Location

The eastern Algarve is quintessentially Portuguese being relatively unspoilt and retains a great deal of the traditional Portuguese way of life. The area abounds in nature reserves, natural pine forests and conservation areas allowing nature to flourish. Inland, one can find artisans still practising the ancient techniques of crafts such as blanket weaving, shawl and lace making, straw hat and basket weaving and fields of orange, fig and almond trees. The coast is a sweep of golden sand arching from Vila Real de Santo Antonio, through Praia Manta Rota to the tip of the Praia de Cabanas, the pristine beaches are less crowded than many during the summer months.

The eastern Algarve in southern Portugal enjoys long dry summers with high temperatures and mild winters with very limited rainfall. Although the Algarve sits on the Atlantic, it boasts over 3,000 hours of sunshine every year making it one of the sunniest places in Europe and an ideal climate for sun-lovers and beach-lovers. The Algarve has one of the most stable climates in the world, this makes it an ideal year-round holiday destination. The eastern Algarve has the warmest sea temperatures in the Algarve, average local sea temperature 16-20C.

Manta Rota is a small village and quiet Algarve resort yet within easy reach of the bustle of Monte Gordo (5 miles/8 km) with its casino and Ayemonte (Spain 13 miles/20 km) with its picturesque marina located on the Guadiana River. Manta Rota boasts the largest, longest and reputedly the best beach in the Algarve. This family orientated resort enjoys a gentle pace of life, its laid-back atmosphere makes it perfect for spending peaceful days in the sunshine. Mostly and quietly residential, Manta Rota offers charming restaurants, friendly bars, shops and supermarkets. Whilst you are there, try 'Mars Bar & Bistro' for BBQ chicken or 'Paraiaso' for seafood.

Coast - take a 10 minute easy stroll to the uncrowded, seemingly endless sea front and unspoilt award winning blue flag beach situated in a dune protected area. It is a well kept secret on the Algarve surfing scene - they are attracted by its quietness and warm sea temperatures. Whilst on the beach, you can take a leisurely stroll to Monte Gordo's beach (5 miles/8km) east and Cabanas de Tavira's beach (5 miles/8km) west.

Golf - there are 6 premier golf courses all within a 15 minute drive of Manta Rota: Quinta da Ria (2 miles/3km), Quinta da Cima (3 miles/4km), Monte Rei the newly constructed and highly revered Jack Nicklaus' "Signature Course" (4 miles/6km), the Sir Henry Cotton designed Benamor (5 miles/8km), Castro Marim (7 miles/11.2km) and Quinta do Vale, designed by Severiano Ballesteros (10 miles/16km) which opened in October 2007.

Cacela Velha, is an old fishing village situated in the protected Ria Formosa coastal landscape. Perched on a rocky cliff overlooking the sea, it features a church with a Rennaisance door and a small fort dating from 1143. Cacela Velha is one of the best preserved seaside villages in the Algarve.

Cabanas de Tavira is a former fishing village with a beach located on an island just offshore with swimming and water sports, moored fishing boats line the seafront. The town is a long line of low-rise shops, bars, cafes facing the Rio Formosa Natural Park.

The pretty cobbled medieval village of Castro Marim on the banks of the Guadiana River is overlooked by two hilltop castles dating back to the 13th century. The buildings in the town are predominantly white, with flashes of ochre and luminous blue. Sandstone walls above Castro Marim enclose the first headquarters of the Military Order of Christ, heirs to the Templars in Portugal. Castro Marim golf course runs through undulating hills and calls for careful play with strategically places water hazards, fairway terrain and well places bunkers. The lively, attractive port town of Vila Real de Santo Antonio, with its cobbled streets and pleasing architecture, stands at the mouth of the Guardiana river which separates Portugal from Spain. The town was rebuilt in the 18th century after a massive flood with a central square lined with orange trees. Visitors stroll along the riverbank esplanade and enjoy impressive views across Ayemonte in Spain.

If you are looking for culture the elegant historic town of 'Algarvan Rome' Tavira, (9 miles/14 km) being authentically Portuguese, sits on two hills connected by a seven-arched 'Roman' (actually Moorish) bridge over the River Gilao boasting many fine 18th century buildings along with its 21 churches.

Image of Boats