Welcome to the sunny paradise of the Algarve, Portugal! With its stunning coastline, golden beaches, and vibrant culture, the Algarve is a must-visit destination for any traveler. Whether you’re a beach lover, a history enthusiast, or a foodie, there is something for everyone in this breathtaking region. In this blog post, I will explore the top must-see and must-do experiences in the Algarve. We flew into Faro but you could easily drive the 2.5-3 hours from Lisbon as well. I would highly recommend renting a car to see all this picturesque area has to offer.
Explore the Golden Beaches
The Algarve boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. From the dramatic cliffs of Praia da Marinha to the endless sands of Praia Dos Tres Irmaos or Praia doe Estrudantes, there is a beach for every taste. Spend a day relaxing under the sun, swimming in crystal-clear waters, enjoying water sports like jet-skiing and paddleboarding, or simply my favorite – walking up and down the sea line taking it all in. Don’t miss out on visiting the famous Benagil Caves, stunning sea caves with a natural skylight that creates a magical atmosphere. You can only access these caves by small boat craft or kayak. There were a few paddleboarders as well, but you must be an expert as the rocky shallow areas could be dangerous. Bring a waterproof phone bag if you want to take pictures or just soak it all in without your camera.
It is very populated with tourists but many other caves near the famous Banagil Caves are just as spectacular. If you are going on a semi-private boat or private yacht, they will bring you as close as possible and you can either take a dingy in for a closer look. Magical stellar sights!
Discover Historic Lagos
Lagos is a charming seaside town with a fascinating history that dates back to Roman times. Take a walk through the cobbled streets of the old town and discover beautifully preserved buildings, traditional tiled facades, and quaint squares. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore my favorite spot, Ponta da Piedade, just a 10-minute drive from the city center of Lagos. You can walk down to the caves or wind through all with beautiful boardwalks and lookout points. Find the trail near the main parking lot that leads you down to the two small beaches. Incredible treasures and not too busy if you go there late in the afternoon.
Embark on a Boat Trip
One of the best ways to experience the Algarve’s stunning coastline is by joining a boat tour or hiring a private vessel. Hop on a scenic cruise and sail along the breathtaking cliffs, discovering hidden caves and rock formations along the way.
Visit the Historic Town of Faro
Faro, the capital of the Algarve, is a city steeped in history and culture. Explore the historic center, known as “Cidade Velha,” enclosed by ancient city walls. Visit the Faro Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece with stunning panoramic views from the bell tower. Don’t miss the chance to stroll along the picturesque streets of Vila-Adentro, filled with charming houses, quaint cafes, and boutique shops.
Indulge in Local Cuisine
No trip to the Algarve would be complete without sampling the delicious local cuisine. Try the famous cataplana, a seafood stew cooked in a traditional copper pot, or feast on freshly grilled sardines. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the region’s sweet treats, such as pastel de nata (custard tart) and Dom Rodrigo (an almond and egg dessert).
Admire the Cliffs of Sagres
Head to Sagres, located at the southwestern tip of the Algarve, and be amazed by the stunning cliffs and dramatic landscapes. Visit the Cabo de São Vicente, the southwestern most point of Continental Europe, and watch the mesmerizing sunset from this iconic spot. Explore the Fortress of Sagres, a historic fortification that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding coastline.
Experience the small local towns like Burgau
Loved strolling the winding streets, dining at the quaint, charming family-owned restaurants, and walking along the beach in the evening without the hustle and bustle of the larger touristy towns. Making new friends, seeing the colorful fishing boats, and the floral-filled archways, and watching the sunset was one of my favorite evenings on the trip!
The Algarve, Portugal, offers a diverse range of experiences for every type of traveler. From stunning beaches to historic towns, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you want to relax on the sandy shores, explore ancient ruins, or indulge in delicious cuisine, the Algarve has it all. So pack your bags, book your flights, and get ready to experience the beauty and charm of the Algarve! If you have any specific questions on where to stay send me an email at email@example.com and I would love to help!