The town of Loulé is a few minutes drive from the villa at Olive Grove Hideaway.
Welcome to Loulé in central Algarve on the south coast of Portugal.
The beginnings of Loulé are uncertain, some historians putting it as far back as 400BC, but others say it's origins are Roman. It is a fact that when the Arabs invaded the Algarve in 715, Loulé was already an important town. It has been a part of Portugal since 1249 after the Algarve was recaptured from the Moors and in 1291 King Dom Dinis established the Algarve's only medieval fair in Loulé, a sign of the wealth of the region.
Only a short drive to Faro.
Loulé is an interesting town some 16km to the north of Faro. The landmark church of Nossa Senhora da Piedade - a modern dome shaped building reminiscent of a space ship - can easily be seen on a hill, just to the west of the town, from the A22 motorway. It is a large town with all the usual amenities you would expect to find - a great selection of shops, numerous banks, art galleries, swimming pools and sports pavilion to name but a few!
In the middle of this small square is the main church of Loulé, Igreja de S.Clemente and to the left of the square is a small, peaceful garden, Jardim dos Amuados (Garden of Sulks), which is an ancient Arab cemetery.
The Castle at Loule
Loulé castle (13th/14th century) built on an area previously settled by the Romans, is just a short distance down the road from the market on the left hand side. From this approach it isn't very obvious that it is the castle as, through the arched gateway, you see the whitewashed walls of the 'alcaidaria' (which was the living quarters for the castle commander and his garrison) surrounding a small courtyard and no visible signs of the castle walls. Across the courtyard lies the municipal museum, next door to which are some steps leading up to the remaining section of the castle walls.
Loulé Carnival is one of the biggest events in Loulé and is famous across the Algarve. It takes places in February over 3 days and is a truly colourful affair with music and dancing and general partying; reminiscent of Brasilian carnivals, when people come from all over the Algarve to watch the processions and join in with the party as everyone takes to the streets
Two of the most popular Algarve attractions are Zoomarine theme park and Aqualand Algarve water park. Both are fantastic days out for the whole family, with Zoomarine and it's marine life shows, attractions and 4D cinema and Aqualand with fun rides for the little ones right up to white knuckle rides for the thrill seekers!
For a real taste of Algarve luxury, Vilamoura resort is a must-see place to visit or to holiday! It is one of the biggest private tourism resorts in Europe and is one of the most prestigious in Portugal. Although fairly far removed from the traditional Algarve, the purpose-built leisure resort of Vilamoura offers accommodation to suit all tastes - luxury hotels, privately owned villas and apartments on the golf course complexes, and a wide range of hotels and apartments near the marina.
For further information on the activities in Loulé, visit www.louleuncovered.com