What to See and Do
There’s plenty for all types of holidaymakers to see and do in the Algarve, from couples and families to partygoers and beach lovers. With beautiful coastlines and warm waters, there are plenty of activities to take part in and culture to soak up in this beautiful Portuguese region.
The capital: Faro
Historic Faro sits in central Algarve and is the capital of the region, as well as home to the areas only international airport. It offers varied nightlife, dining, shopping, historic and cultural sights, and is surrounded by island beaches and the Ria Formosa nature reserve.
Faro's Sé Cathedral: Situated in the ‘old town’ of Faro, this beautiful Cathedral offers fantastic panoramic views from its tower.
Forum Algarve: Shopaholics will love this vast shopping mall, which is situated on the main road from the airport into town and offers a wide range of stores, restaurants and cafes. In summer it’s even open right through until midnight.
Ria Formosa: Ria Formosa is a protected lagoon landscape and nature reserve which stretches from Faro to the village of Cacela Velha near Tavira. Its sand dunes, beach formations and islands are constantly changing and many now show the remains of ancient settlements, as well as providing a home to a variety of fish, birds and wildlife.
Beaches: With all the beaches around the city, Praia de Faro is the only one that has a roadway connection, but the others can be reached via fun boat trips and still have the necessary amenities for a day by the coast.
Silves: This historical city is the ancient Arab capital of the Algarve and is home to the Silves Castle, the best preserved Moorish castle in the country, and the Silves Cathedral, the main Gothic monument in the Algarve.
Lagos: As an ancient maritime town, Lagos was home to Prince Henry the Navigator and includes a statue to honour his memory. The town is also home to the Antonine Museum and the site of the former slave market.
Monchique: This north-western Algarve market town is well worth a visit for its spectacular views, a taste of the local strawberry liqeur, Medronho, and the charming streets and personality of this fairy-tale village. It’s also home to hot sulphur springs, baths and natural thermal spas, which have been popular since the days of the Roman Empire.
Sagres: Home to Cape St. Vincent, the south-westerly point in Portugal, this tranquil fishing village is home to beautiful beaches that prove popular with fishermen and surfers alike, a picturesque harbour, a 15th century fortress and incredible views.
The Algarve is home to hundreds of beaches and with beautiful crystal, warm waters and golden sands, it’s no wonder the area proves popular with holiday makers from around the world.
The Meia Praia in Lagos: This is one of the longest beaches in the region, offering a range of watersports.
Praia da Marinha: This beautiful beach is secluded in comparison to some other Algarve spots, so a great one to choose for a quieter seaside experience.
Ilha de Tavira in Tavira: As one of the more famous beaches in the region, Ilha de Tavira can get busy, but offers a great range of activities and amenities.
For the kids
Waterparks: There are a range of waterparks in the region, including Aquashow, Aqualand and Slide and Splash, offering a fun variety of slides, pools and rides for all ages.
Leisure parks and zoos:For animal lovers, there’s the Omega Wildlife Conservation Park which conserves endangered species like the cheetah and bamboo lemurs, and offers some beautiful landscapes. Krazy World in Algoz offers a range of entertainment, including 36 holes of mini golf, live alligators, reptilian attractions and a quad bike circuit.
Dolphin watching: Dolphin watching in the Algarve is becoming ever more popular, with the opportunity to set sail and view the creatures in their natural environment.
Watersports: The region offers a wide choice of water-based activities and, with great weather and beautiful coastline, is an ideal destination for trying your skills at sailing, windsurfing, surfing, kayaking and lots more.
Golf: The Algarve is synonymous with golf, offering a range of first class courses. A great spot is Vilamoura, a delightful harbour town with a comprehensive golf complex. Also popular is Tavira to the east and Penina to the west.