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Estoi in the Western Algarve Portugal, Estoi borders on the Central and Western Algarve in the Serra do Caldeirão. Foot hills, The Town has much to offer and is well worth the inland trip, it comes under the Parish of Faro, and perhaps famous for Estoi Palace ( nicknamed the Pink Palace ). More about the palace further down, when entering Estoi from the east you will pass the ruin of a roman building, known as Milreu roman ruins, The oldest part of the ruins are of a 1st / 2nd century AD Roman villa part of a agricultural settlement. Later in the 3rd century AD, it was a luxurious house with a large bathing complex. Then later became a sanctuary up until the 6th Century.
The centre of Estoi sits an impressive Church, with a mixture of styles with Corinthian columns on the main door entrance and the front of roman influence, and a Moorish style bell tower. At the bottom of the stone steps that lead to the church entrance is a running spring that comes out of 3 stone pipes into a solid stone trough with a similar one opposite with a tiled information Plaque. Off the small square are bars and restaurants which lead to a cobbled street at the end sits an impressive arched gateway that is part of the Palace. From this is the typical charm of a Algarvian town with whitewashed houses going up hill with its cobbled steps surrounded by colorful bougainvilleas.
The Town has many fine Merchants houses with carved stone adorning the doorways and window surrounds, with fancy cast iron Juliet balconies. Estoi has other small squares in the town with influence of the Moorish period depicting in many of the larger houses, in the centre of the village is a good sized daily indoor Fish and fruit/vegetables Market that is open until midday. Estoi is not just well known for its Palace, it holds huge events just off a side road from the main church in May. In August is the big Equestrian show which goes on well in to the night as it normally starts during the cooler evenings hours with horse drawn carriages and buggies, the town get a medieval feel as the fair is alight with flame torches, in the past there has also been a bullfight ,but these are becoming less due to the animal rights that seem to be creeping in across Europe on the same site is a large monthly Market ,there is even dedicated parking for camper vans (motorhomes). For other campsites in the Algarve see here
The 'palace' was built at the end of the 18th century by a local aristocrat from the Carvalhal family. considered to be a fine example of Neo-Classical architecture. The the interior has more of a French and Italian feel with the painting of cherubs and furniture from the Louis 16th style, The palace remained in the Carvalhal family until 1893, when it was sold to a wealthy chemist and landowner from Central Portugal. The new owner had the palace restored and augmented by Portugal's pre-eminent architect of the time, who did such a good job it earned the owner the title of Viscount of Estói in 1906. The palace passed down through the family until, in 1987, until the Municipal Council of Faro purchased it. Now a Luxury hotel, it is free to go around the palace and gardens even if you are not a staying guest, the exit road around the outer walls of the palace gardens you will find the Town’s newly restored public laundry with its tiled covered roof this has been restored with hand painted tiles depicting its former use
Main Church in the Centre
Grande Merchants House
Spring water Church steps
Estoi Palace Gardens
Moorish house in Square