Last weekend Michael and I were out & about in Armação de Pêra, a fishing town on the beautiful Algarve coast. Often referred to as a concrete jungle, Armação de Pêra is actually pretty special – if you’ll only give it a little time to visit.
When I first moved to Portugal in 1986, my family and I used to spend many a fun evening hanging out with friends there. There was a great pub called The Bulldog, run by a fellow Yorkshireman, where we’d take part in all the fun games like pub quizzes, the knobbly knees and the lovely legs competitions (I once won the lovely legs one! Mind you, I was only about 11). Sadly, the pub closed some years ago but I’ll always have fond memories of spending time there, along with a few other English-run pubs like Waves and The Cracker Jack. Nearby was an annual summer fair with bumper cars and very loud music. It was a fun place for both kids and adults. Whenever I hear the song Im Nin ‘Alu by Ofra Haza, I’m always taken back. Those were the days 🙂
Now though, although those pubs have all closed down, they’ve been replaced by a whole host of new businesses and the seafront has been given a new lease of life – making it such a pretty place to visit – especially when the sun is shining. I couldn’t take my eyes off the sea and the sand. It’s so beautiful there – it’s easily one of the top beaches in the Algarve.
Not only that, but there are some lovely old buildings among the modern high rises, as well as some of the most striking street art. You’ll also notice some trees and benches decorated with pretty crocheted doilies which seems to be becoming a bit of a tradition in the town. There’s a typical little church in the centre as well as a pretty tiny chapel on the waterfront too.
For me, the most picturesque spot is looking out at the beach from The Holiday Inn Algarve (pictured above, formerly the Hotel Garbe) where you can see miles of sandy beach. It’s such a beautiful spot but I’ll write more on The Holiday Inn later in the week.
Armação de Pêra also has a fabulous Saturday market – recommended to me by numerous people over the years but we only visited it for the first time last week and I’m glad we did. Although small, it is pretty special and well worth a look-see.
I’ve been told there are several fabulous restaurants within the town, some especially known for seafood. It is a fisherman’s town, after all! I have only been fortunate enough to try out the culinary delights of the Raj Indian Restaurant so far though – more on that later in the week!
There’s also some other small local businesses like Filine Fashion and Sapataria Internacional which I’ll be taking a peek at over the next week or so, so do keep your eyes peeled!
In the meantime, if you enjoyed this little look at a small piece of Portugal, check out my visits to Lagos and Cascais.