We know you’re here to relax and unwind but if you want to explore a bit of Algarvean culture, we’d suggest a few hours in Loulé, a 20 minute drive from the resort. Your first stop, hidden down a side street, is Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Conceição) which dates back to the 17th century; the plain and sober style then in vogue cloaks the chapel’s entrance. The tiny chapel contains an ornately carved, gilded altarpiece; pictorial tiles; and a 19th-century painting by local artist Rasquinho on the ceiling, of the Assumption of Our Lady. For a taste of modernity, your next destination has to be ArtCatto Gallery, which brings a whole new level of contemporary art to the Algarve. Vibrant canvases by Voka, tactile sculpture by Georg Scheele, and textural works by Alisa Julia Lim A Po of acrylic on copper or aluminum are worth taking your time over. If you’re starting to feel peckish after this feast for the eyes, pop into Quarteira Fish Market to see the bounty of the Algarve coast on display, and finish with a visit to the nearby Tico Tico for an off-the-radar lunch with some of the best seafood in the region. Try the garlicky clams, the octopus, or another local favorite: percebes, aka gooseneck barnacles. You won’t be sorry you did.
ERMIDA DE NOSSA SENHORA DA CONCEIÇÃO: Rua Paio Peres Correia, Loulé; 9:30am-5:30pm, Tuesday to Friday from October to May; 10am-6pm Tuesday to Friday from June to September; 9.30am-4pm Saturday
ART CATTO GALLERY: 43 Avenida Jose da Costa Mealha, Loulé; +351-289-419-447; artcatto.com; 10am-6pm Monday to Friday; Saturday by appointment
QUARTEIRA FISH MARKET: Lago do Mercado, Quarteira
TICO TICO: 2 Rua das Laranjeiras, Quarteira; +351-289-313-126