Sun, sands and golf. But the Algarve is so much more than that. The southernmost area of Portugal has long been a tourist haven due to its fantastic resorts, world-class golf courses and sublime beaches. However, there is so much more to be explored here. Truth is, whatever you go for – the traditional experience or something a bit more different – you are bound to fall in love with the Algarve.
Portugal has always been able to boast with a breathtaking coastline that allures travellers the moment they set foot on it. Imagine golden beaches bathing in sunshine and secluded bays perfect for relaxation. Imagine everything you wanted for a sublime beach getaway and then multiply it by 10 – you might get an idea of how gorgeous those sandy beaches really are. Better yet: go and see for yourself.
Leave the beach for a moment to explore the inner Algarve and you’ll discover castles (Castelo for example offers amazing views of the surrounding countryside) and picturesque historic villages. With a history spanning back to Roman times you can count on a long sightseeing list for sure!
What not to miss though? The gorgeous baroque Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Carmo Church is a must visit as well as Capela dos Ossos – built from the bones and skulls of over 1000 monks, this is something that you simply need to see. You might find it a bit creepy, but then again – sites like that are usually hard to find…
All that golf
Truth is, golf enthusiasts need to put the Algarve on their bucket list and check it out fast. With top-class golf courses, this is an ideal destination if you want to work on your swing. Golf with an ocean view? Yes, please.
Pick a luxury resort that offers you both an amazing spa experience and a close proximity to a golf course and you’ll be absolutely sorted. What’s more, you’ll be truly spoil for choice here when it comes to those…
The waves here are ideal for some surfing. In fact, if you are after water sports and not just another lazy beach getaway, the Algarve might tick off all the boxes for you. You can go sailing, windsurfing, water-skiing, canoeing or just relaxing on a pedalo if you insisted. Did you know there are plenty of aqua parks here too? Those are not just for kids, so no matter who you’re travelling with – you’re bound to love the many waterparks scattered all over the place.
Hit the town
You can’t just visit the Algarve and not see at least one of its towns – from lively Albufeira to the vibrant nightlife of Lagos, these are places that offer delicious cuisine and gorgeous little streets to get lost in. Visit the Algarve’s tranquil capital of Faro to chill out in a cute café terrace with a refreshing drink in hand and the sun shining all around you. Stunning.
Museums in the Algarve?
Yes, there are some and if you are after quality sightseeing, yet again, you’ve come to the right place. Go to Faro City Museum for archaeological exhibitions or Museu de Portimao (Portimao) for its intriguing underwater findings. Cerro da Vila (in Vilamoura) is great if you want to see some impressive Roman remains, while the small Centro Ciencia Viva do Algarve (again in Faro) makes for an interesting visit if you like science museums.
But what does it look like?
Gorgeous. You’ll notice the towns’ architecture has been significantly influenced by Arabian and various medieval motifs. The beautiful town of Silves is dominated by Moorish architecture – from its houses to its famous castle (there is even an annual Medieval Festival hosted here). While you can admire some great examples of Islamic architecture in Olhão!
But there is more than just lovely architecture. The surrounding nature is absolutely sublime making for quite the views. Number one place to visit: the Natural Park of Ria Formosa that boasts sandy beaches, sparking waters, impressive biodiversity and a picturesque old town. Unique. Divine.