With stunning views everywhere you turn, the only difficulty when planning a trip to the Algarve is working out just how you will fit all the best bits in! We’ve narrowed it down a little for you, and compiled a list of 10 of the most beautiful spots for you to explore. From gorgeous beaches and wonderful sunsets, to traditional towns and pretty cobbled streets, the Algarve certainly has it all.
1. Praia Da Rocha Beach
Home to one of the Algarve’s broadest, and most stunning beaches, Praia Da Rocha is a must-visit on any trip to this Portuguese paradise. Layered with sheets of golden-orange sand, and backed with low but impressive cliffs, this beach is the kind that many flock to the Algarve especially for. Throw in some turquoise waters, and it’s no wonder why this gem is one of the country’s finest and most popular beach resorts.
2. Architecture in Tavira
Located in the east, Tavira, in architectural terms, really is one of the most attractive towns in the Algarve. There’s the Roman bridge with its gorgeous views of the Gilão River, an abundance of traditional white-washed houses and over 20 churches to explore. As well as the town’s Moorish influence, the natural beauty surrounding it is also something pretty special, with its soft white sand beaches crawling into the Atlantic ocean.
3. Vilamoura Marina
If you’re looking for luxury then look no further than Vilamoura. Fairly removed from traditional Algarve, this glamorous resort is beautiful in its own right. And the marina in particular! Although a lively spot for many, a stroll along the promenade during the daytime in Vilamoura seems strangely peaceful. Sit and watch the world, and boats, go by before the evening and the heavier crowds draw in.
Image © ARIMAG
4. Ria Formosa Nature Reserve
A trip to the Algarve is just not complete without visiting the stunning Ria Formosa Nature Reserve. This network of canals, islands and marshes is constantly changing due to the wind direction, currents and tides, making it a unique coastal lagoon and a place where different beauty is spotted on every visit. Head over from the capital Faro and enjoy a bit of bird-watching or a tranquil kayak ride.
5. Benagil Caves Near Carvoeiro
Located not far from Carvoeiro and Lagos, are the visually spectacular Benagil Caves. Known by many as some of the most impressive caves in the whole of Europe, they are definitely a place well-worth exploring. It is highly recommended to get there by boat, due to unexpectedly high tides at times, and most trips will allow you to see around 20 caves. It’s the Benagil Cave that you want though, with its open ceiling known as the eye, allowing the Portuguese rays to sparkle off the dazzling crystal waters.
6. The Old Town of Silves
The former Algarve capital Silves, with its glorious terracotta rooftops is a great pick for those looking for a more peaceful stay. Silves is a charming and very traditional Portuguese town, with scatterings of orange and lemon trees along the banks of the pretty Arade River. Although there’s not a great deal to do here, other than wandering around one of the best-preserved castles in the Algarve, it sure is one of the most beautiful spots!
7. Cabo de São Vicente in Sagres
Just five kilometres from Sagres lies the striking Cabo de São Vicente and its famous red lighthouse. Known as the most southwesterly extremity of Europe, it really should be on your Algarve bucket list! It’s a gorgeous setting at any time of the day, however sunsets at this point are said to be pretty spectacular. And looking at this photo, we think we can understand why.
8. Ferragudo Town
A smaller and more traditional version than its neighbour Portimão, Ferragudo is a quaint fishing town located in the western Algarve. With a gorgeous waterfront overlooking the Arade River, whitewashed buildings climbing up hillsides, and a cute cobbled square in the centre of town, it’s no surprise that Ferragudo is fast becoming one of Algarve’s top places to be. Grab some fresh seafood in one of the local restaurants and take in the sensational views surrounding you!
9. Praia da Falésia in Olhos D’Agua
Stretching from Vilamoura in the west, all the way to the town of Olhos D’Agua in the east, Praia da Falésia boasts more than six kilometres of gorgeous golden sand, as well as being one of Portugal’s longest beaches. Backed with red-tinted cliffs and lush green pines, and home to brilliant blue waters, Praia da Falésia is a spectacle of contrasting colours which make this beach by far one of the Algarve’s best.
10. Lagos Town
Aside from the obviously beautiful beaches that Lagos is home to, there is also a rather pretty town centre for you to explore during your time in the Algarve. Enclosed in 16th-century walls lie traditional cobbled streets, grand piazzas and some architecturally wonderful churches to explore and gaze dreamily at. With lots going on here, it’s easy to ignore the towns impressive past, but make sure you take a moment or two to just soak up the wealth of the history surrounding you.