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

Sesmarias

Sesmarias, Portugal

Holidays to Algarve don't get much better than heading to the quaint town of Sesmarias. You can enjoy the quiet life in this small town, while being just three kilometres from all the action of Albufeira. Sesmarias holidays give you a true taste of the Algarve without staying in a busy city or crowded town – instead, you can head to a peaceful beach and relax in the sun. Sesmarias has a host of small but welcoming restaurants, so you don't even need to leave the town to enjoy delicious Portuguese cuisine.

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Have a night on the tiles

If you want peaceful days and vibrant nights, you'll be well suited to Sesmarias holidays. It's becoming increasingly popular thanks to its ideal location and gorgeous beaches.

The town has a collection of quality villas and hotels, as well as a number of bars and restaurants. However, if you want a night out to remember, Albufeira is the place to be. It's only a few kilometres away, or a short drive or taxi ride. The main strip – Avenida Carneiro – has bars and clubs open all night long.

Back in Sesmarias, you'll still find some nightlife. The weekends are usually livelier, and bar closing times are as relaxed as the atmosphere!

Happy hour at Scoobies Pool Bar is always popular with Brits, and there's always some great evening entertainment to be had.

Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Euro
  • Portuguese
  • GMT - None

A sweet selection of sandy beaches

The Algarve is famous for its quality beaches – and holidays to Sesmarias don't disappoint. In the region, you have over 100 to choose from and luckily, some of the best are right on your doorstep.

Sao Rafael is one of the best. Not only does it have clear waters and beautiful soft strips of beach, but its cliffs and sand dunes offer some brilliant coastal walks to enjoy too.

If you're after watersports, Galé Beach is the place to go. You'll find jet skis, pedalos and fun banana boats too. In Albufeira there's even more choice. The city's beaches are some of the most popular in the Algarve, and you'll quickly see why. Fisherman's Beach by the old town is well worth visiting, as is Praia dos Salgados.

You'll want Moor of the history

Silves is easily one of Portugal's prettiest towns – and it's only a half an hour drive from Sesmarias. It was once a Moorish capital, and this is strongly reflected in the remaining architecture. Look out for the castle and cathedral from the period – the buildings are fascinating reminders from the town's history.

The central square is in a labyrinth of narrow, cobbled streets and everywhere you go, you'll see sweet-smelling orange and lemon trees. The river here is dotted with gorgeous little cafes, so stop off for a quick snack and enjoy the view.

Every year Silves holds a Medieval Fair, which is one of the biggest festivals in the Algarve. If you're lucky enough to visit in August when it's on, expect jousting competitions, re-enactments, snake charmers, acrobats, local wines and suckling pig.

Dive into the deep blue

No holiday to Sesmarias is complete without going on a dolphin-spotting trip. A huge number of pods call this stretch of coastline home, so if you go out with an experienced guide, you should be able to see these wonderful wild animals.

Tours leave from Albufeira's marina, so it's not far from your base in Sesmarias. Most will also take you along the stunning coastline, letting you stop for a swim in the ocean. You might even have the chance to explore some of the rocky caves!

If you can't get enough of the Algarve's marine world, head out on a diving excursion. As well as beginner-friendly shore dives and shallow sites, there's also the chance to explore wrecks, caves and artificial reefs.

Dream of swimming with dolphins?

Zoomarine is a theme park with a twist. It's all focused around the Algarve's marine life. The park is a short drive from Albufeira and makes for a brilliant family day out. Here, you can watch dolphin and sea lion shows, as well as seeing majestic birds of prey in flight. There's also an aquarium and a rehabilitation centre for sick and injured marine animals.

A highlight of Zoomarine is the chance to swim with dolphins in one-on-one sessions. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is a must-do for nature-lovers. Once you've seen the animals, go to the centre's waterpark. There's everything from a wave beach to high-octane water slides!

Staying in Sesmarias gives you the chance to experience the delights of a holiday in the Algarve without being in a busy city. You can pick your own pace, whether that's the mellow tempo of the locals – or ramping it up in vibrant Albufeira. With delicious cuisine on offer, and many family-friendly activities, it's the perfect combination of relaxing activities and adventurous days out.