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Tourist days out and kids things to do

1st April 2012: Algarve Property News

Written by Paul Rees

Stuck for something to do? Here is a list of just some of the things that you could try during your time in the Algarve.

A Cova dos Mouros: Prehistoric mining park. This is due north of Tavira as the crow flies at the Reserve da Foupana Vaqueiros, Concelho de Alcoutim. Check the website ofr directions. A 1000 meters path on the open where you can find pre-historic reconstitutions of residences and primitive tools, including models of human figures.The visitor gets the feeling of being on a journey to remote times, begining on the Chalcolithic (2 500 b.c.). The visitor may also purchase minerals, regional handycraft and have a refreshing drink. The mineshaft may not be open due to bats but the aork is open and interesting. Tel: 289 99 229

Algarve Dolphins: 90 minute dolphin watching tours. Whales and other beasties may be spied. Lagos Marina, Loja 10, 8600 Lagos. Tel: 282 087 587

Almancil Karting: Go-karting track with 160cc, 200cc karts available. Open until midnight to the end of august. Tel: 289 399 899

Aqualand: Waterpark with slides and water fun features. Open for the summer only until the beginning of September. This is a full day out. Located between Porches and Alcantarilha on the EN125 or get off the Via do Ingfante at the Alcantarilha roundabout and head west for a couple of miles. Tel: 282 320 230

Dolphin Seafaris: From Portimao or Lagos Marina in inflatable boats. These are fast so those with an aversion to speed go with Algarve Dolphins from Lagos (see above) Trips start at around 08:00. They also will search for whales, sharks and anything else that bites. Tel: 282 792 586

Krazy World: Just north of Algoz, which in turn is a few miles north of Guia on the EN125. Just keep heading north on the Messiens road and look for the RHS signpost 3k out of Algoz. This is great for kids, getting up close, but not too close, to all sorts of fierce animals like crocodiles, spiders and snakes. There are gentler animals to observe and interact with like turtles, mammals and birds. There are live snake shows too. This is a full family day out as there is mini-karting, mini-golf, mini-Portugal and a pool and restaurant etc Tel: 282 574 134

Lagos Zoological Park: Landscaped zoo with over 250 species of exotic animals. Educational farm, flight tunnel for watching birds in flight and numerous activites for all the family. Open daily from 10:00-17:00, 19:00 in summer. The zoo is situated within a three-hectare property in the rural parish of Barão de São João, in the borough of Lagos, next to the main Bensafrim – Barão de São João road. Tel: 282 680 100

Monchique Mountain - 'Serra da Monchique': This is a fun drive through Monchique town, worth a stop in itself, and carry on until you reach the top. This trip is about 45 minutes from the 'Monchique' exit on the Via de Infante motorway. At the summit there is a disappointing gift shop and an inadequate cafe but these are soon forgotten as you look at the view across the Algarve coastline to Cape St. Vincent, it's stunning assuming you have picked a clear day. When planning a trip look at the distant mountain first, you can see it from most locations in the Algarve, and see if it has any clouds. If there are just one or two clouds in the Algarve sky, they are almost guaranteed to be clinging to Monchique. The tallest peak is correctly refered to as Foia (902m) and its sister mountain is Picota (774m.)

MonchiqueThermal Baths: Having dragged your family around the Algarve's many venues in a series of exhausting days out, find time to relax at Caldas De Monchique, the perfect place to escape to, following an example set by the Romans who were the first to bathe here, believing that its waters helped to keep them young. http: //

Silves Castle: Obviously located at the highest point in town, Silves Castle once formed part of the wall that encircled the city and was an important defence when it was the capital and residence of the Moorish kings. There is parking nearby but finding it is a question of following signs and not your instinct. Silves is located on the N269, 15km inland from Portimão and 20km from Albufeira. Take the Silves/Lagoa exit from the Via do Infante.

Slide & Splash: Water park with 21 slides. Opens at 10:00, this is a full and exhausting family day out. The park is on the back road to Estombar from Lagoa travelling from the east, or Mexilhoeira de Carregaçao/Portimao from the west. It's singnposted on the big Lagoa EN125 roundabout. Tel: 282 340 800

Zoomarine: Marine themed park with zoo, funfair and dolphin shows. There are sharks, crocodiles, fish, and birds. Located 1 kilometer west of Guia on the EN125. Buy tickets on-line a month or more in advance and get 20% reduction. This is a wise move as the ticket prices soon add up for a family. Very young kids free and children and seniors are discounted to help a bit.

Tourist Offices ALJEZUR: Largo do Mercado tel; 282 998 229 ALVOR: R. Dr Afonso Costa, 51 tel: 282 457 540 ARMACAO DE PERA: Avenida Marginal tel: 282 312 145 CARVOEIRO: Largo da Praia tel: 282 357 728 FARO: Airport: tel 289 818 582 Av da Republica, 18 tel: 289 800 400 Rua da Misericordia tel: 289 803 604 LAGOS: Rua Vasco da Gama tel: 282 763 031 MONCHIQUE: Largo dos Chores tel: 282 911 189 PORTIMAO: Commercial harbour & across from the football stadium (estadio) tel: 282 416 556 PRAIA DA ROCHA: Av. Tomas Cabreira tel: 282 419 132 SAGRES: Rua Comandante Matoso tel: 282 624 873 SILVES: Rua 25 de Abril tel: 282 442 255

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