Activities around Encosta de São José

There is a range of activities available in the area that will suit all ages and interests.

Days Out

A popular nearby attraction is ‘Zoomarine’, a centre devoted to marine life offers facilities for entertainment, leisure, and education, where adults and children alike will discover the secrets and charms of nature and the mysteries of marine life.

Also popular are two other waterparks – ‘Slide & Splash’, rated one of the biggest and best in Europe, and ‘Aqualand’.

Another theme park, near Algoz, is ‘Krazy World’ – includes a mini-zoo, a petting farm, and pony rides. Teenagers can test their driving skills on the moto-quad track and budding golfers can practise their putting on the 18-hole mini-golf course. The swimming pools are especially welcoming when it’s hot.

Also, not too far away is ‘Parque Aventura’ – a supervised tree top assault course, with a number of different adrenaline-pumping routes, testing stamina and posing varying degrees of difficulty. As well as being great fun, this is an educational experience.


The nearest golf course is Salgados, only several minutes away.

Other popular courses are Vale Da Pinta, Penina, and Onyria Palmares to the west.

To the east are Dom Pedro Victoria, Vale do Lobo, Quinta do Lago and San Lorenzo.


A variety of tours are also on offer, mainly from nearby Albufeira, including:

  • Jeep Safaris
  • 4×4 Guided Tours
  • Tuk-Tuk Tours with a personal tour guide
  • Sightseeing Coach Tours
  • Horseback Riding Tours
  • Biking Tours – Coast & Countryside

Alternatively, tours on the water along the coastline are available

  • Cruises exploring Caves and Coves
  • Dolphin-Watching Cruises
  • Pirate Ship Cruise – a half-day or two-hour westward voyage along the picturesque coast, ideal for kids who can pretend to be Captain Hook or Long John Silver!

Other adventurous options are:

  • Kayaking
  • Parasailing

Bird Watching

There is a lakeside Nature Walk and Bird Watching area around Lagoa do Salgados, within easy reach of the apartment and close to the western end of Gale beach.


Wine Tour

The apartment is not far from Sir Cliff Richard’s Portugal home and Winery, the ADEGA DO CANTOR (Winery of the Singer) situated near Guia, at the top of Quinta do Miradouro from which stunning views of the surrounding vineyards and coastline can be seen.

As well as producing wine, guided tours of the vineyards and winery are offered, along with tutored tastings and the opportunity to purchase wines and a variety of merchandise.

History and Culture

Museu Arqueológico

A Museum containing a modest display of archaeological finds encompassing the prehistory, Roman, Islamic, and Visigoth periods, and the modern age.  Set over two floors, the most interesting artifacts include Stone Age flint tools, fragments of mosaics unearthed from a nearby Roman villa, and a collection of weathered 16th-century keystones.  The highlight is an impressive 10th-century Islamic silo, excavated while the premises still served as the Albufeira town hall.

Igreja de São Sebastião

The tiny, whitewashed church of St Sebastian is an understated cultural highlight of Albufeira.  Consecrated in the mid-18th century, its exterior is distinguished by a decoration of flourishing Baroque stonework framing the main portal.  Confusingly, the church’s façade features a plaque dedicated to São Vicente – St. Vincent, the town’s patron saint.  Inside, visitors are regaled with a rare altarpiece of gilded wood surmounted by the rounded and ruddy faces of smiling cherubs.  The nave doubles up as an ad-hoc museum of sacred art and is also used for temporary exhibitions.

Castelo de Paderne

Situated near Paderne, a charming but sleepy little village are the atmospheric ruins of the 12th century, Paderne Castle, sitting in splendid isolation high on a hilltop deep in the Algarve hinterland overlooking the Quarteira River where a well-preserved Roman bridge can still be crossed.  The castle, however, has proved less impervious to the ravages of time.  The still impressive outer walls remain, as do vestiges of the tower gate, but little else.  The site, though, affords a glorious sweep of the countryside, especially evocative during spring when the slopes are flecked with flowers.  Within the ramparts lies the ruined Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Assunção, built after Christian forces overran the Moors in 1248.  Visitors should note that the castle is unsupervised, and the steep dirt track leading up to the entrance should not be driven during wet conditions.

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