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Loulé in the Algarve is a traditional and also historic town, approx. 18km north of Faro and approx. 5km from the coastal areas of Vilamoura, Vale do Lobo, and also Quinta do Lago.  This beautiful town is a must for your to-do list when you visit the Algarve, especially on Market Day. Relatively quiet during the week, springing into life on a Saturday morning when the traditional fish market and also the farmers market are on.

Loulé in the Algarve

This historic town in central Algarve is small and quaint, a beautiful place to walk around, admiring the architecture. 


Take a stroll down Praça da República, the main street that has bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and local boutiques. 


If you didn’t find a souvenir at the market, there are several of the more high-end variety souvenir shops here selling typical Portuguese pottery and tiles.

Shopping street in Loulé Algarve Portugal
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Jardim dos Amuados in front of the main church in Loule Algarve Portugal
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Municipal de Loulé, housed in an 18th-century building that dates back to the golden era of Portugal’s history. Dating back to 1842, the building became the town hall when it was purchased by the municipality in 1884. Also, to the right of the town hall, you can see a large section of the old city walls and to the far right of the Camara is also an old city archway that leads into the cobbled old town. Look out for Loulé’s unique purple and white flag here too.


Not far from the town hall is a large public square where you will see a distinctive pink building. This is the old Convent of Espírito Santo, which also houses the municipal art gallery in its neoclassical cloister. A noticeable feature at the convent and located right in the centre is a 45m tall Pine tree. This tree is the tallest landmark in Loulé and can actually be seen from almost everywhere.

The Market

When you go to Loulé you can’t miss this beautiful 100+ year-old building that is really the heart of the town. 

With its striking raspberry-red roof, domes, and Arabic it certainly stands out. Inside you’ll not only find the famous fish market, but also stalls selling a wide variety of goods. If you’re looking for local gifts to take back home, you’ll find plenty of options here, honey, spices, jams and even local wines to name a few. 

The municipal market of Loulé is located in the centre of this historic city and is open every day of the year.

Loule market Algarve Portugal
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Market Opening Times:

You’ll find a mix of locals and tourists walking around the stalls inside and outside.

The Loulé market is open from Monday to Saturday from 6:30 to 3:00 pm and is also well known for its fresh local produce, organic products, and fresh fish.

Loulé market is a great example of a traditional indoor market in Portugal. If you’re in the area, stop in and see what you can find!

arial castle in Loule Algarve Portugal
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The Castle

At the end of Praça da Republica you can go along Rua da Barbacã and this will lead you to Loulé’s famous castle. As with most castles in the Algarve, the castle dates back more than 700 years to the reconquest period. The castle was also built on the remains of a previous Muslim fortress under the instructions of King Afonso III in 1249. Just three defensive towers and the connecting walls remain, however, they also still provide a great focal point.

The rest of the castle and its walls have reportedly been used in many of the nearby buildings. Traditionally the recycling of bricks and materials was common throughout the ages.

There are also other places of interest in Loulé, this historic town in central Algarve. Including the Archaeological Museum in the castle, the salt mine, the communal park, Igreja (church) Matriz, church of St Clemente, and Jardim dos Amuados.


  • Where is Loulé in Portugal? Loulé is in The Algarve, Southern Portugal.
  • What is Loulé like? Loulé is a lovely quaint town slightly inland in the central Algarve region in Portugal. Approx 15 minutes from the beaches.
  • What is there to see / do in Loulé? Loulé is great for exploring and wandering around the small traditional cobbled streets. Full of charm and history there is the market that is a must-see, churches, the convent with the famous pine tree, a castle, the fort, and a museum.
  • What day is Loulé market? The market is open Monday to Saturday from 7am to 3pm although the best time to visit is a Saturday morning when there are lots of stalls to visit indoor and outdoor.
  • How far is Loulé from Vale do Lobo? Approx. 20 minutes. Click HERE to see the map.
  • How far is Loulé from Quinta do Lago? Approx. 20 minutes. Click HERE to see the map.
  • Which airport is closest to Loulé? Faro Airport
  • How far is Loulé from Faro Airport? Approx. 20 minutes’ drive from the airport. Click HEREto see the map.
  • Is Loulé near Albufeira? Approx. 30 minutes. Click HERE to see the map.
  • How far is Loulé from Vilamoura? Approx. 20 minutes. Click HERE to see the map.
  • How far is Loulé from Lisbon? Approx. 2 hours and 30 minutes. Click HERE to see the map.

Restaurant Recommendations –

There are some fabulous restaurants here too including Restaurante Churrasqueira Jolibela, O Pescador, and 11 da Villa


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