Almancil Guide: 3 Things to See & Do

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Written by: | Last updated on September 22, 2023 | Est. Reading Time: 5 minutes
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Nestled in the heart of the Algarve’s renowned ‘Golden Triangle’, Almancil is more than just a gateway to the luxurious resorts of Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo; it’s a destination with its own distinct charm. This vibrant town, which has grown in popularity over the years, seamlessly melds the traditional essence of the Algarve with the contemporary allure of its upmarket neighbouring regions.

Almancil is a testament to the Algarve’s rich history and its adaptation to the evolving times. The town’s streets are lined with a blend of local artisan shops selling traditional handicrafts and modern boutiques and galleries showcasing international luxury brands. While many visitors are drawn to the area for its close proximity to some of the finest golf courses and elite seaside resorts, Almancil itself possesses cultural treasures such as the São Lourenço Church, famed for its exquisite azulejo tiles.

For the gastronome, Almancil offers an array of dining options that range from authentic Portuguese tavernas serving regional delicacies to haute cuisine restaurants that cater to a discerning international clientele. Meanwhile, its prime location ensures that visitors are just moments away from pristine beaches, nature reserves, and the serene countryside, making Almancil a comprehensive Algarvian experience – both as a base for exploration and a delightful destination in its own right.

Useful Resources for Your Trip to Almancil

Here’s our top tips and tricks for getting the best deals for your trip to Almancil. 

  • Accommodation: Booking.com and Airbnb are the two most comprehensive websites for finding hotels, hostels, apartments, and other types of accommodation in Almancil. 
  • Car Rental: Discover Cars and Rental Cars are the two most useful sites for booking local car rental. 
  • Airport transfers: There are taxis and Ubers at Faro Airport, but you can also pre-book an airport transfer with Welcome Pickups
  • Tours & Things to Do: Both Get Your Guide and Viator list lots of local tours and activities in Almancil and the surrounding Algarve region. 
  • Luggage Storage: Luggage Hero and Bounce are two great sites for finding places to store your luggage in Portugal, including the Algarve. 
  • Public Transport: Cp.pt is the main website for trains in Portugal. For longer distance buses, see Rede Expressos. Flixbus.pt often has cheap tickets between cities in Portugal. 
  • Flights: Skyscanner and Google Flights are the two most useful websites for finding flights to Portugal. The nearest airport to Almancil is Faro Airport. 

What to See & Do

Church of São Lourenço

Igreja de São Lourenço

In the heart of Almancil stands a true gem of Algarvian artistry: the Church of São Lourenço. From the outside, this 18th-century baroque edifice appears modest, unassuming even, but stepping inside reveals one of the most impressive displays of azulejos (traditional Portuguese ceramic tiles) in the entire region. Virtually every surface of its interior, from the walls to the vaulted ceiling, is adorned with these intricately painted tiles, creating a vivid tapestry of biblical stories and scenes from the life of St. Lawrence, the church’s patron saint.

The church’s azulejo panels, rendered in a captivating blue and white palette, are considered some of the finest examples of tilework from the period, showcasing both the artistry and craftsmanship that define Portuguese tilework. Besides the tiles, the church also boasts an elaborately carved gilded wood altarpiece, a testament to the baroque style of art and architecture that was prevalent during the time.

MAR Shopping

mar shopping

Situated just a short drive from Almancil’s centre, MAR Shopping offers a modern retail experience in the heart of the Algarve. It’s not just a mall; it’s an expansive complex that harmoniously blends shopping, leisure, and entertainment. Housing a diverse array of both international brands and local boutiques, shoppers can indulge in everything from high-end fashion to unique Algarvian crafts. Beyond retail, MAR Shopping ensures a full day of fun with its state-of-the-art cinema, a vast food court boasting a range of global cuisines, and frequent events that cater to both locals and tourists. Its beautifully landscaped outdoor areas, punctuated with seating spots and play areas for children, make it a perfect spot for families or anyone looking to take a leisurely break from the beach.

Play A Round of Golf

Golf course at Vale do Lobo

The area surrounding Almancil boasts some of the Algarve’s most prestigious golf courses, making it a magnet for enthusiasts of the sport. Quinta do Lago, with its lush greens set against the backdrop of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, offers players not only challenging courses but also breathtaking views. Meanwhile, Vale do Lobo, known for its signature cliff-top holes, provides a coastal golfing experience that leaves an indelible impression on its visitors. Both resorts offer top-tier amenities, ensuring every golfer, whether novice or seasoned, can enjoy a round in the beautiful Algarvian sun. After a day on the greens, players can retreat to the luxurious clubhouses for some well-deserved relaxation and gourmet dining.

Getting Here

There are several ways to get to Almancil. If you’re visiting the Algarve, it’s recommended that you rent a car as this will give you more flexibility to explore the region. However, it’s not a requirement as there are public transport options in Almancil. 

  • Flying: Almancil is just 12.9 km (8.02 miles) from Faro Airport, so this is the easiest airport to fly into. There are several ways to get from Faro Airport to Almancil, but the easiest is either an airport transfer or a taxi (or Uber). 
  • Train: Almancil has a train station, although it’s located about 10 minutes’ walk outside of the town centre. From here you can easily get to Faro and other destinations in the Algarve. For tickets and timetables, see cp.pt. 
  • Bus: Local buses are operated by Vamus. For long distance coaches, see Rede Expressos or Flixbus.pt. 
  • Driving: If you’re driving from Faro, the journey time is just 20 minutes and just 15 minutes from Faro Airport.