The Algarve is one of the most popular spots to visit in Portugal. In particular, the stretch of coast between Lagos and Faro is lined with some of the nicest resorts and beachside restaurants you will find. Although it can be very busy in the summer months, it is still a pleasant place to go to relax and get away from it all.
Knowing where to start with the Algarve can be tricky if you have never been there before, so here’s a quick guide so you know exactly what to expect when you are there.
As a popular tourist destination, accommodation in the Algarve can range between budget and luxury depending on your needs. There are hotels and apartment complexes everywhere which are just a short walk away from the beach and from the sunshine. Even if you have little kids with you, you can find places with kids clubs and plenty of activities so you as parents can also grab some time for rest and relaxation.
Want some more privacy than what is offered at a hotel? Check out some of the many luxury retreats in Portugal, where you can easily find an amazing villa with a private pool and all the amenities you could ever need. Depending on the size of the party travelling with you, a luxury villa might be perfectly affordable. A six-bedroomed house split between friends might actually be cheaper than a hotel.
The Algarve has some stunning beaches and you are going to want to check out a few of them, since it is unlikely that you will make it to all 150 in the course of a week or two. For a quiet beach you may have all to yourself, head to Praia de Albandeira. Surrounded by cliffs and with nothing but a single bar for drinks and a nearby restaurant for some snacks, you will feel completely at home.
For one of the most popular family beaches head to Praia do Anção. With dunes, calm waters for your little ones, a lifeguard to keep them safe and a beautiful boardwalk, it is a great place to spend a lazy afternoon on the sand. You could also head to Praia do Camilo for high cliffs and cave tours. This is one of the many blue-flag beaches of the Algarve so you know it is going to be a good place to go.
While there may be British food aplenty in the resorts, you can also head to a local restaurant to get your hands on some of the best local cuisine the Algarve has to offer. Anyone with a seafood allergy should beware; this coastal region obviously has plenty of fish and shellfish dishes.
One of our favourites is Conquilhas à Algarvia, clams in a white sauce with Portuguese sausage. If you aren’t much of a fish fan, you can also tuck into a steaming pot of feijoada. This is a stew made with pork, beans, and other cured meats. You could also try to find leitão or crispy and herby suckling pig. If you love the tapas of neighbouring Spain, find something similar with the petiscos de taberna; expect sliced meat, seafood, olives, and sausages.
Each region of the Algarve also has its own types of wine for you to try. Ask for a local wine when dining out to sample a few of them. Portugal is also, of course, famous for its port. After a delicious meal of some of the best food in the Algarve, what could be better than the prospect of sitting back and watching the sunset with a glass of port in your hand?
Something for Everyone
If you are after sun, sea and good food, you will always find a beautiful mix of all three in the Algarve. The summer sun is wonderfully hot and the temperature remains nice and mild in the other seasons so you could very easily visit here at the start or end of the peak season and still have a brilliant holiday.
Start looking into how to make your Algarve dreams a reality today. It won’t be long before you are sat out on one of the beaches ready to relax!