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Sotavento Tour

To know the Eastern side of the Algarve, start by visiting the city of Faro. In this city you can find various vestiges of the Roman and Arab legacy. One of its main tourist attractions is the historic area, where is you can find the Largo da Sé, once the Forum Romanum. In the Old Town you can visit the cathedral built in the 15th and 16th centuries. It is also in this area of the city that you can discover Episcopal Palace and the Convent of the 16th century, which is currently the Archaeological Museum. You can also admire the ornamental work in gold on wood in the Church of Nossa Senhora do Carmo.

Then, head to Olhão, whose history is linked to the local fishing industry and the architecture reveals the Arab influence in the region. On the beachfront promenade, in the middle of the busy environment of the market, you can admire the diversity of fresh fish and seafood on sale. Take a seat and taste al these typical courses in one of the many restaurants located here.
In Olhão, you can also take a trip to the islands to Culatra and Armona by ferryboat, especially in warmer days.

Don’t miss the chance to explore the Ria Formosa, which extends to the Eastern Algarve coast from Faro to the village of Cacela Velha, near Tavira. This is a protected area and an important refuge for migratory birds.

Leaving Olhão, set off to Tavira. In addition to its many buildings with architecture of the 18th century, there are 37 churches in this city. The most important is the Church of Santa Maria do Castelo, build where once a mosque stand. In this church you will find the tombs of D. Peres Correia and seven of his knights that reconquered the city back after a battle with the Arabs.

In this beautiful city, try to cross the river Gilão by the Roman Bridge, one of the oldest of the Algarve. Follow until the Porta de D. Manuel, the gateway to the oldest part of Tavira and where you can discover the ruins of the Moorish castle that once rose over the city.

Continue this historic tour to the magnificent and historical town of Castro Marim and discover the ancient fortress and the castle with the ruins of a citadel.