The village of Guia is approximately six kilometers from the coast and the same distance from Albufeira. Originally the village was located in Cerro de S.Sebastião, from where it was expanded, especially in the mid-twentieth century.
The main watercourse is the Ribeira de Espiche, whose final stretch is the Salgados Lagoon, a sub-elliptical depression that forms an inland lagoon.
It is an area of salinized alluvial deposits, conditioned by the sea and the river, constituting a transitional ecosystem between land and sea.
The existence of a dune serves as a barrier to water from the confluent basins.
The vegetation of the low lake has some typical species, being the dune system much more diverse. The fauna is very rich, highlighting seven nesting species and a large number of others that use the site to support migration, or for shorter periods.
The Salgados Lagoon were property of the county until 1773, currently belong to the parish of Guia and the municipality of Silves. The parish also includes the beautiful beaches of Galé, Yellow Rocks and Salgados. About the creation of the parish take note of the words of researcher Idalina Nunes Nobre.
“The origins of the village of Our Lady of the Visitation of Alfontes da Guia or Alfontes da Guia, formerly called Guia, are difficult to determine. Everything seems to have been occupied since ancient times.
The oral tradition, source of undeniable historical interest, perpetuates the place where the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Guia is erected as the place where the Virgin appeared, hence the construction of the Shrine.
Indeed, it can be said that legends are often linked to the antiquity of the places… Thus, it is assumed that the toponym, of religious origin, is related to the existence of that temple, built in an earlier period of the 16th century.
It is evident that the settlement has its roots in a time before the 16th century.
In economic terms agriculture and livestock farming have always been the most important activities. Productivity was not the best, performing in some places north and west of the settlement due to poor fertility of land and anachroism of available means.
The main productions were fig, carob, almond, wine, wheat, barley, rye and vegetables. Of all these products fig had the primacy, as it constituted a certain yield, made it possible to obtain fixed yields and was of great importance in terms of food.
To exist, however, a certain prosperity in agriculture and livestock, confirmed by the holding of an annual fair on September 8, the date that was also celebrating the feast of Our Lady of Guia.
In the year 1885 the Albufeira City Council deliberated the creation of a cattle market, in Nossa Senhora da Guia site, it is possible that the fair would already take place on October 7th, as it happens today.
Fishing played a secondary role in the economy of the parish of Guia. Baldaque da Silva says that in 1866, 46 men were engaged in fishing in Pedra da Galé, in a total of seven vessels. In the Gale beach there was a cluster of tents that belonged to a tuna frame.
In addition to tuna, species such as sardines, mackerel, sole, sea bass, soup and bezugo were caught. Occasionally broad species were also caught as they approached the coast such as plague and croaker. Shellfish, crustaceans, octopuses and squid complemented the available marine resources.
The heritage of the parish is part of the mother church dating from the seventeenth century, its orago is Our Lady of Visitation.
Inside there is the altarpiece of the chancel from the first quarter of the 18th century, the images of Saint Anthony and the Crucified Christ of the 17th century and those of the patron saint, Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Sorrows. XVIII century.
The temple of Nossa Senhora da Guia dates back to the time before the 16th century. It was partially destroyed by the 1755 earthquake and subsequently suffered several building campaigns.