Holidays in Quarteira, a tourist centre in the heart of the Algarve, located on the coast of the Atlantic between the famous golf & holiday resorts Vilamoura and Vale do Lobo: Hotels & holiday apartments, golf courses, fish market & harbour, beaches & water sports, marina & casino in Vilamoura, and many more
- District: Faro > Municipality: Loulé > Parish: Quarteira
- Population: 21.798
- Distances: Faro Airport 22 km, Lisbon Airport 268 km
- Tourist Info: Posto de Turismo de Quarteira
The former fishing village Quarteira in the immediate vicinity of the famous golf & holiday resort Vilamoura has evolved to one of the most popular holiday destinations of the Algarve. Large complexes of holiday apartments with great views to the Atlantic Ocean stretch along the waterfront with endless sandy beaches. The fish market is well known for its selection and quality of fresh fish & seafood. A promenade through a dune landscape connects the adjacent fishing port with the famous marina Vilamoura. Portugal’s largest water & leisure park, AquaShow, is located on the outskirts of Quarteira. In spring the stadium of Quarteira is a popular training camp for international groups to prepare for the summer season.
Quarteira location and access
On the Atlantic coast of the Algarve betwen Faro and Albufeira
Quarteira is a city (cidade) and parish (freguesia) in the municipality (concelho) of Loulé in the district of Faro (Algarve), Portugal's southermost continental region. Quarteira is situated on the coast of the so-called "Golden Triangle" of the Algarve between the golf & holiday resorts Vale do Lobo and Vilamoura. The Avenida Sá Carneiro, a dual carriageway separates the old centre of Quarteira from the tourist apartment blocks along the waterfront.
The centre of Quarteira is only few minutes’ drive from the national road EN125 and the A22 motorway (exit 12). The train station of the Linha do Algarve, a single track railway line, is quite a distance from the city itself, but there is an EVA bus terminal in the city centre.
Quarteira sports and leisure
Great golf courses, ensless sandy beaches & water sports
The outskirts of Quarteira are a golfer’s paradise: in Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo and Vilamoura golfers will find 13 excellent courses with different profiles. Some have already been hosts to international tournaments such as the Portugal Masters and the Portugal Open.
The extensive sandy beach Praia de Quarteira lies directly on the seafront and disposes of excellent facilities. It stretches from the marina of Vilamoura in the west to Vale do Lobo in the east. The adjacent landscape is of sandstone cliffs worn by erosion and covered with pine trees, which alternate with water rich lagoons.
Those looking for water sports need look no further than Vilamoura Marina, the largest recreational port in the Algarve. It is the starting point for boat trips along the coast to visit the caves near Albufeira, as well as for excursions to see dolphins and for deep sea fishing trips.
In the neighbouring town of Almancil you find the Karting Almancil fun park, opened in 1992 by legendary Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna. The AquaShow, a water and amusement park situated between Almancil and Quarteira, is the largest of its kind in Portugal.
In nearby Vilamoura, lovers of gambling will find one of the three Algarve casinos.
Quarteira shopping and gastronomy
Municipal and other markets in Quarteira
The municipal market (Mercado Municipal) near the fishing port of Quarteira is considered one of the best places to buy fresh fish and seafood in the area. On Saturdays farmers from the Alentejo region come and sell their produce here. Tourists enjoy the busy ambience in and around the market and the opportunity to discover more about the country and its people.
Completely different is the scene that unfolds on Wednesdays near the campsite of Fonte Santa, located on the outskirts of Quarteira in the direction of Almancil: At this market, mobile vendors from all over the Algarve come to sell their wares, especially textiles and leather goods. Haggling is expected here!
In Quarteira there are a large number of shops that satisfy the sophisticated demand of the property owners and their guests staying in the luxury resorts of Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo and Vilamoura. There are fashion stores, interior design shops, and those specialising in regional products. For gourmets, Quarteira and the surrounding area offers an extraordinary variety of excellent restaurants serving local delicacies and international cuisine.
Surroundings of Quarteira
Surroundings of Quarteira: Vilamoura and Loulé
Nearby Vilamoura Marina is a busy centre of tourism. The esplanade is flanked by palm trees, and has any number of restaurants, bars and shops. A "Sunset Cruise", an evening cruise aboard a yacht into the setting sun will be a journey to remember.
Every year, usually in February, the Avenida José Costa Mealha in the centre of Loulé becomes the stage for a colourful Carnival Parade which is reputed to be the most magnificent parade in the country and attracts thousands of people from near and far.
In summer it is the White Night that brings a special ambience to Loule - the streets in the city centre take on a white glow at night and participants are invited to dress in white and come along and enjoy the entertainment from bands, jugglers, and street theatre groups, who are also all dressed in white.
Another highlight on the local calendar is the Festival MED, an international music festival, which takes place in the historical centre of Loulé in late June.
History of Quarteira
The area of Quarteira was first settled by Romans
Archaeological remains suggest that the area was first populated at the time of the Romans. On the low plain of the Ribeira de Quarteira, a stream watering into the Atlantic Ocean west of the place where today the marina of Vilamoura is situated a Roman residential site, "Cerro da Vila" has been excavated. A small museum forms part of this archaeological site.
With the onset of mass tourism, the once insignificant fishing village of Quarteira quickly gained importance. In 1984, the village was elevated to town (vila) and in 1999 Quarteira became a city (cidade).