Great spots for superb panoramic views
The sheer diversity of the Algarvian countryside is easier to appreciate when seen at distances which allow wide enough views to enjoy the unforgettable panoramas.
On the Vicentine Coast, the Arrifana lookout at the top of a cliff gives a view of the Pedra da Agulha, a huge rock in the Atlantic, while the Castelejo lookout opens on to the panoramic view of the coastal hills.
On the south coast, the Atalaia lookout in Lagos is the best place to observe the outline of the ochre cliffs of the Ponta da Piedade. The Fort of St Catherine in Portimão provides magnificent views of Praia da Rocha, the Arade River and Portimão.
At an altitude of 402 metres, the Cerro de São Miguel, near Olhão, offers the finest view of the Formosa Estuary (Ria Formosa).
The Castro Marim Castle (Castelo de Castro Marim) is a lookout giving unparalleled views of the Guadiana River, the town, the saltpans and also the surrounding mountains.
In the Barrocal region, Rocha da Pena, the Malhão lookout, and Rocha dos Soidos are all natural viewing points overlooking the undulating hills and the sea on the horizon.
The mountains are in themselves tremendous lookouts especially sites such as Fóia and the Picota Lookout in Monchique.
In the village of Barranco do Velho, the churchyard of the hermitage is one of the most impressive lookouts in the Algarve, covering vast sky lines of hills covered in cork oak and arbutus berry trees in the Serra do Caldeirão.