Loule is situated approx 16kms north of Faro, it is a large market town steeped in history and famous for it Saturday morning gipsy market. Although it is a relatively large town it is a very easy town to walk around which is certainly the best way to view it. Wander off through the little crisscrossed cobbled streets and alleys and you will find some beautiful buildings, quaint little shops and restaurants and a feeling of being right in the heart of all things Portuguese.

The main Avenida Jose da Costa Mealha is full of hustle and bustle but sat in the middle are the central gardens with benches under the trees and refreshments along its length. This area particularly comes alive in the evening when people meet and watch the world go by!

Little remains of Loule Castle which is said to be 13th/14th century, but within the remaining walls is a Museum with information about the Castle (costs a few Euros) and next door to this are some steps leading up to the remaining section of the castle walls. The three remaining stone towers and walkway between them are well preserved and give a great view of Loule.

Nearby the castle you will find the main Market building which has been beautifully renovated, you won’t miss it but be sure to visit one morning as the selection of produce is excellent and the atmosphere ‘alive’.

Another important event in the Loule calendar is the Annual Carnival which takes place in February over 3 days, the 3rd day being Shrove Tuesday and it is an extremely colourful and lively event with music, dancing and general partying, people come from all over the Algarve to watch the processions with elaborately decorated floats and people in fancy dress and everyone takes to the streets. The Avenida Jose da Costa Mealha is closed off for the carnival and cost s few Euros for entrance with the procession usually starting around 3pm.

The landmark 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 and indeed this is a landmark that will pass on your left as you make your way to Villa Peacehaven, even at night when it is lit up. This is also the destination of an annual religious procession.

Situated nearby and also on route to Villa Peacehaven is the usual site for the weekly gipsy market which draws tourists from all corners of the Algarve.  Again, make sure you arrive early.

View Larger Map