In the 60s Algarve became one of Europe’s most flocked to beach destinations, and its idyllic Mediterranean coast with low cliffs, hidden sandy coves, and azure waters has been filling Faro flights ever since.
Today, there is far more to this Southern region of Portugal than sandcastles and sunshine, and whether you’re an outdoor sports enthusiast or a history buff you can find plenty of activities to go alongside relaxing hours in the surf and sand. So for those looking to get away to a place that has it all, here are five great reasons to spend your summer vacation in Algarve.
1. The ultimate in Mediterranean beaches
There’s no point in being coy, the reason people visit Algarve is due to its phenomenal beaches and coastal views. Where limestone rock stacks, hidden bays, and seemingly infinite stretches of golden sand hold the type of views travel photographers dream of. Try heading to the region’s gem, Praia da Marinha, and take the 6 km walk atop the seaside cliffs from Praia Vale Centeanes.
2. Hit the golf links
Algarve is home to a huge number of courses, many designed by some of the world’s most famous course architects, like Jack Nicklaus and Nick Faldo. The coastal region of Albufeira is where the vast majority of courses are found, however, if you’re looking for a special treat, than head inland to the Monte Rei Golf & Country Club, whose signature course is often rated as the best in Portugal.
3. Hiking and trekking
The scenic interior of the Algarve region, with its natural and untouched coastlines are just begging for you to explore them on foot. The regions walking paths offer a wide variety of terrain, from mountains and cliff-tops, to valleys, gorges, and coastal bluffs. Set out and experience the diverse natural environment and wildlife, and meet some locals that you wouldn’t come across in the resort areas.
4. The Cidade Velha
If history is more your forte, than why not wander through the cobbled and winding medieval streets of Cidade Velha. This old town’s squares and streets are home to a unique and eclectic mix of buildings and architectural feats, such as the neoclassical Arco da Vila, a gateway that was built upon the medieval entrance to the city at the turn of the 19th century. Other great sites include the orange-tree-lined Largo da Sé (and the Bishop’s Cathedral.
5. Wildlife Cruises
There are a whole host of beautiful sea-caves and wildlife to explore and observe along Algarve’s coastal stretches of the Atlantic and Mediterranean. The caves and dolphin watching cruises are not only a great way to relax and take in these views, but they also allow you to swim and investigate the hollows and waters along the way.
Whether you’re simply headed to Algarve to relax and unwind, or in search of something a little more up-beat, you’re bound to enjoy all the great offerings this region of Portugal has to offer.