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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Alcantarilha

Alcantarilha, Portugal

Portugal's Algarve is one of the most popular places for a sunny holiday getaway, as you're almost guaranteed good weather, even better beaches and picture-perfect villages and towns. Holidays to the Algarve are particularly ideal for families, with many attractions and activities that cater especially for children. These include water, amusement and marine parks, as well as zoos.

Whoever you're enjoying the Algarve region with, Alcantarilha holidays can offer all of the above – and much more besides. Alcantarilha is a quiet town with a peaceful atmosphere, making it ideal for really switching off and appreciating this beautiful part of Portugal.

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Meet some monks

Sitting inland from the Algarve coast, Alcantarilha is the perfect place to relax and unwind. With its laid-back pace, a holiday in Alcantarilha is the perfect retreat from the bustle of the coast and its lively resort towns.

The old town is where you can observe locals going about their daily routines. Whether that's friends catching up over a coffee in the cafés or chatting outside their white-washed houses, you'll feel totally immersed in traditional Portuguese life.

The main point of interest here is the bell tower of Igreja do Carmo church and its chapel. A fascinatingly-macabre place, the Capela dos Ossos is filled with the skulls and bones of over 1,000 monks. They line the walls and ceilings of this 15th-century chapel, creating a unique display that really must be seen.

Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Euro
  • Portuguese
  • 452,000
  • GMT - None

Head for the nearby coast

Despite not being a coastal town, Alcantarilha isn't far at all from the beach. The fine stretches of sand at Armacao de Pera are less than a 10-minute drive away.

There's over 12 km of sand here, so you can lay your towel down anywhere you fancy and enjoy a relax by yourself. There's also the chance to hire sun loungers, if you prefer to recline in style. When you want to get more active, the sea here is calm and clear, so why not go for a swim?

The sands here gently slope into the water, making it especially safe for children to enjoy a dip. Surfing and jet-skiing are really popular in this area too, plus a range of bars and kiosks mean there are no long treks to stock up on ice creams and snacks.

Take a trip to the water park

Alcantarilha holidays are all about fun in the sun, especially for children, or the young at heart! The town is ideally located for numerous parks. Aqualand Algarve is one of the biggest water parks in Europe and it's less than a 10-minute drive away from Alcantarilha.

This outdoor water park is packed with rides, slides and a beach area complete with wave pool. It's ideal for children that might be a little wary of swimming in the sea and would enjoy a pool experience more.

Zoomarine Algarve water park is a little over 10 minutes away by car. Here, you not only get the water park with slides, beach and wave pool, but also a marine park. Seal and dolphin shows run throughout the day, which are sure to keep everyone entertained.

The ideal base for exploring Algarve

When you want to explore the wider Algarve area, there are lots of interesting villages, towns and cities to visit within a short distance. The fortified town Silves is just a 15 minute-drive away from Alcantarilha and is full of history.

It lies within the lush hills of the Algarve countryside, and on the banks of the River Arade. Here you can discover the Moorish influence on the area, especially when you visit the red-brick castle that sits high over the town. You'll enjoy some fabulous views from up here.

Another place rich in history and worth a day trip is Portimão, a port city with a good selection of beaches, which you can reach in 20 minutes by car.

Nearest airport to Alcantarilha

Faro Airport – 48 kilometres

A hire car or taxi will get you from Faro Airport to Alcantarilha in just over 30 minutes.

Sun, sand, history and a whole lot of fun, holidays to Alcantarilha are an obvious choice for anyone looking to make the most of their leisure time. You can be as relaxed or as active as you want – stay in the town and mix with the locals as you stroll around and soak up the café culture, or head to a water park, the beach or enjoy a few unmissable day trips.