Activities and Attractions in Vale do Lobo

Vale do Lobo is the perfect holiday resort for families, couples and singletons, offering the opportunity to either relax and be pampered in comfort or enjoy one of the many sports on offer.

But there's much to see and do in the area as well, particularly if you hire a car. Vale do Lobo is just 20 minutes from the airport and it's entirely possible to enjoy your stay without a vehicle. The resort has everything you need including boutique shops, restaurants, entertainment and sports such as tennis and golf.

However if you want to venture a bit further afield, hiring a car will give you the flexibility to see more of the local area. There are many towns just a short distance away, while the main town of Albufeira is just over half an hour by car (travelling directly via major A roads). 

This accessibility means that many of the local activities and attractions in both Vale do Lobo and the surrounding areas can be enjoyed without too much travelling back and forth.

With that in mind, here's a guide to some of the activities and attractions you might want to try.

As this postcard shows there is so much to do in Vale do Lobo 

As this postcard shows there is so much to do in Vale do Lobo

Image Source

Play golf

Vale do Lobo is perhaps best known for its course and indeed, the development of the shoe resort was originally planned around one of the golf clubs at the site.

Today there are two cleverly designed courses for you to pit your wits against, offering deceptive fairways and challenging greens. In the summer months it's a good idea to book an earlier tee-time to avoid playing in the heat of the afternoon. 

You don't need to have your own equipment as clubs and bags can be supplied by the resort for the day. There are some lovely cafes and restaurants <LINK TO Restaurants in Vale do Lobo> dotted around so it's easy to grab a drink around the holes or to sit and contemplate on your round at the end. 

Two high quality courses which have attracted some of the top stars to play, don't miss out on the opportunity during your stay,

Zoomarine Algarve

If you haven't had your fill of watery fun, Zoomarine Algarve is an attractive based in Guia which guarantees a great day out for the whole family. 

The chance to see dolphins, sea lions and seals up close, along with tropical birds and birds of prey, Zoomarine puts on a number of presentations every day. Visitors can also wander around their deep water aquarium which features species such as sharks, providing an educational but fascinating experience. 

Away from the tanks of water, there are a number of other attractions too such as a 4D cinema, water slides, wave pool and wave beach. 

Take your swimming costume and enjoy a day out at the intriguing world of Zoomarine. 

Hot Wheels

If you like your fun adrenaline-filled then what better way than to enjoy some high octane adventure than a day out go-karting?

Hot Wheels in the marina at Albufeira has an authentic underground car park feel and you'll love hearing your wheels scream as you hurtle round the track. Race your friends and family, lapping as many times as you want within your slot or try and beat your own lap times. The track has a board which clearly displays your lap times, giving you a great opportunity to try and go even faster.

Suitable for children as well as adults, a spot of go-karting on a tight and twisty track is a great way to spend some time on your holidays. 

Horse riding

The landscape and scenery around Vale do Lobo and the surrounding Algarve coast is nothing short of breathtaking so a trip by horseback provides the chance to really see nature at its best.

With docile and well trained horses, it's suitable even for non-riders and children and follows a trail out into the sand dunes. Each trek lasts for two hours and if you opt for the last session of the day you'll be treated to views of an incredible sunset by horseback. Don't forget to take your camera!

Museu Municipal de Arqueologia

If you want to take in a bit of Vale do Lobo culture and history during your trip, this fascinating museum is well worth a visit.

Relatively small but ridiculously cheap to get in, there's artefacts and interesting displays together with information pamphlets which explain each one in English. With everything from Roman to caveman, this museum helps to capture some of the interesting history from this part of Portugal. 

Parque Aventura

Another excursion for the brave-hearted, this day out is purely for those with a head for heights. 

Clipped into safety harnesses, you'll walk across tiny tightrope bridges, climb rope wires and whizz down zip wires. The experience allows you to move through the trees in a series of different ways and is an exciting day out for those who enjoy adventure excursions. There are instructors on hand to help you through the trickier parts and a team ready to provide assistance to younger participants.

Adventure awaits at Parque Aventura

Split into four levels, you can opt to just pay for the first two if you don't fancy the challenges of the higher ones. 

Also available at the same place are skateboarding and paintballing.

Check out the markets

Although the high end boutiques offer the chance to do some wonderful shopping, it would be a shame not to experience the joys of a true Portuguese market.

Both Quarteira and Loule have a number of markets held throughout the week where it's possible to buy a wide variety of goods. Traditional wicker and ceramic designs make cute souvenirs but the true stars of the show are the farmers' markets.

The fish market, Quarteira, Algarve 

The fish market, Quarteira, Algarve

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Packed with fresh fruit and veg, as well as cured meats, fish and condiments, the produce tastes absolutely incredible. If you're planning on going off exploring for the day, why not prepare a picnic with food and drink from the farmer's market rather than relying on the local supermarket. You won't regret it!

The Chapel of Bones

There are a great many chapels and churches in the area to visit which offer a fascinating glimpse into the architecture in the region. Some are still attending and you may attend a service during your stay.

However, arguably there is no structure more fascinating than the Capela dos Ossos - The Chapel of Bones - which is attached to Carmo church in Faro.

Dare you visit Capela dos Ossos?

The church itself is magnificent and impressive but it's the small chapel which commands attention. Built in 1816, the entirety of its walls and ceilings are covered with the skulls and bones from the exhumed bodies of the monks which were recovered from the nearby friar's cemetery.

Looking from a distance just like large rocks, it's not until you draw close that the gruesome architecture becomes apparent. Although it won't be a place all will want to visit, there is something strangely compelling about the creation. 

Said to have been created to remind visitors of the brevity of the human life, it's hard to get this sight out of your head for some time after you visited. 

Much to do in the Algarve

Whether you are hoping to experience arts and culture and visit some of the more historical sites, or are just looking to have some fun with the family, the area around Vale do Lobo <LINK TO HUB> offers much. From gentle horse riding to scary aerial adventure, the only limit is the time you have to stay.

Image Credits: Sofia Martins, Kalidi, Tibet Wongsooksri and Tenacious TJ