Alvor is situated on the estuary of the River Alvor, close to Portimão. With a long open beach and a boardwalk facilitating access to the further reaches into the sand dunes and its charm and beauty this town still retains a village feel.
Alvor was originally settled in the 5th century and used as a commercial port. This was continued throughout the Roman era and may well have been a place where Roman coins were minted.
The ruins of Abicada, a Roman villa, can still be visited, although they are a little overgrown due to the State only owning part of the site, the rest being privately owned.
Due to King João II dying in the town, Alvor became well known throughout Portugal. The king was originally buried in the parish church however his remains were moved to Batalha in the north of Portugal where his tomb can now be seen.
Towards the end of the 15th century, Alvor was the centre of the Portuguese Jewish community. However, the parish church, Igreja do Divino Salvador, was built in the early 16th century, having a Manueline-style door with the building rebuilt in Rococo style, in the 18th century, with some of its fine vaulting and other features dating back to the 16th century.
Of course, Alvor has much more. For more information on places of interest in the area click here.
Activities and excursions
There are many fun activities that will keep families of all ages entertained in the vicinity. The calm waters of the lagoon, on the other side of the dunes at the west end of the beach, are particularly good for windsurfing with the beach itself offering a wide open bay to have fun with other water sports including jet skiing, kayaking. Slide & Splash water park is just a short distance away at Lagoa.
There are various boat trips from the river front including fishing, trips around the coastline and caves, dolphin watching.
And for those who enjoy a holiday which includes other sports there are various golf courses, a short drive away, cycling routes, diving centres, various gyms and centres to enjoy yoga, tai chi etc plus great local areas for bird watching and the opportunity to enjoy walking trails.
Restaurants and bars
There is a wide selection of bars, restaurants and cafés offering a choice of different cuisines within the town centre, close to the river front and of course on the beach.
There are plenty of shops in the town for your everyday needs and various supermarkets close by. With shopping malls, both to the east, Aqua in Portimão and Algarve Shopping in Guia (near Albufeira) shoppers will be able to find their favourite stores close by. Both have plenty of seats in the sun, restaurants and cafés for those non-shoppers and Algarve Shopping has a multi-screen cinema. The late-night shopping means you can work or relax throughout the day.
Throughout the year there are many fairs, festivals and shows, too many to list however, For up-to-date information of events we suggest you download the tourist office event guide