The Algarve attracts travellers from all over Europe— located in the south of Portugal, visitors flock to the fine sandy beaches, cliffs with romantic hidden coves, and rugged rock formations. The best thing about a trip to the Algarve? There is practically guaranteed sun. The area has a total of 300 sunny days per year. Check out our best cheap holiday packages for a trip to the Algarve!
Faro is the heart and capital of the Algarve. The coastal city has a lot to offer and carries with it a laid back atmosphere that makes for a great holiday break. Its close proximity to the Ria Formosalagoon adds a touch of nature and wilderness which complements the city‘s medieval charm.
Lagos is one of the most popular cities of the Algarve. Defined by the whitewashed houses, patterned streets and a rocky outcrops, the city embodies what everyone loves about Portugal. Take a trip to the beaches (yes plural) and explore the hidden caves of Lagos.
The Algarve is full of options and the choices can be overwhelming but here are our top choices for places to visit.
Known as Ilha de Tavira in Portuguese and boasting almost 11 km of the best white sand and blue water beaches in the Algarve, this island is a magical destination for keen travellers. You can go swimming, bird watching or eat fresh seafood at the exquisite restaurants. Some of the beaches permit naturism or nudism allowing you to become one with nature. You can get there by catching a ferry or a small boat from the town of Tavira.
Ponta da Piedade means a point of mercy in English. Here, you‘ll find a combination of rock formations, crystal clear blue water and hidden caves that create an unusual and interesting adventure. This place is a favourite amongst sailing enthusiasts and welcomes open water swimming.
Geographically, Cape St. Vincent, or Cabo de São Vicente in Portuguese, is the southwestern most point of Portugal and of Europe. It is known for its exciting marine life and multitude of birds that are easy to spot resting on the cliffs. Grab a camera and take postcard-worthy shots of falcons, herons, eagles, and storks.
Considered a national monument, this castle is one of the oldest Moorish enclaves in Portugal. Its origins are believed to date back to somewhere between the 8th and 13th century, making it rich in history. Although there are many castles to visit in the Algarve including Aljezur Castle and Tavira Castle, the one in Silves is the best location to offer a medieval experience on your Algarve holiday.
The best time to travel to the Algarve is between late April and late October. August is usually peak season and the busiest period for southern Portugal. The Algarve magic, including relatively warm days, continues throughout the year and that means that there are also plenty of reasons to visit the historic region over the winter.
Here are a few suggestions for your winter break:
Grab a bargain at the local markets
Go bird watching
Play a few rounds of golf
Trekking in the mountains
Train and bus schedules can be found online and are the cheapest way to get around. The trains, run by Comboios De Portugal, are quick and reliable. Alternatively, you can stay local and simply walk everywhere. However, if you have small children, it is usually more convenient to rent a car.