The Algarve lies in Portugal’s Southernmost region and is blessed with year round sunshine and a very warm climate. This, along with over 100 different beaches lining the coast, many of which that have been awarded Blue Flag awards and some of the best sporting facilities in the Mediterranean means that it is the perfect holiday destination for millions every year.
As well as being a great destination for families due to the wall to wall sunshine that means endless hours can be spent on the beach or the numerous water parks, The Algarve is also the perfect destination for anyone who loves sports or sightseeing.
Although a relatively small area at 160km by 50km, this small space packs a lot into it. For the action lovers you can take your pick from golf, tennis, cycling, horse riding, hiking and more extreme sports such as kite surfing or rock climbing. And for those who enjoy their recreation time spent in a more relaxed way there are endless opportunities for sight-seeing in some of the most stunning villages around.
All in all The Algarve offers you everything you could want out of a holiday plus some of the best food and drink around so what are you waiting for? Flights to Faro Airport arrive daily from all destinations across Europe and with flight times from as little as three hours from most major destinations it really is the perfect holiday hot spot.
The Algarve – Things to do and see – 5 Top Trips
1. Visit Silves.
If you are looking for the perfect day trip whilst staying on The Algarve, then look no further than the charming town of Silves. The former capital of The Algarve, this is a town steeped in history and is of great historical importance. It is situated on a hill above the Arade river and the red sandstone Castle of Silves dominates the skyline. This Moorish castle which dates back to the 8th Century was of great importance during the Moorish era which dates from 700 – 1200.
A trip to Silves gives you a taste of the real Portugal and it is far removed from the built up tourist spots that can tend to dominate much of The Algarve. Here you will find no modern developments and walking through the pretty streets and walled Central Square is like taking a walk back in time.
The walled section of the town has remained unchanged for the last 300 years and offers a real glimpse to the importance that this town has played in history. It is an ideal place to visit for the day as there is enough to keep you interested without feeling that you will be missing out on too much if you can’t stay longer. If you do wish to stay for a couple of days then it is ideal as it has a relaxed ambience that makes it a perfect place to escape to unwind from the hectic pace of life.
2. Day at the Beach – Praia da Rocha.
If you are looking for a beach holiday, or even just a day trip to the beach then the one you want to head for is Praia da Rocha. The main beach in the resort of Portimao it is also a resort in its own right. The beach of Praia da Rocha is vast which means that even at the height of the tourist season you will still find ample space.
The Tomas Cambreria avenue that runs across the top of the beach is full of restaurants, shops and bars and is a really lively spot of an evening. The huge beach area has famed rock formations and the clean white sand and inviting waters makes it the sort of place you want to visit time and again.
If you are looking for a different type of excursion away from your typical beach holiday then a trip to Sagres is just for you. The small village of Sagres looks over some of The Algarve’s most dramatic scenery and gives you the impression that you have come to the end of the world. Standing overlooking the Atlantic ocean with the wind whipping past you gives you quite an eerie feeling and when looking out into the Atlantic it gives you something to think about that the next land mass in the North American coast.
Although the town doesn’t have a great deal of historical interest, this is not what you visit Sagres for. For me the appeal was the sense of isolation that you don’t often get in many tourist hot spots and I found it a wonderful place to be reflective. There are some great beaches around but it’s really the sense of drama that will have you wanting to visit Sagres again.
4. Play a round of Golf.
One thing that The Algarve is famed for is its sports facilities and especially golf. As well as being the place that you will find a lot of celebrities playing tournaments, The Algarve is where a lot of serious golfers will go for holidays. Whether you are planning your entire holiday around the sport or just one round, you will find some of the best courses anywhere.
Although the region has only been known for golf since 1966 when Henry Cotton set out the Championship course in Penina, it is now highly regarded in the golfing world and the region draws hundreds of thousands of keen golfers there every year. It is at Vilamoura that you will find the Oceanico complex that dominates the golfing scene in The Algarve but there are lots of other courses around that warrant some quality time being spent on them.
5. Go for a Hike.
Portugal is a country that is ideal for exploring and The Algarve region offers some wonderful walks to go on either for just the day or for anyone wanting to embark on a walking holiday. Whether you are going to walk along the beaches, discover the secret coves or trek through the rugged mountains, you will find many a route to tempt you.
Whilst walking you will be able to immerse yourself in the wonderful nature all around as well as being able to indulge in the warm and welcoming hospitality at the end of the day. The routes are designed for all levels of walker so whether you are just starting out or are a seasoned hiker you will find a path that is right for you and with the amazing sights on offer there really is no better way to see this magical part of the world than on foot.