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Alvor in the western Algarve is twenty kilometres east of Lagos. This ancient coastal village has a long history but unfortunately the earthquake of 1755 destroyed most of the settlement and its castle. Alvor, situated on a natural lagoon which opens into the sea, is a very popular resort offering sun, sea, sand and a host of leisure activities both in and out of the water.
An Alvor holiday offers all the modern amenities that visitors have come to expect while retaining a traditional Portuguese atmosphere. It is a wonderful place to go to enjoy a relaxing seaside holiday in the knowledge that the sea and sand can be enjoyed in daylong sunshine.
An Alvor holiday appeals to families with young children who are drawn to the resort by its wonderful beaches. Water sports enthusiasts can choose from a wide variety of activities and couples can enjoy the relaxation by day followed by mellow evenings. Young people may find the resort a little too quiet although nearby Praia da Rocha has a livelier nightlife.
Alvor has hot dry summers and pleasant winters making it a year-round holiday destination. The summer is the most popular time with sun seekers and beach lovers flocking to its shores in their hundreds of thousands.
Alvor is a picturesque resort which faces a natural lagoon. Its old town is a maze of narrow cobbled streets surrounding the old parish church which was restored in the eighteenth century after the earthquake.
The warm waters of the lagoon open out into the ocean where deep sea fishing trips are available. The main beach, Torralta, is long and sandy and slopes gently into the lagoon making it safe for children and weak swimmers. Other beaches are found in small coves surrounded by colourful sandstone cliffs with their earthen hues from ochre to burnt sienna. The red cliffs around Praia Dos Tres Irmaos positively glow in the sunshine. Further east there are many deserted coves and caves which can be explored by boat. There is wide provision for water sports including surfing, water skiing, sailing and diving.
A water park in the area provides entertainment for children and there is also a horse-riding centre.
The golf course at Alvor was the last to be designed by Sir Henry Cotton. Lying between two valleys and having a mountainous backdrop, it is a very picturesque course and is said to have one of the longest holes in Europe. The sixteenth hole is six hundred and forty metres long.
Those interested in ancient history can explore the remains of a Roman settlement in nearby Abidaca.
An Alvor holiday provides a relaxing sun-filled holiday with a traditional Portuguese atmosphere.
Nightlife in Alvor is fairly subdued. There are many bars and restaurants but only one disco. The nearby resort of Praia da Rocha has a wider choice of discos and there is also a small casino for those who like a holiday flutter.
Although shopping in Alvor is fairly minimal there is a plentiful supply of shops selling holiday essentials. There are of course the usual numbers of gift and souvenir shops where you can purchase brightly coloured pottery, leather goods, jewellery and embroidered linens as well as a range of other items. There is a market on the first Monday of the month in nearby Portimao.
The many restaurants in Alvor serve a variety of cuisine catering for most tastes. The quayside restaurants serving their ‘catch of the day’ specials are always good value. Fish and shellfish feature prominently on the menus with fish stews and grilled sardines being firm favourites. Wines are an excellent accompaniment to dinner, while the almond liqueur or, for chocolate lovers the Alfarroba liqueur, is a great way to relax at the end of the day.