Monte Gordo Scenes
Tucked close to the border with Spain Monte Gordo is a large town, spaciously laid out with wide streets. The high-rise hotels and apartment blocks are a characteristic feature of the Monte Gordo landscape, but as you’ll see, they don’t detract from the overall feel of the town because the town is so big and so well laid out. Holiday rentals tend to be apartments rather than Villas.
The main road through Monte Gordo separates the beach and promenade from the rest of the town. On the town side, the road is lined with an array of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants and on the opposite side there is a wide, open promenade, with palm trees and benches and the golden sandy beach runs along in front.
Against the backdrop of the casino and the high-rise buildings either side, the beachfront is dotted all over with beach bars, restaurants and kiosks. So if you fancy a drink or a bite to eat, you’ll certainly be spoilt for choice. If you have younger children, the beach at Monte Gordo is perfect. It is so flat and wide that it’s really safe for little ones and the water at this end of the Algarve is slightly warmer for a swim or a paddle.
Monte Gordo’s town centre is, again, incredibly spacious, with wide streets and flat cobbled areas. To get to it just take a turning off the main road and head down one of the side streets – if you can’t see it instantly, navigate yourself over towards the left. You’ll find it easier to travel around on foot, so if you’ve driven in, park in one of the many free spaces along the beachfront. The town has an abundance of places to eat and drink, with large areas of outside seating. The flat cobbled pedestrian areas in and around the town make it easy for pushchairs or wheelchairs.
In general, this end of the Algarve is so flat that is ideal for walking and cycling and Monte Gordo is equipped with many places to hire bicycles if you want to get out and about. Vila Real de Santo António is only about 3kms away and the road is straight and very scenic, especially as you cycle near to the huge campsite that is set under pine trees - judging by the number of people we see on bikes it is a popular ride!
There are plenty of things to do around Monte Gordo if you want a break from the beach! There are several golf courses close by (and more in construction), water sports of all kinds ( it's particularly good for kite surfing and wind surfing along this stretch of coastline), jeep safaris to inland lakes or leisurely boat trips along the Guadiana river.
Monte Gordo - Algarve - Portugal
There are also lots of places to explore around Monte Gordo, see Monte Gordo Map, but one to make top of your agenda is Cacela Velha. It is a very small village with a handful of typically Algarvean whitewashed houses around a Church and a fort situated on the waterfront just past Manta Rota (heading west from Monte Gordo- it is signposted from the N125). There isn't a lot to do there it has to be said, but the village and the views are truly delightful. There are a couple of restaurants if you want to linger for a while - the one on the right just as you come into the village has an upstairs terrace giving great panoramic views across the beaches of Manta Rota and Monte Gordo to Vila Real all set against a backdrop of lush green countryside. About the only sounds 'disturbing' the total peace and quiet are from the birds and a few chickens!
Another nearby town of interest is Castro Marim. It has the remains of a castle on one hill and a fort on the other - reminders of times when life in the Algarve wasn't quite as peaceful as it is now! You can also see the large salt pans where the water is evaporated in the salt gathering process and take a walk through the 'Reserva Natural do Sapal'. This is a large area of land (some 2000 hectares) between Castro Marim, Monte Gordo and Vila Real de Santo António (the salt marsh nature reserve), which is home to some 153 species of birds, including storks, avocets, sandpipers and flocks of flamingos. There are also more than 400 plant species and various reptiles, amphibians and mammals.
This eastern end of the Algarve is quite different from the central and western areas - being a lot flatter, and the beaches backed by sand dunes, not cliffs. The water tends to be a few degrees warmer as well. It is great for all ages - the beaches are fantastic for children and access is excellent for people with mobility problems. There are also plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes to suit all tastes and budgets. It is an easy drive from Faro airport along the A22 to Monte Gordo and is justifiably becoming ever more popular with visitors throughout the year - not just in the summer
Information courtesy of general internet research and algarveuncovered.com, portugal-info.net, tripadvisor.com, algarve-guides.com and many more sources
Villa Rentals in Monte Gordo and holiday rentals in the Algarve Portugal in general are big business so you should expect to be treated with professionalism and with courtesy