The websites give information about opening times, prices, location etc. All the main parks run their own buses from and back to the major tourist areas. This makes a day trip easy without needing a car. None are particularly well served by public transport, being out in open countryside.

The outdoor waterparks are in general open from late May to end September. Check each site for details as they do vary outside the main summer period. is near Quarteira and Vilamoura. A bus between Quarteira and Loulé stops outside. The theme park is open from early May until the end of September. is near Alcantarilha, about 7km/ 4 miles from Albufeira and 2km/1.5 miles from Armação de Pera. Open mid June to first week of September only.  is just outside Lagoa and not far from Portimão and Praia da Rocha. It's about 13 miles / 20km from Albufeira. It's open from mid-June until the end of October. Closed on Sundays in October. is just outside Guia, close to Albufeira (4 miles / 7km)  and Armação de Pera. This location has a bus stop nearby with six to eight buses a day from Albufeira, Armação de Pera, Lagoa and Portimão. They do run their own buses from all the major tourist areas which are more convenient for most. These buses must be prebooked. Open from Easter until the end of October. is a small zoo and playpark about 4km north of Algoz. Open daily April to September, limited opening at other times. Closed mid-December to mid-January.  Check website for dates and times.

Lagos Zoo is just outside the village of Barão São João, a few miles from Lagos. It is open all year round. A local bus from Lagos stops outside.  The zoo is open all year.

Sandworld is an exhibition of sand sculptures located near the village of Pera, a few miles from Albufeira. This is open from mid-April to mid-October. It is not accessible by bus., located in the Santa Eulália area of Albufeira, offers an assault course for children of 4 and upwards, which consists of moving from trees to trees through a series of challenging physical games and trails, at varied heights, and they can also enjoy a game of Paintball, in a total area of 2500m².  The park is open from July 1 to September 15.

The assault course encourages participants to develop their own sense of responsibility as they move through the games under the watchful supervision, encouragement and guidance of qualified personnel and participants feel a sense of achievement having successfully completed the challenges adapted to their own level of capability. Routes differ in height according to the level of difficulty (vertical nets; cobweb; monkey’s bridge; Tyrolean of 90m) thus encouraging the participants to push themselves both physically and mentally.

This may or may not be for your kids but if it is, the Parque contact tel no is (+351) 913 185 782(+351) 913 185 782 and you can e.mail them at

Albufeira has an indoor karting centre located in the underground car park at the marina.

There is also an indoor karting track in Olhão - for details.

El Rocio - Huelva Province across the border in Spain

The Grave of the man who never was (Huelva Spain)

William Martin, in death, became one of the great heroes of the 2nd World War through helping to save the lives of thousands of allied servicemen. His corpse played a major role in an amazing operation to fool the Germans into believing that Sicily was not the next target for an invasion of Italy following the battle of Tunisia. The story was that, Major William Martin, as he was named, should appear to have drowned following a plane crash at sea, while en route from London as a courier on a top secret mission, carrying allied war plans. The coast close to Huelva was chosen as it was known that there was a very active German Agent there who had excellent contact with local officials.


Country Riding Centre Silves

Martina Frähsdorf, who along with partner Steve Michell owns and runs the Country Riding Centre, is also a fully Portuguese-qualified instructor specialising in children’s training. The centre prides itself on being thoroughly family-orientated and throughout the year organises several events for all family members.

This summer, children can take part in stable days, which involves a whole day packed with activities and a ride suitable to the child’s level of experience. Activities include team games, playing in the pool and riding area and stable management skills. Lunch, snacks and drinks are also included at a total cost of €20 per child.

For youngsters who want more action, the centre is also hosting three day Country Riding Camps, with sleep overs in tents, meals, horse riding and activities, which include swimming with the horses at the Silves dam (barragem) for more experienced riders. Confident riders can also book morning hacks at the centre, which includes a one hour and 40 minute ride to the dam followed by a picnic lunch, then riding the horse bare back into the lake for a swim.

Saturdays at the riding centre are largely dedicated to children, with small group lessons in the mornings and Pony Club in the afternoons. At Pony Club kids get up close and personal with the horses, learning more about the gentle giants. This includes playing horse-football and cushion polo plus gymkhanas, dressage, some mucking out and tack cleaning. Lessons can be taught fluently in a number of languages, including English, Dutch, German, and Portuguese.

Riding for the Disabled Barlavento (RDB)

BarlaventoRiding for the Disabled Barlavento is a voluntary, non profit making organisation. The riding sessions take place at Centro Hípico Quinta do Paraiso Alto near Bensafrim on Thursday and Friday mornings. Riders are only accepted with their Doctors permission and a full pre riding assessment by a trained physiotherapist.

Riding for the Disabled. This can be divided into three separate definitions;

Therapeutic Riding.

This involves teaching active riding skills and control of the horse, in addition to the rider learning to balance and move sitting astride a moving horse. Physical, emotional, sensorial and tactile disabilities can also be addressed. Therapeutic riding is taught by a specifically qualified instructor

Riding for the Disabled

The rider learns active riding skills with adapted equipment. RDA has to be instructed by a specifically trained and qualified instructor who is advised by a specifically trained physiotherapist.


Hippo therapy is neurophysiologically based physiotherapy with the help of the horse. This is a medically prescribed treatment technique conducted by health care specialists. Hippotherapy requires a therapeutic riding instructor and helpers.  All those involved need to undergo specific training otherwise this could potentially be harmful to the student or the horse

Real Picadeiro Riding School

Set on one hectare of land, with an indoor arena, stables, a bar, restaurant – the ‘Clube Lusitano Restaurant’ - and an outdoor arena with benches, it is a multipurpose business located in Pêra, suitable for carrying out various equestrian activities, from riding lessons, training, pruning and recently, therapeutic riding.

Real Picadeiro offers personalised instruction, supported by advanced riding teaching methods. There are three levels of learning in order to accomplish the greatest student achievements: lessons for beginners, lessons in different saddles, through monthly, packages of 10 lessons, and individual lessons, always with qualified teachers and comfortable Lusitano horses. It also offers therapeutic Riding – a form of treatment for children or adults with mobility problems and people with disabilities. Horseback riding provides benefits because of the streaming movements of the horse to the rider, which works as a treatment, in addition to the qualities of the activity as a sport.

The Real Picadeiro Riding School is open all year from Tuesday to Saturday from 9pm to 7pm and Sundays from 9pm to 1pm with free entry. You can visit the stables and grounds. Appointments for classes can be made by calling: 282 313 040282 313 040, 966 567 006966 567 006 or in the office from 10am-1pm and 3pm-7pm Tuesday to Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 1pm.

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