22 Best Things to Do in Almancil

Showing 1 - 15 of 22

  • Almancil
    Church of São Lourenço - Almancil
    Can Stock Photo Inc. / wjarek

    The 17th century whitewashed church of São Lourenço de Amancil is somewhat unusual in appearance having more features than most churches of its size. To one side there is a bell tower to which a long staircase rises from the front of the building. The corners of the roof are decorated with pinnacles and adjacent to the bell tower is a copula.

    What really marks São Lourenço out though is the interior and particularly the azulejo work. These characteristic blue tiles are both noteworthy for their age and their quality - dating back to 1730 they have been attributed to one of the...


  • Aquashow Park - Algarve
    Aquashow Park

    Situated around 2km inland from Quarteira is the Aquashow Park, a huge complex centred around one of Portugal's largest water parks.

    Aquashow is home to a good selection of water-based rides suitable for a range of ages. From adrenaline-fueled free fall slides to just bobbing around.

    The rides themselves are all various combinations of slides, chutes and flumes with or without inflatable tubes. Where they vary is how high, twisty and fast they are but all finish with you shooting out of the end into a pool.

    At the fastest end of the scale are the White Fall and new...


  • Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) - Faro
    Capela dos Ossos - Faro
    Jonny Joka

    Without doubt the most macabre of Faro's many attractions is the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of the Bones), a minuscule ossuary chapel lovingly decorated with the bones and skulls of over 1000 human skeletons. The chapel forms part of the beautiful 18th century Igreja da Nossa Senhora do Carmo (Our Lady of Mount Carmel) Church, with its whitewashed Baroque exterior and richly gilded interior. Towards the back of the church, on the right hand side, a small door leads to a walled garden and this is where the Capela dos Ossos...


  • Loulé Castle
    Loulé Castle
    Sven Grüne / Dreamstime

    The castle at Loulé formed what would have been the northwestern corner of the city walls. What remains of the original castle are the gate tower and three further towers along with the walls that connect them. All seem in remarkably good condition, and this is largely due to the extensive restoration work during the 19th century.

    Loulé Castle suffered extensive damage during the 1755 great earthquake and was again damaged by a much lesser earthquake in 1969.

    Along with many of the Algarve's other castles, Loulé's dates back to...


  • Vilamoura Marina
    Vilamoura Marina
    Região de Turismo do Algarve

    Vilamoura, with its interesting archaeological ruins, was once an important Roman fishing centre. Today, tourists flock to the area thanks to the sandy beaches and year-round sunny weather. But Vilamoura also pulls in the yachting set and the marina here is the largest in Portugal.

    Vilamoura Marina was inaugurated in 1974 and is capable of berthing more than 1000 boats. Unlike the majority of Portugal's other marinas, Vilamoura is known for its glitz rather than seaside charm. This makes it the popular choice for the super-rich looking for a place to berth their...


    Public Places
  • Roman complex in Milreu
    Roman complex in Milreu
    Região de Turismo do Algarve

    A 10 kilometre drive inland from Faro town centre, the sleepy town of Estoi features some of the Algarve’s best preserved Roman ruins.  The Milreu site, just off the N2 highway, was excavated in 1877.  The oldest part of the Roman ruins are thought to date back to 1st or 2nd century A.D. with a large villa and temple being added later, probably in the third century. 


  • Vilamoura Casino
    Vilamoura Casino
    António Sacchetti

    If you fancy a flutter or a chance to rub shoulders with the footballers who have homes nearby, the Casino in the Quarteira coastal suburb of Vilamoura might be worth a visit. 

    The casino has twelve live table games (5 roulette, 4 blackjack and 3 Portuguese dice) as well as an area with 4 tables of Texan poker.  The minimum bet at the roulette table is for €5. There are over 500 slot machines.

    As well as the gaming on offer here, there are daily dinner cabaret shows, a restaurant, bars and the popular Blackjack Disco.  The food and drink here is quite...


  • Arco da Vila - Faro
    Arco da Vila - Faro
    Morgan Davis | BY-SA

    Faro's fine neo-classical archway is the entrance to the Algarve city's old quarter (Cidade Velha). It was built on the site of a much older medieval gateway in the city walls by order of Bishop Francisco Gomes do Avelar in 1812. He oversaw much of the reconstruction of Faro after the devastating 1755 earthquake.

    The design is the work of Genoese architect Francisco Xavier Fabri. Also hailing from Italy is the statue set in the recess above the arch - it is a figure of St Thomas Aquinas, a 13th century Italian religious scholar.



  • Faro Cathedral
    Faro Cathedral

    Whilst much of the cathedral you see today date back to the 13th and 14th centuries this site has considerably more history. The oldest records show that there was a Roman forum built here around two thousand years ago. Following this a mosque was built here. With the Christian reconquest of Faro in 1249 the mosque was torn down and the Sé (cathedral) put up in its place. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary the cathedral is also known as the Igreja de Santa Maria de Faro.

    The cathedral was considerably extended in the 15th century as the population of Faro increased, although the main...


  • Cerro da Vila - Bathhouses
    Cerro da Vila - Bathhouses
    Kolforn (Wikimedia)

    The Cerro de Vila museum is located near the Quarteira suburb of Vilamoura, on the Algarve coastline.  Some pretty interesting Roman archaeological excavations are to be found here, with most of the ruins located within the museum complex.

    The site had been occupied by humans since the Bronze Age, but the Romans were the first to establish a large-scale, permanent settlement here in the year 27BC. Two large Roman villas were located at the site; today fragments of the walls can be seen alongside sections of mosaic. The ruins of the bath-...


  • Faro Museu Municipal / Convento Senhora da Assunção
    Faro Museu Municipal
    Nol Aders | BY-SA

    Also known as the Museu Municipal, this was founded as an archaeological museum in 1894 and is well worth a visit if you are in Faro.  It occupies the site of the 16th century convent of Nossa Senhora da Assunção (Our Lady of the Assumption) whose peaceful, cloistered gardens alone make the visit worthwhile.

    Most of the exhibits here are of Roman artefacts, but there are also collections from pre-historic, Moorish and medieval periods, including a gallery of religious artworks and some 20th century paintings by local artist Carlos...


  • Faro City Walls - Cerca Seiscentista
    Faro City Walls
    Sónia Lopes | BY-SA

    Faro's ancient city walls (Muralhas de Faro), parts of which form a broken ring around Faro’s compact Cidade Velha (Old Town) have an interesting history, reflecting the town's tumultuous past.  The Romans, who called the town Ossonoba, made their presence felt here and built a wall around the area which would have contained the forum and various important buildings. 

    The Moors who later held the town from the early 8th century for almost 500 years reinforced the defensive structures and today Moorish influences can still be seen in the arches around the various...


  • Ilha Deserta beach - Faro
    Praia da Conchas on the Ilha Deserta
    Animaris | BY-SA

    Deservedly known as the "deserted island", Barreta is a narrow 7 km long sandbank off the coast of Faro. It is in fact the closest of a number of sandy islands that make up this stretch of coast. Forming part of the Ria Formosa National Park, this is one of the best destinations for those wishing to escape the crowds and experience the remote calm of an undeveloped wilderness.

    Ferries and speed boats depart daily from Faro.  Be sure to check the time of the last boat back-this island has no...


  • Igreja do Carmo, Faro
    Igreja do Carmo

    The Igreja do Carmo in Faro, with its Baroque façade and twin bell towers is one of the finest churches on the Algarve. The Carmelite church was built throughout much of the 18th and 19th centuries, starting in 1719. Disaster struck in 1755 when the great earthquake that hit Portugal badly damaged the church. However, a new facade was designed by mason Diogo Gonçalves including the now iconic bell towers.

    Although the exterior of the church was not completed until 1878, the lavish interior was complete 150 years earlier...


  • Faro Maritime Museum
    Faro Maritime Museum
    Benoît Prieur | BY-SA

    Faro has a seafaring tradition going back to the times of the Phoenicians and in the small but interesting Maritime Museum you can learn about all things nautical connected with the area.  It only costs around €1 to enter and is free for children under 6, and you can easily spend some time admiring the vast collection of exhibits on display in the museum’s three rooms. 

    The collection includes scale models of fishing boats and some of the seafaring vessels connected to Portugal’s Age of Discovery, as well as fishing equipment and some interesting finds that have...




Almancil travel guide »

A fifteen minute drive from the main airport in Faro, the small town of Almancil is perfectly pleasant and typical of the Algarve. The neighbouring village of São Lourenço boasts...