Local: Algarve

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… Read more »

It is possible that a visit to Ponta da Piedade is already on your list, but this is such an unmissable experience we did not want you to overlook it. If you are staying at the Memmo Baleeira don’t miss this tour, it’s a short drive away. Go early, park your car and climb down the steps to come to one of the most spectacular… Read more »

The Praia do Carvalho is a hidden gem in the small town of Carvoeiro, one of our favorite beaches in the region. If you are staying at Tivoli Carvoeiro don’t miss spending a day on this beach, it is just a six minute drive away. Located in the lower part of a small cliff, to reach it you must go down some steps and through… Read more »

Set in a nicer ambiance than most Portimão restaurants, the F was one of our best dining choices in the region. If you are staying at Hotel da Rocha or the Bela Vista, it is just a five-minute walk. Spacious terrace hanging over Praia da Rocha guarantees a special view for your meal, particularly during the unforgettable sunsets. But do not expect a laid back beach… Read more »

Spend a few hours in the small village of Alvor, a ten minute drive from Portimão. In the summertime and windier seasons you’ll find many sports enthusiasts practicing kite and wind surfing. If you enjoy water sports, take this opportunity to brave the sea and wind at Alvor! But even if that is not quite your thing, you’ll likely still enjoy seeing the sea covered… Read more »

After a day spent swimming in the sunshine you may fancy a simple venue that serves delicious homemade style dishes. If you are staying at Hotel da Rocha or the Bela Vista, in Portimão, it is just a five-minute walk. The Mercado is an unpretentious restaurant that has attentive wait staff and an owner keen to ensure everything is meeting the needs of his guests. The… Read more »

What a fantastic day! We started in the Vilamoura region, a more conventional beach for Algarve standards, yet very beautiful. Ahead of you an infinite deep blue sea and behind you the red cliffs and rocky towers. You’ll need to park on the upper region of the cliff and climb down to the beach. There is a small beach hut selling beverages, sandwiches and ice… Read more »

Our latest long stay in the Algarve turned out to be a gastronomic delight, and Ababuja was particularly special. The food was very fresh, we thoroughly enjoyed the amêijoas (a local type of clam), the various species of prawns, octopus and grilled fish… and were charmed by the owner who served tables himself and suggested amazing Portuguese wines to accompany our meal. Another highlight of… Read more »

The most well-known beach in Portimão is Praia da Rocha, where some of our suggested hotels are located, like the Hotel da Rocha and the Bela Vista. It is long, full of bars, restaurants, playgrounds for children and water sports equipment. Although we like the views to this beach, as some of our hotels and many of the restaurants we tried were in the area,… Read more »

This is a typical beach and sea front venue, if a little more upscale, is frequented by beach goers during the day. That was our case, after some sunbathing and swimming in the refreshing, almost cold, sea, nothing beats a cold beer and some nibbles to appease our hunger. We went for grilled sardines, the famous amêijoas (clams) in a butter and parsley sauce and… Read more »

If you are in Faro, the Algarve’s largest city, this boat trip is really lovely. Please be mindful that Faro is far from the most popular sights which come to mind when you think of the Algarve, the rocks and cliffs and magnificent views. In Faro one can mix up the sea and the river and the infrastructure is very simple with no starred restaurants… Read more »

The Terra Restaurant in Sagres was a lovely mid-day pause during our visit to this region of the Algarve, as we spent the day between the indescribably beautiful Ponta da Piedade and Sagres, with its fort and breathtaking views. Very close to the fort, this simple yet charming ristorante with Italian roots was just the ticket. The main hall makes you feel like you are… Read more »

If you are staying in the region of Faro (our suggestion is the Hotel Faro), a drive to Santa Luzia, known as the “Octopus city” makes for a nice half day trip. This tiny fishermen’s village has been slowly growing. Today it has a few summer homes and a main riverside street full of restaurants. Make your choice and savor some octopus, and later take… Read more »

The most recent restaurant in the Algarve region to have been awarded a Michelin star is based at Hotel Bela Vista. The small palace, which leans over Portimão’s main beach, has a beautiful bar worthy of an early start to give you time to savor the lovely selection of drinks and cocktails. Common rooms adorned with traditional Portuguese tiled walls, a grand piano and a… Read more »

This is one of the few two-Michelin star restaurants in Portugal, hence manage your expectations regarding dining costs. Although, dining at Vila Joya is not simply a meal, but a complete experience. The Austrian Chef more than delivers with outstanding dish after dish, over a long evening that begins with the enchanting setting. Upon entering the property of the same name, you shall be greeted… Read more »

Part of the same group that owns Lisbon’s hottest hotel, the Memmo in Sagres is as stylish, trendy, cool and uber hip as its capital city’s sister property. The modern ambiance will provide an agreeable stay, although it being on the very south of the Algarve means it is further away from popular main attractions such as the Benagil grottos and the nicest beaches. It… Read more »

This modern hotel is set in a non-distinctive building, yet its efficient infrastructure meets the needs of its clientele at excellent prices. The location is the highlight, right across from Praia da Rocha, in Portimão, a central Algarve town which is the starting point for some of the most sought after tours in the region. A nicely sized external pool pleases the younger guests and… Read more »

This is probably the best hotel in the Faro area. Bear in mind this is where the region’s largest airport is located, so depending on where you are travelling from you may chose to stay at least overnight in Faro. And if you do want to explore the area of the Algarve between Faro and the Spanish border, staying in Faro is the best option.… Read more »

This hotel is an excellent option for your stay in the Algarve. The resort style property has great infrastructure that meets the needs of both families with children and couples. And, considering it is a 5 star property, it offers agreeable daily rates. There are stunning views of a magnificent small beach below the rock where the hotel is nestled (there are access steps), beautiful… Read more »

The Epic Sana has a modern structure, with amazing swimming pools set amidst beautifully kept gardens, right across from a sandy beach nestled in earthy red cliffs and deep blue skies as a backdrop: that pretty much sums up this great hotel. But that is not all: this luxury property offers a large and well ventilated modern lobby, pleasant restaurants adequately equipped to serve the… Read more »