When you holiday in Estoi, you can wallow in the past. For this is the site of two of the Algarve's historical gems, tucked away amongst the orange and almond trees. Take the cobbled road from the peaceful main square to feast on views of the town's extravagant 18th century rococo palace – the peach coloured Palacio de Estoi. It's sadly closed to the public whilst being restored as a poussada hotel, but you can see the outside of the palace as well as the pavilions and fountains which grace the formal gardens. Ten minutes away lie the Milreu Roman ruins – once a second home for a fish tycoon, who decorated his baths with exquisite fish mosaics, now delightfully informal, rambling remains.
Of course, summer holidays in Estoi aren't all about history lessons. The vigorous Sunday market is firmly rooted in the present, selling clothes and shoes as well as glossy fruit and vegetables and even live goats and chickens, though even those on a self catering holiday in Estoi may not be tempted by the latter! Eat, drink and be merry in the town's scattering of restaurants and bars, or follow the Portuguese who travel miles to dine in the market town of Sao Bras de Alportel to the north of Estoi. Travel southwest and you'll come to the busy fishing town of Olhao, where seafood sizzles at the open air restaurants around the harbour.
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