By admin | | Posted in: Pine Cliffs
Although there is no shortage of things to do at Pine Cliffs Resort, many visitors will be tempted to explore further afield. This is a fantastic idea, as Pine Cliffs is right in the heart of the most beautiful part of the Algarve, and many would contend that it’s one of the most beautiful parts of the Mediterranean coastline in general. There are many places to visit, and one that we recommend particularly strongly is Armação de Pêra
There are many old fishing villages in the region, but Armação de Pêra is one of the oldest. The name Armação refers to an ancient type of fishing boat with a specially adapted system of nets for catching fish efficiently, which was originally brought to Portugal by Moorish invaders. Similar netting systems are still used in the area, although of course the materials and techniques have been vastly improved by the passage of time.
Armação de Pêra is still a fishing village, in a sense. Of course tourism is the main industry here these days, but the fishermen still go out every morning. Uniquely for this region, the fishermen have no harbour to use. They simply bring their boats onto the beach, as they have for hundreds of years.
Armação de Pêra is a lot livelier than it used to be, and it’s a perfect place to visit if you’re looking for somewhere a little less quiet. The main draw is the incredible beach, which stretches for miles. Even though this is a popular area, the beach covers so much of the coastline that you are bound to find a place for you and your family to relax.
If you’re interested in seeing a little of what remains of the old Algarve, Armação de Pêra is a great place to explore. While the main part of the town has been extensively developed, there is still an old town at the eastern end of the beach, where the aforementioned fishermen bring in their catches every day. Here you’ll find the ruins of a 17th century fort, which was built by an early-modern fishing merchant who owned a huge fleet of boats that he wanted to protect from pirates and bandits along the coast. It’s one of the few fortified structures in Portugal built by a wealthy merchant rather than a nobleman or land owner. If you’re interested in ecclesiastical history then you should make it a point to visit the chapel inside, which dates from the same period. Even if you have no interest in history, the views from the fort area are stunning, especially at sunset.
The most charming part of the town, however, is away from the seafront. If you walk down one of the cobbled streets leading away from the fort, you’ll find a beautiful area filled with shops, cafes and restaurants. Unsurprisingly you’ll find great fresh seafood in this area, and the food is much higher quality than the meals being dished out to tourists along the waterfront.
On a more practical note, if you are staying in a self-catered apartment in Pine Cliffs then you should make a note of the fact that the largest supermarket in the area is in Armação de Pêra, with a huge choice of ingredients both local and imported.