Fun things to do in Algarve

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    Faro Island

    by solopes Updated Jan 15, 2015

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    A long stripe of sand between sea and lagoon, allows a different vacation. There, you have shortage of nightlife, and even of restaurants and shops. You will divide yourself between the bath in the clean and mild waters of the deep ocean beach, and the amusement of the lagoon with its richness of shellfish.

    Supplies and amusement stand in Faro, ten minutes away by car or by boat. And if someone invites you to go catch some cuttlefish at night, do follow the rules, wear a white shirt and be prepared to laugh. Kids enjoy the lagoon, but the proximity to the airport may be bothersome.

    Faro - Algarve - Portugal
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    Armação de Pera

    by solopes Updated Jan 15, 2015

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    Maybe the best "family beach" of Algarve. The long coast goes from shallow and wide, to rocky and secluded, filling all kinds of expectation. Lodging is easy, with all kinds of solution, from good hotels to camping, with many familiar houses close to the beach.

    The only problem in Armação de Pera is that you have to share water and sand with... many, all the time.

    Arma����o de Pera - Algarve - Portugal
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    " Costa Vicentina"

    by solopes Updated Sep 14, 2014

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    For wild places lovers, the western coast immediately north of S. Vicente cape is a paradise.

    Fabulous landscape, with secluded or wide sandy beaches, broken rocks evidencing millions of years of geological history, a preserved fauna, all gathers to make the weekend or day trip a very relaxing and heady day.

    Its only problem is that, getting there means car or... very long trekking.

    Algarve - Costa Vicentina
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    • Hiking and Walking
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    Sagres

    by solopes Updated Sep 14, 2014

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    For a Portuguese, Sagres is the meeting withthe best of our history. For a foreigner, it's an opportunity to learn something abouts us, and a brake in a too much touristy coast.

    Sagres is the wild, where the warm of the south meets the strength of the west. Empty beaches, steep cliffs, and the lasting signs of the authentic Algarve and its fishermen. Easily accessible, it is a must see for all that go to Algarve

    Portugal - Sagres Portugal - Sagres Portugal - Sagres
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    Albufeira

    by solopes Updated May 20, 2014

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    I spent almost 20 years without going to Albufeira.

    Once "my capital" of Algarve, the boom of construction spoilt the traditional fishing village that I knew, replaced by... a forest of concrete and cars.

    I went there some weeks ago, and, prepared to the worst, I was not shocked. It's heavy commerce by the seaside, as expected, copying the Spanish mass lodging and catering patterns, but... Algarve is still there.

    The beaches keep wide and clean, the sun shines, the fish is fresh, local cuisine was preserved and enhanced, so, if this suits your plans, Albufeira is your place.

    Albufeira - Portugal
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    Cacela

    by solopes Updated Dec 20, 2013

    Out of the main touristy area, this small village by the sea has invested in serious recuperation work, enhancing its traditional look.

    It is not comfortable to reach the beach, but the views are great. You may see my Cacela page

    Cacela _ Portugal
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    Oura

    by solopes Updated Dec 20, 2013

    More than 20 years later I was back to Oura, and I enjoyed what I saw.

    Algarve was spoilt by heavy construction, and Oura is no exception, but the beach keeps the beauty that makes it one of my favorites.

    Oura - Portugal Oura - Portugal
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    Altura

    by solopes Updated Dec 20, 2013

    I stayed in Altura for a week 20 years ago. I went back there last month, and... couldn't recognize it. I mean, the only thing that I remembered was the hotel, the only high building in several kilometers of coast.

    Big construction (with wiser criteria than commonly seen in Algarve) new roads and streets, and a lively place. Altura is a beach that I may consider in future vacations.

    I've been there again - it didn't change much, and that is good.

    Altura - Portugal
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    Silves

    by solopes Updated Dec 20, 2013

    One of the most historic places in Algarve is one of the least known by the Portuguese, included... me. Beach is the common destination and only foreigners like to travel inland watching the country. It's an error that I will correct.

    This year I stayed in the eastern side of Algarve, and saw something there (Tavira and Cacela, for instance). Next time in the central or western side I will leave some time to Silves.

    Silves - Portugal
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    Vale do Lobo

    by solopes Updated Dec 20, 2013

    One of the most exclusive places of Algarve, Vale do Lobo is something that... I don't like.

    It is exclusive because it is expensive, and it is expensive only to be exclusive. Maybe I was unlucky, but all my few experiences there were negative.

    I didn't swim, but the beach didn't attract me, and I only used restaurants, and bar for the night. All expensive, without any reason - the quality ranged from bad to average, the service was slow and unkind, though professional, and the small unmerited tip was collected with disdain.

    No, Vale do Lobo is not MY Algarve!

    Vale do Lobo - Portugal
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    Tavira

    by solopes Updated Dec 20, 2013

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    Most Portuguese skip Tavira. When they go to Algarve the essential is... sea, and Tavira is distant enough from the sea to become a top destination. When we "are" in Algarve, and decide to leave the sea, for variation, Tavira is too close to the sea to be the alternative, and we prefer to go inland.

    That's why Tavira is mainly for foreigner eyes, more interesting in the contact with the whole and real Algarve. And, for that, Tavira is one of the best solutions.

    Tavira is also the best point to reach lone and remote beaches. Always needing a boat, those who hate crowds may find from Tavira the best wild and hard to reach beaches of Portugal

    Tavira - Portugal
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    Praia da Luz

    by solopes Updated Dec 20, 2013

    The area west of Lagos is... foreigner land. This means that we, Portuguese prefer to go east of Lagos. Between Lagos and Sagres, the main vacation area is Praia da Luz. English and Nordic people do have here the needed sun, in a not so expensive nor crowded ambiance. But the colder water (1-2º less than in the east), the more windy weather and higher surf don't attract us.

    As a matter of fact, we love to be abroad, but... in the other countries.

    Algarve - Portugal Algarve - Portugal
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    Olhão

    by solopes Updated Dec 20, 2013

    This town at very short distance from Faro is in a second line of touristy destinations, because its good beaches are not very easy to reach, some of them needing a boat.

    However, Olhão deserves three special references:
    - It's the best place to watch the typical roofs of Algarve, in a wise respect to the local traditions.
    - Fish is generally sold in the market much cheaper than in Faro, largely paying the trip if you are cooking at home.
    - If you want savage and lonely beaches, you can't find better elsewhere.

    Olh��o - Algarve Olh��o - Algarve
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    Lagos

    by solopes Updated Dec 20, 2013

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    This is the town that is surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches of Algarve, being also one of the areas where foreigners exceed Portuguese all the year round.

    Of course, any visit to Algarve must include Lagos, one of the top places to stay.

    Lagos - Portugal
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    Manta Rota

    by solopes Updated Dec 20, 2013

    A disappointment.

    Largely promoted by the pink magazines, this beach didn't convince me. Very wide beach, distant from the densely constructed area, has nothing to challenge its neighbours Monte Gordo or Altura except... some pink business.

    Manta Rota - Algarve Manta Rota - Algarve
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Algarve Hotels

See all 665 Hotels in Algarve

Top Algarve Hotels

Albufeira Hotels
363 Reviews - 685 Photos
Lagos Hotels
246 Reviews - 639 Photos
Tavira Hotels
208 Reviews - 433 Photos
Carvoeiro Hotels
25 Reviews - 63 Photos
Faro Hotels
233 Reviews - 773 Photos
Praia da Rocha Hotels
31 Reviews - 70 Photos
Alvor Hotels
131 Reviews - 373 Photos
Quarteira Hotels
24 Reviews - 67 Photos
Armação de Pêra Hotels
21 Reviews - 60 Photos
Olhão Hotels
30 Reviews - 146 Photos
Portimão Hotels
66 Reviews - 243 Photos
Olhos de Água Hotels
19 Reviews - 31 Photos
Monte Gordo Hotels
20 Reviews - 49 Photos
Ferragudo Hotels
20 Reviews - 74 Photos
Silves Hotels
111 Reviews - 316 Photos

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