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There is so much going on in the Algarve

Picture the Algarve and beaches and golf are probably the highlights that spring to mind. But the region is so much more than that, with spectacular food and enviable wine, historical sites, and beautiful natural wonders on your doorstep.

Visit the 13th century castle in Silves, which acts as a monument to the Moorish occupation. Head to Tavira, a traditional town where you can see what life was like before the tourism boom. Eat delicious seafood in Albufeira or visit the Ria Formosa to explore the beautiful lagoons. Take a trip to the beach in Sagres and try surfing, or play a bit of golf at one of the many world-class courses dotted around Vilamoura. There is so much going on in the Algarve, you’ll be hard pushed to fit it all in one visit.

Beaches.

Beaches

Beaches in the Algarve are in plentiful supply, with 250km of coastline to choose from. Don’t miss a trip to Praia do Martinhal in Sagres, which attracts a big surf crowd. Or head to Praia de Falesia, east of Albufeira, whose cliffs are topped with a pine forest overlooking the pristine sands. And the stunning Praia da Marinha near Lagao, with its iconic stacked sandstone plinths, is a poster child for the Algarve.

Museums & sightseeing.

Museums & sightseeing

Visit ancient sites, like the Roman Cero de Vila in Vilamoura and medieval Silves Castle for a glimpse into the region’s rich history. The awe-inspiring cliffs at Sagres Point will remind you of Portugal’s nautical past and the navigators of the Age of Discovery. You’ll find a lot of modern street art in Faro – a breeding ground for subversive art – hidden on side streets and in the Conrad Algarve.

Food and cuisine.

Food and cuisine

The food here will satisfy every taste bud, from sophisticated Portuguese tapas to rough-and-ready beachfront taverns. Seafood is a huge part of life in the Algarve – grilled sardines are a favourite in Lagos, served with red wine. Or try the Cataplana – a stew cooked with catch of the day, shellfish and seasonal vegetables – which showcases the local produce. And of course, the pastries with almonds, figs, egg custard and delicious carob.

Local wine.

Local wine

Local vineyards and wineries are popping up all over the Algarve, especially around Portimão and Tavira. Vines love the climate and the south facing hills, so you will find grapes growing in abundance. Take a trip to the rolling hills around Lagoa, bursting with grapes, before sampling some of the appetising wine. Drink it while you are here though, as the good stuff rarely leaves the region.

Nightlife.

Nightlife

In an area so large you will find everything from quiet ‘tavernas’ on the beach to pumping clubs in the cities like Faro and Albufeira. Those that like a laid-back night should go for cocktails around Portimão’s Praia da Rocha. While the student scene in Faro brings out the night owls (after 10pm) in the neighbourhood of Rua Conselheiro Bivar. For classic resort-style nights out, head to Albufeira – there are lots of bars and clubs along the strip.

Golf.

Golf

Since 1966, when Sir Henry Cotton designed the first championship course at the Penina Golf Club, the Algarve has been a hot spot for golfers around the world. It now attracts hundreds of thousands of avid golfers to its award-winning courses each year. The 35 different clubs are sure to delight – with many diverse layouts and features. The temperate climate, alongside the stunning vistas of the Atlantic Ocean makes for a truly unforgettable golf holiday.

Surfing and watersports.

Surfing and watersports

Whilst the Algarve might not be as well known for surfing as the west coast of Portugal, there are still some amazing surf breaks to be found here. Sagres sits on the south-west coast and gets some big waves over autumn and the winter months. But for beginners, head over toward Lagos and Portimão for smaller waves or to try kite-surfing.

Top things to do in the Algarve

Discover our most popular sights, tours and activities the south of Portugal.

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