Clear blue sea, year round sunshine, bays of golden sand, historic towns, scenic vistas, delicious food & wine, a plethora of activities, bright lights or sleepy villages….. It isn’t difficult to see why the Algarve has been a favourite with visitors for decades!
Lying on Portugal’s sunny southern coastline with a mild climate, 300 days of sunshine a year and low average rainfall, the Algarve has long been a haven for visitors seeking warmth outside of high summer. And with incredibly varied activities and locations, the Algarve is a destination where all tastes and all paces of holiday can be enjoyed.
Of course, the beaches are incredible – around 200km of them! In the Algarve you are never far from whatever beach-based pastime you desire. Scallops of golden sand are lapped by turquoise waters and backed by towering cliffs, and long beaches stretch on as far as the eye can see. If sun-worship and swimming are too sedate, there are plenty of watersports on offer from windsurfing to sailing, and stand-up paddleboarding to kayaking. Starting with Atlantic surf in the far West, backed by the Natural Park of Costa Vicentina, ending with huge swathes of sand and calm waters at the approach to the mouth of the River Guadiana at the Eastern point – from one end of the Algarve to the other, the coastline is varied and beautiful.
Away from the obvious draw of the sea, there is so much to discover that you will wish you were staying longer! Head for the natural parks and nature reserves, in particular the Ria Formosa is an incredible protected wetland area offering spectacular tours and activities. The beautiful landscape can be enjoyed from miles of hiking & biking trails through the unspoilt hills and mountains. Delightful traditional fishing & hillside villages can be found off the beaten track, with their flavour of the traditional Algarve.
If you are hunting for high adrenaline activities, you will easily find paragliding, scuba-diving, abseiling and much more. And for younger visitors, there are several exciting water parks which are sure to prove a big hit. Renowned internationally as a golfing destination, there are around 40 golf courses to choose from, catering to beginners through to pro-standard award-winning courses.
Fantastic food and local wines can be found at myriad cafes and restaurants. Unsurprisingly, fresh fish & seafood feature prominently, and be sure to try the local almond liqueur with almond & fig cakes – delicious! There is plenty of entertainment to be found whether you are searching for bright lights in the busier centres, or local festivals and traditional singing & dancing.
It is well worth exploring the historic centres of Silves, which was the capital of the Arab Kingdom, Sagres, Tavira, Lagos and Faro with its stunning cathedral. All offer fascinating history, beautiful architecture and an insight into the past of this area, the explorers who set out from this region centuries ago and Portuguese culture.
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