Monte Gordo is a seaside resort in the Algarve. It is a quieter place than the larger tourist towns in southern Portugal, like Albufeira. The town has a cosy centre with a beautiful boulevard with pal trees and a wide sandy beach. The surrounding area is very rural and perfect to explore by rental car.
Monte Gordo was built especially for tourists. The nearest authentic town is Vila Real de Santo Antonio, which has about 14,000 inhabitants. It is located to the east of Monte Gordo, on the Guadiana river.
The town is located in the south-east of the Algarve in southern Portugal, at a mere five kilometres from the Spanish border, which means that you can also explore part of Spain in your rental car. The border is formed by the Guadiana river.
Tourism is the town's only source of income. Most of the people of nearby Vila Real de Santo Antonio also work in tourism. In addition, there is some fishery in the region and trans-border trade with Spain also plays a modest role.
The international airport of the Algarve is Faro Airport, which is located some 40 kilometres to the west of Monte Gordo, and which is easy to reach via the (new) A22 motorway (Via do Infante: traveling time about half an hour). Many budget airlines have direct flights to Faro Airport from Northern Europe, like EasyJet, Flybe and Air Berlin.
Bus services to other places in the Algarve are reasonable, but do not put too much faith in the official timetables. The connection to other tourist locations is maintained with high-speed buses (Serviço Transrápido). Taxis are in plentiful supply in Monte Gordo, and by European standards they are not expensive.
In recent years the roads in the Algarve have been improved enormously. The new A22 motorway runs from the Spanish border to the western Algarve. It runs parallel to the EN125, which lies a little more to the south. On the EN125 you need to stay alert. To turn left, there is a separate lane to the right, where you turn your car before crossing the road.
The road signs sometimes leave something to be desired. Often, old roads are indicated even when new ones are available. Buy a recent and clear road map before getting into your rental car to explore the area.
Also keep in mind that in Portugal you are not allowed to park your car within 18 metres of an intersection or within 15 metres of a bus stop. You will be fined! In the Algarve, the police are also very serious about the speed limit (120 km on motorways, 100 km on through roads and 50 km in residential areas, unless indicated otherwise).
In Monte Gordo there are parking facilities in the centre as well as near the beach.
Monte Gordo was built especially to receive the growing number of tourists that come to the Algarve. In other words: there are plenty of hotels and apartments available. Monte Gordo is becoming ever more popular, so we recommend booking your hotel room in advance.
For more information about Monte Gordo, we recommend Google, and the following sources: