As well as pretty coves with gorgeous beaches, warm water and glorious sunshine, Portugal’s Algarve also offers delicious regional dishes including seafood soups, oregano snails, clams, and roasted dried octopus.
The following optional excursions should be available during your holiday, although the content and availability may change from time to time due to weather, local conditions and demand. Please see your Saga representative for full details of which excursions are available during your stay.
The meandering Guadiana river runs into the Atlantic just over three kilometres east of Monte Gordo. The river has been a natural frontier for more than 2,000 years. In 27 BC the Romans chose the river to mark the boundary between the provinces of Lusitania and Baetica, which were to become Portugal and southern Spain.
You sail up the river, and enjoy lunch in a typical restaurant in a local village.
Drive to the old Moorish town of Silves, which was formerly capital of the Algarve. In Moorish times the city had a population of over 30,000, but its value as a port diminished with the silting-up of the River Arade.
The capture of Silves from the Moors by the Christians in 1244 marked the beginning of the end of Moorish rule in Portugal. The only relic of Moorish times is the Alcazaba, with its red limestone walls reinforced by massive square towers.
The town’s most impressive monument is the former cathedral, which has tombs of the Crusaders who died while helping the King of Portugal capture the town from the Moors.
You continue to the Monchique Mountains, known as the ‘Green Heart of the Algarve’, and Mount Foia, at 902 metres the highest point in the region. Monchique is known for its spa baths, used for the treatment of rheumatism.