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

Sao Bras

Sao Bras, Portugal

Found in the Barrocal region of Portugal, not too far north of Faro, Sao Bras is a surprising town that has so much to see and do. Boasting a piquant mix of old and new buildings, you'll be fascinated by the contrast of traditional little churches and the far more grandiose merchant homes and contemporary apartment blocks. In terms of holidays to the Algarve, Sao Bras is well-equipped, centrally located and set among charming countryside vistas, making it a firm favourite with many travellers who want to explore, instead of staying on the beach.

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Eat the local specialities

The Algarve is perfectly positioned to have a glut of fresh seafood readily available, but holidays in Sao Bras tend to expose your palate to many other flavours, courtesy of the Barrocal region. In this area, richer flavours rule the roost, with rabbit, goat and wild boar on the menu, often served in a red wine sauce or stew.

Sumptuous figs, almonds and honey are often used for desserts to stay loyal to local tastes, but you will also be able to find international cuisine very easily, as there are lots of restaurants to choose from.

Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Euro
  • Portuguese
  • GMT - None

Pack up a picnic

When you fancy an excursion, stock up on some tasty treats and head north to the Fonte Férrea area. It's the ideal place to explore if you don't want to travel too further afield. The luscious greenery and scenic views are reward enough but, on a hot day, there's nothing better than jumping into one of the cold spring water pools after venturing around the area. Fonte Férrea is a popular spot, but it's big enough to never feel too crowded, and ideal for a picnic when you need a little break from some of the rich local meals.

Get more spiritual

There are a number of pretty churches in and around the Sao Bras area, and spending the day looking around them all is a great way to work up an appetite and gain a deeper understanding of the culture, heritage and faith in the town. They all have the traditionally Portuguese aesthetic with white walls and gorgeous bell towers, and each seems to have a fascinating story about being demolished or moved as the region has expanded over the years. The Sao Bras de Aportel Church is particularly quaint and photogenic.

Find the unspoilt areas

Enjoying tourist hot spots and activities is always fun during Sao Bras holidays, but taking the time to get away from the usual haunts and up into the hills will give you a whole new insight into this charming Portuguese haven. You'll find hamlets of houses built into the hillside, surrounded by cork and almond trees, with specialist crafts still being practised. It's likely that you'll come away with a beautifully hand-woven basket once you see the artistry that is injected into each one.

Be a culture vulture

As well as the historic ruins within close proximity, you'll quickly discover a host of little galleries and museums during holidays to Sao Bras. The Galeria Municipal tends to showcase modern art pieces, while the Gallery and Costume Museum is home to traditional regional dress through the ages. You'll get a real taste of rural Portugal during your visit here. If history is your thing, you might like to head to the Roman ruins of Milreu, which are just 10 minutes from Sao Bras.

Enjoy some easy fun

While Sao Bras holidays could seem quiet and slow-paced, there are a wide variety of leisure pursuits nearby, all designed to take the hassle out of planning how to spend your time. Favourite attractions include three sizeable water parks, a karting track, an eco tour and four luxury golf courses. There is something for everyone, regardless of age, budget or interests. With numerous restaurants all waiting to serve dinner when you get back from a day of enjoying yourself, you can properly relax.

The perfect blend of a town with heritage and a charming location that is seeking to move with the times, Sao Bras can be whatever you want it to be. Choose to visit historical and cultural sites before enjoying local cuisine in a small, family-owned restaurant, or hit the water parks and drive into Faro for dinner. The choice is yours.