Loulé is a charming market town, pretty quiet for six days of the week, its traditional shops selling handcrafted goods and pottery ware. Each Saturday however it is home to the Algarve's biggest and most popular Gipsy Market. The town’s food market, set in a lovely old Moorish-style covered market, is also well worth a visit (in fact many visitors prefer here to the Gipsy Market). And if you’re lucky enough to be in the Algarve in early February, Loulé carnival is the best in the region.
Away from the coast this is our favourite part of the Algarve with countryside and villages that offer unspoiled traditional Portugal, all just a few minutes from the comfort of your holiday villa. We like Santa Bárbara de Nexe with its 15th-century church, quaint little Querença, hill-top Boliqueime, and São Bras de Alportel, famous for its cork craft.