Located 5 kilometres north of Albufeira, Ferreiras is currently a parish in full expansion.
Traces of Roman occupation can be traced back to the 2nd century B.C. Initially known as “Lagoas” (lagoons) due to the lagoons that formed after the rain season, the current name is linked to a family with the surname Ferreira that moved into this region in the middle of the 19th century.
In the urban centre of the Ferreiras parish, we can see typical houses with roof terraces, colourful plat bands and characteristic Algarvian chimneys, in addition to the vast rural heritage with wind mills, presses, threshing floors and water wheels.
Ferreiras Monuments & Points of Interest
Train Station A crucial part of Ferreiras history and the council itself is its Train Station, which is still one of the main access points to Albufeira. In 1918 the first steam train departing from Lisbon arrived at Albufeira, and after November 1926 express trains reach this station on a daily basis. Regular buses make the connection between Albufeira's city and Ferreiras.
S. José Ferreira's Church The Ferreiras Mother Church, located in northern Ferreiras, was founded on 30th April 2000. It has a characteristic large-scale octagonal shape and tower crowned with a copper globe and cock. In the centre, there is a fountain with water that represents fertility and freshness. The altar is decorated with a blue glass panel and a wooden sculpture of Risen Christ by the Algarve sculptor Arlindo Arez. The baptism basin is decorated with a tile panel by the Carmelite sisters and recalls “The baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the river Jordan”. The image of Saint Joseph Baptist from Italy also deserves a special attention.
Founded in the Roman times, the Arabs named the town Alfontes, which means “beyond the fountain”.
The origins of this village are difficult to determine, but tradition says that the location of the Nossa Senhora da Guia Chapel, is the place where apparitions of the Virgin are remembered.
Nowadays, Guia is a national culinary reference with its “Frango à Guia" (Chicken Piri-Piri), a unique grilled chicken dish.
Guia Monuments & Points of Interest
Medieval Cemetery The former medieval cemetery of Guia was recently renovated and transformed into a small patio from which we can see the bone-decorated altar and a lake that provides a peaceful atmosphere.
Nossa Senhora da Guia's Chapel Evidence shows us that this chapel precedes the 16th century and it was partially destroyed during the 1755 earthquake. Along the years the building has had ongoing improvements. It is considered an important testimonial of the Baroque Period in the Algarve, and without a doubt one of the most important and valuable artistic monuments of the entire Albufeira council. The interior is lined with polychrome tiles that provide an appropriate backdrop to the 17th century image of the parishes’ patron saint.
São Sebastião's Chapel Possibly built in the early 17th century, this chapel was almost destroyed in the 1755 earthquake and was fully rebuilt three years later. The chapel is dedicated to São Sebastião, who, according to tradition, played an essential role in the eradication of the Black Death. An image of this Saint from the 17th century can be found in the Parish Mother Church's sacristy.
Guia’s Mother Church The patron saint of this 17th century church, Nossa Senhora da Visitação, is represented in an 18th century image that can be admired in the church’s interior. Pieces that deserve special attention include the presbytery altar piece, the images of Santo António and Christ crucified on the Cross, that date back to the 17th century, the images of Nossa Senhora do Rosário, Nossa Senhora das Dores, both of the 18th century, and the beautiful tile panels.
Salgados Lagoon Laying some 15kms West of Albufeira, Salgados Lagoon consists of a large brackish coastal lagoon that is protected from the ocean by the large adjacent dune system of the Praia Grande beach. Salgados Lagoon attracts a wide variety of birds throughout the year. The Spring and Autumn migrations see the greatest number of different species. Some of the birds while rare elsewhere, are easily seen here. This is the a breeding site in Portugal for the globally endangered Ferruginous Duck and a favourite haunt for nesting Purple Swamp Hens, Purple Herons and Little Bitterns. Other herons are usually present, as well as Spoonbills and Greater Flamingos in nationally important numbers as are many waders and terns. The lagoon attracts great clouds of hirundines and swifts, which often include most of the European species. For those with the bug for finding the unusual, this area has turned up an impressive array of Portuguese and European rarities like for example Lesser Flamingo, Pacific Golden Plover, Pectoral Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher and Chimney Swift and is a regular wintering site for Richard’s Pipit. The great variety and sheer quantity of birds make this area a must for any visiting birdwatcher.
Olhos de Água
Olhos d'Água is a small typical fishermen's village 6 kilometres from Albufeira.
It has a place in history due to its significance as a surveillance point to the square of Albufeira since the 17th century. Its name Olhos de Água (Eyes of Water) comes from the sweet water springs that erupt in the beach sand during low tide, resulting in a natural phenomenon of rare beauty, called “Olheiros”.
After the 70's, with the increase of tourist activity, the area suffered big alterations in the economic structure and now remains one of the main tourist attractions of Albufeira’s council.
Olhos de Água Monuments & Points of Interest
With over seven centuries of history, Paderne is situated in the interior part of Albufeira, and was conquered by the Moors in 1248.
After the 1755 earthquake, the people were then removed from the inside of the castle walls’ to the north about 2 km away where it is now situated.
The Algibre, Alte and Quarteira's river stream is a popular place for hikers, cyclists, pedestrians and also for those who look for a quiet village that has kept its identity.
Paderne Monuments & Points of Interest
Paderne's Castle Paderne Castle is located around 2 kilometres from Paderne’s village. A construction of Arab origin, it stands on rocky spurs lined by Ribeira de Quarteira. A national monument since 1971, Paderne Castle was uniquely constructed in adobe of the Almohad period, between the 11th and 12th centuries, during the last period of Muslim occupation in the Iberian Peninsula. It was conquered from the Moors by Paio Peres Correia, in 1248. This fortification was significantly damaged in the 1755 earthquake and, in 1858, it was deactivated. Paderne’s Castle was recently restored and is a reference study of the people that inhabited this region. Holder of great symbolism in the history of Portugal, this is one of the 7 castles represented in the coat-of-arms of the national flag. Additionally, this monument is one of the most important examples of Arab military architecture in the entire Iberian Peninsula, and offers a very interesting display to visitors driving along the A2 or the Via do Infante, especially at night-time due to the lighting effects. From the top of the castle, we can also enjoy a breathtaking view of the Ribeira de Quarteira, the medieval bridge and surrounding areas.
Castle's Medieval Bridge This medieval bridge has roman features and is situated in a valley, southeast of the Castle and over the Quarteira's river stream. It was possibly rebuilt in 1771 with three arches and two cutwaters in the shape of a triangular prism. This bridge certainly deserves a special attention and is worth paying a visit. There is a pedestrian route in Paderne (PR 1 – small pedestrian route) that one should definitely try to see this bridge.
Azenha (Water-Mill) The water-mill is situated in the Quarteira's riverbank bellow Paderne’ Castle's. It is unknown when it was built, however we know that this engines are older than the wind-mills and are an inheritance from the Arab period. This traditional milling system uses the impulse of water as a driving force. In 1504, in the Foral's letter granted by D. Manuel I, there is a reference to these grinding systems that prove its antiquity and technologic importance that played in the community.
Paderne's Fountain ocated on the road to the Castle, its existence dates back to the 18th century. It was protected by Municipal legislation at the time and due to its importance was the main place where locals could get water and wash their clothes in the existing washing places. Some locals still go there to get fresh water. A charismatic place which certainly deserves a visit.
Nossa Senhora ao Pé da Cruz Chapel Built in the 17th century, this chapel underwent restorations in 1711. Once inside, we can see a 17th century altar piece that is an important testimony of the Baroque period.
Nossa Senhora da Assunção Chapel Formerly the Parish of Paderne, Nossa Senhora da Assunção Chapel, also known as Senhora do Castelo Chapel, is located inside the perimeter of the ancient fortress and, due to isolation and decay, was progressively abandoned despite continuous restorations, leading to its deactivation in 1858. This chapel comprises a small vaulted-ceiling in the presbytery and an enclosed wooden body. It has three alters, with the sacred image of Our Lady in the high altar. Today, only the master walls and little else of the original estate remain.
Mother Church From this beautiful example of the 16th century architecture, our attention is drawn to late conjugation of renaissance formulas and Manueline elements, namely the ashlar chapiters, triumphal arch and roofing of one of the apse chapels. The church comprises three naves, an arch of the presbytery decorated with human figures and a carved altar piece, dating back to the 18th century. After the 19th century, this church underwent important changes: In 1880, a new main facade was built and, in 1905, the bell tower was expanded and provided with a clock. It also inherited dozens of sculptured wooden pieces of the 17th and 18th century, especially the image of São Miguel Archangel from the Baroque period.