The algarve: discover the portuguese coastal paradise
Surely you have heard about the incredible beaches found in Portugal, and the deep blue waters of the Atlantic make the Algarve in particular a perfect paradisiacal destination that you should not miss.
Where is the Algarve located?
The Algarve is located in the south of Portugal, from its eastern border with the Spanish border and its western border with the Atlantic Ocean.
It is one of the most touristic areas of Portugal, and no wonder, as it is a perfect destination to go with family, friends or even discover the world by yourself.
The weather allows you to visit it at any time of the year, although if you want to visit its beaches, summer is the best time to do it. Be careful! It is also the most crowded, so prepare your getaway in advance. Even so, Decommunity suggests the best places to visit to get to know the Algarve in depth at any time of the year.
What not to miss in the Algarve?
1/ The secret beach of Benagil
Our first recommendation is to visit the secret cave of Benagil, one of the most beautiful natural jewels of southern Portugal.
Its location was secret, only local fishermen knew about it, but little by little and thanks to word of mouth, it has been placed more and more on the map. Until now it can be included as an important tourist area.
The interesting thing about this place are the exotic rock formations typical of the area. Besides, of course, the incredible beach that hides the cave. Access on foot is impossible, but if you like water sports you can access it swimming, kayaking, paddle surfing … Choose yours and explore!
2/ The city of Faro
Faro, the capital of the Algarvian coast, is one of the areas that will provide you with the most relaxation, due to the low influx of tourists. What is most striking is its old town, because it is one of the most famous medieval cities in Portugal. That is why you should not miss its famous wall, dating back to Roman times and more than 2,000 years old.
Another charming place is the “Arco Da Vida“, a medieval gate that takes you into the city and through which it is essential to walk, especially the most atmospheric area, the “Rúa Do San Antonio“.
As an unspectacular point of this city we find the “Igreja Do Carmo“, a church in the northern part of Faro. The chapel was inaugurated in 1816 and is built from the bones of more than 1000 religious with more than 1200 skulls. A fascinating place depending on how you look at it!
3/ Albufeira by night
This city is the most touristic, so if you want to enjoy the social and nightlife atmosphere in Albufeira… Everything is fun!
But you can not only enjoy it at night; during the day you also have many places and activities to discover. For example The Marina, where the boats are located and which is characterized by the different colorful houses that run throughout the area. Another top place is the “Praia Da Secreta” (secret beach), as its name suggests, is a small cove where you can relax in solitude with a good book.
4/ Portuguese Gastronomy
As in every country, gastronomy is a cultural highlight not to be missed. The influence of the Portuguese sea gives its dishes a unique flavor. We also find the quintessential Portuguese fish: the “bacalao à brás” or golden cod. Also the “francesinha“, the most famous and hearty sandwich in Portugal. Or the famous “Alentejana pork”, very typical in the Algarve.
And for those with a sweet tooth, the “pasteles de Belém” are ideal. A famous cream-filled cake that you will find in all Portuguese pastry shops. And you, are you hungry?
5/ Tavira, the most beautiful village in the Algarve
This coastal town is one of the few places with numerous Muslim influences, which will make the walks through the streets of Tavira one of the most beautiful in the Algarve. You will find hints of ancient mosques, fortresses and the famous “Ponte Da Roman” that make it Roman, but there are several disputes about whether it also has a Muslim essence.
However, in this place you cannot miss the natural pool of “Pego Do Inferno”, a natural treasure of crystalline waters surrounded by a beautiful jungle environment. It is only 7 km away from Tavira, so make it a mandatory stop.
6/ Tavira and its incredible Muslim influence
If we follow the south of Tavira, we will reach a set of amazing islands that make up the Natural Park of the Ria Formosa. An area of international importance composed of a labyrinth of channels, beautiful islands, marshes and sandbanks, which extend along 60 km of coastline.
Its peculiarity is the important wildlife that inhabits it. There are around 200 catalogued species and even some rare ones, such as the purple gallinule or the colorless flamingos (due to the type of food in the area).
But not only the birds are peculiar, the crystalline waters of Formosa are known for being a protected ecosystem where the largest concentration of seahorses is included. You can’t miss it!
7/ The secret of the Algarve, the Carvalho Cove
If you are an Indiana Jones fan and want to feel like an explorer, this beach is for you. Imagine starting your adventure through an infinite tunnel of land bordering the Portuguese cliffs, until at the end you find an incredible paradisiacal beach. Everything is possible!
The only access to this cove is through an artificial tunnel that connects to the beach and skirts the cliffs and is full of marine fossils along the walls of the tunnel. Once there, you will find one of the most beautiful beaches of the Algarve, 100% virgin and not touristy at all. Beautiful, isn’t it?
8/ Esculturas de arena de Armação De Pêra
In every trip there has to be some art, and this is a museum format that is a bit peculiar as well as fun. We are talking about the FIESA(International Festival of Sand Sculptures of the Algarve). Also known as Sand City.
This is the largest sand sculpture theme park in the world. Talented sculptors from all over the world come together to carry out this event. Each year a theme is chosen and the artists recreate their pieces following the theme. A must experience in the Algarve!
So far our recommendations for you to spend a dream vacation in the Algarve. But, if you are still undecided, we suggest you more unique destinations like Capadocia or take a look at our recommendations to learn about América latina. And don’t forget to follow our account @travelingtheworld, where you will find daily inspiration about hotels, resorts, magical places and experiences to live, so pack your bags and fly!