Although often overshadowed by the nearby Vilamoura, the quaint town of Quarteira on the Algarve is a beautiful and affordable tourist destination that has many loyal visitors coming back time after time. Located in the municipality of Loule, where Vilamoura and the golf haven of Quinta do Lago can also be found, Quarteira is a coastal town and is most famous for its two kilometres of golden beach which has Blue Flag status.
Quarteira was once a small fishing village evolving into a tourist spot over the years. The older part of the town can still be found around the newly developed apartment complexes and although Quarteira is not as upscale as some of the other Algarve resorts, it has proven to hold its own. The aqua show is a major crowd drawer as well as Fonte Santa, found to the east of Quarteira, where a spring is known to have healing qualities.
Among its main attractions is the beautiful sandy beach and the promenade by which the beach can best be accessed. Dotting the promenade is a row of restaurants which feature the best of both English and Portuguese cuisines.
Shopping is only mildly exciting in Quarteira but the most gorgeous traditional Portuguese embroideries and linens can be found in most shops. Avid shoppers should visit the gypsy market every Wednesday where they’ll find rare traditional Portuguese trinkets and treats.
Fresh fish from the local fishermen are a daily treat in Quarteira; what the cuisine may lack in international diversity is made up with the freshest meals in Europe. If you are hoping for a more cosmopolitan marina, next door Vilamoura will definitely oblige with a lavishly diverse pick of upscale restaurants and shops on the harbour and its own casino. There is a day cruise that can be booked from either Quarteira and Vilamoura.
If you are planning a budget holiday staying in Quarteira yields big savings because you’ll find highly affordable lodgings and accommodation in Quarteira while being able to enjoy what Vilamoura has to offer as well. Taking a taxi to Vilamoura does not cost much or you may hire a car to shuttle you and your family back and forth for the duration of your stay. Both Vilamoura and Quarteira are only a twenty minute drive from Faro international airport.
The tall blocks of holiday apartment that can be found in Quarteira are not the only accommodation in Quarteira, there are a number of two to four star hotels in the town all overlooking the beach. Hotel Dom Jose is highly recommended as is Hotel Quarteirasol which is in the very heart of the town. If you would like a more cozy holiday Hotel Praia Sol provides more intimate accommodation with its small number of rooms set in a private garden. It is also easily accessible to both the Quarteira town centre and walking distance from Vilamoura.