By admin | | Posted in: Pine Cliffs
One of the huge benefits of Pine Cliffs is the location. Not only do you have all of the resort’s facilities on your doorstep, but you also have several interesting towns to visit nearby. One such town is Quartiera, a charming town that has managed to retain a huge amount of unique character and charm despite large scale tourism in the area.
Quartiera has a history going all the way back to Roman times. Like many towns on the Algarvean coast, it was just a fishing village until relatively recently. However, tourism grew quickly, in part thanks to the excellent quality of fish that kept the fishermen around for so many centuries before the tourists stepped foot in the town.
The fishermen still work every morning in Quartiera. You’ll be able to see them working in the late-morning or early-afternoon at the far western corner of the town’s beach. In the past, the fish was mostly carried away to be sold at market in Faro. These days, the vast majority of the fish caught is sold locally and consumed on the day in the town’s many seafood restaurants.
Portugal, In general, is famous for grilled sardines, and this is an essential dish for anyone visiting Quartiera. Some rate them as the best in the country. Other culinary highlights are the prawns, cataplanas and caldeirada, a hearty, rustic fish stew with ingredients that vary depending on the catch of the day.
Of course the fruits of the sea aren’t the only delights that draw tourists to Quartiera. The golden sandy beach is equally attractive. There are absolutely no rocks on the beach, which leaves plenty of space for laying out to relax, and the whole coastline of the town is bordered by a handsome palm-lined promenade. It’s a perfect place to go for a walk in the evening, and each night you’ll see plenty of locals doing the same thing.
Quartiera (and neighbouring town Villamoura) is one of the few parts of the Algarve where you’ll see plenty of Portuguese tourists among those from further afield. Portuguese people from the chillier northern part of the country flock here, which means there are fewer tourist traps designed to attract the unwary traveler. As with most tourist destinations, if you find a bar or restaurant that is full of native Portuguese then you can be assured that it probably has an excellent reputation.
Last but not least, the incredible Quartiera Gypsy Market is a big draw for tourists and locals alike. The market is open every Wednesday morning. In the past this market had a less than salubrious reputation, but the local authorities have completely transformed the way the market works. Now it happens in a fenced off area, with security to ensure that only reputable and authorised traders are able to participate. Now, it has an incredible selection of handicrafts from the local area, including hand painted pottery, linens, hand crafted shoes, and more. It really is a must visit for anyone in the region.