The Algarve is one of the most cosmopolitan tourist areas in Europe. Dream beaches where the air is transparent and warm, a moderate climate all year around, dozens of golf courses, an excellent accommodation and restaurant offer and an animated nightlife are some of the attractions that the Algarve has to offer. Moreover, you can enjoy its big international casinos, a great variety of water sports and a rich and varied gastronomy. However the Algarve is not only this. For those who love fun and entertainment, this is also a region with a lot to offer. Here are some attractions that you should not miss:
Slide & Splash
Slide & Splash, in Lagoa, is the biggest water slide park in Portugal and considered to be among the best in Europe. Since its inauguration in 1986 it has grown and today it has numerous diversions to offer. Here, the main diversions are the slides that throw you into the “final” splash with lots of water!
The Super Dragon spits water instead of fire, the turbulent rivers have crystal clear waters and you can race side by side as you slide down the “Banzai”. There are spiral slides with jumps into the pool and for speed lovers there’s the “Kamikaze”. Sitting on a float, you can also see the world turn blue – inside a covered slide, the “Blue Hole”, or enter total darkness in the “Black Hole”, the only existing one in Portugal.
Are you tired of so much exercise? Take a hydro-massage in the Jacuzzi or simply spread a towel on one of the many lawns.For the children the tracks are slow and smooth and the playground is, as could be expected, inside water. The roars of laughter and screams of adrenalin prove that for both children and adults the aim is always the same – pure diversion.
First opened in 1992, this is a total leisure and competition complex available to all lovers of the most easily to try racing sport: Karting!
Almancil Karting is open all year round from 10 to 20 h. The main track is a 760m length replica of a former Formula One Brazilian race track that was called Jacarepeguá. Almansil Karting was in fact inaugurated by Ayrton Senna.
The park has many activities: Adult Track from the age of 13 (200cc and 390cc), Junior Track from 7 to 12 years old (120cc), Mini F1 Track from 3 to 6 years old, Trampolines, Climbing Wall, Mini Boats, Indoor Mini Z (mini remote controlled cars for all ages), Rodeo, Paintball, Buggy Excursions and Snack Bar .
For groups (starting 8 Drivers) Almansil Karting has a wide range of private circuit competitions. The circuit is homologated by the Portuguese Auto-racing and Karting Federation (F.P.A.K.).
Zoo de Lagos
Feel the freshness of the forest in a world tour through the five continents in a natural space with lush vegetation, colours, forms and several sounds!
With around 120 animals and 200 botanic species, the Lagos Zoo is a modern zoo park and a place for nature’s preservation and protection. Animals are kept according to the highest standards of well being among lush, natural and exotic vegetation.
In 2009 some novelties were added. The tropical Route, the Chimpanzee Quarters, the Terrestrial Hornbills and the Pigeon Nicobar are worth mentioning. Infrastructures include children’s parks, a pedagogical hall, bars shop and the Cangalho Restaurant that works in partnership with the Zoo.
If you are in the Algarve with your family you must not miss the opportunity to visit the Lagos Zoo. It is truly a must see!
Fiesa Sand Sculpture Festival
Fiesa is a mega sand sculpture exhibition that has been taking place since 2003 at Pêra in the Algarve. A unique show in the Iberian Peninsula, this is considered to be the largest sand sculpture festival in the world. It is produced by an international team of 60 sculptures who work with 35,000 tons of sand in an area of 15,000m².
Every year there is a different theme. During the day the sculptures may be admired in all their wonderful and noble details. In the evening the lighting transports us to a mystic atmosphere and is animated by music, theatre and dance shows.
It opens every day from May to October, from 10 am to midnight. A must see!
The Algarve is not only sun and beach. There is a new kind of tourism that, although it does not include the majority of people, it does involve a relevant number of national and foreign tourists. Furthermore it has a positive impact on less developed and populated areas but that are nevertheless quite interesting.
The Via Algarviana project was launched with these two goals in mind; a long pedestrian route (GR13) with 240km on the margins of the Guadiana River connecting Alcoutim to Cape Saint Vincent, the region’s extreme southwest area. The itinerary that has already been marked according to the international nomenclature for pedestrian routes is divided into 30km sections to facilitate the walk and end near villages or crossroads that are easily located.
The route is set in the Algarve hillside and the promoters of this initiative (supported by community funds, European Union, nine councils and the Commission for the Regional Coordination and Development of the Algarve), aim to show travellers and bicycle riders the potential of the Algarve inland; villages, landscapes, gastronomy, etc. The project is coordinated by the Almargem Association and may be consulted on the Internet.