Top 10 reasons to visit the Algarve
Praia Senhora da Rocha. Photo credit Por do Sol Apartment, Porches
The Algarve is the southern most region of Mainland Portugal and basks in a Mediterranean climate.
A popular holiday destination for many Europeans, visitors from further afield and for the Portuguese from other areas of Portugal.
You may wonder why this area is so popular and the reasons are varied and plentiful, from the relative inexpensiveness compared to other leading holiday destinations, the great food, the climate, the beauty, the activities available and the friendliness of the locals (many of whom speak English, making the language barrier less of a problem than other areas).
And with faro being an international airport, travelling to the Algarve, Portugal has never been easier
The Algarve is so beautiful we could continue speaking for ever about it, but you may not have that much time to read, so we will break down the reasons in to our top 10 list
Coastline and Beaches
The coast line on the Algarve is one of the most stunning in Europe, from dramatic rugged cliffs through to long sandy beaches.
Maybe, you are looking for something that is natural and quiet, the Ria Formosa was recently elected as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal. Here you can watch the wildlife and birds and enjoy nature at its best.
If you are looking for a beach with lots of life and activities (for both adults and children) then Albufeira is ideal.
The beach at Lagos is stunning and not as busy as others
You can choose your holiday location depending on what you are looking for, if you want lots of water activities, a small sandy cove or that big beach with all the amenities the choice is there at a range of resorts that stretch the entire length of the Algarve
The dramatic Algarve Coastline. Photo credit: Mountain Views Apartment Alvor
If you like to have activities on your holiday, then there is so much to choose from on the Algarve.
Take a boat trip to the Benagil caves, dolphin watching or deep sea fishing and the immense array of fun water sports such as kayaking, SUP, jet skis, flyboarding, surfing, snorkelling, water skiing, scuba diving and parasailing.
SUP at Benagil Cave. Photo credit: Seabookings
The list is really as long as you can imagine and there are many companies that will arrange these activities for you.
There is also zip wire that can take you from Spain to Portugal at Alcoutim. A small ferry crosses the river and you can come back to Portugal on a zip wire reaching speeds of up to 80 kms an hour! Click here for details of Limite Zero
If you are looking for more cultural activities, there is an abundance of castle to visit in the Algarve, why not take a trip to Silves castle or drive to some of the stunning white washed traditional villages
Accommodation is one of the most important factors of a holiday and on the Algarve the choice is immense, once again this is down to personal preference.
There are large complexes that provide everything for you.
Or maybe you would prefer a luxury villa with a private pool?
There is even the option to have a private apartment in a complex so that you can choose to use the facilities without booking via a large complex.
Which ever accommodation you choose, ensure that it is fully licensed, using a platform such as Portugalholidays4u.com will give you a great choice, safe in the knowledge that all properties are fully registered.
Just imagine relaxing by your own private pool in Praia da Luz. Photo credit Casa Verão, Praia da Luz
The Algarve is the perfect location for a family holiday. Children are welcomed in (almost) every establishment, restaurants are child friendly and will often have child meals with food they are used to.
But most importantly you will not have to worry about keeping them occupied with water parks such as Slide and Splash or Zoo marine.
Look for beaches that are more geared to paddling and swimming rather than water sports.
And if you choose an accommodation with a pool and entertainment, the children are likely to be kept occupied for hours leaving you with the luxury of relaxing and enjoying your holiday.
The Algarve is perfect for any type of adult holiday, if you are looking for a lively night life, then Albufeira with the famous ‘strip’ is perfect, plenty of bars and numerous restaurants and popular for group holidays.
But if you are looking for something more relaxing then places such as Alvor, Lagos, Carvoeiro and Porches are ideal.
With a great selection of bars and restaurants to watch the world go bay, sit back enjoy the sun setting with a glass of local wine.
Just imagine watching the sunset at Alvor. Photo credit: Mountain View Apartment, Alvor
Safety is always a major concern for a holiday, but Portugal has just been registered as the 3rd safest country in the world to live in and visit.
The Global Peace Index is a ranking of the safest countries in the world
The choice of food in the Algarve is fantastic and fresh seafood is always available.
There will be tourist restaurants, so it is always advisable to see where the locals are eating to find a great restaurant.
The choice of food may be different to what you are used to, but be adventurous.
Have a look for the Prato do Dia or Prato do Menu, these are the specials of the day, the menu often comes with starter, main and drinks included in the price.
When you sit at as restaurant you will often be presented with bread and olives, these are not usually included in the price, so check before eating, it is not offensive to say no.
Many restaurants will also have the menus in different languages, but beware the translations can be literal.
This post may help you when it comes to food in Portugal The essential food guide for your first holiday to Portugal
Crowds versus no crowds
The Algarve is a very popular holiday destination and as such some areas can be very busy during the peak holiday season.
The larger the resort the more busy it will be.
If you are looking for a busy activity packed holiday, this will be great, but if you want to enjoy the more peaceful side of the Algarve, take a look a little further inland, did you know there was a beautiful mountain range? Or head towards the border with Spain (you will also have the best of both worlds by being able to visit another country) and there are many stunning places to visit such as Tavira or Castro Marim.
Another tip for visiting the Algarve, is to go out of the main summer season, the weather is good from April though to October, it may not be a hot, but the sun will still be shining and the sky often blue, the sea will also be slightly warmer in September and October, but remember it is the Atlantic, so it will be cold at any time of the year!
The Algarve is famous for its golf courses and has been voted the best golf destination in Europe and in the world for several years in a row at the World Golf Awards. This vote is completed by professionals in the golf industry. Whist most of the top courses are located around Vilamoura there are courses throughout the Algarve.
The courses suit everybody from beginners to the most experienced and professionals and can have a backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean or the mountain range.
Algarve Golf will give you a list of courses and fees.
Last but not least the weather is a big factor for enjoying a holiday on the Algarve.
With over 300 days of sunshine, the Algarve really is a year round holiday destination.
The day time average temperature in winter is 16 degrees Celsius (but remember this is an average so there will be days that are cooler).
There is also the chance of rain.
During the summer temperatures can reach over 30 degrees Celsius, but if you are by the coast you will usually enjoy the cooling breeze from the Atlantic.
Before leaving for your trip, it is a good idea to check on a weather channel for the forecast of your duration. Whilst not 100 per cent accurate it will give you an idea.
Algarve weather guide from weather guide.com
If you enjoyed this, then the following articles may also be of interest to you:
4 things you need to know about the Benagil Cave
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Jenny Lovett moved to Portugal in 2018 and together with her husband John bought a derelict Manor House in a small rural village, (which they are are still renovating).
Loving life in Portugal and everything about the country, she set up the Portugalholidays4u.com website.
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