Cacela Velha: A Beautiful, Historical Portuguese Village

Located in the East of the Algarve on the coastline near to Monte Gordo is Cacela Velha – a picturesque and historical Portuguese village which is highly recommended for a relaxing getaway.

Getting to Cacela Velha

Cacela Velha is a six-kilometre drive from Monte Gordo and a 20-minute drive from Tavira, passing through the scenic valley of Tavira. How to Get there: Cacela Velha is accessible from Tivira and Monte Gordo via the A25 freeway. Cacela Velha Route: Entrance from Monte Gordo From Monte Gordo you can either enter Cacela Velha from the left and follow the road or continue driving into the hills to the right to reach the village. Once you enter Cacela Velha, you will first see the main square before you see the little church (Santuário da Virgem) and the majestic Convent of the Conception of Our Lady. Turning right from the main square, you can visit the picturesque Church of São José which was built in 1755 and is the only medieval church in Portugal.

Cacela Velha’s history

Cacela Velha’s history dates back to 1052, but it was officially recognised as a place of interest by the Portuguese Royal Family in 1461. In 1873, a Calçada (main road) was constructed, providing access to Monte Gordo. This marked the start of the development of Cacela Velha’s unique tourism industry. The Cacela Velha area is rich in history. It is situated on a promontory on the Atlantic Ocean, overlooking the Portimao Lagoon and the municipality of Lagos. Following the Cacela Velha white-water rafting adventure, you can enjoy a BBQ and some beers while watching the sun go down. In the meantime, check out these ten amazing places to visit in the Algarve.

What to see and do in Cacela Velha

As its name indicates, Cacela Velha is a beautiful Medieval village located on the beautiful stretch of coast between the towns of Vila Real de Santo António and Oliveira do Bairro. One of the most beautiful architectural and historical attractions of the area, Cacela Velha was originally inhabited from the 10th century until the 17th century. As the sea level gradually rose over time, the village has remained intact with the exception of a section which is flooded due to the sea. This area has been a fortified village since antiquity and was used by the knights of the Order of Christ (Cristo Rei) as a base. The Knights built a defensive castle and tower fort during the 17th century.

Where to eat in Cacela Velha

Your best bet for eating in Cacela Velha is to head to Bar do Correio, situated in the centre of the town close to the port. The food is superb and the menu changes regularly with an interesting selection of Portuguese dishes. Ask for a table in the corner where you can sit and take in the wonderful views of the town below. How to get there The easiest way to get to Cacela Velha is to drive south out of Algarve town towards Loulé, and stop in Figueira da Foz. Continue north along the coast until you reach Loulé, then take the Doutor a Cabo Viagem road towards Cacela Velha, passing through Beja, Odemira and Santa Comba Dão. The visit to Cacela Velha can be extended by taking a detour to Armação de Pera, where you will also find the ruins of a 10th-century castle.

Where to stay in Cacela Velha

Located in the centre of the village is the five star coastal boutique hotel with superb ocean views. This is where all the magic happens with the beach and a variety of restaurants just a few steps away. Breakfast and dinner at the hotel include some delicious traditional Portuguese dishes. The property is very much the heart and soul of the village with fantastic and friendly service and attentive staff. Accommodation options include air-conditioned rooms with amazing sea views. What to see and do in Cacela Velha Of course, after the hotel, one has to visit the magnificent beaches of the resort. However, it is not the best beach in the world but it does meet the necessary requirements. For those who like to work a bit, there are activities available at the beach clubs in the morning.


The Algarve is all about the sun, the sea, and the clear blue skies, so taking the time to enjoy a long trip to this region has never been more than a trip down memory lane. A trip to the Algarve is one of the best things a traveler can do in his life, and in Portugal’s case it is completely essential that one takes the time to discover and admire the famous Algarve region, because if you don’t take the time now, you’ll regret it later.

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