Top Resorts Of The Algarve

The Algarve is the most southernly region in Portugal – in fact it might be bordered by the Atlantic but it posesses all the ingredients of a classic Mediterranean vacation – clean and golden beaches, plenty of sun and warm waters! The Algarve has something for everyone – whether you are going for a golfing break, taking a family holiday (with many water parks to choose from), or simply to laze by the pool and party the night away! The Algarve remains a popular destination due to its friendly people; relatively low costs, good weather throughout the year, and the wonderful scenery and history of the region. Add in the fact that there are over 30 excellent golf courses along the Algarve.

We have put together a guide to the most popular resorts in the region, so read on for more…

The Centre of the Algarve
The following are some of the resorts located in the centre of the Algarve:

This is the most popular and biggest resort along the Algarve – and it has grown from humble beginnings as a fishing village, to destruction during the Portuguese Civil War, to the tourism haven that it is today! The town itself is made up of two parts – the old centre where the streets are cobbled and bordered by houses that are whitewashed and have blue tiles. The architecture here is fantastic and well worth checking out. Fishing has had an inherent part in the history of Albufeira – the local beach is the long Fisherman’s Beach, which is backed up by cliffs and impressive rock facades.

One of the biggest draws to this resort is the great nightlife: the clubbing area is Rua Candid dos Reis and you are guaranteed a great night!

Comprised of a finely yacht populated marina alongside the aesthetic beach, Vilamoura has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the top golfing locations in Portugal. For a luxury holiday, this is probably the place to go – there are hotels of three to five star standard, penthouse apartments and large villas available.

The region is known for its fabulous Golf Resorts (Laguna, The Old Course and Pinhal to name but three) and its wonderful beach, lapped by the clear blue waters and its sea caves and enchanting grottoes.

Alvor is a lovely and quiet coastal village, and one of its many gems is its wonderful fish market where you can buy plenty of fresh fish. Restaurants offering grilled sardines, shellfish and the wonderful Cataplana (a stew made from fish). Indeed, the coastline is dotted with fishing boats, highlighting the importance of the fish industry to the area. If you are looking for peace and quiet, then Alvor is the place for you. To walk around the old town, with its whitewashed properties, cobbled streets is a pleasure in itself. The beach is large, with cliffs and dunes and those mysterious grottoes. For a night out head down Rua Dr Frederico Ramon Mendes or the outdoor café bars of Praça de República.

Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo
These two resorts could not be any different – Vale do Lobo is more appropriate for families – and the beach, which is located beneath orange rocked cliffs, is wonderful and perfect for families.

Quina do Lago is composed of golf courses and hotels offering luxury breaks, and an impressive beach.

Located in a wonderfully calm bay, Carvoeiro has much to tempt the visitor. The rock sculptures along the beach will astound you as you pass them by, these creations made from the sea and the wind are magnificent. The clear blue welcoming waters and a wonderful beach will keep you entertained throughout your stay in Carvoeiro.

Praia da Rocha
Located just one hour’s drive from Faro Airport, this resort offers a fabulous beach with great local accommodation. The golden beach again is surrounded by strange and beautiful rock formations. One of the biggest draws to Praia is the nightlife: the promenade behind the beach offers lively disco music bars and a great night out.

Western Algarve
Check out these resorts in the west of the Algarve:

One of the major draws here is obviously the beach – Meia Beach is five miles long. The pleasant beaches, ancient and historic buildings, winding cobbled streets and the amazing shopping opportunities make Lagos a really popular place for tourists. There are many cultural events taking place in the town centre, where the municipal council is located. If you wish to take a boat trip you have the opportunity from the Marina where tours are available along with sea fishing. The old town is plenty of wonderful restaurants, and there is great nightlife to be found along Rua 25 de Abril.

There is a fine bay and beach at Sagres, which at the western end by a whitewashed fort that was constructed by Henry the Navigator in the 15th century. No visit to Sagres is complete without a visit to Cabo de São Vicente (Cape St Vincent), which is most south-westerly point in mainland Europe, which was considered to be the world’s end before the New World was discovered. The famous lighthouse at the Cape was constructed over the remains of a Franciscan Monastery. The lighthouse is the second most powerful in Europe, and the lights can be seen over 50km away at sea. The beach here is very appealing, with red cliffs and large rolling waves which attracts plenty of surfers.

Luz & Burgau
The long golden sandy beach is perfect for families at Luz; there has not been the large-scale development here as in other places around Portugal. Burgau has retained some of the charms of the fishing village that it was once. The cove has a frame of dark yellow cliffs. The rolling waves attract surfers and if things get too crowded here, take a short drive to the west.

Eastern Algarve
The following are the resorts in Eastern Algarve:

Tavira is widely regarded as being the most appealing town in the whole of the Algarve. It is one of the most historic cities in Portugal, just 25km from Faro, with a Phoenician, Roman and Moorish history. The town has the remains of a castle, over 30 churches and Roman relics such as the fantastic seven arch bridge and a Roman amphitheatre. The town itself is divided by the River Gilão and in total there are three bridges that link the two parts of the city. Tavira is a good location for shopping.

Faro is home to the main airport that services the entire Algarve Region (Faro International Airport). Many visitors check out Faro for the shopping: One of the best areas is along Santo António. Check out the old part of the city and explore the cobbled streets. The whitewashed cathedral is also opular with tourists.  Faro has a wonderful boat lined harbour that is well worth checking out.

Silves is located inland and is well known for its Moorish fortress, with the red sandstone walls not losing their strength over the past millenium. The town will be popular with people who are interested in arts, culture and history, and it is great for a day trip. The Archaelogical Museum is well worth checking out here, as it houses relics dating from the Stone Age. The Gothic Architecture is very impressive, with some modern buildings offering a fine combination of both styles.

Hope you enjoyed our travel guide to the Algarve. Are you heading to Portugal and the Algarve in 2010? The very best way to explore the region is to avail of a top quality car rental. For the very best deals in vehicle hire, visit our Car Hire Faro Airport page.

Have you been on holiday in the Algarve and what did you think of your holiday resort(s)? If you have any Algarve Tourist information please let us know – your fellow readers will welcome your comments!