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Quarteira from fisher village to touristic center
Quarteira from fisher village to touristic centerQuarteira, parish of Loulé was created in 1916 and is situated ten kilometers from Loulé and eighteen from Faro and the international airport. The routes date back to pre-Roman period, including the Phoenicians and Carthaginians. Later, when inhabited by the Romans, it leads to the conclusion that Quarteira would be then known as Carteia, a bustling trading post, with sea salt and important fishing activity. Carteia has been founded in 504 BC. Near the old Carteia, where have existed Carthaginian colonies of fishermen with frames of salting fish, which is presumed to be submerged, existed until the end of the seventies of last century fish salting tanks from Roman times. The alleged sinking of Old Carteia is justified by the fact that it was invaded by the sea, a phenomenon that happened over the centuries throughout the Algarve coast, The earthquake that shook the area in 1755, pushed back the sea and left uncovered traces of ancient settlements. 4 km to the west side of Loulé Velho, is the archaeological site of ´Cerro da Vila´, in Vilamoura, where existed a fishing harbour of Roman, Visigoth and Moorish occupation.With three kilometers of beautiful sandy beaches which are awarded annually with the environmental quality symbol “the blue flag”, Quarteira privileges of its geographical position facing the sea with the unique climate, mild temperatures all year round influenced by the currents of the Mediterranean. Since the 1960s it became the most popular holiday destination for the Portuguese, because of its long sandy beach and good and easy access. This small village with strong fishing traditions grew quickly and became a town in 1993. The promenade in front of the beaches stretches along for about two kilometers and creates a cosmopolitan environment with many cafés, restaurants, shops and bars.Quarteira is visited annually by thousands of people for its rich cuisine. It is said here you eat the best fish in the world, being caught by local fishermen in the traditional way, which provides high quality. Fish and shellfish are the most important ingredients, marked by the casseroles, grilled fish, octopus rice, seafood bread soup, pasta with fish, xarém (“corn porridge” with seafood), among many others. The menu is rich and diverse.The Fisherman's festival in honor of the men of the sea, takes place in late May. Here you can sample a wide variety of snacks, based on seafood products and still enjoy a demonstration of ancestral fishing: “A arte da lavada”.In June, thousands of people enjoy the event of “Marchas Populares” which takes place on the promenade on the beach. Another major attraction that brings a huge amount of tourists to the city is the weekly farmers and Gypsies’ market on Wednesdays. Vilamoura, the largest private resort in Europe belongs to Quarteira and features the largest and most important marina in Portugal, a casino, international shops and restaurants, five excellent gold courses and beautiful beaches. The potential of the parish gain reputation considering the dozens of hotels, most five-star, the guest houses, tourist apartments and a camping park, with has the capacity to triple or even quadruple the number of inhabitants in the summer.