Named 'Europe’s Leading Beach Destination' at the World Travel Awards 2016
Portugal’s southernmost region has over 100 miles of beautiful coastline, dramatic terracotta cliffs and an incredible 300-plus days of sunshine a year as well as history, culture and nature reserves. The Algarve is also renowned for its exquisite cuisine – particularly its delicious seafood, award-winning golf courses and exclusive resorts.
Picturesque villages and castles offer a glimpse into the region's traditions and history while Portugal's Moorish legacy can be seen in the architecture with its unique terraces, chimneys and white-washed houses.
- Some of Europe's most beautiful beaches including the award-winning Praia da Dona Ana in Lagos
- Sensational cuisine, fresh seafood, mouthwatering pastéis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts) and Michelin-starred restaurants
- Fantastic hotels for families such as the Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort Hotel and Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort
- Championship golf courses
- Historic towns and traditional crafts such as hand-painted pottery, cork and leather goods
Algarve holiday highlights
All of the Algarve’s Blue Flag beaches are family-friendly and offer safe waters and clean sands. The west coast is home to wild beaches and is best for surfing while the vast beaches – often manned by lifeguards – and calm waters on the east coast are perfect for families.
The Vilalara Thalassa Resort is home to one of the world's finest Thalassotherapy centres and this clifftop resort offers a tranquil setting for a wellness holiday. Experience the healing power of sea water, sea air and marine extracts at the award-winning health spa and choose from a range of programmes including detox and weight loss.
Ria Formosa Natural Park
With a unique coastal location and almost 45000 acres, this wetland park is a paradise for birdwatchers and is also home to one of the world's largest populations of seahorses.
A buzzing marina provides the focal point of this elegant resort. Admire sleek yachts moored in the marina and enjoy people-watching while feasting on fresh seafood. This large complex is ideal for anyone in search of excellent golf courses, superb beaches, boutique shopping, fine dining, great nightlife and a lively atmosphere. Praia da Marina, or 'Vilamoura beach' as it is commonly known, is a large stretch of sand that is easily accessible from street level and has great bars, cafés and plenty of watersports.
Renowned for its buzzing nightlife, this popular town also offers the golden sands of Praia d'Oura, a contemporary seafront and an old town with a maze of cobbled streets. Evenings can be low key or upbeat, with lively bars and al fresco dining.
Praia da Falésia
This seemingly never-ending expanse of golden sand stretches from Albufeira to Vilamoura and is one of the Algarve's longest beaches. The coast's distinctive orange sandstone cliffs provide a dramatic backdrop and beautiful contrast against the green pine trees that dot the cliffs and the cobalt ocean. It can be accessed via a series of wooden steps leading down from the cliffs to the beach and there is plenty of space for undisturbed relaxation.
This historic town is just a 30-minute drive from Albufeira and well worth exploring. Stroll along charming cobbled alleys, stopping at one of the pavement cafés or browsing the little shops for souvenirs – the Algarve is famous for its hand-painted pottery and cork goods – you'll find everything from jewellery and handbags to caps and umbrellas, all made of cork!
Visit the traditional market to pick up fresh local produce including fish, meat, cheese, honey, figs and punnets of fresh fruit for a euro. Enjoy samples and take home some traditional piri piri sauce, olive oil, port or souvenirs. Discover the remains of the Moorish Castle and enjoy views over the town from the top of the stone towers. Across the courtyard there is a small archaeological museum which houses artefacts including Roman ceramics.
Situated on the rugged southwest coast of the Algarve, this tranquil town has a picturesque harbour, fine beaches, a 15th-Century fortress and incredible coastal views. Sagres is the Algarve’s surfing capital and is also a popular destination for diving, hiking and cycling.
This seaside oasis and sublime beach retreat is home to luxury resorts, landscaped gardens, beautiful beaches, world-renowned golf courses, tennis courts, gourmet dining and more. It is also close to the medieval fortresses of Silves and Sagres.
Vale de Lobo & Quinta do Lago
These luxurious resorts are located in the Algarve's highly sought-after 'Golden Triangle', an exclusive playground for the rich and famous. Luxurious hotels and villas, championship golf courses, high-end shopping malls and gourmet restaruants can all be found in these world-class resorts.
An intoxicating mix of Moorish-style architecture and lush landscapes, Vale de Lobo boasts 18-hole golf courses, a tennis academy, riding school and mile upon mile of sublime white sands. Set at the edge of beautiful Ria Formosa national park, Quinta do Lago offers a similar exclusive experience with unparalleled golfing, fantastic dining and spectacular lakes.
This charming port town is located between Sagres and Albufeira, and is perfect for a day trip. Discover Portuguese culture and breathtaking beaches including Praia da Dona Ana which offers golden sand, clear, calm waters, and is regarded one of the best beaches in Europe. The Old Town is enclosed in 16th-Century walls and its winding cobbled streets and pretty plazas are a delight to explore. Learn about Portugal's sea-faring history at the Portuguese Discoveries Wax Museum and don't miss a visit to one of Portugal’s most beautiful natural features – the Ponta da Piedade. This series of sandstone cliffs, wind-carved rocks, tunnels and grottos are best viewed during a boat trip but can also be admired from the land.
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