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Things to do in The Algarve

Things to do in  Algarve

Welcome to Algarve

There’s far more to the Algarve than the sun, sand, and sea it's famed for. Although its beaches, which are among the best in Europe, are a worthy draw, Portugal’s Algarve also promises a wealth of delights further inland. Distance yourself from tourist hotspots along the Atlantic coast and you’ll discover historical old towns, rolling vineyards, and top-class cuisine. Popular Algarve launch pads are Faro, Silves, Albufeira, and Portimão, all of which combine local highlights with plentiful day trip opportunities. Snorkel and kayak in the crystal clear lagoons of Lagos; observe dolphins and flamingos during a boat trip to Ria Formosa Natural Park; head inside the surreal Benagil Caves; or escape the modern world in the remote village of Sagres. The glamorous port of Vilamoura brims with million-dollar yachts, and in the Monchique Mountains, Portuguese cuisine and wine reign supreme—take a tour of the vineyards in a sidecar for an alternative sightseeing experience. Just over the border is Spain, making the Algarve a top choice for travelers planning to visit Andalucia. Sightseeing tours of Seville, Gibraltar, and Cordoba are all doable in a day, while full-day excursions to Lisbon, Sintra, and Cascais are a popular choice with travelers short on time.

Top 10 attractions in Algarve

Barreta Island (Ilha Deserta)

Barreta Island (Ilha Deserta)

A sandy, uninhabited island off Portugal’s Algarve coast, Barreta Island (Ilha Deserta) is a popular beach destination and wildlife refuge inside Ria Formosa National Park. With freshwater lagoons, salt flats, sand dunes, and more, the park has a diverse range of habitats—each with its own resident population of birds and other species, including chameleons.More
Lagos Zoo (Parque Zoologico de Lagos)

Lagos Zoo (Parque Zoologico de Lagos)

Home to more than 140 different species from across the world, Lagos Zoo offers a family-friendly alternative to the crowded Algarve coast. Opened in 2000, the zoo has become a world-class conservation facility, and its close proximity to central Lagos makes it a top choice for a day away from the city.More
Praia Gale

Praia Gale

A favorite among locals due to its golden sands and calm, swimming-friendly waters, Praia Gale should be at the top of any beach-lover’s Albufeira itinerary. Steps away from the resort town of Gale, Praia Gale offers more than just sunbathing opportunities: you can spot marine life in natural pools between the rocks or explore the sandstone caves on either side of the sand.More
Armacao de Pera Beach (Praia Armacao de Pera)

Armacao de Pera Beach (Praia Armacao de Pera)

With its golden sands and sandstone-carved coves, Armacao de Pera Beach (Praia Armacao de Pera) epitomizes the coastal beauty of Portugal’s Algarve. Backed by a fishing village of the same name, the beach is an ideal choice for both families and sun-worshippers: umbrella-shaded sunbeds offer respite from the midday sun while the rocky coves on either side of the beach make for a fun day of exploration.More
Ria Formosa Natural Park

Ria Formosa Natural Park

Located at the southernmost tip of Portugal’s Algarve, Ria Formosa Natural Park (Parque Natural da Ria Formosa) is a scenic swirl of freshwater lagoons, sandy islands, and lush salt marshlands. The park hugs the coast between Manta Rota and Vale do Lobo, and is best known for its varied topography and diverse bird life.More


Sitting atop a headland at the western tip of the Algarve, Sagres was—up until the discovery of the Americas—believed to be the end of the world. Surfers flock to the fishing town to ride waves off its golden-sand beaches, and soak up the scenery at Cape Saint Vincent (Cabo de São Vicente, where Atlantic swells pummel the craggy cliffs.More


Set in the sun-soaked Algarve region, Vilamoura is a purpose-built upscale resort centered around a marina and palm-bordered esplanade. As well as two golden-sand beaches—Vilamoura Beach and Falésia Beach—Vilamoura also has Roman ruins, high-end hotels, championship golf courses, and a wealth of restaurants, bars, shops, clubs, and cafés.More
Praia dos Salgados

Praia dos Salgados

Backed by ochre cliffs, the seemingly endless shoreline of Praia dos Salgados exemplifies the picture-perfect beauty of The Algarve’s coastline. Steps away from the sand, you’ll find a golf course and reserve that cater to nature lovers and families alike. Meanwhile, the calm waters of the Atlantic Ocean provide a safe place for kids to swim.More
Slide & Splash

Slide & Splash

Just minutes from the beautiful beaches of the Algarve, Slide & Splash—at more than 16,000 acres (65 square kilometers)—is not only the biggest in Portugal but also one of the largest water parks in Europe. With big thrill water slides, spectacular live shows, and dozens of attractions, there’s something for all ages.More
Silves Castle (Castelo de Silves)

Silves Castle (Castelo de Silves)

A testament to the region’s strategic importance in Moorish times, the imposing walls of Silves Castle have looked over the landscape for almost 1,000 years, although the town itself is much older. A trip to the castle is ideal to get a break from the beach and taste the area’s fascinating history.More

Trip ideas

Top Beaches on the Algarve

Top Beaches on the Algarve

How to Spend 3 Days in the Algarve

How to Spend 3 Days in the Algarve

How to Spend 1 Day in Albufeira

How to Spend 1 Day in Albufeira

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Recent reviews from experiences in Algarve

A Must See!!!
Abraham_P, Jun 2022
Boat tour Benagil Caves
Amazing ride and a must if you want to see the coastline of The Algarve.
Fabulous way to end the day!
Lisa_C, Jun 2022
Sagres Sunset Small Group Tour from Lagos
Fabulous way to see a bit more of the Algarve with a friendly and knowledgeable guide.
Great tour!!!
Shana_H, May 2022
Benagil Cave tour from Faro
If you don't have a car this is a great way to see some different parts of the Algarve with a knowledgeable guide.
BJ_C, May 2022
Half-Day Algarve Countryside and Villages Jeep Safari
Worth doing to see different parts of the Algarve.
Jeep adventure trip in Algarve!
Silvia_P, May 2022
Half Day Tour with Jeep Safari in the Algarve Mountains
We got to see a lot of the Algarve mountains and vegetation.
Great tour of the Algarve
Antonio_P, Apr 2022
Albufeira Dreamer Boat Trip
It was great to see all the fantastic caves and landscapes of the coast of the Algarve, but our one bug bear was that we didn't see any dolphins.
Beautiful and fun tour!
Lora_L, Mar 2022
Benagil Caves Tour from Portimao
It was a beautiful way to see the Algarve coast!
Authentic tour of the Algarve
Lamont_D, Mar 2022
Small-Group Day Tour of Silves and Monchique with Wine Tasting
The highlights were the natural spring and wine tasting.
Great way to see the...
Andy_M, Mar 2022
Half Day Tour with Jeep Safari in the Algarve Mountains
Great way to see the rural interior of the Algarve and learn about the region from a knowledgeable guide.
adrianpcorr, Dec 2021
Half-Day Algarve Countryside and Villages Jeep Safari
Was good to see how life is away from the tourist areas of the Algarve
An insight into the local Albufeira/Algarve life!
Arna, Jun 2022
Full Day Jeep Safari in Algarve
We stopped at local attractions to see and take pictures, and Hugo picked out local flowers and spices for us to see and smell.
A highlight of our trip to Portugal!
Meredith_R, May 2022
Ponta da Piedade Grotto Tour in Lagos, Algarve
This was an amazing value too—much more affordable than other options and 75 minutes was enough time to see it all without feeling rushed.
Amazing time, do not miss this!!
Bret_G, Apr 2022
Algarve Safari - Half Day from Albufeira
We booked this to see more and learne more about the algarve and it did not didsapoint.
The best way to see a gem in the Algarve
Mariana_R, Oct 2021
Benagil Area Kayak and SUP
One of the most beautiful sites to see in the Algarve and a unique way of seeing it.
Great boottrip with a...
Veerle_K, Sep 2021
Catamaran Cruise in Lagos
Perfect to see the typical rock formation of the Algarve.
Great cruise, got to see...
DEBORAH_C, Sep 2021
Albufeira Beach BBQ with Caves and Coastline Cruise
Great cruise, got to see the algarve coastline.
Great experience
Viktoria_K, Jun 2021
Albufeira SUP Tour
Perfect to see the beautiful coast and cliffs of the algarve.
Beautiful tour with lots to discover
Sina_B, Oct 2020
Wild and Wonderful West Coast Full Day Tour
I can only recommend the tour to anyone who would like to see the amazingly diverse places the Algarve has to offer.
The guides delivered!
Angie B, Jul 2019
Dolphin-Watching in Marina de Lagos
As an added bonus, you essentially get to see the entire coastline of the Algarve.
The tour itself is really something...
Harprit_S, Jul 2018
Seville Day Trip from the Algarve
The guide gives you plenty of places of interest to visit and there is sufficient time to do the main attractions and make it back to the Algarve.
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