Armação de Pêra
Armação de Pêra was named after the inland region of Pêra in Portugal, where the fishermen came down from originally and armação, which was a specially adapted boat, with a combined netting system, designed by the Moors. Today Armação de Pêra is a lively high-rise Algarve resort, which is very popular with Portuguese holidaymakers in the summer. It has a wonderful long sandy beach stretching all the way to Praia de Galé.
Arriving on the outskirts of Armação de Pêra, there are now huge numbers of new apartments along with new roads and roundabouts to link it all together. The centre (centro) and the beach (praia) are clearly signposted, and there are several roads leading to the beach, so if you miss the first one, don't worry! There is a large area of ground at the western end where you can park and another large area at the eastern end by the fishermen's beach, along with a multi-storey by Pingo Doce supermarket.
Armação de Pêra is a mix of slightly weather worn buildings and new, modern apartment blocks along the sea front, many being 10 to 12 storeys high. The 'old village' is at the eastern end by the fishermen's beach and is more typically Algarvean. It is here, on the beachfront that the remains of a 17th century fort still stand - built to defend the village from pirates and corsairs by a wealthy fishing boat owner. There is a chapel inside, dedicated to Santo António, which is also 17th century.
The views of the coast from the fort are of the long, long stretch of golden sand which runs from the rocks and caves at the western end by Senhora da Rocha, to Praia de Galé (near to Albufeira) in the east.
The cobbled street on the corner of the hill opposite the whitewashed fort leads down into a network of little streets with a variety of shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. It would be quite easy to miss this part of the town if you are concentrating on the sea front, which would be a shame as it's one of the prettiest parts of Armação de Pêra.
There are also numerous restaurants and cafés along the sea front of the 'old village', including a couple on the beach near the fishing boats, most of which (obviously!) have local, freshly caught fish on the menu.
Walking westwards along the front from the fort you will come to the quite attractive Largo da Igreja (Church Square) on the right hand side with the church in the middle and framed by trees. If it's open, it's worth a look. It's not very big or grand, but just has something appealing about it. Further along the tree lined promenade widens into an area with an internet cabin, café, childrens play area and gardens - it is here that there is a wide sloping path to the beach suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
The 4* Holiday Inn Algarve (Formerly "Hotel Garbe") has a prime position on the sea front just after the café area and several other hotels are situated on the road just behind the the main avenue (Avenida Marginal) making them within a very short walk of the lovely beach. At the western end of the promenade there are several quite new 10 to 12 storey apartment blocks with some attractive cafés and bars in and around them.
Armação de Pêra, for a town of it's size, doesn't seem to have a natural centre, other than the 'old village', presumably because of the rate of growth it has seen over recent years. The new developments will, no doubt, tend to have their own mini centres of restaurants, shops etc.
Still going west, you come to Nossa Senhora da Rocha (Our Lady of the Rocks) with it's beach, and several hotels and low rise apartments spreading over the cliffs. There is a very small chapel on the cliffs (probably dating from 15th/16th centuries) above the beach within the remains of a fort. (It has glass doors so that you can look in even when it is locked - it really is tiny!) From here you get good views of Armação de Pêra and along the coast to Albufeira and there are also a couple of places to stop for refreshments after all the sightseeing!
Armação de Pêra has everything you need for a lovely holiday - fantastic beach, shops, supermarkets, restaurants and bars. It is also ideally placed for a day out at Zoomarine sea-life park at Guia, a trip to 'Algarve Shopping' mall, also at Guia and the water parks at Alcantarilha and Lagoa.
Armação de Pera - History
Not very long ago this town was nothing more than a collection of small shacks where the local residents from the nearby village of Pera used to maintain their fishing boats. It is quite probable that the name "Armação" is a link with the distant past of the great Tuna fishing industry that existed along the Algarve from the 15th Century and before. This later fell under the protection of a small 18th Century fort that still remains in part to this day.
Armação de Pera - Description
Nowadays, the town is mainly composed of blocks of holiday apartments of which present bars and restaurants on the ground floor. In the three summer months the town overflows with tourists but outside the top of the season it offers a wonderful peaceful holiday location. Meanwhile, the nearby rural village of Pera remains as a reminder of the un-spoilt typical sleepy Algarve. Boasting one of the finest longest sandy beaches in the Algarve this is a popular location for tourists. On the beach close to the eastern side of the town are a number of fish restaurants that pride themselves on serving fresh fish. The spread of building from Armação de Pera has been mainly to the west with the creation of several holiday apartment complexes above the very charming beaches of Senhora da Rocha.
Armação de Pera - Nearby Locations
Places near to Armação de Pera are the market towns of Algoz, Alcantarilha, Porches and the inland historic and attractive city of Silves with its magnificent walls and castle see map of Armação de Pêra below.
Armação de Pêra - Algarve - Portugal
A beach holiday destination for hotels, apartment for rent and holiday villa rentals
The eastern end of the town is the best for families with children. There are no stairs to reach the beach, which is shallow and quiet. There are private houses to rent in this area of town.
The western end of the beach is its most beautiful area. The wild rocks compose strange formations and become a sort of amusement park for kids.
Information courtesy of general internet research and algarveuncovered.com, portugal-info.net, tripadvisor.com, algarve-guides.com and many more sources
Villa Rentals in Armação de Pera and holiday rentals in the Algarve Portugal in general are big business so you should expect to be treated with professionalism and with courtesy