If you follow me on Instagram, you are not unaware that I recently fell in love with the Algarve. It’s been a while since I have my eyes on these beautiful landscapes and I wanted to check it myself. And you know what ? I have not been disappointed! Here are my 6 good reasons to visit the Algarve and explore this beautiful region.
The top 6 reasons to visit the Algarve
With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, the Algarve is one of the sunniest regions in Europe. While we are having negative temperatures in winter, in Portugal it is between 15 and 20 °C. Makes you want to pass your winter here, doesn’t it? A perfect weather to enjoy a getaway all year. During the winter, you can enjoy some nice temperatures to discover the region and during the summer, you will spend your holidays in a swimsuit. Personally, I went to the Algarve at the end of March and it made me feel so good to escape the cold of Germany form temperatures above 20°C.
Incredible cliffs and beaches
200 kilometers of coastline, steep cliffs and beaches with crystal clear waters … The scenery is set up! The Algarve is known around the world for its breathtaking landscape and I can assure you that they are up to their reputation. No matter where you go, you will find beautiful rock formations and small beaches with golden sand.
My top 5 most beautiful beaches of Algarve
- Praia do Camilo : this beach located just outside Lagos is part of the Ponta da Piedade rock formation. So you can swim while enjoying a magnificent view or rent a canoe. There are a lot of steps to reach the beach, but it’s worth it!
- Praia da Bordeira : located on the western Atlantic coast, the Praia do Bordeira which extends over 3 kilometers is very little frequented. It is both a famous surf spot and a huge beach to relax away from everything.
- Praia do Amado : a little south of Praia da Bordeira is Amada Beach which has the same characteristics. Impressive cliffs, huge beach of golden sand and almost nobody to ruin your happiness.
- Praia do Carvalho : If you want to explore the caves of Benagil, you should also relax on the incredible beach of Carvalho. A small bay surrounded by huge cliffs and clear fresh water.
- Ponte Grande Cala : my favorite discovery about this trip to Portugal. We had trouble finding it because we had to go through residential neighborhoods and park in a dead end to access. But if you put the name on your GPS, you should get away with it. The arrival is from the top and you discover a secret beach where the waves go through a hole in the rock : a real hidden gem.
A region still preserved
The Algarve is an area still “a bit ” preserved by European mass tourism. I’m not saying it’s a deserted area, especially in the south, but if you go to the western coast, you’ll feel all alone in the world. Compared to the Costa Brava, Mallorca, Sardinia or the French Mediterranean coast, the Algarve is still relatively calm. I guess it’s going to chance quickly in the coming years with the construction of big resorts. So, it’s time to take advantage of it.
The food is still an important part of a trip, isn’t it ? I can not tell you that the food in the Algarve is very different from the food in Lisbon, but it is still delicious. You will find everywhere specialties based on fish or meat, as well as many tapas such as olives, cheese or bread with aioli. The famous Vinho Verde is easily found in all supermarkets for my greatest pleasure.
As the water of the Atlantic Ocean is pretty cold, you will have to find activities for your holidays in the Algarve. No problem in this region, there is so much to do. Since surfing is a bit of a national sport, why not try it? Otherwise, you can explore the rock formations as close as possible with a canoe. Boat trips will allow you to discover the caves like the famous one of Benagil. Hiking along the coast, horseback riding, golf, climbing, scuba diving … The Algarve does not miss activities for a thrilling vacation!
If you thought you should go to Greece to discover picturesque white and blue cities, you are all wrong! The south of Portugal is composed of many cities all more magnificent than the others. Most of them are composed of winding alleys that pass through traditional houses. One can clearly see an Arab influence in the white colors. Some of them, like Albufeira, overlook the ocean from the top of the cliff.
My top 5 most beautiful cities of Algarve :
- Lagos : Lagos is one of the most famous cities of the Algarve, especially for its famous rock formations, Ponta da Piedade. If the city center is quite touristy, it has not lost its authenticity with its colorful little streets.
- Albufeira : one of the tourist bastions of the Algarve, Albufeira is located just 30 minutes from Faro Airport. There is a charming but lively city center with hundreds of restaurants, bars and clubs. Overlooking the ocean from its cliff, Albufeira also offers long golden sandy beaches.
- Carcavoeiro : located between Lagos and Albufeira, Carcavoeiro is a seaside resort on a cliff facing the ocean. It is here that you will find the famous Benagil cave, as well as many cliffs and small hidden beaches.
- Odeiceixe : on the wild west coast of the Atlantic, Odeiceixe is a small and colorful village on the banks of a river and near the beautiful wild beach of the same name. If you are looking for the best surf spots in Portugal, you will definitely go there.
- Loulé : located inland, about twenty kilometers from Albufeira, Loulé is a traditional merchant city of Portugal. We go there to discover its historic buildings and especially, its daily market that takes place in a huge neo-Moorish building.
What I did not like in Algarve
- The very touristy south : if you are looking for the beautiful and wild Algarve as can be seen in the pictures, I do not recommend the southern coast of Portugal. Well, as I went in April, everything was relatively quiet, but I cannot imagine how full the small beaches and coves can be in summer.
- Urbanization booming : as the Algarve is more and more popular with the Europeans (it is still more than 10 million tourists a year), we can see more and more huge resorts on the beach. I have no doubt that in a few years, the Algarve will look less natural.
And you, have you ever been to the Algarve ? What is your best memory of this destination? Tell me in the comments, I am curious to read your opinion!
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