All information for your dream vacation in the Algarve / Algerve travel tips… Algerve tips
It doesn’t always have to be far away to experience a dream vacation. More and more holidaymakers are discovering Portugal for themselves and planning a road trip in the Algarve. The southernmost coastal region of Portugal is popular beyond the country’s borders, especially because of the breathtaking beaches, cute villages and wild rocky coast. The sunny south of Portugal inspires with a diverse and untouched nature that will literally cast its spell on you! So that you can plan your trip stress-free, you should take a closer look at the following Algarve tips and save all the necessary information for your vacation.
Facts about the Algarve
Many of you are probably familiar with the Algarve and one of those magical places of longing in Europe, right? The region is located in southern Portugal and borders the raging Atlantic, the original Alentejo region and the Spanish region of Andalusia.
In order to get to know the Portuguese travel destination better, you need to know that the region has almost 450,000 inhabitants and Faro is the capital of the Algarve. One of the sunniest regions in Europe inspires with its pristine, wild cliffs with wide sandy beaches, which are perfect for a holiday by the sea or for surfing.
In order to get a better overview of the enchanting region, you should divide the Algarve into four sections: Western Algarve (Costa Vicentina), the rocky Algarve from Lagos to Albufeira, the sandy Algarve from Albufeira to the Spanish border and the hinterland consisting of the mountains Serra do Caldeirao and Serra de Monchique.
You should also take a look at the hinterland of the Algarve and experience the originality of the region up close, away from the busy coastal areas. One of the special Algarve tips!
Camping in the Algarve
Do you want to enjoy the van life in Portugal to the fullest or would you rather stay in holiday apartments or hotels? If you choose the former, you can look forward to an unforgettable road trip in Portugal.
There are of course some questions that need to be answered. If you are traveling on your own with your camper, you probably want to know whether wild camping is allowed in Portugal, right?
In order to give you an answer, you must first know that wild camping or free standing is strictly forbidden in Portugal. For this purpose, a new law was passed in Portugal, which states the following: between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., camping vehicles are prohibited from standing in parking lots for long periods of time, unless this is explicitly permitted by a sign.
But depending on the type of car and the area, you can stay in the same spot for 48 hours. In addition, the motto always applies, stick to the rules and leave your place the way you would want to find it.
This means you’ll have to be lucky to snag one of the coveted spots overlooking the sea. The feeling of opening the van door early in the morning and being able to watch the crashing waves directly is simply priceless.
But of course you can also heed one of the Algarve tips and take breaks on the cliffs during the day and enjoy the atmosphere to the fullest. If you want to be on the safe side, you should look around for campsites and designated parking spaces.
Campsites in the Algarve:
Camping Algarve – Turiscampo Yelloh!
Praia de Armação de Pêra Camping
Salema Eco Camp – Surf & Nature
Camping Quinta de Odelouca
Parque Caravanas Açoteias
Getting around in the Algarve
If you want to do without a car and are looking for alternative ways of getting around for your stay on site, you have to be careful now. With the Linha do Algarve train connection you have the opportunity to travel from Lagos to Vila Real de Santo António.
In addition, numerous bus lines bring you inexpensively from place to place. If you want to travel back and forth between the larger resorts like Lagos and Faro, you should check out the long-distance bus company Flixbus for tickets.
Other Portuguese providers are EVA Transportes, Aerobus Portugal and Frota Azul Algarve.
Best time to visit Algarve
Of course, before you book your flights and accommodation, you have to think about when you want to start your holiday in the Algarve? And what, of course, must not remain unanswered?
Right, the question of the best travel time for the Algarve. Basically, the most beautiful travel months should be limited to April to October, whereby your travel intentions also play an important role.
If you opt for a beach holiday and you love warm temperatures, then the months of June, July and August are ideal. At this time you can look forward to days with an average of 12 hours of sunshine and temperatures around 30 °C.
And in combination with the winds of the Atlantic, the conditions at the sea are wonderfully bearable. However, if you want to move far away from the beach and go on excursions, you should switch to the spring or autumn months.
During this time you have to expect precipitation, but that will not spoil the exuberant holiday mood. The Algarve shows itself from its most beautiful side, especially when nature begins to bloom in all its bright colors in spring.
Many of you surely come to the Algarve to surf, right? If you are a beginner, the summer and autumn months are perfect for you, the same applies to the “intermediates”. In contrast, the pros among you should pack your bags in spring and winter and head to the south of Portugal.
Put on a wetsuit, tuck your surfboard under your arms and hit the water! One of the top Algarve tips is definitely surfing.
Cities in the Algarve
You can actually discover romantic Portuguese old towns in every city and explore special sights such as castles, cathedrals or ports. In addition to the unique cliffs, coasts and beaches that these places have to offer you, you should definitely explore the inner city.
You are probably familiar with the city of Faro, right? As you already know, for many of you, the journey starts in the capital of the Algarve, since your flights will land here.
Before you plan your onward journey and head towards Lagos or Albufeira, you should drive from the airport to the center and soak up the lively atmosphere. In the colorful and authentic old town of Faro you can admire picturesque white houses and the typical Portuguese style with square tiles.
Let the atmosphere and your senses drive you through the streets and discover delicious bars or cute shops. In short: Faro is definitely worth a small stopover.
Continue to the popular port city of Lagos. One of the most popular holiday resorts in the Algarve welcomes you with a varied mix of nature and culture.
When you think of the Algarve, you probably immediately think of the yellow-gold shimmering, spectacular limestone cliffs, right? During your stay, it is almost a must to go hiking along the imposing rocky peak of Ponta da Piedade.
There are numerous dream beaches around Lagos, which definitely makes the region one of the top Algarve tips. The beaches worth seeing include Praia do Camilo, Praia Dona Ana, Meia Praia, Praia dos Estudantes or Praia do Pinhão.
In contrast, you cannot miss the restored old town of Lagos. Here you will also find numerous houses with the typical ceramic tiles “Azulejos”. Have your camera ready and just follow your feelings! A stroll through the city always has something special.
The old port city of Portimão is now best known for its numerous beaches, such as the one and a half kilometer long sandy beach Praia da Rocha. But a look at the old town with the church Nossa Senhora da Conceição or a visit to the museum of Portimão in an old cannery are definitely worthwhile.
One of the most exciting holiday destinations in the Algarve is undoubtedly the coastal town of Albufeira. Over the years, the place has developed from a tranquil fishing village into a lively tourist spot.
If you crave excitement and fun activities, you’ve come to the right place. And the old town with its whitewashed houses offers numerous opportunities to satisfy hunger or to buy one or two souvenirs.
But before you travel, you should also know that Albufeira is very busy during the peak travel season and you can look forward to a spectacular nightlife. Nevertheless, the city is considered one of the top Algarve tips.
On the so-called Sandalgarve, east of Faro, you will find the cute coastal town of Olhão. Walking through the streets of the city, you will feel the influence of Islamic architecture on the one hand and get closer to the tradition of fishing on the other.
In Olhão you will also find one of the special Algarve tips with the sandbank islands Ilha da Armona and Ilha da Culatra and numerous remote beaches full of peace and idyll. Or how about a canoe tour through the pristine Ria Formosa Natural Park?
If you want to learn more about the nature along the Algarve, you should definitely take a close look at the unique wetland. It is worth it!
If you have enough time, you should move a little further away from the coastal region and explore the town of Silves. On the Rio Arade you can walk in the footsteps of Moorish rule, explore the fortress of Castelo de Silves or visit the Gothic cathedral of Silves.
And while you’re in the area, you should continue your tour to one of the wineries around Silves. Which one of you also feels like a delicious wine tasting?
The small town of Tavira is one of the most beautiful towns along the Algarve and is characterized by its proximity to the Ria Formosa nature park, the sandy island Ilha de Tavira and the cute streets with original construction and nostalgic ambience.
In the Algarve hinterland, about 20 minutes north of Faro, you can visit the market town of Loulé. One of the most popular excursion destinations in the region was significantly influenced by the history of the Moors and shines with an authentic ambience.
During your visit, be sure to browse Loulé’s covered market and see the castle up close. All in all, the city is a welcome stopover if you want to venture a bit off the coast and get to know the hinterland better.
Holiday resorts in the Algarve / Monchique
The small town of Monchique probably won’t be at the top of your must-see list. You should also drive outside of the typical tourist routes during your round trip.
In the midst of the mountains of the Serra de Monchique, the place is predestined to start numerous hikes in the lush green nature. In addition, the city on Mount Fóia is considered a health resort, which became known for the thermal baths “Caldas de Monchique”.
Tradition and craftsmanship still have priority here and you can soak up the tranquility of nature. You will learn to love the hinterland – definitely one of the Algarve insider tips.
When exploring the Algarve, a must-do is heading to the region’s wild west coast and exploring the incredible landscapes surrounding the small town of Aljezur. On the edge of the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina nature park you have the opportunity to experience an unforgettable surfing holiday and soak up the fascination of Portugal.
Words cannot describe what a special charisma this region has around the beaches of Praia de Monte Clérigo, Praia da Amoreira, Praia de Odeceixe or Praia da Arrifana. You have to experience it yourself and I speak from experience!
The westernmost place along the Algarve is called Sagres and is one of the top Algarve tips. Many travelers come to the area for a day and want to take the obligatory photo at the most southwestern point of mainland Europe, at Cabo de São Vicente with its lighthouse.
In and around Sagres you can feel the rough and roaring nature and the power of the Atlantic up close and experience an unforgettable active holiday.
Vila do Bispo, Salema & Burgau
The journey continues to the holiday resorts of Vila do Bispo, Salema and Burgau. The three towns north-east of Sagres are only a 22-minute drive away, which is why you should take the opportunity to take a closer look around.
The two fishing villages of Salema and Burgau in particular impress with their whitewashed houses and the walking distance to beautiful beaches.
As soon as you start looking for the most beautiful holiday spots in the Algarve, you will automatically come across the holiday village of Alvor. The cute place does not have many sights to offer apart from the beautiful church Matriz, but it has an all the more beautiful nature, magical beaches and delicious restaurants.
And that’s what you want for your vacation by the sea, isn’t it? You can spend a lot of time with the whole family around the kilometer-long sandy beach Praia do Alvor and in the eastern part you will find bistros and sanitary facilities.
One of the most popular Algarve tips is definitely the holiday resort of Carvoeiro. The pictures of the place literally speak a language for themselves.
Small, cute houses cavort along the cliffs, giving the place an incomparable ambience. As soon as you leave the center a bit, you can discover remote bays and find a place for yourself.
In addition, you shouldn’t miss the roaring Algar Seco rock formation and golfers will also get their money’s worth in the region.
Finally, you will get to know the holiday resort of Vilamoura, which you can discover halfway between Albufeira and Faro. If you are planning a package holiday in the Algarve, many of you will be drawn to the resort.
With a marina, golf courses, beaches and restaurants, your program is well taken care of and you will experience an entertaining stay.
Best Beaches in Algarve
Along the coast of the Algarve, the dream beaches line up like a string of pearls. In order to keep an overview, the coastal sections are divided into Sandalgarve, Felsalgarve and west coast with the Costa Vicentina.
Multifaceted, wild, mystical, magical – how do you think the Algarve can be described? I’m definitely running out of superlatives with such a beautiful nature.
The west coast of the Algarve definitely differs from the rest of the holiday region. There the beaches and ocher cliffs are wilder and the conditions rougher. Between steep slopes and quaint villages you will find untouched stretches of beach that are not always easily accessible.
However, especially in the summer months, you have to be early on the popular beaches to get one of the beautiful spots. Then it can quickly get full, but that doesn’t detract from the paradisiacal atmosphere.
In short: the Algarve is one of the European travel destinations that you absolutely must have experienced live. No ifs and buts!
From Odeceixe, on the border with the Alentejo region, to the south via Sagres to Burgau, you will travel the roaring west coast of the Algarve. The so-called Costa Vicentina is considered to be one of the most untouched stretches of coast in Europe.
And that’s exactly why you absolutely must know the numerous beaches in this area. There is a lot to discover between endless expanses, imposing sand dunes, deep cliffs and cute coastal towns.
So that you don’t miss any of the fantastic beaches, below is a north-south itinerary that will take you along the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve. Do you want to take a surf course during your vacation?
Then you have to look around for surf courses on your road trip on the Costa Vicentina. Our journey starts at Praia de Odeceixe Mar.
Afterwards we continue to Aljezur. As you have heard before, here you will find some exciting stretches of beach that are ideal for a surfing holiday.
But the views and sunsets over the thundering cliffs are incomparable. In the area, the beaches Praia da Amoreira, Praia de Monte Clérigo and Arrifana beach are among the top Algarve tips.
Seclusion and fascination are very important on the two beaches Praia da Bordeira and Praia do Amado. A little further south you will find popular surf spots with the beaches Praia da Cordoama and Praia do Castelejo.
For families with children, the beaches Praia do Beliche and Praia do Martinhal are a welcome destination.
We continue with the Portuguese rocky Algarve, which stretches west from Faro to Burgau and is known for its cliffs plunging deeply into the water and unreal rock formations.
We start our road trip with the fantastic beaches of Lagos. Due to the relatively calm sea, you can perfectly explore the unique bays, caves and coastal landscapes on a canoe tour.
In Lagos, the top beaches are: Praia Dona Ana, Praia do Camilo, Praia do Canavial and Praia de Porto Mós. It continues with the kilometer-long sandy beach of Praia de Alvor, at the end of which is the enchanted coastal landscape of Praia dos Três Irmãos.
A few kilometers away is the small bay of Praia João de Arens. Climbing is popular here and at low tide you can reach the bay through a small rock tunnel.
The slightly better known and definitely more spacious beach of Portimão is the Praia da Rocha. There you will find a comfortable place at any time of the day and you can experience a few unforgettable hours with the whole family.
If you are heading towards the resort of Ferragudo, you should visit Praia dos Caneiros beach. A section perfect for kids!
n addition to the Benagil Cave, the beautiful town of Carvoeiro is home to other beaches perfect for a day by the sea. An absolute must are the Praia do Vale de Centeanes and the Praia do Carvalho.
There are also a number of oases around the small town of Lagoa: Praia da Marinha, Praia de Albandeira and Praia das Fontainhas. In addition, you can visit the beaches Praia Gale and Praia da Falésia for endless “beach feeling”.
Still not enough of the Algarve tips? Then off to the Sandalgarve.
The last kilometers from Faro to the border of Spain are called Sandalgarve. In the east of the Algarve, the coast sections are much flatter and between pine trees, islands and sandy beaches there is an unbelievable peace and idyll.
The offshore islands of the Ria Formosa Nature Park offer perfect conditions to escape everyday life for a moment. The beaches Praia da Ilha de Tavira, Praia da Fuseta Ria or Praia de Santo António are among the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve.
Sights in the Algarve
Natural spectacles along the Algarve
Especially the pronounced steep cliffs and natural wonders of the beaches make up a large part of the sights in the Algarve. In addition, Benagil Beach and Cave is one of the most sought-after attractions in the Algarve.
The special place of longing is not so easy to guess from the shore and you can reach the cave with its special light spectacle by canoe or boat tour from the beach of Benagil.
Next to the small town of Sagres is the headland of Cabo de São Vicente, the south-western town of mainland Europe. There you have a great view of the roaring Atlantic.
Near Faro you will find one of the top sights in the Algarve, namely the Ria Formosa Natural Park. In this nature reserve you can explore a picturesque lagoon landscape and encounter extraordinary animals.
An absolute highlight on your trip to the Algarve is the picturesque mountainous landscape of the Serra de Monchique with its highest point, the 902 meter high Mount Fóia. Once there, you can go into a radiant green nature with a blooming plant world.
But the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina nature park, which meanders along the west coast of the Algarve, also hides some treasures. Further east of the Algarve you will also find some special highlights of the Algarve with the waterfall Pego do Inferno, the islands Ilha da Fuzeta and Ilha de Tavira.
Buildings worth seeing along the Algarve
In addition to the nature worth seeing, there are also some buildings worth seeing along the Algarve. First of all, the lighthouse at Cap São Vicente is one of the top Algarve tips, including breathtaking views.
If you’re ever in the area, you must also take the chance and visit the Fortaleza de Sagres Fortress. Or do you want to walk even more in the footsteps of the past?
Then you have to go inland and visit Silves Castle. Soak up the scenery and, next to Silves, rattle off the towns of Ferragudo and São Bartolomeu de Messines.
Viewpoints in the Algarve
Whether at sunset with a picnic or while hiking along the cliffs, you can discover magical viewpoints everywhere in the Algarve. It is definitely not promised too much that you will start your return journey after your visit with fantastic pictures or you simply put your camera aside and absorb the scenery completely in you.
The views from the Ponta da Piedade headland are undoubtedly one of the most mysterious Algarve tips. Spectacular rock formations await you in Lagos with numerous vantage points and a spectacular panorama of meter-high, impressive cliffs and rocky landscapes.
If you want to capture the famous heart-shaped rock on your camera, you have to go to Praia da Marinha beach. Not far from the holiday resort of Carvoeiro you will find the rock formation Algar Seco.
Another viewpoint created by nature is the Arco de Albandeira near Benagil. Near Portimão you will find the Viewpoint of the Three Castles and the viewing platform at the Elevador do Peneco in Albufeira is also worth a visit.
As soon as you plan a trip to the Monchique mountains, you can look forward to the “Viewpoint of the FOIA”. The Torre de Aspa is also considered the highest point on the Costa Vicentina and promises a breathtaking panoramic view of the Praia do Castelejo beach. Or you drive to the “Cordoama Viewpoint”.
Activities in the Algarve
You’re probably wondering which activities in the Algarve should definitely be on your to-do list, right? The Algarve offers a wide range of sports and leisure activities, which is why the region is always well suited for an active holiday in Portugal.
Algarve surf holiday
Portugal, the country of the Iberian Peninsula, is one of the world’s most important surfing spots. No matter what time of year you will find optimal conditions for a holiday full of action.
In addition to the surfing strongholds of Nazaré, Peniche and Ericera north of Lisbon, you will also find some places in the Algarve where you can really get your money’s worth. But when should you fly to Portugal for a surf holiday?
This question can be answered depending on the surfing level. Whether professional, advanced or beginner: in, you should choose your travel time. And in your search for the perfect waves you should plan enough time and drive along the coast of Portugal and enjoy the different dream beaches.
For a trip to the Algarve it is important to note that a visit to the west coast is particularly attractive in spring and summer and the southern regions create perfect conditions in winter.
The top surf spots in the Algarve are the beaches around Sagres, Praia do Amado beach and Arrifana beach or Praia do Amoreira beach near the holiday resort of Aljezur. In the south it is worth taking a look at the Praia da Luz.
Surf schools in the Algarve:
Mission To Surf Portugal
Algarve Adventure Surf Camp
Good Feeling Surf School
Future Eco Surf School
Wave Surf Camp Algarve
TSE – The Surf Experience Lagos
Boa Onda Surf School
Arrifana Surf School & Camp
Oasis Surf Camp Portugal
Sagres Sun Stay
Golfing in the Algarve
The south of Portugal is one of the world’s best destinations for a golf holiday. All golf fans can swing their clubs here on over 30 excellent quality golf courses.
Golf courses in the Algarve:
Monte Rei Golf & Country Club
Amendoeira Faldo Course
The Old Course – Dom Pedro Golf Collection
Resort Vale do Lobo
Victoria Golf Course
Quinta do Lago Golf Course
Quinta da Ria Golf Course
Boavista Golf & Spa Resort
Hiking in the Algarve
When the blazing heat isn’t your thing, hiking in the Algarve is one of the top activities. With a light breeze from the Atlantic and incredible views, you will get to know the region from a completely different perspective.
Especially in spring or autumn there are perfect atmospheres for unique excursions. Do you fancy a multi-day tour?
Then you should find out more about the Rota Vicentina long-distance hiking trail with its routes such as the Fisherman’s Trail or the Historical Trail. But also the circular routes such as the Boardwalk in Alvor or the Carvoeiro Boardwalk promise unique spectacles.
If you make a stop in Lagos, be sure to follow the cliff path to Praia da Luz. Alternatively, in Armação de Pêra you have the opportunity to follow the “Seven Hanging Valleys Trail” coastal path for almost 12 kilometers.
But there is one thing you must not forget: hiking in the Algarve hinterland. Hikes around the town of Morenos, in the Monchique mountains with the Fóia mountain or in the Serra do Caldeirão mountains are among the unforgettable Algarve tips.
If you choose the latter region, you have to make a detour to the mountain village of Cachopo. And did you know that you can also start the Portuguese Camino de Santiago from the Algarve?