Algarve Luxury Villa Holidays
Algarve Luxury Villa Holidays

View over Tavira

Vila Real de Santo António

Vila Real de Santo Antůnio is the most easterly town in the Algarve, smack on the border with Spain, and is only about 20 minutes’ drive from Tavira.

Vila Real started life, as did so many other Algarvian villages, as a small fishing port and was originally populated by the Phoenicians. It was rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake by the Marquês de Pombal (who was also responsible for redesigning the centre of Lisbon after said earthquake) on a grid system, so has a completely different feel to most of the other Algarvian towns.

The long waterfront, with its attractive marina, makes for a very pleasant stroll and you can catch the ferry here across the River Guadiana over to the Spanish town of Ayamonte. You can also book various river trips here, including one to the lovely inland town of Alcoutim.

Strangely, almost every other shop here sells towels, linens, or housewares. Iím not sure how this has come about but, if you want some new bedding, this is the place to come.

Although its grandeur is now a little faded, Vila Real is still very attractive and well worth a day trip. Its Christmas decorations are particularly impressive, with huge angels everywhere. There is ample parking along the waterfront, and it is free so donít be taken in by the dodgy characters trying to charge you a euro for pointing you at an empty space.

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Vila Real Church
View Over the River Guadiana
Bridge Over the River Guadiana


Station Cottage, Trent Lane, Weston-on-Trent, Derby DE72 2BT
Contact: Norman or Tanya Clare, tel: 01332 705552,
All images are copyright Tanya Clare and may not be used or reproduced without permission.
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