With so many things to do and such an immense variety too, the Algarve coastline is well worth a visit.
This southernmost region of Portugal is an amazing variety of fishing villages, golf resorts, sandy coves, villas, hotels, restaurants, bars, spectacular cliffs, and much more.
Since the Algarve is known for its beaches, it will be best to travel to the Algarve during summertime. The summers are usually dry and hot.
I suppose you can cram everything into 3 days, but my recommendation is nothing short of a week. At least then you’ve had time to settle in properly, enjoy all the places to see and excursions, and relax on the beach. A must-do is a sunset guided tour and the exquisitely beautiful Benagil caves. Oh, and don’t miss out on the Hop on Hop Off City Tour by Tourist Train – it’s great fun! And then there are also parasailing, dolphin watching, and bird watching. To conclude, 7 days will be a good length of stay in the Algarve.
Faro is the provincial capital and here you’ll have a greater concentration of historic monuments.
Faro’s top attractions:
Old Town Faro | Palácio de Estoi | Carmo Church | Faro Cathedral | Forum Algarve (shopping and movies)
Lagoa fishing village is about 15 minutes away from the famous Benagil cave.
Lagoa is the home to SandCity, a Sand Sculpture Park that is usually open from March to December. As of 2021, it is the biggest sand sculpture park in the world, spanning an area of six hectares. Get more information and your tickets here.
Lagoa’s top attractions:
Praia de Benagil | Slide & Splash – Parque Aquatico (Water Slide Park) | Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos | Sand City | Algar de Benagil
Lagos is a pleasant beach town, and about 40 minutes away from Benagil beach and the sea cave.
Lagos’ top attractions:
Known as the jewel of the Algarve, Tavira is a popular tourist attraction. You’re about to be enchanted by Tavira’s long, sandy beaches, salt pans with plenty of flamingos, spoonbills, and other wading birds.
Pre-book a private transfer from/to Faro Airport (or Faro city center) to Tavira for a hassle-free arrival.
Tavira’s top attractions:
Hop-On Hop-Off Tourist Train (discover the city and its varied sights, history, and scenic landmarks) | Half-day boat tour from Cabanas de Tavira
Do you love sardines? We know where you’re going…
Portimão is a great choice for shopping and eating sardines.
Portimão’s top attractions:
Museu de Portimao | Alvor Boardwalk | Praia dos Três Irmãos | Autodromo Internacional do Algarve | Praia Do Vau | Praia Da Rocha | Vau Beach | Marina de Portimão
Situated in Downtown Loulé only 400 m from the market, the Downtown Loulé Boutique Hotel is well placed for the keen explorer.
Above: The colorful José Fernandes Guerreiro Street near the famous market.
Above: If you’re looking for seafood, hop in at Restaurant O Pescador.
This gorgeous fishing village is only 2 km from Portimão.
By foot, it’s 3.5 km which will take you about 45 minutes, and worth every step. You can always catch a bus (9 minutes ride) or a taxi (5 minutes’ drive) back!
Sagres is one of the hidden gems with a working harbor and a fabulous coastline that is ideal for beach adventures.
Top attractions in Sagres include:
If you plan to stay on the beachfront and spend your days in and around your hotel and relax on the beach, then you don’t need a car.
Faro airport. The best way to get to your hotel is to book a transfer ahead of time.
Lisbon is about a 2h30m drive from the Algarve region.