The best independent guide to the Algarve
The best independent guide to the Algarve
Monte Gordo is a medium size modern resort town that is located on the eastern side of the Algarve. The town may not be as large or as well-known as the resorts of Albufeira or Praia da Roche but Monte Gordo makes for a suitable alternative for visitors who want good weather, a large beach and great value food and drink. This guide will detail a selection of activities and things to do while on holiday in Monte Gordo.
Portugal has invested a significant amount of money to construct a network of safe cycle paths and there is route that extends the length of the Algarve. From Monte Gordo there are short cycle routes to the border town of Vila Real (3km) or the pretty village of Altura (3km).
The harbour of Vila Real, only a short bike ride away
The paths extend all the way to Tavira and it is possible to catch the train back. Hire starts from €7-10 per day for short rentals and €4-6 per day for longer hires, all bike rentals will provide helmets and cycle locks. Cycling is a great method to explore the area surrounding Monte Gordo but it is advisable to avoid the heat of midday.
Monte Gordo is famed for its massive beach which extends for 14km along the coastline. Following the coast westwards leads to the smaller resort town of Altura and eastwards passes along the edge of the pine forests of the Dunas Litorias national park. Timing the walk as the tide is dropping allows the catching of small burrowing shellfish, which are loved by the Portuguese in shellfish stews.
A day relaxing on the beach is a popular thing to do in Monte Gordo
There are many good day trips from Monte Gordo and this guide details them in more depth. Popular day trips include the classic 18th century town of Vila Real which was constructed in just 6 months. From Vila Real a ferry can be caught to travel across the Guadiana river to the Spanish town of Ayamonte.
The third day trip is slightly further and is to the pretty fishing port of Tavira, which is regarded as the most charming town in the Algarve. All of these day trips can be done independently and can be reached via public transport.
Tavira is a great place to visit from Monte Gordo
The beach of Monte Gordo is the resorts main attraction and no holiday is complete without a lounging day on the golden sands, under the hot sun and eating the sweet cakes that are brought round be beach sellers. The beach is vast, with plenty of space even at the height of the summer season.
The beach at low tide
For those who get too hot parasols can be hired (€10 per day) or the cold seas can be braved. The waters of Monte Gordo are crystal clear but are freezing due to the close proximity of the Atlantic Ocean.
As with many resorts the space below the large white apartment and hotel complexes are filled with a range of different restaurants. Many of these restaurants serve up authentic Portuguese cuisine, with a high proportion of the dishes based on the fresh catch of fish or shellfish. A speciality of the Algarve are Cataplana, a seafood stew served up in a large dish that is usually served between two.
The restaurants at Monte Gordo
Fresh fish is found in all restaurants and for lunch the Portuguese love Sardines or even snails for the adventurous. Eating out in Portugal is a fraction of the cost of back home, as all ingredients are locally grown, reared or sourced. To add to any meal try a glass of local red wine or as a refreshing drink a glass of sangria. Many of the restaurants serve home cuisines but while in Portugal do try some of the local specialist dishes.
Monte Gordo is close to three excellent championship grade course with between 9-18 holes. Castro Marim Golf course offers three 9 hole courses with wonderful views and some of the cheapest green fees found on the Algarve (€50). Other good golf course close to Monte Gordo include the Quinta da Ria and the Benamor golf course (€58, 18 holes height of the season). The Algarve is renowned for its golf courses with all courses offer challenging greens and are set amongst stunning scenery.
The promenade along the front of Monte Gordo
Monte Gordo Portugal Holiday Guide