Award-winning beaches, enchanting architecture and exquisite wine, the Algarve is a tempting away-from-it-all oasis where sunshine is enjoyed year-round.

Portugal’s sun-dappled Algarve is a land of natural treasures. Wave-splashed sea caves hide in terracotta cliffs, white-gold sands sweep 100 miles of stunning coastline, and rainbows of exotic fish swim among warm, diamond-clear waters. And that’s just the beaches. The Algarve has won a bunch of awards for its spellbinding shores, but we know the region beyond its castaway coves, dramatic bays and island lagoons. The Algarve is also a place where you can find flamingo-studded lakes, pretty whitewashed villages, and deep forest trails.

Learn about the Algarve’s fascinating history while exploring its ancient castles, romantic ruins, centuries-old forts, baroque churches and gothic cathedrals. If you’re here for the food and wine, good choice. Best known for its velvety reds, the Algarve produces some excellent wines, which you can try yourself on wine tasting experiences and vineyard tours. Then there’s the food. You’ll find everything from rustic family-run taverns to Michelin-starred gourmet restaurants in the Algarve. Flavours here range from grilled marisco (seafood) to hearty bean stews, tantalising tapas, fresh sardines and fig cakes.

Want to chat to someone who’s been there? Our Personal Travel Experts are ready to share their first-hand advice, ideas and recommendations with you, so talk to us today.

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Algarve Hotels

Our recommendations for the best places to stay in Algarve

Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort Hotel

This luxurious village-style resort has exceptional facilities and is a perfect choice for famili...

Pine Cliffs Resort

This resort has a spectacular oceanfront setting and exceptional sports and leisure facilities.

Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort

This sun-kissed resort is part family friendly haven, part grown up's Algarve playground.

Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa

A spacious and family-friendly resort with excellent facilities, accommodation and service.

PortoBay Falesia

This scenic resort is a stone’s throw from Praia da Falésia on top of the Algarve’s colourful cli...

Vila Vita Parc

A grand village-style resort with impressive facilities as well as dedicated adults-only and fami...

VidaMar Resort Hotel Algarve

This stunning resort has separate adults-only and family areas and a lengthy beach.

Tivoli Marina Vilamoura

This glamorous yet laid-back hotel is in a great spot in Vilamoura, within easy reach of local go...

Cascade Wellness Resort

A sprawling resort with a glorious clifftop setting and Moorish echoes in its design.

Domes Lake Algarve, Autograph Collection

This five-star resort has an appealing setting and beach access, plus an imaginative selection of...

Martinhal Quinta do Lago Family Resort

Stay in a private villa or townhouse with your own pool at this stylish family-focused resort.

Holidays in Algarve

hotel
  • Algarve
  • 5 Star

This luxurious village-style resort has exceptional facilities and is a perfect choice for families.

From £901 p/p
hotel
  • Algarve
  • 5 Star

This resort has a spectacular oceanfront setting and exceptional sports and leisure facilities.

From £887 p/p
hotel
  • Algarve
  • 5 Star

This sun-kissed resort is part family friendly haven, part grown up's Algarve playground.

From £1,073 p/p
hotel
  • Algarve
  • 5 Star

A spacious and family-friendly resort with excellent facilities, accommodation and service.

From £739 p/p
hotel
  • Algarve
  • 4 Star

This scenic resort is a stone’s throw from Praia da Falésia on top of the Algarve’s colourful cliffs.

From £765 p/p
hotel
  • Algarve
  • 5 Star

A grand village-style resort with impressive facilities as well as dedicated adults-only and family areas.

From £1,424 p/p
hotel
  • Algarve
  • 4.5 Star

This stunning resort has separate adults-only and family areas and a lengthy beach.

From £945 p/p
hotel
  • Algarve
  • 5 Star

This glamorous yet laid-back hotel is in a great spot in Vilamoura, within easy reach of local golf courses.

From £1,102 p/p
hotel
  • Algarve
  • 4.5 Star

A sprawling resort with a glorious clifftop setting and Moorish echoes in its design.

From £977 p/p
hotel
  • Algarve
  • 5 Star

This five-star resort has an appealing setting and beach access, plus an imaginative selection of restaurants and activities.

From £1,221 p/p

Scenic Catamaran Cruise

Head out aboard a sleek catamaran to enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Algarve’s coastline. Departing from Albufeira, you’ll head out across the water to explore hidden sea caves, grottoes and secret beaches, with time for a relaxing swim or two if the weather’s good. You’ll pass dramatic rock formations carved out from the cliffs over thousands of years: the perfect scenic backdrop to a relaxed picnic-style lunch on board. As you glide through the waves, keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, several types of which call this part of the Atlantic home.

• Duration: full day
• Time: 10.30am to 4pm
• Daily departures from Algarve resorts
• Operates Year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Transfers are not included.

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Dolphin Discovery Cruise

Seeing dolphins in their natural environment is always a thrill and something you have a good chance of experiencing in the Western Algarve thanks to its underwater topography. Just offshore, there are several deep canyons cut into the seabed which help to produce nutrient-rich currents that lure in all sorts of marine life. On this 90-minute adventure, you’ll head out on a 12-passenger vessel from Portimão, home to one of these rift valleys, to go in search of some of the area’s most frequently sighted cetaceans: common, bottlenose and Risso’s dolphins, harbour porpoises and even minke whales. Dolphins, in particular, are known for their inquisitiveness, and if you do spot any there’s a good chance that they will come in for a closer look and to surf the boat’s wake - so get ready to film that perfect souvenir video clip.

• Duration: 1½ hours
• Time: 11am to 12.30pm (November to March); 9am to 10.30am and 11.30am to 1pm (April to October)
• Departures on Monday to Friday (November-March) and daily (April-October)
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Transfers are not included. Please arrive at Portimão pier at least 30 minutes before departure.

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Historical Algarve

Explore the Algarve’s fascinating past on a full-day guided adventure to some of its most scenic places. You’ll visit the dramatically located castle at Silves, a former capital blessed with a wealth of historical architecture. From here, you’ll continue up into the Serra de Monchique to enjoy the verdant landscapes, the cool mountain air, the sense of peace and the breathtaking views from the summit of Fóia, the highest point in the Algarve. Your next port of call is Lagos, a coastal city with a rich seafaring history that’s known for its walled old town, where you’ll have time to see the glossy modern marina, the 17th-century fort and the fabulous baroque interior of Santo António church, among other highlights. The day concludes with a stop at Sagres and its unusual sea fort, and windswept Cabo de São Vicente with its tiny lighthouse, the most south-westerly point of Europe.

• Duration: full day
• Start time: 7.15am
• Departures on Tuesday and Friday from Algarve resorts except Sagres & Quinta do Lago\ • Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Entrance fees and meals are not included.

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Traditional Villages of the Algarve

See a slice of Algarve life away from the coast on a tour through unspoiled rural landscapes dotted with traditional villages. You’ll start by soaking up the cool clean air and stunning views in one of the highest parts of the Serra do Caldeirão mountains, before making for various villages known for their handicrafts. You’ll visit Querença, set on a hilltop that marks the transition between the inland barrocal zone and the mountains. It’s a picturesque spot, with steep cobbled streets lined by small whitewashed houses known for their blue-trimmed doors and windows and ornate chimneys. Your next stop is Salir, the site of a late Islamic castle that’s now a romantic ruin in a dramatic setting. The last port of call is Alte, a typical Algarve village tucked away in a valley in the Serra do Caldeirão, where you can admire quaint cottages with lattice chimneys, check out the blue-and-white-tiled church and dip your toes into spring-fed pools.

• Duration: full day
• Time 7.15am
• Departures on Wednesday from Algarve resorts except Sagres & Quinta do Lago
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Entrance fees and meals are not included.

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Cultural Algarve

Spend a day immersed in the history and culture of the Algarve. Start by exploring the many highlights of Silves, a charming small city that was the capital during the period of Moorish rule. You’ll have time to visit the imposing red-brick castle, from whose towers there are spectacular views of the town itself and the surrounding rural landscapes, and the splendid gothic cathedral, built on the site of a vast mosque. You’ll continue to Caldas de Monchique, a charming spa town in the mountains that’s been famous for its healing water since Roman times, and was once a favourite retreat of the Portuguese royal family. From here, you’ll up through the Serra de Monchique to Fóia, whose summit is the highest point in the Algarve. Providing breathtaking views of sky, sea and mountain scenery, it’s a memorable setting for a wine tasting to round off the adventure in style.

• Duration: full day
• Start time: 7.15am
• Departures on Monday and Thursday from Algarve resorts except Sagres & Quinta do Lago
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Entrance fees are not included.

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Jeep Safari & Arade River Cruise

Get off the beaten track on an adventure that features a jeep safari to the interior, a river cruise and a stop at one of the Algarve’s golden beaches. You’ll begin by heading out in convoy for an off-road experience along earthen tracks to the heart of the countryside. Here you’ll be able to drink in the unspoiled scenery, learn about the local fauna and flora, and observe a way of life that’s hardly changed over the decades. You’ll discover the traditional Algarve way of beekeeping and how the locals make Medronho, a potent spirit distilled from the fruit of the strawberry tree which you’ll be able to taste. After lunch at a typical restaurant, it’s time to switch modes of transport with a tranquil boat cruise along the Arade river, formerly an important trade route and now a great spot for birdwatching. You’ll disembark at the beach, with time for a refreshing dip, before returning to the start by jeep.

• Duration: full day
• Start time: 8.55am
• Daily departures from Algarve resorts except Sagres & Quinta do Lago
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
Depending on weather conditions, the day’s timetable may be reversed.

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Walk & Cruise The Algarve

The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail is one of the highlights of the Algarve, winding its way for around 6km through stunning coastal scenery. Your walk will take you along the top of limestone clifftops, eroded by wind and water over thousands of years into weird and wonderful shapes, whose colour changes from pale yellow to burnt umber and all shades in between at different times of the day. Along the way, look out for the wildlife that makes its home in the dense undergrowth beside the path: everything from mongooses to several types of butterflies. After a light snack at the end of the walk, you’ll board a boat to get a closer look at one of the natural wonders of this part of the coast, the Benagil Cave, a much-photographed sea cave with a natural skylight and a hidden beach.

• Duration: full day
• Start time: 8.45am
• Daily departures from Algarve resorts except Sagres & Quinta do Lago
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
The 5.7km walk is rated as of moderate difficulty and takes around three hours.

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Landscapes & Wineries Of The Algarve

Enjoy a skillfully curated selection of the Algarve’s natural and manmade delights on a private tour by Land Rover Jeep. This fascinating day begins at Porches Pottery, founded in 1968 by two artists - one Irish, the other Portuguese - who were determined to show that handcrafted ceramics still had a place in the modern world. Here, you’ll be able to watch its talented artisans at work, and perhaps pick up one of the workshop’s beautifully hand-decorated pieces as a stylish souvenir. From here, you’ll make your way to Benagil, Carvoeiro and Algar Seco, where you will be able to check out the amazing sea caves carved out of the limestone cliffs over the centuries. Afterwards, you’ll stroll the cobbled streets of Ferragudo, a traditional fishing village at the mouth of the Arade river. The last visit is to a winery, where you can have a guided tour and sample some of the wines produced in the region.

• Duration: Full day
• Start time: 8.45am
• Departures on Monday to Friday from Algarve resorts except Sagres & Quinta do Lago
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
This private tour doesn’t include a guide.

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Folklore & Flavours of the Algarve

See a side of the Algarve that many visitors miss on a private tour with a delightfully foodie theme. Setting off in style in a Land Rover Jeep, you’ll head inland to São Brás de Alportel, a typically sleepy Algarve village of low whitewashed houses. The surrounding area is home to plantations of cork oaks, and you’ll visit a factory where the raw bark is prepared and treated for use. From here, you’ll stop off at a bakery renowned for its delicious traditional products, such as carob bread, almond cakes and honey cakes, and have a taste of carob liqueur. At the fascinating little São Brás Ethnographic Museum, you’ll be able to check out displays devoted to everything from local traditional costumes to the history of the cork industry, before heading to Salir to explore the ruins of its ancient castle. The final stop is at a large organic farm, where you’ll learn how they make their popular preserves and sample some of them.

• Duration: full day
• Start time: 7.50am
• Departures on Monday and Friday from Algarve resorts except Sagres & Quinta do Lago
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
Entrance fees and meals are not included, and nor is a guide.

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Albufeira Wine Tasting

At Adega do Cantor in Albufeira, on Cliff Richard’s Quinta do Miradouro estate, they aim to make high-quality wines using a mix of traditional and cutting-edge techniques. On this guided tour, you begin in the heart of the vineyards, where you’ll learn some of the secrets of successful viticulture, including how the climate, weather, soil and types of grape affect the final product. After that, you’ll head to the winery to see the production process and follow it through the various stages from pressing the grapes to ageing the wine in barrels ready for bottling. The tour ends with a tasting session where you’ll be able to try four of the award-winning red, white and rosé Vida Nova and Onda Nova wines for which this boutique winery has become known.

• Duration: 2 hours
• Start time: 11am (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday); 2.30pm (Wednesday and Friday)
• Departures Monday-Friday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Transfers are not included.

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Algarve Art & Wine Experience

Quinta dos Vales is not just one of the best wineries in the region, it’s also a cultural centre and colourful outdoor sculpture park. On this visit, you’ll be given a fascinating overview of Portugal’s wine industry, which includes a tour of the cellars. You’ll learn about the different varieties of grapes that grow here, such as Touriga Nacional, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Aragonez and Viognier, and taste some of the highly regarded still and sparkling wines that are made from them. You’ll also discover some of the 100-plus sculptures that are dotted around the estate’s 44 hectares. Most of these are designed by owner Karl Heinz Stock and realised by local craftspeople in everything from fibreglass to Alentejo marble. Look out for the delightful and eye-catching “Dance of the Bears”, a project that brought together 26 painters and mosaic artists from around the world.

• Duration: full day
• Time: 9am to 6pm
• Departs Monday to Saturday
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
Transfers are not included. Participants must be over 18.

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Get to know the Algarve and those important practicalities when planning your perfect holiday.

Capital
TIME DIFFERENCE

GMT -/+ 0 hours

CURRENCY

Euro

FLYING TIME TO DESTINATION

3 hours

RELIGION

Christianity (majority Roman Catholic)

LANGUAGE

Portuguese

Where is the Algarve?
The Algarve sits on Portugal’s southernmost coastline, framed by the Atlantic Ocean to the south and west and the Spanish border to the east. The Algarve’s capital city Faro serves as the gateway to the region’s extraordinary beaches, historic sights and postcard-perfect villages.

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Beaches
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.

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Vilamoura
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.

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Albufeira
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. The historic town of Loulé 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.

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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.

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Quinta do Lago
This luxurious resort is set at the edge of beautiful Ria Formosa national park 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 here. Quinta do Lago offers an exclusive experience with unparalleled golfing, fantastic dining and spectacular lakes.

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Lagos
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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Algarve Weather

Apr - Oct

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Our experts have curated a wide range of handpicked Algarve offers to make your next holiday extra special. Make the most of great-value savings, exclusive upgrades and bespoke touches. 

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