With its year-round sunshine, sandy beaches, and delicious Mediterranean cuisine, the southern region of Portugal has become one of the most popular vacation destinations in Europe. Here are 20 reasons to consider the Algarve for your next holiday getaway.
1. The Seaside resorts
The luxury resorts of the Algarve are perfectly geared for giving you the relaxing vacation of your life. Many resorts exist along the seaside, and allow for gorgeous views and comfortable accommodation along with great food and service.
2. The Famous Piri Piri Chicken
Made from chilies, onions, garlic, and citrus, the delicious Piri Piri sauce has its origins in the Algarve, and the best Piri Piri and Piri Piri chicken can still be found in the region today. It's a must-try food experience when you're in the Algarve.
3. The Sunny Weather and Warm Climate
Nothing beats the climate of the Algarve, and the region experiences a warm and temperate weather year-round. This broadens the appeal of the endless beaches and coastline even more, and makes water activities great for any time of year in the Algarve.
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4. Surfing in Praia de Odeceixe
With a huge amount of coastline, south Portugal is a great place for all types of water activities, including surfing. One of the best areas for surfing is the Praia de Odeceixe, so grab a board and catch some of those waves.
5. The Exquisite Wine
The Algarve region of Portugal is one of the best spots in the country for wine production. Red wines, in particular, are produced in the area. Some of the best wine in Europe comes from Algarve towns such as Lagoa, Tavira, Lagos, and Portimão.
6. Charming Coastal Towns
The Algarve is rich with amazing coastal villages that are great for days at the beach, excellent dining, and beautiful sights. The marina town of Vilamoura is excellent for both dining and nightlife, while the small fishing village of Carvoeira is great for snorkeling.
7. The Amazing Wildlife
For discovering wildlife, the Algarve has plenty of possibilities. You can try dolphin watching in Lagos, view the underwater marine life in Carvoira, or even go further inland to take a 4x4 quad biking tour across the varied terrain of the Algarve region.
Bacalhau is salted cod fish that is preserved in the traditional way, with salt, and the Portuguese eat it to their heart's desire. Although it may be an acquired taste, Bacalhau is the food to eat if you're looking for a taste of authentic Algarvian cuisine.
9. The Endless Stretch of Beaches
The Algarve features an amazing coastline filled with plenty of sandy, comfortable beaches. Beaches such as the beautiful Praia de Odeceixe are great for surfing, swimming, and sunbathing.
10. Plenty of Golfing
For those looking to practice their golf swing on holiday, the Algarve has no shortage of amazing golf resorts. Included among these are the award-winning Monte Rei Golf Resort and the Pinhal Golf Resort. Over 42 golf courses populate the Algarve region and offer varied and sunny landscapes that will keep any golfer satisfied.
11. The Cliffs of Cape St. Vincent
Few things compare to the breathtaking sites of Cape St. Vincent, the south westernmost point of Portugal. These windy cliffs make for an amazing spot to look out over the Atlantic Ocean. The point has a rich history that is linked to not only numerous naval battles but also the ancient Greeks and Romans, who believed it to be a magical spot at the edge of the world.
12. The Quiet and Quaint Villages
In addition to the active and bustling resort spots along the Algarve coast, there are plenty of more laid back areas for those who prefer a little less action. The quiet and peaceful villages of Sagres, Monchique, and Loulé are great for vacationers who are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
The capital city of the Algarve is oozing with Portuguese charm, although the city is often simply a path of transit to the bustling beach resorts further on. Faro seems to have a greater Portuguese authenticity however and is also on the edge of the beautiful Ria Formosa National Park and several sandbar islands.
A thick stew filled with beans and pork, feijoada is an incredibly tasty and filling Portuguese dish. In the Algarve region, you're likely to find great variations such as the Feijoada de Buzinas, which uses whelks or the Feijoada de Choco, which is made with cuttlefish.
15. Tennis Resorts and Lessons
Although the Algarve is well-known for its hold on the golfing community, the area is also more than satisfactory in the sport of tennis as well. World class resorts such as the Quinta do Lago and academies such as the Jim Stewart's Tennis Academy populate the Algarve, making the region a tennis-lovers dream.
One of the most traditional dishes of the Algarve, the Cataplana is a delicious dish that mixes clams with spicy sausage, tomatoes, herbs, garlic, and wine. Although it is made in other areas of Portugal, it is almost a staple of the Algarve and is most appreciated there.
17. The Many Charming Villas
In addition to the many popular resorts along the Algarve coast, accommodation is also available in the form of stunning and luxurious villas. These charming villas are more than adequate for relaxing into a comfortable Portuguese home before setting out for a day's adventure.
18. The Amazing Algarve Restaurants
There is no shortage of delicious Portuguese dining options in the Algarve, serving the very best of traditional Portuguese cuisine, international hybrids, and fresh seafood. Algarve favorites include São Gabriel in Almancil, A Eira do Mel, just north of Sagres, and Le Marquis, just a short car ride from Faro.
19. The Architecture
The Algarve features some amazing architecture and the region has seen many styles come and go throughout the years. Buildings can be found which show influence from the Romans, the Moors, the Manueline style, the Renaissance, and the Baroque. Many historic castles and churches exist in the region and make for a great day of exploration.
20. The Tempting Sweets
Portugal knows how to indulge in delicious sweet treats, and the southern region of the country is no different. The popular Pastel de Nata is a delicious custard-filled pastry that can be found throughout Portugal. The Moors-influenced Doce Fino do Algarve are delicious treats which are made from almond paste and marzipan and are a favourite of the region.