I have been coming to Quinta for years. When I arrive I immediately feel like home. And who better to ask what you can do in the region than someone who is at home!
When the family lived in Tavira, I attended school on the west bank of the river Giloã. So I’m a little more oriented on this side. I can definitely recommend a day trip to Tavira.
A nice first stop is the park located directly on the river next to the old monumental market hall. From this beautiful spot you can quickly reach Fado Com Historia. Here you can enjoy the sounds of Portuguese fado and thus get to know the Portuguese saudade. The performance ends with a port tasting. It doesn’t get more Portuguese than this.
Then walk up the hill to the former
Church: Igreja da Misericórdia. Here are the most beautiful scenes depicted with azulejos. The Portuguese variant of Delft blue. Like the Dutch, the Portuguese copied this technique in China.
From here, go to the top of the hill. (Do you have difficulty walking? You can come here by car). At the top are two beautiful spots next to each other. The first is the old water tower. From the water tower you can take a tour of the city without having to move a step. Curious how? Have a look at this website.
The second place is the old castle. From the walls you have a magnificent view over the city, while a beautiful garden has been laid out inside. An oasis of peace.
Then some culinary tips:
Small shells are sought for consumption in places along the coast. During the season these are available in several restaurants and they are offered by the fishermen in busy places such as supermarkets. They are easy to prepare yourself with olive oil, garlic and coriander. You can also find them at the market halls. All towns have one. A must go. You immediately feel like going into the kitchen with these beautiful products.
Don’t feel like cooking yourself? The best restaurant in the region (in my humble opinion) can be found in Ayamonte. The first town after the Spanish border. The town has beautiful Spanish squares and great shopping. But I come for LPA. I found out about this restaurant by accident when I saw acquaintances on the terrace. Since then I go there once every trip. Reservations are useful as more and more people have discovered the restaurant. When booking, take into account an hour time difference.
On Saturdays we are likely to go to Ayemonte (Spain). There is a small gypsy market in the morning which you will pass when driving to the city centre (mind the time difference). You can park here and you will see the market automatically. When you have done the market, you can drive to the city centre (just straight ahead). When you pass a small square at your right hand side, start looking for a parking place around here. From there you walk to Plaza de la Laguna. On this walk at least pass through the Mercado de Abastos. Enjoy some coffee at the market or on the square, watch life go by on the plaza and finally eat some tapas at one of the many tapa bars!
On Sundays there is always a bigger market somewhere in the Eastern Algarve. This takes place in a different village every Sunday. You can ask Eduardo where the market is during your stay. Drive to this village and simply when you see a lot of parked cars at the road sides, start thinking of parking yourself. Follow the people to the market. We always end our market day with some delicious barbecue chicken.
After the market or any other day, it is always great to visit the beach. There are several beaches that managed to keep our interest after all these years. I´ll list them here:
Tavira is always a nice visit. We usually start at the Market (Mercado municipal) from there we walk to the city centre. We start by walking up to the castle. Close to the castle is the old water tower which nowadays functions as a 360° viewpoint. We continue with a visit to the old market, the park, the plaza and roman bridge. After that we grab a drink at one of the many terraces. Tavira also has a nice variety of restaurants for both lunch and dinner.
Last but definitely not least is the waterfall close to Tavira. I hope it rained enough to have the water falling during your visit. I will not spend any more words on it here, best to discover this place further on your own.
The last 30 years I got more and more interested in ceramics and mosaics from pieces of tiles. I started experimenting with making small tables of mosaic at home in the Netherlands. The ability to use ties which matched perfectly with the design of my garden chair cushions gave me joy to continue the experimentation.
When the Quinta was finished and when we heard that we were not allowed to build a pool, We immediately thought of the former tanque. How cool would it be to combine the love of mosaics and the tanque to turn it into a swimming pool.
And so we started to get all kinds of tiles in different colours and made a design. The result is a unique and marvellous swimming tanque.
From then on I asked friends, relatives and guests if they also wanted to make a mosaic tile. In 2022 we combined all of the tiles that we have so far on an artists wall of fame!
We invite our guests to also make a tile of their own. We’ll keep on including it on the wall of fame. If you’re interested in making one of your own during your stay then be my guest in “Anke’s Atelier” in the carport. There you find 20×20 tiles where you can make your mosaic. All tools to break the tiles and then glue them on the 20×20 tiles are available there. Enjoy!
There is way more! The surroundings of Quinta Zacarias keep surprising us. We hope to share more with you over the years. Additionally, we would love to complement this page with friends and guests recommendations. Have you discovered something worth to mention here? Please leave us an email, a tag or dm on instagram or a review at google.