With more than 300 days of sun and a privilege location, Algarve is considered one of the favorite destinations to visit. Besides the stunning coastline and golf resorts, Algarve has much more to offer. From little historic villages, castles, nature reserves to quiet rural areas mostly untouched.
Algarve is best known for its summer and truly this is the best season to visit, as its nightlife is rejuvenated, and the streets are swarmed with people from every corner of the world.
However, in the colder seasons, its beauty doesn’t fade away. During the fall season, because of its location further south, you can still feel the promise of a summer breeze. While winter is the low season of Algarve, and the locals are now preparing for the next summer, going on about their day, it is interesting to see such a lively place, once filled with tourists, now limited to the usual Portuguese residents.
In the spring, when the rain starts to fade and the flowers from ‘Laranjeiras’ (orange trees) start to blossom, the locals begin to set up their businesses for the tourists.
The best time to visit Algarve is in early June or early September, as most tourism life hasn’t just yet begun or is just about to end. This is of course to those who would rather like to take time and enjoy some peace and quiet, while also having moments of going out and exploring the nightlife of Algarve.
> Armação de Pêra: a popular village located on a bay with the famous Praia dos Pescadores (Fishermen’s Beach), which is the last place in the region where fishing boats are launched from and recovered to the actual beach, with no harbour.
> Almancil: a part of the municipal of Loulé, is a rare beauty in Algarve. It is known for its annual ‘romaria’, a county fair, the last one of the summer. Festa em Honra de São Lourenço, where the town square fills with locals, saying farewell to the hot weather.
> Monchique: located in the Serra de Monchique it is famous for offering a relaxation programme for those who need to take a break. With amazing mountain views, with hiking and biking, giving a moment of meditation, a breath of fresh air. With hot sulphur springs and health spas to rejuvenate those most in need. Accompanied by a glass of wine from a special vine, the medronho.
> Tavira Islands: this is a part of the natural park of Ria Formosa, composed of three beaches, one of which is quiet and with fewer buildings, Praia da Terra Estreita, where people come to enjoy the tropical-like breeze and read a book while sunbathing, with only the sound of the sea to bother them.
> Aljezur: A part of the Vicentine Coast, an historical location filled archaeological remnants. A municipal emanating the history of Portuguese ancestors, this area is perfect to discover the past of the country you are visiting. With beautiful churches and magnificent forts. This is the perfect place for museums lovers.
Portugal is rightly known around the world for being rich in culture, wineries and gastronomy, and of course, Algarve is no exception to this unique trait.
> ‘Lulas Recheadas’/Stuffed Squid: a speciality of Sagres, the southernmost territory of continental Portugal, where sustenance for the population comes from the sea, menus filled with catches of the day, a mandatory trait, a unique variety of shellfish and peculiar yet delicious typical dishes of the region, one of them being stuffed squid with smoked ham and rice. It sounds weird at first, but flavour is guaranteed.
> Frango da Guia/ Chicken from Guia: a specialty from Guia, logically, located in Albufeira. A barbecue chicken like you have never eaten before. It follows a careful process from the moment its raw to the sauce used. Everyone leaves licking their fingers and wanting more.
> Praia da Falésia: Red cliffs along the coastline, as if the Grand Canyon was sitting in front of the sea. Considered one of the best beaches in the world, Praia da Falésia is a speciality of Algarve, as it is one of the locations that put this district on the map.
> Docinhos de Maçapão/Marzipan Sweets: Most famous at Pastelaria Riviera, known for a unique variety of sweets and cakes, where every single one melts at the mouth. Particularly marzipan sweets, made with almonds and traditionally shaped like different fruits.
> Algar de Benagil/Benagil Caves: in Portimão, known for its old quarter, it is home to the most beautiful caves located at the heart of the sea, only accessible by kayaking, motorboats or another form of water transport, offering a unique landscape and paradise view, perfect for a photoshoot or contemplating the beauty our planet has to offer.
If you have more than a few days of holiday, for example a weeklong holiday, Algarve is one of the best regions to plan a road trip, either alone, with friends, significant other or family, this is the place to travel; as it is economical, the weather is perfect for a summer vibe drive and it never, never gets boring. Assuming you have arrived at Faro airport here is the best road trip planner:
Day 1: Faro to Almancil, a quick 16-minute drive, since it is the first day and for now the beach will remain on hold. Begin to adapt to holiday life, to the nice climate, embrace the Algarve spirit. Explore the village and enjoy some local dishes.
Day 2 & 3: Almancil to Armação de Pêra, time to get into your bikinis, spread sunscreen all over, get the flip flops and head to the wonderful beaches of Armação de Pêra. With some of the finest beaches of Algarve and the most secluded as well, this is the perfect location to explore the small corners of the sea.
Day 4 & 5: From Armação de Pêra to Monchique, after spending days tanning, get your hiking shoes ready and the camera, as you will have the chance to explore the nature of Algarve. A day of exercise has to be rewarded, with a visit to Caldas de Monchique, considered the best water of Algarve, it streams downwards from the mountain at around 31 degrees Celsius. Good for the health and curer of rheumatism.
Day 6: Monchique to Vila do Bispo, a village filled with history, a great place to know the history of Algarve and Portugal during to Discoveries epoque and be hypnotised by the landscape at the sea. One of the best places to eat fresh fish, catch of the day, every day. Catering endless possibilities for all fish lovers.
Day 7: On the final day is important to go back to the starting point, Faro. A one hour and 17-minute drive, recounting the adventures of the last 6 days, listening to the playlist that reflect the road trip. On the way back, you could make a quick stop in order to recharge the batteries. One day of sea, one delicious lunch of an incredible variety of seafood, at the marina.
> Algarve has 300 days of sun every year, as many as Los Angeles, including all the colourful people, iced coffees, and bikini season is open most of the time. Working on the tan, spending all afternoon sunbathing was never easier and accessible for a European.
> With approximately 201 kilometres or 125 miles of coastline, all with crystal clear water and sunny beaches, two of which are considered the best in Europe, who wouldn’t want to unfurl their beach towels, take a nice long book and freshen up by the sea, once in a while.
> With such fine cuisine, there are not one, not two, but eight Michelin Stars in Algarve, four of which are from two different chefs. Chef Dieter Koschina** and Hans Neuner**.
> This region is not just about the amazing food. Deliciousness has to be accompanied by great alcohol and there is nothing better than a digestive drink, called Firewater or Aguardente de Medronho in Portuguese. It is a traditional drink, served at every café and restaurant, in every corner of Algarve. Even though it has a whopping 48% alcohol volume and is clearly illegal, the authorities overlook this detail as it is too much a part of the Portuguese culture.
> Mr No Ears, a feral cat with over 22,000 likes on Facebook calls Albufeira’s streets his home. Unfortunately, he has disappeared for some years now, but the residents and fans are still looking for the gentleman feline.
/ travel guides
Travel Guides with nice tips on how to spend a short break or a week or more in the Algarve.
/ road trips
Detailed and very informative road Trips with everything that you need to know to get you ready for your adventure on the road.
/ where to eat & where to stay
The best way to know a place is to taste the local food. So, in here we let you know the best and most authentic places to grab a bite. And also, the most beautiful places to stay when you are visiting.