Oral tradition suggest that the name came from the erection of the hermitage to Nossa Senhora da Guia, where the Virgin appeared to the people. Ecclesiastical records from the Bishop of the Algarve indicate that owing to the sanctuary, the parish was created in 1617.
This old settlement is located on the flank of a short mount, the Cerro de São Sebastião, with expansion occurring in the second quarter of 20th century. Among the more important localities of the parish of the settlements of Vale Parra, Vale Rabelho, Montes Juntos, Vale Verde, Cortelhas, Vale da Ursa, Tavagueira and Álamos.
The nearest beaches are Laurenco and Gale.
The tourist attraction of Zoomarine, a water and marine theme park
The population of the parish has maintained an agricultural tradition, based on a rural society, producing fig, carob, almond, vineyards, wheat, barley and rye, in addition to many legumes.
Guia is also home to Algarve Shopping, a large shopping centre with hypermarket, Continente, and a 9 screen cinema.
The village of Guia is home to "Zoomarine" a theme park with a primary aim; to educate about the seas and the wildlife within them.
It is known for its numerous chicken piri-piri restaurants, and is known locally as "The Capital of Chicken"; the very first chicken piri-piri was supposedly grilled here in 1974, by José Carlos Ramires, whose eponymous restaurant is still open today. Situated on the N125 (the principal east to west road on the Algarve with the exception of the A22 Motorway) it is a busy but nevertheless attractive place.
Old Tower (Torre Velha), following the June 1548 attack by Muslim forces along the coast of Albufeira, that resulted in the slavery of six rural peasants, the need to defend the Algarve coast resulted in the construction of temporary sentries. In the second half of the 16th century, during the reign of King John III, the tower was constructed to monitor coastal defenses. Today, the tower is integrated into a tourist lodging, called Torre Velha;
Church of São Sebastião (Igreja de São Sebastião), a single-nave church and sacristy constructed from a 17th-century chapel, in which was recently (2011) discovered mural paintings from the period;
Church of Nossa Senhora da Visitação (Igreja Paroquial da Guia/Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Visitação), the parochial church of Guia, consisting of a longitudinally-planned rectangular nave, chancel, sacristy and lateral chapels encircled by azulejos along its floor-level walls;
Hermitage of Nossa Senhora da Guia (Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Guia), constructed in the 15th century, the simple hermitage is covered in floor-level azulejo, and almost destroyed by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake