Often overshadowed by its larger (and more expensive) neighbour, Vilamoura, the quaint town of Quarteira is well worth visiting on your trip to the Algarve. A great base for golfers looking to explore Vilamoura’s excellent courses, the town is also popular with families and couples looking for a relaxing break.
This charming seaside town was once a small fishing village. Today it still has its maritime roots, with local fishermen arriving regularly with boats packed with their catch of the day. The seafood restaurants here are some of the best in the Algarve, but for the freshest fish and seafood, head to the beachfront stall and pick up fish fresh from the ocean.
Relax on the beach
It’s just a short drive (or a leisurely walk along the beach) to reach Quarteira from Vilamoura. The golden sandy beach has calm waters and stretches for miles. Although popular in the summer months, it’s usually fairly quiet, so you’ll always find a peaceful spot to enjoy a lazy day of sunbathing, with a cool beer in one hand and a bestseller in the other.
Shop ‘til you drop
Another reason to visit Quarteira is its markets. The weekly Wednesday market sells a huge range of traditional Portuguese gifts and gorgeous handcrafted souvenirs. Barter with the stall holders and you may go home with a bargain. There’s also a daily fish and food market, which is a great way to mingle with the locals and enjoy the colourful, lively vibe. It starts early, and most of the fresh produce is gone by mid-morning.
Delicious fresh seafood
Despite being smaller than Vilamoura, Quarteira is packed with bars, restaurants and activities for the whole family. You can’t enjoy a trip here without checking out some of the amazing seafood restaurants and trying some Cataplana, a local seafood rice stew served in a large copper dish and designed for sharing.
Fun for the whole family
If you’re coming to Quarteira with the family, there are plenty of other things to see and do near the town as well. Why not take the kids for a day out at Aquashow Water Park with its thrilling flumes and water slides? Hop on board a boat at Vilamoura Marina and take off on a deep-sea fishing or dolphin watching tour, or take a short bus journey to the historic town of Loule. This traditional Portuguese market town features charming cobbled streets, open-air cafés, and a daily covered market where you can shop to your heart’s content.
It’s also well worth taking a bus trip to Faro while you’re here. Life in the Algarve’s largest city moves at a surprisingly laid-back pace, with pedestrianised streets packed with shops and open-air cafés, and a ruined castle and fortified cathedral in the city’s ancient walled section.
It’s well worth visiting Quarteira on your trip to the Algarve, whether you’re planning a golfing holiday in Vilamoura or want a base from which to explore the area’s many attractions with the whole family.