The lovely town of Quarteira is a popular holiday destination, especially among the Portuguese. It used to be a small fishing village, but has turned into a holiday resort with high-rise apartments near the sea. The town has a great location, in between Faro and Albufeira. Quarteira has a beautiful beach, which is the main attraction of the town. Behind the beach you can find a splendid promenade filled with palm trees.
Avenida Infante de Sagres is the idyllic palm tree lined promenade that stretches almost the length of Quarteira and its beach. Just walking along its length will get you firmly into a holiday mood! It’s a popular spot for walkers, cyclists and the more active, it even has a variety of outdoor gyms along the way. For the more leisurely people, there is a huge range of cafés, pastelarias, and bars. During the evenings, a busy pedestrianised section at the eastern end hums with activity and a variety of restaurants and bars have outside seating. You’ll find all the typical shops for a day at the beach too.
At the Western end of the promenade, you’ll find the first evidence of the actual working town within the resort. In front of Quarteira’s harbour are the twin fish (Peixa) and fruits and vegetables (Fruta) markets. They’re lively buildings where you can get a variety of fresh products and of course the freshest fish possible. The twin blue buildings are decorated with a selection of painted tiles. If you’re not interested in fresh goods, then its still a good opportunity to witness some busy local activity. At this end of the town you’ll find less touristy cafés and more Portuguese style restaurants and bars.
Behind the market building is the first of Quarteira’s many stone breakwaters. This one marks one side of the busy harbour entrance. Although it’s definitely not for everyone, we enjoy the short walk and looking into the harbour at the boats! On the opposite side you have Farolim de Quarteira Molhe Oeste, which marks the other side of the harbour. If you do walk around to this side you’ll be rewarded with the Alminhas da Nossa Senhora da Conceição. It’s a small shrine dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of Mary. She’s the patron saint of Portugal and wears the traditional white and blue tunic you’ll see in lots of places in Portugal. Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is also the patron saint of fisherman, which is why you’ll see representations and dedications to her in many of Portugal’s fishing towns and villages. It’s a unique window into the traditional Portuguese fishing industry.
Praia de Quarteira is the main beach of Quateira and stretches for almost 2km alongside the town. At the Western end, the beach meets Quarteira’s harbour. In the East, it gets much less hectic and blends into Praia do Almargem. Quarteira’s lively promenade (Av. Infante de Sagres) stretches along the entirety of the beach so you are never far from any facilities you might need. There are more bars, cafés and restaurants than you can count. Confusingly, the beach is broken up into smaller sections by rock groynes or breakwaters. With each section of ‘beach’ having a different name, this can be confusing if talking to locals, as you’ll hear multiple names for the same stretch of sand. From West to East, the different sections are named: Praia da Rosa Branca, Praia do Vidal, Praia do Guilherme, and Praia da Gaivota, but they’re all essentially the same beach.
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