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Algarve Holidays – A Simple Guide to Algarve

The Algarve is located on the south-west tip of Europe, in southern part of Portugal. It is the best place to enjoy sun, sea and sand in this part of Europe. It offers a curious fusion of fine beaches and weather with a traditional historic atmosphere; it is a destination visitors remember for a long time to come. Separated from the rest of Portugal by a string of low-lying mountains, is one of the most popular holiday destinations, welcoming millions of holiday makers throughout the year.

Most of the Algarve's holiday resorts are the little fishing hamlets of yesteryears. One can still see the narrow alleys, whitewashed houses and ancient churches; however, it’s the Algarve's long sandy beaches that make it an ideal holiday destination. In addition to an array of beaches, the Algarve has developed a network of golf courses. It keeps on attracting hordes of tourists to its beaches, golf courses and pleasant climate. The region is also known for its countless almond trees. There are also groves of oranges, lemons, figs, pomegranates and carobs growing inland which have ingrained the term 'Garden of Portugal' for Algarve.

Faro, the capital of the Algarve, is built around a delightful harbor next to a wide lagoon. The international airport in Faro welcomes the incoming tourists, making the city the hub of the tourist trade. The Old City is an excellent slice of history as the buildings are built on Moorish and 18th century Portuguese design. A great nature reserve, Rio Formosa, is in vicinity of the town. The best beach is Praia de Faro which is never crowded even during the high tourist season.

The Algarve Attractions – A Simple Guide on Top Attractions

The Algarve is a prodigious place to visit not only to see the iconic beaches but soak up the Portuguese culture. You can enjoy a plethora of activities in Algarve.

Algarve Beaches


Mother Nature has chosen the Algarve to create some really fantastic beaches. There are numerous lovely sandy beaches that you will be spoilt for choice to enjoy your holidays. Along the long Algarve coastline, these beaches vary from the small secluded coves to large endless stretches of sea washed sand. The entire coastline enjoys a Mediterranean-style climate with temperatures varying from 15º C in winter through to 30º C in summer. Any surprise then that the Algarve is a favourite place of sun-seekers.

Praia da Rocha: It is the oldest and the best known beach in the Algarve. Located south of Portimão town, the beach has an organised parking area and support facilities such as restaurants and toilets.

Ilha de Tavira: A boat trip from the jetty of Tavira would take you to the beach. The water quality is excellent and tourists appreciate the warm still waters.

Praia Verde: Located west of Monte Gordo, the beach is named after the surrounding greenery composed by a line of trees and bushes that line the broad endless beach.

Ilha de Faro: Sitting south of Faro Airport, the beach could be mistaken for a long narrow sandy bar. The beach is supported by many water sports facilities and plenty of restaurants.

Praia da Falésia: Nestled west of Vilamoura, the beach derives taking it’s name from the interesting gouged red cliffs that form a backdrop to the continuous stretch of sand.

Algarve Golfing


With over 300 days of sunny weather a year, the Algarve is a pretty place to play golf. It has more than 25 golf courses along its long coastline, all of which are within one and a half hours drive from the Faro International Airport. More popular among these golf courses are Parque da Floresta, Boavista, Palmares, Pestana Alto, Morgado do Reguengo, Balaia Golf Village, Oceânico O’Connor, Salgador and Quinta da Ria. Most golf courses in the state are 18 hole courses providing a stunning view of the sea. Set amongst rolling hills, golden beaches, timeless fishing villages and unspoilt countryside, golf courses in the Algarve offer unmatched golfing experience.

Culinary Tour

The Algarve is a Portuguese culinary paradise dedicated to the lovers of fresh fish and the best seafood quality. Local meals are mostly composed of fish, meat, vegetables and fruit. The codfish is the most popular local delicacy. The locals love to eat codfish with boiled potatoes, cabbage and chickpeas, all seasoned with olive oil. Every morning boats laden with fresh fish arrive in the markets. Popular dishes in the Algarve include the octopus rice, fish soups, whelks’ dish with kidney beans, cheery chicken, fava beans, chickpeas stew, fish-stew and shellfish açorda.

Things to See

The region is nothing less than a pretty garden, enabling you to see a picturesque scenic view wherever you go. The best way to get about in the Algarve is to rent a small car, a GPS and get lost trough roads and paths. Do remember to visit the Cabo de S. Vicente Lighthouse, located near Sagres. It is one of Europe’s biggest lighthouses operating since 1846. The Portuguese navy has set up a small museum in order to give everyone the insights on how it has operated and evolved through the years. Another Lighthouse, at Ponta da Piedade, offers a privileged sightseeing of the ocean and the natural cliffs.

Portuguese Wine

Portuguese wine is as famous as the French wine, and the Algarve is the place where you can discover some of the hidden gems of traditional Portuguese wine. Because of its exceptional climate and soil, the Algarve is an excellent territory for growing vines. Some popular Algarve wines are Romeira, Periquita, Marques de Marialva and Esporao Reserva. The Algarve likes to produce the red wine which tends to be full-bodied, have a fruity rich flavor, low acidity, and contain a high alcohol level. There are several small private vineyards which market their own labels.

Things Not to Miss in the Algarve

Algarve Fishing


You can enjoy big game fishing in the Algarve. You can hire a boat and equipment and indulge in fishing activities. You can also take experienced fishing guides with you. These guides have an uncanny ability to sense fish and can give an exciting fishing experience. The boats are equipped with outrigger, downrigger, fighting chair, fishing rods and penn reels. An experienced skipper would take you to the best Algarve fishing waters where you have a good chance of catching Eel, Sole, Mackerel, Sea Bream and many other fish

Horseback Riding

The Algarve has a strong equestrian tradition dating back to long before Roman times. Horse-riding on the picturesque plains on the Algarve is a distinct experience in itself. The landscape is pleasing with olive groves, cork trees and vineyards. Horseback riding is deeply woven in the Portuguese culture. The Algarve has a very temperate climate which ensures it is pleasant to ride all year.

Dolphin Seafaris

Dolphin Watching is an exhilarating experience. Dolphin Seafaris in the Algarve provide an opportunity to see the dolphin in its natural environment. Boat trips are regularly organised to take you on an exciting Dolphin Seafari. An experienced guide would accompany you to see dolphins in the open sea.

Sunset Cruise

For the romantics, a sunset cruise is a must. Sipping a glass of chilled wine, listening to your favorite music and watching the sun slip below the vast waters is an experience tough to beat. Some sunset cruises take you along the coastline while the longer ones would take you to Xorino Cave, a spectacular cave. With a doting companion, the experience would just be unbeatable.

Eating in the Algarve

Food in the Algarve reflects the heritage of this fantastic region. It is always full of flavor and richly prepared, and with roots harking back to a bygone time. Local restaurants offer high quality food based on fresh, local produce. In a land of fishermen, fish play the leading role in the kitchen. Sardines and salad are quite popular in the Algarve. You can also savor exotic sea-food dishes such as bass, bream, swordfish, lobsters and prawns.

It is the quality of food that the locals pride themselves in. This is what keeps on people returning for time after time. A great tip for eating out is to venture into the places where the locals eat. It is here you will enjoy the traditional Algarve cuisine. Outside culinary influences are few and so traditional home cooking habits have gained significance, with recipes passed down through families and the ages.

The Algarve cuisine has developed in two directions. On the one side, you have an impressive variety of dishes using fish and shellfish, while on the other; you have a varied assortment of meat and game dishes.

Algarve Transport

Algarve Transport


Faro International Airport is less than three flight hours away from most European cities. During the peak season the airport is quite busy. We suggest allowing plenty of time for check-in and check-out. The airport has been recently significantly enlarged and modernized to keep pace with the increasing air traffic. Most of the rental car companies are now present at the airport.

Airport Transfer – All airport transfers are in licensed vehicles driven by registered taxi drivers. All drivers are required to speak at least one other language than Portuguese - mostly English and sometimes Spanish, French and German as well.

Rental Cars – Reservation of rental cars of each type and size is available in the Algarve. Car rental companies here offer excellent conditions and a reliable service. You can ask your hotel to help you rent a car and they would happily do that.

Algarve Weather

The Algarve offers pleasant weather all the year round making it an excellent year round holiday destination. Temperature averages around 29º in summer with enough sunshine, making the weather ideal for beach holidays. There is a cool sea breeze which keeps the atmosphere light. Spring and autumn seasons are mild. The sunshine in all seasons is perfect for golf and other sports. Most rainfall in the Algarve is between November and February.

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