Quarteira on the central Algarve coast between Albufeira and Faro, is one of the oldest of the Algarve resorts. Family holiday activities and attractions are well developed here - Quarteira comes closest to the familiar large all inclusive Spanish resorts of the Costas and Canary Islands. The family favourite, Atlantic Park Waterpark sits just to the north of this Algarve Resort, and the pretty towns of Almancil and Loule are nearby. Faro and the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa are also conveniently close. As a budget family holiday base, with easy access to local quality golf courses at both Vilamoura and Quinta do Lago, Quarteira will do nicely.
Alongside Vilamoura, Quarteira pulls in the holiday crowds - its long, open sandy sheltered beach is one of its biggest attractions, with ample watersports, holiday accommodation, a pleasant seaside prom and enough bars, restaurants and Algarve nightlife to please all. Quarteira has an old quarter, the site of fish and meat markets as well as the traditional gypsy market every Wednesday. (Quarteira's Wednesday market is one of the biggest on the Algarve).
Budget family beach holidays are on the menu herer at Quarteira. Quarteira's beach runs all the way down the coast almost to Faro, so there's plenty of space for all.
The seafront promenade is lined with restaurants, holidays shops and bars, and the beach is nicely sheltered for families. There's ample holdiay accommodation available near the beach too! Fishing on the beach is also popular.
For all inclusive family beach holidays, and plenty of traditional holidays resort resources close at hand, Quarteira is perfect, and some of the cheapest accommodation on the Algarve can be booked here.
The seafront, promenade and numerous cafes and restaurants, plus its endless sandy beach are Quarteira's highlights. Perfect for peak summer season beach holidays, but be aware that out of season, many bars and restaurants close. Quarteira is best for peak summer season Algarve beach resort holidays.
Quarteira is a bustling family holiday resort, with numerous excursions departing from hotels to holiday attractions across the Algarve. Boat trips from nearby Vilamoura Harbour, daytrips to Aqualand near Albufeira, historic tours of Faro and Tavira, or daytrips to Lagos and the west Algarve can all be easily booked on from Quarteira. Nearby family holiday attractions include,
Atlantic Park. (EN125, Quatro Estradas, Quarteira-Loule road, Vilamoura. Mid-Apr-Oct 10am-6pm; Aug 10am-7pm.) The smallest of the Algarve's waterparks.
Aqua Show Family Park, Semino EN 396, 8125-33 Quarteira, Algarve, Portugal. Tel: 351 289 389 396. (weblink right for details).
Kartodromo de Almancil (Go-Karting Almancil/Great for Stag & Hen Parties), Sitio das Pereiras - 8135-022 Almancil. Algarve - Portugal. Tel: 351 289 399 899. Checkout the weblink right for details. This go-karting track is a replica of the former Brazilian F1 racing track Jacarapegua, so you can expect a complicated challenge of a go-karting track here!
Loule bursts into life particularly on Saturday mornings when it holds its huge open air market (parking is horrendous here on Saturday mornings, so get there early or hook into a coach excursion to the market).
Loule's indoor market is open every day offering a choice of food and craft stalls. There's plenty of great specialist shops here too, particularly for shoes, but also for crafts, leather goods and lace. There's a history of handicrafts in Loule, and indeed there's a steep alley called Calcada dos Sapateiros meaning Shoemakers' Alley within the town.
A number of historic attractions are within this large Algarve town, including the castle ruins which now play host to the Museu Municipal de Arqueologia (situated on Largo Dom Pedro 1, Loule. Tel: 289 400 642. Open 9am to 5.30pm from Mondays to Fridays and from 10am to 2pm on Saturdays). Both Romans and Moors settled in Loule, and this museum has a fine selection of Roman and Bronze Age artefacts (lookout for the Moorish floor underneath a glass panel) as well as prehistoric tools and pottery fragments. The tourist information centre is connected to the Castle museum. Entrance to the Archeological Museum includes a tour of the remains of the castle walls.
Just opposite the castle is Nossa Senhora da Conceicao dating from the mid 17th century. It's free to get in and open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9.30am to 1pm. The Espirito Santo monastery on-site is a converted Municipal Art Gallery. If horse riding is more to your taste, contact Crazy Horse Ranch situated just to the north of Loule (Tel: 962 685 298, Vale do Telheiro).
Loule Carnival takes place annually in late February into early March. There's also a Jazz festival every July. If you're planning to stay in Loule on the Algarve during those dates, it's well worth booking in advance.