Armação de Pêra was for centuries a fishing village, a focal point for fishermen attracted by the abundance of fish, especially sardines and tuna, which was salted and sold in the south and centre of Portugal.
To defend the settlement against raids from pirates and corsairs, a small fort was built in the 17th century at the initiative of a prosperous boat-owner. On the walls of this old fortification, with a doorway and above it the royal coat of arms, still stands on a slight elevation overlooking the sea. The chapel inside, which is dedicated to Santo António (Saint Anthony), dates from the same period.
These days, the fishermen's nets are still to be seen on Praia dos Pescadores (Fishermen's beach). But it is to the tourists who come for its broad sands and warm waters that Armação de Pêra now owes its lively, cosmopolitan atmosphere.
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