Sunshine and seafood are the Algarve’s main claims to fame. And, with over 150km of coastline, it’s no surprise that this region of Portugal offers more beaches than you can shake a stick at. Choose to stay in tourist-friendly Albufeira, the golf-lover’s paradise of Vilamoura or another popular resort, and you’ll find that there are hotels to suit families, couples, solo travellers and groups of friends alike along this pretty part of the Portuguese coast.BeachesWhere to begin? The Algarve coast has over 100 beaches, ranging from secluded coves to long stretches of sand. Many of these beaches have earned the Blue Flag rating for high-quality water and services, including Praia da Oura – a popular sandy offering near Albufeira’s strip. Here you’ll find beachside dining, sun loungers for hire and exciting watersports. Other fabulous choices are Praia da Rocha in Portimao and Praia do Camilo in Lagos.Food & DrinkFresh seafood, piri piri spices and sweet treats are just some of the Algarve’s foodie favourites. To sample a signature dish of the region, look out for caldo verde - a wholesome soup made with potatoes, kale and spicy sausages. Select bacalhau from the menu for a truly Portuguese twist on salted cod, and, for dessert, why not indulge in a pastel de nata? This is a tasty custard tart, often finished with a flourish of cinnamon.CultureThe Portuguese way of life is laid back, and focuses on food and friends. Architecture and dance are two other interesting ways to look beneath the surface at the authentic Algarve. All visitors should make it their mission to experience the corridinho - a traditional folk dance that stems back to the nineteenth century. Also, look out for lace-patterned chimneys and narrow streets, which are signs of Portugal’s past Arabic influences. NightlifeDance the night away. Sip a cocktail at sunset. Socialise in a friendly pub. However you picture your perfect evening, the Algarve has the venue for you. For lively clubs, head to the tourist centres of Albufeira and Lagos. For something a bit special, check out Canico near Alvor – a small, chic bar and restaurant built right into the cliffside, with a stunning view over a sandy cove from the terrace.Important InformationFlight Time: 3hrsTime Difference: NoneCurrency: EuroOfficial Language: PortugueseVaccinationsPlease check with your healthcare provider for all up to date vaccination advice before booking your holiday.VisaBritish Passport holders don’t need a visa to visit the Algarve. Holders of other passports are advised to check with their national embassy for any visa requirements.
If you’re a fan of sunshine from dawn ‘til dusk, a summer Algarve holiday is just the ticket for you. Temperatures in July and August reach the heady heights of 28°C and, even in winter, averages rarely fall below 15°C. Visiting between April-June and September-October bring a good chance of sunshine with less of the crowds than in peak season. A refreshing sea breeze to temper the heat is often a welcome addition to Algarve weather forecasts.
Things To Do on Algarve Holidays
Barril BeachYou really can’t go wrong with any of the Algarve’s beaches, but Praia do Barril in Tavira deserves a special mention. Located in the east, the highly-Instagrammable golden sands and calm waters of this bay are perfect for an idyllic day at the seaside – there’s even a fun mini train to take you from the mainland to the island of Tavira. You’ll find places to eat, sun beds for hire, an interesting anchor graveyard and a separate area for nudists at this Portuguese beach.Caves and Dolphins TourPre-book your tour and hop aboard a small boat from Albufeira Marina. You’ll be whisked away from shore for the chance to see pods of wild dolphins. Although spotting dolphins is common, sightings of these stunning creatures can’t be guaranteed. Luckily, the spectacular caves and coves that make up the rest of the tour are unlikely to move – so you’re bound to discover something amazing.Quinta dos Vales Wine EstateTake a tour of this pretty vineyard to discover all there is to know about the celebrated flavours of Portuguese wine. Sample white, rosé and red wine in the very place that the grapes are lovingly grown and fermented. The grounds of this winery are also dotted with sculptures, making it a great place to walk in the sunshine before or after your tasting experience. The Old CourseOne of the first golf clubs in the Algarve, The Old Course is an 18-hole golfing paradise - the well-kept greens give way to the endless blue of the summer sky. You’ll also find a driving range, golf shop, club house and bar on site, along with free Wi-Fi so you can share your success. Bring your clubs and your A-game for this challenging course.