Armação de Pêra was named after the inland region of Pêra in Portugal, where the fishermen came down from originally and armação, which was a specially adapted boat, with a combined netting system, designed by the Moors. Today Armação de Pêra is a lively high-rise Algarve resort, which is very popular with Portuguese holidaymakers in the summer. It has a wonderful long sandy beach stretching all the way to Praia de Galé.
Arriving on the outskirts of Armação de Pêra, there are large numbers of attractive, modern apartments along with the roads and roundabouts to link it all together. The centre (centro) and the beach (praia) are clearly signposted, and there are several roads leading to the beach, so if you miss the first one, don’t worry! There is a large area of ground at the western end where you can park and another large area at the eastern end by the fishermen’s beach, along with a multi-storey by Pingo Doce supermarket.
Armação de Pêra Chapel dedicated to Santo António Armação de Pêra is a mix of buildings old and new, modern apartment blocks along the sea front. The ‘old village’ is at the eastern end by the fishermen’s beach and is typically Algarvean. It is here, on the beachfront that the remains of a 17th century fort still stand – built to defend the village from pirates and corsairs by a wealthy fishing boat owner. There is a chapel inside, dedicated to Santo António, which is also 17th century.
The cobbled street on the corner of the hill opposite the whitewashed fort leads down into a network of little streets with a variety of shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. It would be quite easy to miss this part of the town if you are concentrating on the sea front, which would be a shame as it’s one of the prettiest parts of Armação de Pêra.
There are also numerous restaurants and cafés along the sea front of the ‘old village’, including a couple on the beach near the fishing boats, most of which (obviously!) have local, freshly caught fish on the menu.
Largo da Igreja (Church Square) in Armação de PêraWalking westwards along the front from the fort you will come to Largo da Igreja (Church Square) on the right hand side with the church in the middle and framed by trees. If it’s open, take a look! It’s not very big or grand, but just has something appealing about it. Further along the tree lined promenade widens into tree shaded gardens with benches to sit and enjoy the view. There is also a wide sloping path to the beach suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs at this point.
Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Rocha in Armação de Pêra Still going west, you come to Nossa Senhora da Rocha (Our Lady of the Rocks) with it’s beach, and several hotels spreading over the cliffs. There is a very small chapel on the cliffs (probably dating from 15th/16th centuries) above the beach within the remains of a fort.From here you get good views of Armação de Pêra and along the coast to Albufeira and there are also a couple of places to stop for refreshments after all the sightseeing!