The Algarve was voted Best Beach Destination in the World in 2020 at the prestigious World Travel Awards.
The Algarve coast is Europe’s most famous secret. Dance the corridinho. Swim with dolphins. Taste a goose barnacle. Climb to the top of a lighthouse. Learn to say “móce deb” with the locals. Practise your golf swing on an award-winning course. Sunbathe on a deserted beach. Do all this (and much more) on a relaxing or invigorating Algarve holiday.
Beaches Some of the best and most beautiful beaches in the entire world are to be found in the Algarve. Hardly surprising then that the region is a favourite for sun-seekers from all over. They come in search of the natural heritage that is now managed in a sustainable fashion, in order to provide quality recreational facilities able to meet all kinds of requirements. There are beaches to suit every taste with the majority having gained due recognition in the form of the EU "Blue Flag" for quality standards. Along its 200-kilometre coastline, the Algarve features all types of coves, cliffs and caves, its rocky beaches contrasting with broad expanses of sand. Different types of beach, but all bathed in the calm, warm seawaters of this coastline.
Golf Golfing days on Portugal's Algarve are sheer bliss and remain in the memory long after the holiday is over. Generations of golfers have headed for Portugal's southern coast, lured by 300 days of sunshine, high quality accommodation, a friendly laid back atmosphere, superb scenery and 40 of the best golf courses to be found anywhere in the world. It was the noted golfer Sir Henry Cotton who established the Algarve as a world class golf destination and he also designed a number of the classic courses along this 150 mile long stretch of Atlantic washed coastline running from Sagres in the west to Vila Real de Santo António in the east.
Nature and Landscape Idyllic sceneries to enjoy! The Algarve’s natural diversity is undoubtedly one of its greatest riches. Visitors can easily pass through different environments within the same landscape. From coastal regions to the Algarvian Mountains, there is a whole world of diversity to be explored and just as many different ways to do so. On the coastline, an ecological system of awe-inspiring biodiversity – from native birds with proudly built nests, to molluscs and crustaceans which are the main source of revenue for seafood producers in the South – invites visitors to observe fauna and flora closely on pleasant trail walks.Far from the wide beaches and steep cliffs, bright green mixes with shades of brown in the vast plains of the Barrocal region that invites the visitor to experience a different Algarve, one that is covered with orange trees and orchards of fig, carob and almond trees. Here too, there are nature trails to follow. Miles and miles of landscapewith special geological features – schist and granite-like rock – are here to be enjoyed in the tranquillity of the mountains among friends and family.
Cycling & Walking The Algarve's diverse landscapes, beautiful beaches, abundant nature and agreeable climate make this a region that is not only the perfect destination for a beach holiday, but also an excellent choice for nature tourism enthusiasts. Without doubt, one of the best ways to get to know the region is by cycling or walking, since this lets you enjoy its natural beauty, discover its biodiversity, admire its heritage and learn about its culture. In the Algarve, cycle tourism and walking enthusiasts will find a vast array of well-signposted itineraries and routes, as well as equipment hire and organised programmes. Whether you do your own thing or use one of the specialised operators, take us up on our suggestions and explore the Algarve from one end to the other.
Gastronomy and Wines The Algarve has many surprises in store for you. Among its greatest treasures are its culinary specialities, the wines, desserts and the famous medronho brandy. Set off on a culinary journey that will delight your taste buds with flavours and wild sensations you have likely never experienced before. Try both traditional and contemporary dishes. Your palate will always remember your visit .
Culture and Tradition A unique way to do, feel and celebrate! More than just magnificent beaches and a blessed climate, the Algarve offers a rich folk heritage which is worth appreciating along with the pleasures of the sun and the sea. Devote some time to discovering it because there are old customs, living traditions and heritage buildings which can be enjoyed throughout the year. Algarvians across the centuries have left such a rich heritage which deserves to be explored: from the unique celebrations of festive occasionsto the historical buildings of ancient and recent times; to the irresistible delicacies making up the cuisine. Arts and crafts All across the region, you will find artisans who make blankets, table runners, tablecloths, fine linen and rugs, using traditional materials and techniques. Palm weaving was once an important activity for many families’ budgets, as it was connected to the need to work in the fields. Today, while it may have lost some of its utilitarian importance, it has acquired ornamental qualities so that items made in this way have become not only charmingly attractive but also much sought-after. The same is true of pottery and ceramics, tiles, wooden, copper and wrought iron pieces, and magnificent decorative lace items, all of which once served merely utilitarian purposes and are now highly prized for their decorative value. The Algarve’s artisans produce unique pieces, based on deeply-rooted and longstanding traditions. Handicrafts are like a common thread connecting us to our beginnings and which we hand down to the generations that follow us. When you discover the handicrafts of the Algarve, you discover its past, you feel its traditions and customs, and you can connect with its age-old values that embrace many different peoples and influences.
Typical Houses The most obvious symbol of traditional architecture in the Algarve is undoubtedly the chimney, which translated house owners’ individuality and displayed their wealth. No two chimneys were alike and the more intricate their design, the more expensive they were to make. Fine examples of these symbols of popular art and creative skill can be seen on wealthier rural dwellings in the inland Algarve.
Health and Wellness The Algarve is an excellent choice for all those who like taking the opportunity on holiday not only to rest, but also to take care of themselves in a peaceful environment. Immerse yourself in the water, let it relieve stress, treat skin problems, rejuvenate you, and restore general wellbeing and health. These are tempting propositions which are ever more sought after. You have a choice between fresh water treatments in the Monchique Thermal Spa, and salt water treatments in thalassotherapy centres.For those who prefer a more rustic setting with a more intense relationship with nature and more intimate treatment, there are relaxation farms where you can savour typical Algarvian dishes and enjoy outdoor pursuits. In the Algarve, there are options for healthy holidays combined with relaxation.
Nautical Make the most of the sea in the Algarve. Activities and water sports, from surfing to canoeing, are some of the region’s leisure attractions. If your idea of leisure includes water sports, such as surfing or canoeing, then the Algarve is right up your street. Climate - We saved the best for last! The Algarve has one of the best climates in Europe, all year round. With little rainfall, generally occurring between the months of November and March, and plenty of sunshine, the Algarve offers outstanding weather conditions for year-round tourism. Temperatures are high in summer, which is one reason why the Algarve is a top “sun and sea” destination and an authentic paradise for beachgoers. The region’s beaches, stretching for many kilometres along the coast, consist of fine, golden sand, and the sea is calm, with temperatures of around 22ºC in the summer.
Due to its terrain and geographical location, the Algarve is influenced by various climates: from the continent of Europe to the north of Africa, and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. Maximum temperatures vary between 15ºC and 31ºC over the course of the year. In winter, temperatures do not drop below zero and the sunny days draw many tourists from the colder countries in northern Europe at this time of year.