Cacela Cacela, Eastern Algarve, Portugal

History, a new town, great golf and the Ria Formosa...

See our rental accommodation near Cacela

Cacela is in fact two towns; Cacela Velha - 'old' Cacela - and Vila Nova de Cacela - 'new' Cacela. Cacela Velha is a tiny, picturesque village with a fort and a church sitting on a cliff overlooking the lagoon and the sea. You can take nice walks through the country and along the lagoon shore of the Ria Formosa (at low tide) between Cacela Velha and near-by Fábrica. Golfers will be delighted by the 36 holes of Quinta da Ria and Quinta da Cima golf courses; great golf and beautiful courses with sea views and olive-lined fairways.

Vila Nova de Cacela is an ordinary, unpretentious small town which has all the basic amenities including a newly built town food market. However, the town's one claim to fame is its street market, held on the 3rd Sunday of every month, which fills the entire town and temporarily doubles the population. Post office, banks, chemists, shops, supermarket, cafe's and restaurants are all here within a stone's throw. And just across the N125 coast road, is Manta Rota and its wonderful beaches.


Cacela Velha was once open to the sea, with the mouth of the Pedra Alva river making a small harbour. It was settled in Roman times and was a centre for fish salting. During the Moorish period (7th - 13th centuries) defensive ramparts were built. Cacela Velha was the first point in the Algarve conquered by the knights of the Order of Sant'Iago under Paio Peres Correia in 1240. It was from here that the knights aided the army of King Afonso III  in conquering, and extending Portuguese rule, to the whole of the rest of the Algarve by the end of the decade. Cacela was granted a town charter in 1283. The town's fortune waned with the gradual silting of the harbour and the formation of the sand barrier of the Manta Rota peninsula, causing a gradual decline in the town's population. Cacela was then devastated in the great earthquake of 1755. The village you see today dates from the end of the 18th Century.

Facility Comment
train station YES - Vila Nova
internet cafe YES - Vila Nova
foreign language newspapers YES - Vila Nova
post office YES - Vila Nova
Facility Comment
cash machine (ATM) YES - Vila Nova
food market YES - Vila Nova, new and nice
chemist / pharmacy YES - Vila Nova
castle YES - Cacela Velha

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