Sightseeing, what could be so special? Apart from the fact that Vila Real de Santo António really has many stories to tell, this tour, like many others, lives from the person who guides you through the city. Our Door Man Luis Pinhão is an old-established local who knows the city like the back of his hand. The perfect storyteller: Authentic, friendly and knowledgeable.
In 1773, the Marquis of Pombal decided to rebuild the then village, which was almost completely destroyed by a tsunami, using the latest construction techniques. Designed in a Pombaline orthogonal grid, it was set to become the most modern city in the country and the flourishing economic center of the Algarve in the 18th century. The town’s wealth was generated from the fishing and salt trades. Even today, the shallow, shimmering tidal pools of the salt pans carry on their quiet work just outside the town. The façades of the houses repeat the balanced forms of a sober and restrained architectural style: expressions of the 18th century Enlightenment of which Vila Real de Santo António is a perfect example.
Let us take you on a journey by learning more about this royal city, its origins, and even some insider secrets! You will feel like a local in no time, walking through its beautiful cobbled streets and listening to some historical curiosities while learning more about Portuguese culture and tasting some regional treats!