A holiday to the Algarve gives you first-rate beaches, chic cities and Moorish villages. Factor in 300 days of sun a year and it’s no wonder this place is Portugal’s top holiday playground.
A prime slice of Portugal
Portugal’s southernmost strip isn’t just about ribbons of golden sand and world-famous golf courses. It’s also got an edgy mix of modern, got-it-all resorts and traditional towns. Plus, families are more than catered for with a superb line-up of waterparks, theme parks, and restaurants where little ones are always welcome.
Albufeira – the best of both worlds
If having everything on your doorstep is a priority, try the Algarve’s largest holiday spot, Albufeira. It ticks off a 5-kilometre beach, restaurants galore, and nightlife as loud as you want it. On the other hand, you can also go local in its old cobbled town or walk along cliff-top paths in search of hidden bays.
If you prefer things a bit quieter, Sao Rafael is ideal. Its main beach has Blue Flag status and this modern resort is home to a clutch of beachfront bars and restaurants. To experience authentic Portugal, meanwhile, head for Olhos D’Agua – it’s a working fishing village with cobbled lanes and traditional waterside restaurants. The beach is a big hit with kids, with rock pools to explore and freshwater springs that bubble up through the sand.
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Alvor likes to mix things up. Set on the western Algarve in Portugal, it’s a traditional fishing village with its own lagoon and river, but it also comes with modern music bars and some of the best restaurants around these parts. As for the beach, well that serves up plenty of golden sand.
Lagos is a popular town in the Barlavento region of the Algarve. Good surfing and relaxed beaches attract laid-back outdoor types, but the old town’s 16th-century walls and Arab-built castle keep architecture-lovers happy, too. There’s also a large marina with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants.
Olhos D’Agua is on the central Algarve, backdropped by the region’s signature sandstone cliffs. It’s an easygoing fishing village where you’ll see fishermen hauling in their catch ready to be barbecued at the friendly restaurants later that night. There are lots of eating places and bars along the main street that runs down the hill to the waterfront – where you’ll find a lovely little beach.
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