The quaint little city of Loulé is lying on the top of the hill, 15 minutes driving from Quinta do Lago or Vale de Lobo (Almancil) and 10 minutes driving from The Crest in Vale Formoso, it’s been there for almost 1000 years. Although there was human presence in the area since the Ancient Paleolithic, it got to know a big impulse with the Romans and after them the Arabs, who named it Al-’Ulya’. It was conquered by the Portuguese in 1249 obliging to catholic traditions ever since, as one can testify by the impressive and nationwide renowned “Festa da Mãe Soberana” (Party to the Sovereign Mother) – a yearly procession with the image of Our Lady of Mercy.

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The calm and endearing old town is enclosed within castle walls, where you have the feel of an Arab medina long converted into a medieval Catholic European town. The architectural style of the market, just outside the old town walls will not let you overlook that. For that reason the Festival Med, taking place every year in June, has a special magical flare about it while bringing some brilliant World Music artists from all corners of the globe.

Earlier in the year, though, you can enjoy a rather different kind of fun. The Carnival Parade in Loulé is one of the biggest and more elaborated in the country. There’s a saying about Carnival (in Portuguese tradition): “It’s Carnival – no one takes it personally”. That said, there can be some political and social criticism along the Carnival floats while parading through the streets of Loulé.

More recently, Loulé started hosting a small Chocolate Festival that takes place in February, in the market. On those days you’ll be able to find there all sorts of chocolates: bars, truffles, bonbons, liquid (hot chocolate) or in cakes, rolls, cookies, ice creams, mousses… Not to be missed!!!

In the summer, when the nights are warm, Loulé holds the “White Night” (Noite Branca). A special night with small concerts along the streets, shops open until late, a lot of animation and most people dressed in white.

Loulé also has most of the amenities that you’ll need: banks, water, gas and electricity desks, council offices, schools, medical centre, hospital, police station, a number of state schools and, not far from the city or Quinta do Lago, the international school of São Lourenço.

In a nutshell, Loulé being a very historical city also provides a lot of interesting events all year long and it’s within a few minutes drive from the Golden Triangle (Quinta do Lago, Almancil, Vale de Lobo and Vilamoura) where you can enjoy the comfort of a luxury villa within a private condominium as in Monte da Quinta and The Crest.