The Algarve is the southernmost region of Portugal and is known for its stunning beaches, perfect waves, and dramatic cliffs along the Atlantic Ocean.
This region of Portugal has been transformed over the years and it’s now a popular tourist destination.
Most visitors fly into Faro Airport before renting a car to explore popular towns like Lagos, Albufeira, Portimao, and Sagres.
Whether you want to explore one of the many picturesque seaside villages or sunbathe on a beautiful, sandy beach, here are the best things to do in Algarve, Portugal.
Top Things to do in the Algarve, Portugal
1. Let’s go to the beach-each
From hidden beaches that can only be accessed by caves to long, white-sand beaches, the Algarve has it all. Some of the beaches in the Algarve even rank as the most beautiful beaches in the entire world! Whether you want to lay on the beach with a book, swim in the ocean, or catch a wave, the perfect beach awaits you. Visit Praia da Marinha for stunning scenery, Praia da Arrifana for surfing, or Praia de Dona Ana when you need a chilled one after a night out.
2. Let’s go get a wave
Surfing is one of the best things to do in the Algarve. The entire coastline is covered with incredible beaches with waves that are perfect for every surf level. One of my favorite places to surf in Portugal is at Praia do Tonel in Sagres, it’s a good place to go for beginners like me. There are plenty of surf lodges in the Algarve that offer lessons for beginners and more experienced surfers! Use magicseaweed.com to check local surf conditions.
3. Charming villages
From cobblestone streets and white-washed buildings to historic ruins, the Algarve is lined with charming towns and villages. Monchique is the gateway to the Algarve’s mountainous region. Burgau is a small fishing village that can be hiked to from Praia da Luz or Lagos. Bordeira, Silves, Salema, and Estoi are other towns in the Algarve that you may want to visit.
4. Ponta da Piedade
Ponta da Piedade is one of the best things to do in Lagos. This area along the coastline is full of rock formations that have been carved by the wind and the sea. Ponta da Piedade is a photographer’s dream with picturesque limestone cliffs and arches surrounded by hidden coves and beaches. I highly recommend walking the cliffs along the wooden boardwalks to really take in the scenery!
5. Benagil Cave
Benagil Cave is a large sea cave in the Algarve that you can actually walk inside. The sea cave is a natural formation and has a hole towards the sea and another in its ceiling. In order to access the cave, you have to take a boat, kayak, or SUP. Keep in mind, this is the most popular tourist attraction in the area, so it will be busy.
PRO TIP: If you want to walk inside of the cave, don’t take a boat tour to Benagil Cave. You won’t be able to get off the boat.
6. Algar Seco
Algar Seco is a section of limestone cliffs near Carvoeiro that have been carved by the wind and the sea. Over time, erosion has created natural windows in the cliffside that gaze out towards the Atlantic Ocean. “A Boneca,” or The Doll, is a set of two natural windows that make this spot easily recognizable. As you explore the caves through passageways, you’ll stumble upon many rock formations, including blowholes and natural pools. You can reach Algar Seco by walking along the Carvoeiro boardwalk from Carvoeiro Beach.
7. Coastal hike
The Algarve has some incredible coastal hikes between its towns and villages like Praia da Luz to Porto de Mos. There are two long-distance trails in the Algarve. Rota Vicentina follows the Alentejo coastline and Via Algarviana is a route heading east. Seven Hanging Valleys Trail is one of the most popular hikes in the Algarve. I definitely recommend walking on a coastal trail if you want to discover the Algarve’s hidden gems.
8. Cabo de São Vicente
Cabo de São Vicente is the southwesternmost point of the Algarve and most people refer to it as the “End of the World.” Walk to the south side of the Cabo de Sao Vicente lighthouse to snap a Portugal postcard-worthy photograph (like the one below). Take a moment to enjoy the dramatic views atop the 250-foot cliffs and listen to the waves crashing into the cliffside below.
9. Take a sip
From craft microbreweries like Dos Santos to wine estates like Quinta dos Vales, there is no shortage of tasty beverages to sip on in the Algarve. If you want to enjoy the Algarve nightlife, head to towns like Lagos or Albufeira. If you want more of a chilled one, pick up a few bottles of Sagres from the local Intermarché supermarket.
10. Fish of the day
Okay, the food in Portugal is amazing. Since the Algarve is located near the sea, there are plenty of delicious seafood options to try the local fish of the day, which is usually a sea bream, sea bass, or sardines. Every restaurant in the Algarve offers something different, but if you want some recommendations then check out the best places to eat in Lagos.
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Do you have any questions on things to do in Algarve Portugal? Let me know in the comments.