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Algarve

The Algarve is a culturally rich and geographically stunning region sat in the far south-west of Europe, where the rolling hills of Iberia meet the Atlantic. Pristine sandy beaches frame charming boutiques and cafés, and verdant golf courses are criss-crossed by babbling streams and meandering paths. As a luxury holiday destination it’s nigh-on unbeatable, with vibrant nightlife and an exquisite climate ensuring that every visit is one you’ll never forget.
 
Over the last 50 years the Algarve has been transformed from a rural community of farmers and fishers to one of the greatest hubs of holiday making in Europe, attracting hundreds of thousands each year to its golden shores. The coastline is dotted with luxurious hotels and resorts, each offering sweeping views over the cerulean ocean which stretches away uninterrupted to the horizon, and almost every golf course and restaurant offers the same, making each activity every day one set against the utmost beauty.
 
For fans of golf, the Algarve is a peerless destination, boasting more than 30 magnificent golf courses, many of which have been designed by famous names such as Sir Henry Cotton and Bernhard Langer. In the east of the region, lush verdant marshland and forests create an atmospheric backdrop for any putt or swing, so make sure to head out to the San Lorenzo or Salgados courses. Grab your binoculars too, as the rich biodiversity here includes thousands of species from flamingos to the rare purple gallinule.
 
To the west, around the towns of Sagres, Lagos and Portimão, the coastline rises up into dramatic cliffs, culminating at Cape St Vincent, the most south-westerly point of mainland Europe. Much of this area is included in the Southwest Alentejano and Costa Vincente National Park, and offers top-notch Instagram content guaranteed to make all your friends jealous. For the golfers there’s the Pestano and Gramacho courses, while the cultural explorers among you will love the Fort of Nostra Senhora da Rocha – a medieval castle perched atop a cliff surrounded on almost all sides by a dramatic drop to the ocean below.
 
Birthplace of international adventurers such as Bartholomew Diaz and Diego Rodrigues and HQ of the Portuguese voyages of exploration during the Age of Discovery, the Algarve is steeped in history, while nowadays it’s known as the holiday home of celebrities, from Bonnie Tyler to Patrick Swift. With such varied culture around every corner, you’ll certainly never be bored. Every town and village offers its own cafés and bars whose unique atmospheres will have you returning time and time again.
 
WINGED BOOTS WISDOM
 
Make sure to pay a visit to the Ria Formosa National Park – a gorgeous region of wetlands and forests certain to satisfy every visitor. A wealth of wildlife makes its home here, and the verdant groves and babbling brooks make the San Lorenzo Golf Course particularly picturesque.
 
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Good to know

  • Time difference: UTC +0
  • Capital: Faro
  • Currency: EUR
  • Instagram Opportunity: Cape St Vincent

Best Time To Travel

Average Temperatures
Jan: 14°c   Feb: 15°c   Mar: 17°c  
Apr: 18°c   May: 21°c   Jun: 24°c  
Jul: 27°c   Aug: 27°c   Sep: 25°c  
Oct: 23°c   Nov: 18°c   Dec: 15°c  

Location

Algarve Articles

Algarve in a Nutshell

Life’s A Beach
 
  • The Algarve is famous the world over for its glorious sandy beaches, and it’s true that this small corner of Iberia does offer some pristine praias, that rival the golden sands of Malaga or Cannes. The Praia da Falésia is one of the finest, bordered by stunning red sandstone cliffs and offering almost six kilometres of rolling dunes from Albufeira to Vilamoura. During the holiday season it’s guaranteed to be thronged with tourists and sun-worshippers, so talk to one of our travel advisors about booking a hotel that offers access to a private section of beach so you don’t miss out on a prime spot.
     
  • One of the best ways to spend a day in the Algarve is a hearty breakfast followed by a morning on the golf course before retiring to a beach to spend an afternoon relaxing to the sound of the waves with a cocktail in hand. Many golf courses are located right by the beach, and one of particular note is the Onyria Palmares course designed by world-renowned designer Robert Trent Jones Jr, which has direct access to Meia Beach just outside Lagos, making it the perfect spot for a day trip certain to excite the whole family.
     
  • On the west coast of the Algarve region sits the Costa Vincente – a more peaceful and secluded region of equally beautiful beaches and cliffs ideal for sunbathing in privacy or enjoying quality time with your friends and family.  
     
Don’t Forget Your Kit 
 
  • In the golfing world, the Algarve is widely known as one of the best spots in Europe for enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. With verdant green fairways and challenging deep bunkers to test your skills, each course offers a unique experience, so be sure to try out more than one during your stay.
     
  • Get your adrenaline pumping and mind racing and try your hand at some watersports – in the Algarve you’ve got the boldly-surging Atlantic Ocean at your disposal. With kite surfing, wakeboarding and wind surfing all on offer at a number of ports and beaches across the region, you’re in for hours of fun and excitement whether you’re a novice at the sport or have been surfing for years.
     
  • The picturesque cliffs and marshes of the Algarve make it a superb destination if you’re a fan of walking holidays. A network of footpaths and cycling trails criss-cross the landscape, offering stunning views to any intrepid explorer. Make sure to take your camera with you, because you won’t want to forget the gorgeous vistas you’ll be experiencing.
     
Tastes To Try 
 
  • Portugal has an incredibly varied and vibrant culinary tradition, thanks to years as a centre of international trade to far-flung exotic locales such as Mozambique, Goa, Malacca and Macau. The Algarve was the starting point of many commercial exploits of the medieval Portuguese, and the menus here abound with rich flavours and captivating aromas. Try something flavoured with tiny chilli peppers – known as piri-piri – such as the delectably smoky chouriço.
     
  • Seafood is a stable of the Algarve diet, and one particular favourite meal is caldeirada – a fish stew similar to France’s bouillabaisse, made usually with cod accompanied by potatoes, onions and flavoured with pepper, coriander, parsley and paprika. There are supposedly 365 ways to prepare caldeirada – one for every day of the year – alluding to its popularity among the people of the Algarve, so be sure to try it out more than once.
     
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