- 1 About the Algarve
- 2 Best Time to go to Algarve.
- 3 How to get to Algarve
- 4 Getting around Algarve
- 5 Where to stay in Algarve?
- 6 10 Best things to do in Algarve.
- 6.1 1. Visit the old town of Tavira
- 6.2 2. Spend an evening in Vilamoura Marina.
- 6.3 3. Visit the Old town of Albufeira.
- 6.4 4. Day trips to Lagos and Sagres
- 6.5 5. Party in the Strip – Albuefeira.
- 6.6 6. Admire the Benagil Caves.
- 6.7 7. The 5 Best Beaches of Algarve
- 6.8 8. Go Dolphin Watching in Algarve
- 6.9 9. Enjoy a round of Golf in Algarve.
- 6.10 10. What to Eat in Algarve
- 6.11 Time to say goodbye to Portugal
- 6.12 Share this
- 6.13 Like this:
The Algarve is known for its natural beauty and warm weather. With abundance of sunshine all year round, it is one of the most popular beach and golf holiday destinations in Europe. The Algarve receives plenty of sun all year around with an average of 13 hours of sunshine during the summer months. It is home to golden beaches, towering cliffs and mystic sea caves attracting millions of visitors every year. Let’s discover the 10 Best Things to Do in Algarve.
The final leg of our holiday in Portugal that started with 3 days Porto followed by 2 days in Lisbon the Capital and culminating in the Algarve.
About the Algarve
Algarve is the southernmost region of Portugal bounded by the Atlantic Ocean and The Mediterranean Sea and is a popular beach holiday destination. It was ruled by Moors for over 5 centuries and finally taken over by the Portuguese in 1189. The Algarve is also famous for its pottery and azulejos, the famous blue and white ceramic tiles. It also attracts golfers from all around the world with some of the best Golf Resorts on offer.
- Is Algarve safe? Portugal is one of the safest countries in Europe and same for Algarve.
- What is the currency in Portugal? As part of the European Union the currency is Euro.
- How many days do you need in the Algarve? 3 days is enough to get a flavour of Algarve and visit some of the most popular spots but a week for a more relaxed holiday.
Best Time to go to Algarve.
With temperatures rarely dropping below 20°C Algarve is an all year round destination but the peak season being July to September. The summers can be scorching and very busy so best to travel in the shoulder season post September or early summer. Winters are relatively mild with highs of 15°C and it starts getting warmer in spring with highs of 22°C in April.
How to get to Algarve
The fastest way to get to Algarve is to fly to Faro. Faro airport is the gateway to THE Algarve and 2 hour flight from the UK. Faro Airport is 4 km away from the main city of Faro and 30 minutes’ drive from Algarve. It can also be reached by road and train. We travelled to Algarve by train from Lisbon. It took us around 3 hr to reach Albufeira station from Lisbon.
Getting around Algarve
Hire a Car in if you want to travel around Algarve a great way is to hire a car. There is always the easier way of a taxi but this can get expensive in Algarve. UBER is available Algarve. There are frequent long-distance bus services connecting the different towns in the Algarve to Lisbon. A bus network is also available around Faro, Albufeira, and Lagos.
Where to stay in Algarve?
The most popular places to stay are:
- Lagos, Albufeira or Praia da Rocha, Sagres – Overall
- Tavira , Praia da Luz and Alvor for family holidays with kids.
- Luxurious – Vilamoura or Vale Do Lobo.
Our stay in Algarve.
The Anantara Villamoura – A quiet retreat overlooking lush golf greens. The hotel is a short drive from the main Marina and offers free transport to and from the Marina.
- 280 Luxurious Rooms and Suites to choose from.
- 5 beautiful pools and Champagne cabanas.
- Minutes from the prestigious Victoria Golf Course.
- Close to Vilamoura’s beaches, marina and nightlife, including Purobeach Vilamoura
- A World-class kids’ and teens’ clubs
10 Best things to do in Algarve.
Algarve is all about Sun, Sea and Sand and having a relaxing holiday. It has some of the best sandy beaches and a picturesque shoreline but there is much more than this on offer. Let’s find out the 10 Best Things to Do in Algarve.
1. Visit the old town of Tavira
Tavira was originally a small fishing village and one which has still managed to retain much of its charm. It is a great place to stay if you are looking at a quieter family holiday. It is filled with character and gives you a feel of Portugal. Tavira has an old Roman bridge that has stood there for centuries. Cobbled streets and a sweet little town centre makes it the worth a visit.
2. Spend an evening in Vilamoura Marina.
Vilamoura is the more modern and upmarket town in Algarve and perhaps Portugal. It attracts visitors from all around the world. Vilamoura is famous for its large marina and golf courses. The evenings around the marina are lively and is filled with restaurants and bars. Vilamoura also has a sandy beach.
3. Visit the Old town of Albufeira.
Albufeira is the largest resort town in Algarve coastline. A former fishing village that has transformed into a busy holiday destination. It has sandy beaches and a buzzing nightlife. It is quite busy yet more affordable when compared to Vilamoura.
4. Day trips to Lagos and Sagres
Lagos and Sagres are the other 2 popular towns in the Algarve
Sagres is mainly a great destination, but there are a few sandy beaches there as well. It has a dramatic landscape with rough seas and cliffs. One of the popular attractions in Sagres is The Lighthouse of Cabo de São Vicente located along the coastal peninsula of Sagres.
Lagos has a historic city centre filled with a number of historical monuments overlooking the harbour. It has a few good beaches but it is also famous for its lively nightlife and numerous bars and restaurants.
5. Party in the Strip – Albuefeira.
Where is the main nightlife in Albufeira? Avenida Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro, more commonly known as The Strip is the heart of Albufeira’s nightlife. Open till the wee hours of the morning it filled with bars, clubs and eateries.
6. Admire the Benagil Caves.
One of the most popular attractions is – The Benagil Caves. Benagil is a small fishing village and has become popular due to the picturesque sea caves that are along its shoreline. How to get to The Benagil caves? The Caves are situated a few hundred meters away from Benagil beach.
The only way to get to the caves is to swim or by kayak. It is not an easy swim as it is around a cliff. There are loads of boat tours that promote a trip to the Benagil caves but be mindful they don’t allow you to get off at the caves. This would definitely top the 10 Best Things to Do in Algarve.
7. The 5 Best Beaches of Algarve
The coastline of Algarve is home to some of the finest beaches in Europe. Most of these are sandy and some have beautiful rock formations. Most of the beaches in the Algarve involve a bit of walking and steep wooden steps. It is well worth it though.
The must visit beaches in Algarve are:
Praia da Falesia
This is the longest beach of Algarve. Over 6km of beautiful golden sand an perfect to spend a day with the family. Being one of the more popular beaches it has really good facilities including bars and restaurants, this is a family friendly beach and is very close to Vilamoura. There is a path along the cliffs through the pine groves with beautiful views.
Praia da Marinha –
Often ranked as one of the best beaches in Europe. Is a bit of a walk from the main town but is very popular with tourists. A small tunnel under the rocks connects Marinha beach to another tiny beach called Praia da Mesquita.
Praia da Rocha
The Praia da Rocha is near Portimao and is great for swimming and sunbathing.
Praia de Dona Ana
Just outside Lagos, is popular for its sandy beach and the surrounding colorful cliffs. It reminds you of the 12 apostles on the Great Ocean Road. It is famous with both locals and tourists great for kids as well.
Praia de São Rafael
Praia de Sao Rafael is close to the village of Sesmarias 2.5 miles from Albufeira old town. It is set in a pretty bay, flanked by the limestone rock formations that add to the beauty of this beach.
8. Go Dolphin Watching in Algarve
Take a boat tour which includes sailing along the coastline admiring the beautiful rock formations and searching for the beautiful mammals.The most common dolphin species found here are the Bottle nose dolphin and striped dolphin.
If you are lucky enough you will come close to these dolphins that come and swim around your boat. Dolphin tours are offered from March to late November. It is not guaranteed though. Tours start from Vilamoura Marina. If you are lucky to to see them this would definitely top the 10 Best Things to Do in Algarve.
9. Enjoy a round of Golf in Algarve.
The Algarve is considered as one of the best golf destinations in Europe. Whether you are an aamateur or a professional there is something available for all levels. With some of the best golf courses to the ones with the most stunning views of the coastline, it is a golfer’s paradise.
10. What to Eat in Algarve
Being on the Atlantic Coast Algarve is blessed with divine Seafood. The most popular sea food of Portugal is the humble Sardine. The best way to enjoy Sardines is to have it grilled with salad and white wine. Other seafood on offer include crab, oysters, squid and shellfish.
Piri Piri Chicken – Another popular dish from Portugal. Barbecued chicken marinated in a special sauce made with the piri-piri chilli. The chilli was first imported from its former colony in Mozambique.
Custard Tart – Whether it is Porto, Lisbon or the Algarve the tasty custard tart flavoured with almonds is a must all through Portugal. We sampled them in all the 3 cities and has to be one of the 10 Best Things to Do in Algarve.
Time to say goodbye to Portugal
I must admit Portugal was a delight to visit and it was time to say goodbye to this amazing country.
We started our journey in the wine region of Porto followed by a visit to the vibrant Capital – Lisbon and onto the beautiful beaches of the Algarve.
Hope you enjoyed reading about the 10 Best Things to Do in Algarve as much as we enjoyed visiting it.
If you want to know more about all the places we visited in Portugal have a read of the following
- 3 Days in Porto
- Livraria Lello – Porto’s famous bookstore
- Day Trip to Sintra from Lisbon
- 2 Days in Lisbon