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Algarve Portugal Travel Guide

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

I first visited Portugal in 2001 when my parents took my sisters and me on our first-ever plane ride and showed us where they spent their honeymoon in the 80s.

As a seven-year-old, I already fell in love with the country, the color of the ocean, the honey-colored cliffs, and the pink bougainvilleas. Now, 20 years and eight trips later, this little piece of paradise is one of our favorite places on Earth. In this travel guide, I'll share my top tips for visiting Algarve, including how to get there, where to stay, and what to do during your stay.

How to get there

The best way to reach Algarve is by flying to either Faro or Lisbon and renting a car. Public transport is not the most convenient option since many coves and little towns are only accessible by car. If you have a couple of weeks to spare, consider taking a road trip through Europe. In 2019, we drove from Germany to Portugal, enjoying Switzerland, France, and Spain along the way.

Where to stay

There are many different options for any budget if you visit the Algarve. There are many hostels in most of the towns, rental apartments through Airbnb, and beautiful villas all over. The latter is an amazing option if you come with a big group of people and can split the cost. They are on the pricier side but usually have a couple of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as a big patio and a pool. We booked our rental through Carvoeiro Villas and dream about it still.

What to do

There are plenty of exciting activities to do, here are some of our top recommendations:

  • rent an SAP or kayak at Benagil beach and paddle to the famous cove (tip: do it early in the morning to avoid the crowds)

  • go cliff jumping at Praia do Carvalho (let's pretend I was brave enough to do that)

  • dance on the town square of Carvoeiro when there's live music (& don't forget to drink lots of Sangria)

  • eat at Trattoria Oliveira

  • visit Lagos at nighttime

  • roam through the street markets to find the perfect piece of hand-painted ceramics

  • eat Pastel de Nata

  • visit Cabo de São Vicente, the southwestern-most point of mainland of Europe

Do yourself a favor and visit the beautiful Algarve. It does not disappoint and between its nature, food, and lovely locals, your vacation is sure to be one for the books.

Safe travels!

Love, Lena

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