The Algarve

 

Portugal’s Algarve is known for its long stretches of golden sands set against sparkling azure waters, so if it’s beautiful beaches you want, look no further. With postcard-perfect shores and glorious year-round weather, there’s something here for everyone, from those who want to party in the lively resort of Albufeira, to those who want to relax in the fishing villages and historical towns. As for the best beaches, holidaymakers are spoilt for choice. Praia da Falesia is one of the Algarve’s longest beaches – stretching all the way from Vilamoura in the west to Olhos de Água in the east. The powder-white sand contrasts against the dramatic fiery orange cliffs and green pines - add the inky blue skies and sparkling Atlantic and you have the perfect backdrop to a relaxing day. For those who want to keep active, there are waterparks, golf courses and watersports. Away from the beaches, head to the region’s capital, Faro to soak up some of the traditional Moorish culture, where you’ll find beautiful churches and interesting architecture at every turn. For something a little different - and macabre - visit Capela dos Ossos – known as the Chapel of the Bones. This small chapel is lined with the bones of over 1,000 monks who were buried in the graveyard, with their skulls on display on the walls and ceilings.

Portugal

KEY FACTS

  LANGUAGE - PORTUGUESE

 

  AIRPORT - FARO AIRPORT

 

  TIMEZONE - GMT+1

 

  CURRENCY - €EUR:EURO

 

EXPLORE THE ALGARVE - http://www.algarve-tourist.com/

 

“I don't have to tell you about the beauty of the long stretches of golden sands and curious little coves dotted along the coast of the Algarve. However, there is lots more to see in Portugal's interior. I would recommend the pretty market town of Monchique; its cobbled streets and sleepy square nestle in forested hills.”

Aida Maria Miranda, RCI member, 40 years

Top 4 Things To Do

1. Sea Caves

No trip to the Algarve would be complete without visiting the famous sea caves – and they don’t get any more famous than the Benagil Cave, which you’ll recognise from all the postcards in the gift shops across Portugal. This cave can’t be accessed directly from the beach, so book a boat trip to visit it or, for something different, try kayaking or stand up paddleboarding. This cave has the added bonus of being close to Praia da Marinha, which is known as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

2. Monchique

Northwestern Algarve is home to the pretty mountain market town of Monchique. Set in lush green forest, the town is well placed for a wellness and spa break in the heart of nature, with many options for leisurely strolls around town, or exploratory hikes through the pines. There are plenty of well-marked trails that are easy to follow, so it is a great activity for all the family to enjoy together. High above the coast, it is comfortably cooler, giving the opportunity to get really active, without melting under the blazing sun.

Travel Advisory

3. Castelo de Silves

Situated on a hill overlooking Silves, the Moorish sandstone castle dominates the skyline, keeping watch over the picturesque town below. The castle was taken over by the Moors in the 8th century when Silves was an important trading town – they expanded it, and it is now one of the best preserved castles in Portugal. Not much remains of the interior, but the climb up to admire the panoramic views from the battlements is a highlight of any trip. Once you’ve taken in the impressive vistas, wander around Silves and stop for a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants.

My Offers

4. Golf

The Algarve is one of the best destinations in the world to play golf, with more than 40 courses to choose from. It has the ideal year-round climate, with warm summers and mild winters, boasting over 300 sunny days each year. The courses range in difficulty and you can choose from whichever backdrop you want; the lush pine forests of the Monchique region, or the sparkling blue Atlantic Ocean, where you can step off the course and straight onto the beach. The choice is yours.

Featured Blogs

The Best Vineyards in the Algarve Open in a New Window

The Best Vineyards in the Algarve

By Quentin Sadler

The Algarve is one of the most picturesque regions of Portugal, with fine sandy beaches, charming towns and glorious sunshine waiting to be enjoyed. It’s also a popular wine-making region, which has recently started producing wines to rival even the most well-established vineyards across the country.

Dream, Discover, Explore, Experience Open in a New Window

Dream, Discover, Explore, Experience

By Alex Brinnand

With the year ahead of us, now is a good time to research holiday destinations and seek out opportunities to unleash your wanderlust. Whether you’re looking for somewhere dreamy to forget your troubles, an exploration of epic proportions, the chance to discover new routes or experiences..

Unmissable Things To See And Do In Albufeira Open in a New Window

Unmissable Things To See And Do In Albufeira

By Lorraine Loveland

The golden shores of Portugal have long been a favourite with sun-loving holidaymakers. But there is also much more to love beyond its glorious sands. The city of Albufeira rests on Portugal’s south coast, a former fishing village which has been transformed with a modern marina and waterfront promenade, popular with locals and tourists alike.

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