The Algarve, in southern Portugal, is simply enchanting. A region full of small sea-side towns and countryside villages, where life is easy going and slow paced… until summertime. The British have long discovered the Algarve and can be found enjoying its beaches and teeing off in the many golf resorts. More recently, the French and the Italians have also started to frequent the region as have the Brazilians, who have strong colonial and historical links with Portugal. As is to be expected, the local cuisine is one of the highlights, with a wide variety of fresh fish and seafood, and the irresistible egg based sugary desserts and pastries typical of Portugal. Yet, tourists visit the Algarve to enjoy its magnificent landscape and views of the sea and its rock formations, its beaches amidst cliffs and the pleasant golf courses. From B&Bs and boutique properties to large beach resorts, there is something for everyone. Check out our tips and spend some marvelous days in the region. And if you wish to have a more complete Portuguese experience, extend your stay with a few days in charming Porto or the beautiful capital city of Lisbon.
Where to Stay
There are essentially two Algarve: one laid back and bucolic, an experience to be found around the Faro region, where the river meets the sea. Hotel properties are simpler and easy going travelers can be found enjoying the landscape of sand dunes, mangroves and bird sanctuaries. The other is picture perfect and lively, mostly well-known and popular. An experience that can be had from Vilamoura to Sagres, an area well-known for depicting the postcard perfect beauty of the Portuguese coast, with its glorious sea, cliffs and stunning grottos. Here you’ll find many resorts, excellent restaurants (some Michelin starred), plenty of families looking for a nice well-rounded holiday, couples looking for a relaxing retreat and a young crowd looking to party the night away. If asked to pick a favorite, we’d assert our enjoyment of both areas. It all depends on your mood and what you are looking for out of the trip. Read on!