is celebrated with the “Festa Pequena da Mãe Soberana“, which dates back to the 16th century, in honour of Our Lady of Mercy. On Easter Sunday, the image of Our Lady descends from the hermitage to the Church of St Francis, and over the following two weeks, different religious events take place, the main one being a procession that takes the image back to its starting point.

Regional pastries

This festive season, you can’t miss the typical regional sweets. After a walk overlooking the Ria Formosa, treat yourself to Folar de Olhão, a traditional Algarvian cake with a pastry wrapped in a caramelised mixture of spices such as fennel and cinnamon, orange and brandy. Pair it with Villa Alvor Colheita Rosé and travel through the senses.

Also visit the “Feira do Folar e Artesanato”, where you can sample regional sweets, breads, honey and local liqueurs, between 29 and 31 March in Lagos.

Unique villages

To lose yourself in the origins and knowledge of the Algarve is to find fragments of a rich and authentic cultural legacy. The quiet streets don’t lead you by chance, they lead you to encounters and memorable moments. Between each pause, the senses are reunited with a sense of well-being.

– Alte: located in the municipality of Loulé, in the heart of the Algarve region, Alte is a typical village where you can appreciate the roofs with chimneys decorated with arabesques. Its fountains are a beautiful natural heritage, with the Fonte Grande and the Fonte Pequena. With a beautiful parish church dating from the 13th century and an old water mill dating from the 12th century, Alte reflects the authenticity of this region. On the outskirts of Alte, don’t miss a visit to Queda do Vigário.

Querença: a typical village of natural and architectural beauty, located on a hilltop to the north of Loulé, where tradition is palpable. With typical Algarvian houses stretching up the hill, simple houses with lacy chimneys, this rural village is the ideal place to recharge your batteries this festive season. One of the must-visit places is the Fonte da Benémola, a symbol of the Algarve region’s diverse landscape, where the Ribeira de Menalva crosses.

Castro Marim: discover the historic centre and take a look at the imposing fortifications with an unmissable panoramic view over the salt pans, the bridge linking the Algarve to Spain and the Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António Marshland Nature Reserve, a must-see. Also take the opportunity to visit Castro Martim Castle, built in the 14th century, and the Church of St James.

Cacela Velha: located in the municipality of Vila Real de Santo António, Cacela Velha is one of the most beautiful places the Algarve has to offer. With traces of the passage of the Romans and Arabs, wild beaches and typical streets with whitewashed houses, it is a village full of authenticity and history. Visit the 16th century church by the cliff, admire the 19th century fort of Islamic origin and enjoy oysters or razor clam rice paired with Villa Alvor Singular Sauvignon Blanc.

 Coast and mountains

Ilha da Barreta or Praia Deserta: with more than 10 kilometres of white sand, Praia da Ilha da Barreta, or Praia Deserta, is an extensive barrier island in the Ria Formosa, only accessible by boat, where you can contemplate and enjoy nature at its purest.

Benagil Beach: as well as coastal walks, there is a natural treasure to discover near Praia de Benagil: Algar do José Rodeira. This is a place of singular beauty and a rare geological phenomenon. Invaded by the sea and the sunlight, the caves provide an enchanting setting.

– Serra de Monchique: far from the sea, there’s another natural area not to be missed: the Serra de Monchique. Explore the mountain by car or bicycle and make your way through the vegetation and the diverse populations you’ll encounter along the way.

From the coast to the Algarve mountains, the Algarve region invites you to moments of evasion that awaken the senses. Slowing your gaze on breathtaking landscapes is a rhythm of authentic experiences, such as those you can enjoy at Villa Alvor.