Family Days Out, Great Shopping and Excellent Dining in Almancil
In the Heart of the Algarve’s Golden Triangle
The upmarket town of Almancil keeps good company, joining the glamorous resorts of Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo as part of the Algarve’s illustrious ‘Golden Triangle’. Though maybe lesser known than its opulent neighbours, Almancil – located just 7 minutes away from Formosa Park – is the perfect place to partake in some retail therapy, with its excess of stylish boutiques and high-end fashion houses… and when it comes to eating out, you’re spoilt for choice with the many fine-dining establishments, specialising in an appetising array of Portuguese and International cuisine.
For families, Almancil offers a wide-range of leisure activities that can be enjoyed by children of all ages during the day… and of an evening, a majority of the restaurants that frequent the town possess spacious play-areas, making dinner time an enjoyable experience for all.
Ultimately, Almancil has you covered in whatever it is you require from your Algarve getaway… and our brief guide to this charismatic town will let you discover some of its charms, before you arrive.
Almancil Shopping: Luxury Boutiques, Sports Retailers and Supermarkets
Quinta Shopping is the beating heart of Almancil’s revered retail centre. Divided between Quinta and the Bougainvillea Plaza, the former is where you will find the town’s extensive array of stylish independent boutiques and high-end fashion houses.
There are seemingly no end of boutiques to choose from, but for all your fashion needs, Escales and Jasmin Noir offer a stunning selection of the season’s styles. Richards and Turtle are boutiques specialising in men’s fashion, with the latter also possessing a separate store dedicated to children’s clothing… and for those looking to treat themselves or a loved one, Boutique dos Relogios house an impressive collection of designer watches and dazzling jewellery. The various independent boutiques are also neighboured by Almancil’s selection of more opulent brands, with names such as Hugo Boss and Lacoste making their home in the Quinta.
For those who are enjoying the regions golf courses, the Pro Golf Shops of San Lorenzo and Pinheiros Altos accommodate for all your golfing needs with their extensive collections of clubs, equipment and clothing… but golf nuts may find it hard to resist Quinta’s dedicated sports shops, Golfino and Escada Sport; which also supply tennis equipment for anyone looking to partake in a set or two on one of the Algarve’s many tennis courts.
Once you’ve had your fill of retail therapy, the Bougainvillea Plaza is the place to go for a spot of lunch… or a few drinks, with a number of local cafes, restaurants and pubs to choose from, serving a range of traditional and international cuisine. The plaza is also home to a bank and a newsagent, which sells international newspapers.
If you’re on a self-catered stay at Formosa Park Hotel, the Apolonia Supermarket is a 12-minute drive from the hotel, and they stock a wide-range of international cuisines, fresh fruit & vegetables, wines & spirits and a selection of vegetarian and vegan delicacies. Their amenities also include a fish counter, butcher, bakery, delicatessen and even a sushi bar. Anything you purchase can be prepared and cooked in our hotel apartments fully equipped kitchens and kitchenettes – equipped with a refrigerator, hot plate, stove, microwave, electric toaster and hand blender; with kitchenware, utensils, cutlery and crockery available on request.
Cultural Walks, Watersports & Off-Road Exploring via Buggy or Horseback
There are a number of ways to spend your days in Almancil. One such way is to stroll around the charismatic town, marvelling at the Algarvian architecture, of which the São Lourenço Church is undoubtedly the highlight.
Located in the east of Almancil, the church is built in a Baroque style with its origins dating back as far as the 17th Century; and though its exterior is impressive, its interior is superlative. Inside, the church is decorated entirely with azulejo tiles, depicting stories of the church’s namesake, Saint Lawrence.
Situated next to the church is the São Lourenço Cultural Centre, consisting of six exhibition halls, which throughout the year host various exhibitions from a variety of international artists. Past displays have featured the likes of Gunter Grass – a German novelist, poet, playwright and artist, who was the recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature. The venue is also home to a number of music performances throughout the year.
For something more family orientated, try your hand at Go-Karting at Karting Almancil. Their 760 metre track can be enjoyed by children of all ages, with a selection of different karts of varying speeds and sizes; and for big kids, their 390cc machines pack a punch for those looking to bring an element of competitiveness to the track.
Karting Almancil also offer an exciting off-road experience. Choose from a tour or safari option then prepare to drive your buggy through the Algarve countryside, where you will have to overcome the various obstacles of the World Rally Championship circuit. You can opt for a one or two hour excursion, with the latter taking you through the Algibre Creek, where the Algarve’s famous fauna and flora grows in abundance.
Another way to discover the countryside is on horseback with Pinetrees Riding Centre; who also host daytrips to the salt flats and beach areas of the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, or through the orange groves of the Ludo Valley. Tuition is available to all riders above the age of 4, and all the equipment needed to enjoy a day of horse riding (or pony riding for young children) is supplied.
Located in the nearby resort of Quinta do Lago is the Lago Watersports Center, who provide no-end of ways to explore the water. Learn how to sail or windsurf on the resorts lake, or head to the beach and ride the waves of the Atlantic on jet skis or banana boats. They also run eco and boat tours through the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, where you can learn about the regions rich and diverse ecosystems.