Holidays to Branqueira take you to a peaceful Algarve village – and put you within easy reach of sandy beaches and Albufeira’s buzzing nightlife.
Small and quiet
Branqueira is a traditional village in Portugal’s Algarve region that neatly manages to be both away-from-it-all and right-next-door. There are little mellow restaurants and bars dotted among the whitewashed villas, but this quiet haven is also just five minutes away from a sandy beach – and 10 minutes from the nightlife of Albufeira’s old town.
Blue Flag beaches
Branqueira is inland, but it’s within a few minutes’ drive of several Blue Flag beaches. The closest is Santa Eulalia, which comes with sunloungers and umbrellas on the sand, and restaurants and bars along the promenade. And on either side you’ve got Oura Beach, the place to go for windsurfing and banana boats, and Olhos d’ Agua Beach, which has lovely little rock pools.
Branqueira offers a few bars and restaurants where the nation’s favourite fish, dried salted cod called bacalhau, is a staple of many menus. Albufeira is a really helpful neighbour on the eating front, too. In the evenings, the restaurants along the main street, Rua Candido dos Reis, roll out Algarve specialities like cataplana – a fish, bacon and sausage stew. Cocktail bars and nightclubs can then be found along the main strip, Avenida Sà Carneiro.
Daytrips to Loule and Silves
The towns of Loule and Silves are both 30 minutes away by car. Loule boasts a Saturday gypsy market near the 18th-century Igreja de São Francisco church, while Silves is home to the best-preserved Moorish castle in the region. A tour within its red sandstone walls takes you up close to the 1,000-year old ruins. For an adrenaline-pumping alternative, 4x4 tours of the Algarve’s rugged countryside leave from Praia da Luz, less than an hour’s drive away.
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