MONTE GORDO is the last resort before the Spanish border and the most built-up of the eastern holiday towns, with its own casino. In June expect to see a profusion of Harley Davison riders who descend for an annual biker's meet. White hotels overlook the wide, clean sands, on which are scattered a profusion of café-restaurants with studiously similar menus and inflated prices; O Firmo (Tel:281 513 280) is a good choice, with mid-priced grills and salads and a fine beachside terrace, Jaime (Tel:281 512 361) further west up the beach, serves lunchtime snacks and is a great spot for a beer overlooking the fishing boats.
If you want accommodation right on the beach, look no further than the Vasco da Gama, Avenida Infante Dom Henrique (Tel:281 510 900, Web: www.vascodagamahotel.com ; Price: 76-100) a highrise with tennis courts and kids' facilities, where some of the large en-suite rooms have sea views (Price: 101-125). A simpler choice is Pensão Promar, Rua Dr Francisco de Almeida 73 (Tel:281 542 250; Price: 26-35) a block back from the beach west of the casino, with bright rooms. Monte Gordo is also the site of the last – and largest – campsite (Tel:281 510 970, F281 510 003) on this stretch of the Algarve, a huge place set under pines near the beach on the Vila Real road.