Loule

Loule is located 17 kms West from Faro International Airport and 11kms inland from the beautiful beaches at Quarteira, Vilamoura,Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago.

Loule is an important rural, administrative and active market town with over 20.000 residents. The town is a vibrant and typically Algarvean market town set in almond-covered foothills and is mainly concerned in producing souvenir products made out of copperware, leather, cane and wood.

The earthquake in 1755 destroyed most of the historic buildings. Today you can only see some remains of the Arab castle and the Gothic Church of S. Clemente. The town is nevertheless worth a visit, especially the old part and its surroundings and although it is quite a big town, all the areas that visitors will probably want to see are in a relatively compact area.

One of the town's landmarks is the market hall (Mercado municipal) which re-opened in early 2007 after a long period of renovation. Its architecture has a classic Moorish style influence. Here they hold a really good daily market every morning except Sunday.

Loule castle (13th/14th century) built on an area previously settled by the Romans, is just a short distance down the road from the market on the left hand side. The three remaining grey stone towers and short walkway between them are well preserved, and apart from getting a great view of Loule it also gives a taste of the historical heritage of the Algarve. Within the remaining walls is a museum with an explanation of what was in the past the grandeur of the castle.

Another landmark, the church of Nossa Senhora da Piedade - a modern dome shaped building, can easily be seen on a hill, just to the west of the town, from the A22 motorway. At Easter time there is a religious 'Festival of the Sovereign Mother', patron saint of Loule, which attracts people from all over the country. A heavy and elaborate image of the Virgin Mary, a version known as 'Mãe Soberana' (the Sovereign Mother), is carried in procession from the hilltop of Nossa Senhora da Piedade, to the Parish Church on Easter Sunday. The return procession, a much bigger and more festive occasion, takes place two weeks later.

Apart from the historical points of interest, there are also lots of cafés and shops in the network of cobbled alleys and streets and plenty of places to sit in the sunshine and watch the world go by during your stay in our villas in Loule.

The weekly Saturday morning fair/gipsy market attracts tourists from all over the Algarve.

The annual Carnival held in February or March over 3 days (the 3rd day being shrove Tuesday) with its colourful procession around the centre of the city is considered one of the best in Portugal. It is one of the biggest events in Loule and is a truly colourful affair with music and dancing and general partying, reminiscent of Brazilian carnivals. People come from all over the Algarve to our villas in Loule to watch the processions and join in with the party as everyone takes to the streets.