Castles, golf, watersports, superb cuisine and a pleasant climate draw crowds to the Algarve. Enjoy this tourist-friendly region of Portugal stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to Spain’s western border. Its natural scenery includes breathtaking cliffs, pristine beaches, secluded coves, nature reserves, vineyards and wooded mountains.
The Algarve’s western region is internationally famous for its rocky outcrops and isolated bays. Visit the lively resort towns of Albufeira and Lagos. Investigate the picturesque fishing villages of Burgau and Salema. Go to the region’s southwestern tip to explore the historic peninsula of Sagres. Enjoy great surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing at the villages of Carrapateira and Odeceixe on the wild western coast.
Start your tour of eastern Algarve at Faro, the region’s capital and a former Roman settlement. Enjoy the picturesque gardens and buzzing nightlife in its walled Old Town. Protecting much of Faro’s eastern coast is Parque Natural da Rio Formosa, unspoiled barrier islands with a natural habitat for birds. Experience the traditional Portuguese beach resorts of Cabanas, Fuseta and Tavira.
Inland, the Algarve combines scenic landscapes with history and relaxation. Admire the Roman ruins of Milreu near Estoi and Moorish-influenced architecture at Silves. Wander the quaint streets of Loulé or relax in the thermal spas of Caldas de Monchique. Bike or hike along the Via Algarviana, a 186-mile (300-kilometer) trail that traverses the flower-filled mountains of the Serra de Monchique and Serra do Caldeirão.
The Algarve offers golfers over 35 immaculate courses spread along the region’s 96-mile-long (155-kilometer) coastline. Delve into the region’s cuisine, which uses fresh local ingredients such as seafood, almonds, grapes, oranges and figs. Sample traditional dishes, including açorda de mariscos, a bread and seafood stew.
Reach the Algarve by flying to Faro Airport. Get around via rented car, bike or an extensive network of public buses. With around 300 days of sunshine per year, the Algarve is a favored year-round destination for everyone from families and honeymooners to food lovers and sports enthusiasts.