East Algarve – Things to do while the golfers are golfing that’ll make them wish they’d skipped the golf.

Today, I am a golf widow to four (colleagues), all of whom are off playing Quinta de Cima Golf Course. A hardship for them, I’m sure. I’m moreover sure that, like any other golfer in the world, they felt really terrible ditching me for a round. Lucky for me, I’ve got the Eastern Algarve as my playground, the weather is beautiful, and my determination to overwhelm future dinner conversation with fun anecdotes is so strong; I’m ready for anything. In Omnia Paratus.
Your Golf Travel Experts at Monte Rei

So, what to do to drown out the “shanking/iron/slow four ball/quick greens” yack at the dinner table later? Head to Tavira.

A large town on the Gilão River, which runs lanugo into the Atlantic. Tavira rose to prominence in the 15th and 16th century and has a rich naval, military and mercantile history. And, it is beautiful.

As someone who grew up in Dublin, I got used to the idea of there stuff a ‘North Side’ and a ‘South Side’, where a river-divided town or municipality is concerned; with water semester taxing area-preference for visitors and inhabitants. Think Buda and Pest, think staying in Trastevere versus Campo de’ Fiori, living north of the Thames versus south of the Thames. Not so, in little Tavira! Both sides are beautiful, historical, quaint, and gorgeous. There are the same number of restaurants on the west side as the east (which is to say that every third doorway leads into one), and equally trappy little squares on either side.

With so much to do surpassing the boys got when to sink me, I had to be strategic in my touristic choices. First on my list?


Igreja da Misericórdia

Trust me when I say, correctly pronouncing the name is going to win you some seriously-impressed points at dinner. Considering how nonflexible is it to say ‘Quinta de Cima’? Not hard. How nonflexible is it to say ‘Igreja da Misericórdia’ without garbling it and making it sound like you just hit the rosé all afternoon? Not easy (as I found out). This little denomination is a subconscious gem; I would have completely missed it had there not been an Insta-worthy tabby cat sleeping in its doorway. But goodness am I glad I didn’t.

Built in 1541, it features eighteen panels of the most exquisitely detailed eighteenth century undecorous and white tiles depicting the Works of Mercy. If Portugal has converted you to tiling, if you like interiors, or like me (Catholic) you just like churches, this is not one to miss. Moreover included in your 3 archway fee is wangle to the denomination tower. The climb is not for the faint hearted, not considering it’s very far or steep, but considering tower-access makes a mere nod to health and safety in the form of a little gate at the bottom. There are no ropes to cling onto as you navigate the well-worn stone steps to the top. But if you make it, you’re afforded a lovely little view of Tavira (better than what the golfers could boast later).


Tavira Castle (or ‘Castelo de Tavira’ if we’re still working that angle)

The castle dates when to the eleventh century (the time of the Moorish rule of Portugal), and secure the town versus pirates and North African raiders. All that’s left of this magnificent structure are its thick walls, giant gateway and a tower. It’s still something to visit, as the tall walls are wieldy and the views are the weightier in town. Another word to the wise, for the steps up to the walls: they’re very deep and it can get windy up there. If, say, you’re thinking of wearing a puffy dress that day; don’t. Picture one of those children’s tents in gale gravity winds at the top of the Cairngorms. Of course, I’m just speculating… That didn’t unquestionably happen to me.

Tavira Castle

Photo by Vitor Oliveira from Torres Vedras, Castelo de Tavira – Portugal

Post summit and descent, relax in the gardens those walls surround. They too are the stuff Insta-moments are made of. If you’re not into that, just bring a book, sit out. It’s quiet and it smells divine.


Delizia (the weightier gelato outside Italy)

I’ve tabbed it, you can come for me. Delizia is all natural, all succulent and the weightier gelato I’ve had outside of Italy. Don’t believe me? Go, and surpassing you choose, have a peek at the wall covered in similar testimonials. I went for a scoop of walnut and carob with orange (on recommendation of the lovely lady who worked there). I presently swooned. This cone was the Monte Rei Golf Club of gelatos. The flavour was off-the-charts, and it didn’t do that hideously worrying thing some gelato does where it disappears lanugo your stovepipe within point-one-of-a-second. Or perhaps that was considering I guzzled it so fast.

Delizia Gelato

This was a 10/10 for me. I plane texted one of the golfers to inform him. He was annoyed. Rosanna 1, Golfer 0. You see? Swing while you’re winning, widows and widowers.


Shopping at O Arco, Kozi and a million other wondrous independents

We say ‘refined retail elegance’, you think of Paris. We say ‘simplicity’, you think Scandi. We marry the two? You get the Portuguese retail market. It’s woven bags, and leather shoes, it’s ornately dyed rugs and scarves, and semi-precious-stone encrusted metals. If what you can buy in the likes of Kozii (Rua Dr. Augusto da Silva Carvalho) and O Arco (Rua António Cabreira 2) was a person, they’d be who you aspire to be. Elegant and minimal without stuff boring, earthen without stuff dirty, and rustic without that stuff an insult.

Head to either one of these shops, and you’ll come out looking and smelling like someone who takes an reversion velocipede into the countryside to pick chamomile, surpassing heading when into town for a big glass of spicy red with your trillion weightier and trappy friends. Portuguese retail is ‘cool girl or boy chic’ but totally unaware of it.

Can you tell I worked in malleate surpassing golf? I hope so. Get shopping, widow-y people. And then show off your buys, considering you know what you can’t buy at the Pro Shop? Anything *not* relating to golf/taste.


“The Eastern Algarve has fantastic beaches with unconfined options for both All inclusive & bed and breakfast stays with multiple courses to play within a 35 mins drive.”

Tom Hyde - Your Golf Travel Expert

Tom Hyde
Golf Travel Specialist​


Eat, drink, eat again, and then drink some more.

But not so much that you can’t pronounce Igreja da Misericórdia (remember this is crucial)

The Taviran Challenge (I’ve made this up – it’s not real) is finding somewhere to eat when all of the options misogynist to you are so fantastic. My top choices are Mira (R. Dr. Marcelino Franco 27) which does archetype Portuguese tapas (that is a thing) and big glasses of wine, Avant-Garde Bistro (R. Jacques Pessoa) considering it does 1 pints at happy hour (best save this one ‘til the end), Arcada Cocktail Club (Praça da República 8) which does what it says on the gin (wheyyy), and anywhere on Praça Dr. António Padinha.

It’s a gorgeous little square, with a garden in the middle, and restaurants all virtually it. Expect to pitch up for a unprepossessed one and nibbles, and hear buskers play relaxing Bossa Nova sounds for you. Incidentally, I note with pleasure that these are not the successors of buskers one might find on the Piccadilly Line, accosting your eardrums with ‘Hit the Road Jack’ and ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’. If you want to wander over to them and tip, you’ll get a smile and a ‘boa tarde’. If you can’t extricate yourself from happy, beery, sun-slumber, just enjoy.


The Golf Courses in Eastern Algarve


Monte Rei

Monte Rei Golf Resort
Monte Rei Holiday Deals

Quinta do Vale

Quinta do Vale
Quinta do Vale Holiday Deals

Quinta da Ria

Quinta da Ria
Quinta da Ria Holiday Deals

Quinta de Cima

Quinta de Cima
Quinta de Cima Holiday Deals

Castro Marim

Castro Marim
Castro Marim Holiday Deals


Benamor Golf
Benamor Holiday Deals

Golf Hotels in the East Algarve


Vila Gale Tavira

Vila Gale Tavira
Vila Gale Tavira Holiday Deals

AP Cabanas Beach

AP Cabanas Beach
AP Cabanas Beach Holiday Deals

Vila Gale Albacora

Vila Gale Albacora
Vila Gale Albacora Holiday Deals

When to Travel to the East Algarve, Portugal

The Eastern Algarve region of Portugal has a similar climate to the rest of the Algarve, so year-round travel for a golf holiday here is highly recommended.

High season months for golf in the zone are between March to May then September to November, during this time of year the climate is perfect.

That stuff said, outside of these periods, the weather is still unconfined for golf holidays. Although you might just swap the outdoor pool for an indoor one between November & March.

Average East Algarve Temperatures

Getting there

The main route to the East Algarve from the UK & Europe is to fly uncontrived into Faro Airport and momentum withal the main East-West motorway that seamlessly connects the whole of the Algarve. An volitional is to fly into Seville which is virtually 2 hours from Tavira.


“One thing to note is that the motorways in Portugal have tolls so if you wish to stave the uneaten forfeit you could take the old N125 tailspin road for a slightly slower, but perhaps increasingly scenic momentum withal the Eastern Algarve coastline.”

Kareem Smith - Your Golf Travel Expert

Kareem Smith
Golf Travel Specialist​


Right, off to go talk the hind legs off a golfer, well-nigh how unconfined the gelato was, how happy I am not to be playing golf, and to enquire as to whether they meant for their neck to be quite that rouge…


Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Eastern Algarve of Portugal famous for?


The East region of the Algarve contains a number of well known attractions for visitors. The Ria Formosa Natural Park, historic towns like Tavira, Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo Antonio, scenic beaches, succulent seafood and of undertow unconfined golf courses!


What is the nearest airport to the Eastern Algarve region?


Faro Airport is the easiest way to wangle the East but Seville Airport in Spain is moreover a possibility.


Where is East Algarve located?


The Algarve region of Portugal is withal the southern Atlantic coastline of the country and as the name would suggest the East Algarve is in the eastern whet of this coastline running up to the Spanish border.

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