Soak up Portugal at its best with a holiday to Alvor. Showcasing a gorgeous stretch of beach, a sleepy fishing village and a trendy harbour, it’s a fantastically diverse place to stay. Having kept its quaint charm, with cobbled streets and charming boutiques, there’s also secluded hidden coves and stunning views of the natural lagoon on offer. An array of harbour-side cafes and bars make Alvor holidays perfect for those looking for laid-back days and entertaining evenings.
Located in the south of the Algarve, this hidden gem is a postcard-perfect delight for holidaymakers, boasting beautiful natural beaches and striking views. With its cobbled narrow streets and stunning lagoon, Alvor exudes traditional charm and romance – making it an ideal destination for romantic getaways. For the ultimate in relaxation, take a stroll down to Torralta Beach – one of the top Alvor attractions. Marked by its unmistakable cliff tops and shallow waters, this is the ideal place to kick back and enjoy the Algarve’s year-round sunshine. When you’ve topped up your tan, refuel at some of the great beachside cafes on offer – serving up everything from grilled fish to cheeky cocktails.
While the beautiful historic surroundings might make you feel transported to a time gone by, Alvor’s extensive range of accommodation ensures you can relax and enjoy all that is on offer after a good night’s sleep. Whether you’re looking for a family friendly hotel a stone’s throw from the beach or want somewhere a little further out to make the most of the Algarve’s nature and tranquillity, there are hotels to suit all tastes and budgets. Many hotels also offer spa facilities, so you can completely unwind and let your cares float away as you enjoy being pampered in the amazing Algarve region.
Most popular hotels in Alvor
Alvor Baia Hotel Apartaments
Luna Alvor Village
Luna Clube Brisamar
Pestana Alvor Praia
Pestana Dom Joao II Beach Resort
Luna Alvor Bay (Adults Only)
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Portuguese
- Time Zone: GMT +0
- Average flight time: 2h 55m
When to go
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With a history harking back to the Middle Ages, there are plenty of things to do in Alvor for anyone with an interest in the rich culture of the Algarve. Head over to nearby Lagos, an ancient maritime town with a history of its own. Here, you’ll find the spectacular Igreja de Santo Antonio, a golden church with ornately-carved woodwork and religious paintings – definitely worth a visit if only for the photo opportunities. For something further afield, head to Seville, otherwise known as The Golden City of Culture. Closer than you think, the Algarve nestles up against Spain’s western border, providing an excellent opportunity for sightseeing. Take in the splendour of the Plaza d’Espana before a close-up look of its grand cathedral – the perfect antidote for Alvor’s laid-back beaches.
Wine and Dine
Originally a small fishing village, it’s no surprise that delicious seafood is one of the top Alvor attractions. The lagoon is home to a menagerie of restaurants and waterside cafes, serving up a variety of freshly-caught fish dishes. Visit Tropico Beach Bar Restaurante for mouth-watering sea bass while Fishermen’s Rest is arguably the best place to sample tasty clams. For an authentic taste of Alvor with a kick, try the popular piri-piri chicken that is served throughout the resort. Made from the bright red piri-piri chilli pepper, you’ll find this in abundance in the Algarve – whether in table sauces or the dishes themselves – easily one of the tastiest dishes in Portugal.
An Alvor holiday is not all about the idyllic surroundings, there are also plenty of restaurants and bars to keep you entertained during your holiday. As a traditional fishing village, it’s hard to imagine a better place to try some delicious seafood and the restaurants in this area don’t disappoint. As the evening winds down, end your day with a cocktail while you enjoy the friendly and laid-back atmosphere in one of beachfront bars.
Alvor is definitely a safe bet if you are travelling with children, there are plenty of activities to keep them and you occupied and happy. Head out onto the blue sea on an eco-friendly coastal cruise, the boat trips take you across all the most beautiful bits of the coast and are geared for children. Lagos Zoo makes for a great day trip as does Portimao Pedagogical Farm where children can take part in horse riding or learn about different animals as well as gardening and cooking. Slide and Splash water park in Lagoa, Albufeira is an excellent adventure park that is not too far to get to. As well as rides for the children it also has jacuzzi’s and places to relax for adults while children are supervised on the more daring rides.
Action and Adventure
With its dramatic landscape, this resort has become a great place for those seeking adventure. If you’re looking for thrill-seeking things to do in Alvor, head to the lagoon where you’ll find a wealth of watersports to try. From canoeing to sailing and even dolphin watching, there is something to entice you into the water. For those without sea legs, explore the Algarve countryside with an all-terrain tour in a 4x4. Weaving your way through rural tracks and picturesque orange groves, you’ll discover everything that Alvor has to offer on this great adventure.
Life's a Beach
What really makes Alvor special is its picturesque location. From the colourful fishing boats bobbing along the harbour to the dunes and cliffs which make the landscape here so unique, there’s no shortage of photo opportunities. Once you’ve taken your snaps, it’s time to choose which of the stunning beaches you want to stroll along. Alvor Beach is easily accessible and offers plenty of sunbeds to choose from, while Praia de Tres Irmados stands out thanks to its unique rock formations. Meia Praia is also close by and boasts a 5km stretch of golden sand.
Evenings in Alvor begin early, with long drinks in the village centre and the finest in local cuisine found in the harbour. For a stylish start to the night, head to Michael’s Bar, a cocktail bar boasting good happy hours and daily specials. Found right in the entrance of the village, this terrace is the perfect location for people-watching – try a delicious mojito while you sit back and enjoy the view. If you’d rather visit somewhere a little edgier, take a visit to Canico. Built into the cliff top, this beach bar serves Portuguese fare by day and the hottest in new music by night. During the summer season, this place becomes a real party, with the resident DJ setting up his decks on the beach for moonlit dancing on the sands.
With its pretty backdrop and old-style romance, Alvor is the ideal place to embark on a holiday with your sweetheart. Take a walk along Torralta beach as the sun goes down before indulging in a romantic meal on the quayside – the perfect recipe for paradisiacal bliss. For a great day out in a laid-back setting, take a trip to some of Alvor’s finest vineyards. With its year-round sunshine and protected landscapes, the Algarve is the ideal location for growing grapes and it has fast become one of the best places in the world for excellent wine. Learn about the alchemy of this experience before sampling a taste. Meanwhile, there is no better place to relax than with an Alvor boat trip. Portugal’s first solar-powered cruiser, you’ll experience the coastal beauty of the resort with a relaxing ride on the open waters.
Portugal loves a party and in the summer it knows that tourism is important, it is also a very catholic country that celebrates many religious holidays, so all in all there is bound to be something going on when you visit. The well known carnival is in late February - coming at the beginning of Lent and lasts a week with extravagant costumes and festivities. During Easter, Portuguese make Folar cake, a sweet bread with hard boiled eggs on top, still in their shells, the fairs where they are sold are also accompanied by music and entertainment. In August, look out for the Sardine Festival in Portimao, near Alvor. Sardines are one of the main exports of Portugal, and the festival is centred around them, grilled sardines are eaten on beach barbecues accompanied by a music concert and culminating in a spectacular fireworks display at midnight.