At the eastern end of the Algarve, close to the Rio Guadiana and Spanish border the resort of Monte Gordo seems to sit on the beach itself. Here the coast is low and flat, a vast sweep of golden sand backed by dunes and low farmland.

The village started as a fishing station from where a wall of net was stretched out to sea to catch the passing tuna. Today it is a community of hotels and restaurants enjoying this most sheltered part of the Algarve. Temperatures are generally higher here than further west.

Whilst this can be a bonus for autumn or winter breaks it can be just too hot for parts of the summer. Particularly those with fair skin or small children should consider if they can cope with the heat.

Apart from the facilities in the resort of Monte Gordo this is a relatively isolated location and a hire car can give a holiday greater potential. With Spain in sight across the bay many visitors choose to make a visit to the other side of the border. There is a bus service to the nearby town of Vila Real de St Antonio from where there is a ferry across to the Spanish town of Ayamonte.

No need to change money as shops on the other side of the river accept Portuguese escudos.With a car you could choose to visit the vast natural park of Donana, the city of Seville or the historic Rock of Gibraltar.

At nearby Cabanas the eastern Algarve has its first golf course. The Benamor course opened in spring 2000 but will soon be joined by other courses in construction at Castro Marim close to the Guadiana.