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The town of Guarda is about 150km inland from Aveiro and has always been a defensive site at the elevation of 1056m above sea level. Colder than most places in Portugal due to its elevation, it is on the edge of the Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela which is one of the area’s most scenic attractions. The area around Guarda is dotted with remote walled villages and castles making it very interesting to explore by car and on foot.
Lagos, which means “lakes”, has many associations with water. The historic river port city was founded on the estuary of the River Bensafrim and expanded along the Atlantic coast. It was the starting point for many of the 15th century Voyages of Discovery when Henry the Navigator, among others, brought great prestige and wealth to the town. Today the beautiful cliffs, sandy beaches and clean waters of this Western Algarve draw many holidaymakers to the area.
The delightful volcanic island of Madeira sits 310 miles west of the coast of Africa and is a 90 minute flight from the Portugal mainland. The island of Madeira, along with nearby Porto Santo Island, was probably the first discovery of Henry the Navigator in the early 1400s. Its location yields mild winters and warm sunny summers, leading to a popular destination all year-round for visitors.
Portimao, situated between Faro and Lagos in the Southern Algarve region of Portugal offers plenty of attractions and things to do, from the beautiful beaches and shops to dolphin watching, golf, discos, restaurants and nightclubs. The Algarve Motor Park, which Portimao is well-known for, hosts such prestigious racing events as the FIA World Touring Car Championships, the Le Mans Series and the FIA GT2/GT3 European Championships. Portimao also hosts a Powerboat Grand Prix in May, an Air Festival and a Sardine Festival with live music, fireworks and of course plenty of sardines!
Sagres is one of quieter holiday resorts which are spread along the Algarve coast of south Portugal. It has somehow managed to retain its own historic identity with its hotch-potch of cottages and has escaped the over-developed resort feel of some other towns further east. Perhaps it is the location, close to Cape St Vincent and Europe’s most southwesterly point, which gives it a more rugged, windswept air. The sheer cliffs at the Cape and the lighthouse are an impressive sight worth visiting. When the sea is rough, the waves boom through the blowhole of a natural cave at the foot of the cliffs.