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Things to do in The Algarve

Things to do in  The Algarve

Welcome to The 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 The Algarve

#1
Barreta Island (Ilha Deserta)

Barreta Island (Ilha Deserta)

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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
#2
Lagos Zoo (Parque Zoologico de Lagos)

Lagos Zoo (Parque Zoologico de Lagos)

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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
#3
Praia Gale

Praia Gale

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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
#4
Praia dos Salgados

Praia dos Salgados

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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
#5
Armacao de Pera Beach (Praia Armacao de Pera)

Armacao de Pera Beach (Praia Armacao de Pera)

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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
#6
Ria Formosa Natural Park

Ria Formosa Natural Park

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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
#7
Sagres

Sagres

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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
#8
Ferragudo

Ferragudo

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Sitting pretty on the far side of the Arade River to Portimão, this former fishing village is a slice of old Algarve. Winding cobbled streets snake uphill from the palm-lined waterfront to the town’s church, whose elevated position affords views over Praia da Angrinha and the 16th-century Castle of Arade (Castelo de São João do Arade.More
#9
Vilamoura

Vilamoura

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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
#10
Silves Castle (Castelo de Silves)

Silves Castle (Castelo de Silves)

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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

Top activities in The Algarve

Caves and Coastline Cruise from Albufeira to Benagil
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Kayaking in Secret Algarve Benagil Caves
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Benagil Area Kayak and SUP
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Benagil Area Kayak and SUP

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Small group Wine Tasting Tour from Albufeira
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Catamaran Cruise in Lagos

Catamaran Cruise in Lagos

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Albufeira Dreamer Boat Trip

Albufeira Dreamer Boat Trip

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Boat tour Benagil Caves
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Boat tour Benagil Caves

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Kayak Trip in Lagos

Kayak Trip in Lagos

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Recent reviews from experiences in The Algarve

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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.
star-4
Fantastic
BJ_C, May 2022
Half-Day Algarve Countryside and Villages Jeep Safari
Worth doing to see different parts of the Algarve.
star-5
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.
star-4
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.
star-5
Beautiful and fun tour!
Lora_L, Mar 2022
Benagil Caves Tour from Portimao
It was a beautiful way to see the Algarve coast!
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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.
star-5
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.
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Interesting
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
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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.
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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.
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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.
star-4
Great boottrip with a...
Veerle_K, Sep 2021
Catamaran Cruise in Lagos
Perfect to see the typical rock formation of the Algarve.
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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.
star-5
Great experience
Viktoria_K, Jun 2021
Albufeira SUP Tour
Perfect to see the beautiful coast and cliffs of the algarve.
star-5
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.
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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.
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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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Great way to see a different side of...
Tracy_T, Sep 2017
Full Day Jeep Safari in Algarve
Great way to see a different side of the algarve.
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Wonderful guide
Saradha_P, Oct 2021
Lagos and Sagres Premium - Shared small group > VTours Algarve
We selected a private tour to visit Sagres, Lagos, the Ponte da Piedade and the Cap St Vincent.
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Awesome experience in the Algarve
Antonio_R, Aug 2021
Lagos and Sagres - Shared small group from Albufeira
We got to see things we would of never thought to travel to!
Frequently Asked Questions
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