Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or just exploring the world for the first time, there’s so much to see and do in Algarve, Portugal! From its beautiful beaches to the ancient castle ruins to the bustling city-life in Lagos, there are plenty of reasons why you should visit Algarve, Portugal! Check out our list of 9 things you should do while you’re there!
1) Praia da Marinha
There is no doubt Marinha Beach, and its surrounding cliffs are one of the most picturesque beaches in Portugal. With limestone cliffs and turquoise water, the beach is surrounded by soft sand.
Nonetheless, the real highlight is the 1.5-kilometer path along the cliff faces, where you pass the Arco Natural, the heart-shaped rock, which is actually an optical illusion towards the famous Benagil Cave. You’ll be captivated by the natural beauty all around you: a great vantage point for photographers.
2) Algarve’s beaches
Among many reasons for visiting the Algarve are the beautiful beaches, something for every beach lover: coves, caves, and beaches of varying length. The beaches that are closest to Lagos are nice for swimming and sunbathing, but for excellent surfing, head further out of town.
Praia do Camilo:
Sitting slightly farther up the coast from Dona Ana is the sandy paradise of Praia do Camilo. Come explore its crystal-clear emerald and turquoise sea as well as the rocks that stand proudly as they protect it. As time goes on, the ocean has eroded parts of the cliff, opened natural tunnels and created arches on other beaches.
Praia do Vau:
The city of Portimão owns its own set of incredible beaches. Mostly occupied by locals instead of tourists with many secluded hidden beaches to be found.
Other than it being known for its partying scene and it’s cute downtown, Albufeira is home to lots of pretty beaches for swimming in. High-season isn’t the best time for these beaches because they will be crowded with tourists.
3) Trip to Ferragudo and Carvoeiro
The little town of Ferragudo has maintained its traditional charm with its whitewashed houses, narrow streets covered in flowers, and bustling harbor, not to mention the traditional boats. As a bonus, Ferragudo is a lovely place to sit outside in the sun and enjoy coffee and pastries. It’s 40 minutes from Lagos by car.
The quaint town of Carvoeiro lies about 10 minutes from Ferragudo. Carvoeiro’s small, picture-perfect beach is hugged by rocky cliffs.
Different than Ferragudo, Carvoeiro is livelier with lots of excellent restaurants and shops. Tip Get an amazing lunch at Organic.
4) Bengali Caves
Bengali Cave is one of the Algarve’s most unique sites, with a unique light incidence caused by a worn circle in the ceiling.
Despite being a short distance from Bengali beach, swimming is not recommended due to fast changing tides. Visitors are advised to rent SUPs at the beach or join a boat tour to see the cave.
5) Algarve’s West Coast
There is something quite special about the West Coast of the Algarve with its fresh breeze and rough coastline. The enormous sand beaches are rougher and much quieter.
Estrada da Praia:
Follow the scenic loop named Estrada da Praia. The dirt road takes you along 10 different viewpoints indicated by letters ranging from A to J. The road is only accessible by regular cars and not allowed to access with a motorhome.
Praia do Amado:
This sweeping bay is surrounded by rolling green hills and earthy red cliffs. Because of the high winds, it is a popular spot for water sports enthusiasts, particularly surfers.
Praia do Amado is not too far away from Bordeira, which features a stunning 3 km long beach. Follow the wooden walkways to cross the flat cliffs and go to the wide open beach. Largely because of its vast size, the beach always feels quiet and secluded.
6) Algarve’s surfing
You’ll find white sandy beaches, powerful winds and powerful waves in the Algarve, making it a hub for watersports of all types, with surfing and kitesurfing being the most popular and lots of schools for those to choose from.
Alternatively, the more tranquil beaches around Lagos have beautiful, calm waters, perfect for kayaking and paddleboarding. This is a popular way to explore the Algarve’s famous coves and cliffs. Furthermore, there is the potential of seeing some amazing aquatic life like dolphins!
7) Ponta da Piedade
Among the most popular things to do in the Algarve is to climb to Ponta da Piedade and enjoy the spectacular views of the coastline from both sides. There are many steep stairs down to the water’s edge, but the best way to see the rock formations and caves is from the water by joining a boat or kayak tour.
Sagres, this miniature surfer’s village, is home to Europe’s southwestern most point, and is accompanied by the Cabo de São Vicente lighthouse. It is worth noting that Sagres, unlike most of Portugal, is susceptible to rougher seas for much of the year due to its location.
9) Shop Ceramics
Portugal’s ceramics are beautiful, if you aren’t familiar with them. Designs are a blend of traditional and modern crafts, available in any color and design. Use as gifts or even better: own-home tableware