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

Guia

Guia, Portugal

Are you considering holidays to the Algarve this summer? If so, why not take a trip to Guia? This small village exudes charm and is a great spot to avoid the summer crowds. It's also a short drive from some gorgeous beaches and within easy reach of some fantastic attractions, including water parks, theme parks and water sports centres. Guia holidays are perfect for those looking for a relaxing break, with no shortage of things to see and do.

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Where traditional meets modern

Guia offers the best of both worlds. It's a traditional Algarve village with narrow, cobbled lanes and whitewashed houses, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. It's just a short drive to the coast, which means you can often see the sea gleaming on the horizon.

Despite its traditional appearance, Guia has a lot going on. You'll find a crop of bars and restaurants, and the lively city of Albufeira is a 15-minute drive away if you want to experience the nightlife. There's even a shopping mall and a theme park on the outskirts of Guia.

Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Euro
  • Portuguese
  • GMT - None

Blue Flag beaches

Sun-seekers will be pleased to know that the Algarve's famed coast is just a quick drive away. Hop in the car and you'll hit Galé Oeste Beach in ten minutes. It's a long swathe of golden sand, accessed via a wooden boardwalk from the car park. This is a quiet spot with a couple of restaurants and sunloungers for hire. It also has a water sports centre, where you can rent windsurfing kit and kayaks.

Nearby, you'll find Praia do Evaristo – a small, golden cove surrounded by dramatic limestone cliffs, creating a lagoon-like swimming area. There's a restaurant and loungers available at this calm, peaceful bay.

If you're looking for something a little livelier, head to Albufeira's Fisherman's Beach. This long stretch of sand is fringed with bars, restaurants and water sports centres. There are numerous activities on offer, including banana-boating and jet-skiing.

Fun with the kids

Guia holidays aren't just for adults – there are lots of activities nearby that kids will love. The shopping mall houses a multiplex cinema showing English films, which is great for evening entertainment.

The star attraction is Zoomarine, less than five minutes' drive from Guia. Kids will be inspired by the interactive shows with dolphins, sea lions and birds, and there's the opportunity to swim with the dolphins, too. There's also a mini theme park attached, with a pirate ship and roller-coaster, as well as a water park area and an artificial beach.

A couple of minutes up the road is Fiesa, a park devoted to sand sculptures reaching up to 12 metres high. There's also an on-site burger bar and a fish spa, as well as sand-sculpting workshops for children.

Piri-piri chicken and wine

For such a small place, Guia has a surprising number of restaurants. You'll find upmarket dining establishments, pocket-friendly grill houses, a pizza joint and a sushi bar. Most restaurants serve Portuguese food and Mediterranean classics, such as steamed mussels, spicy prawns and barbecue ribs.

Guia is the birthplace of spicy, succulent piri-piri chicken. This dish is a must-try on your holidays to Guia. It's served in many restaurants, but it was invented at Restaurante Ramires.

This small village's second claim to fame is that Sir Cliff Richard bought a property on the outskirts, which he converted into a vineyard. Adega do Cantor – Winery of the Singer – is a popular attraction in the area. You can visit for tours and tastings, and you might even see the great man himself.

Day-tripping

Should you want to travel further afield, there are lots of fascinating towns to visit. Picturesque Albufeira is only 15 minutes away. It has an authentic Portuguese feel, and a marina renowned for its seafood restaurants. It also boasts fantastic nightlife.

Within 25 minutes, you'll be in Loulé, another pretty Portuguese town. Stroll around the old quarter and visit the impressive Moorish castle. Loulé also has a renowned tradition of artisans, and you can still see the inhabitants weaving wicker baskets, beating copper and stitching embroidery. It makes it a great place for souvenir shopping.

Groups of friends and families alike will love a trip to the village of Guia. Portugal holidays won't be the same now you've discovered this hidden gem, which promises delicious local cuisine, fantastic nearby beaches, exciting nightlife and inspiring cultural attractions. From trying out a new water sport and swimming with dolphins to sampling Cliff Richard's vintage wine and trying piri-piri chicken, there's always something to enjoy on holidays in Guia.