Discover The Wonderful Algarve
Watching the Atlantic ocean sparkle in the light from a sun-drenched sapphire sky may be the most strenuous thing you do while on your break in the Algarve. Wander the beach and let the world go by, or simply snooze on the golden sand – it’s easy to perfect the art of idling in the beach haven of the Algarve. If all that relaxation proves exhausting, you can always use your rental car to explore the other delights of this region of Portugal. From golf to historic attractions, the Algarve has something for every kind of holiday.
6 Places to See around the Algarve
Enjoy the authentic Portuguese experience with a visit to Faro. Algarve’s capital has a lovely marina, picturesque parks and plazas, and an old town packed with atmospheric outdoor cafés and pedestrian lanes. In the remarkably preserved medieval sections, you’ll find quirky museums and churches, a bone chapel (yes, really!), and a buzzing local nightlife.
Just 34 miles north-west of Faro with car hire is the idyllic village of Alte. An enchanting retreat from the bustle of Portugal’s coastal resorts, Alte is one of the Algarve’s most pristine and picturesque villages. The streets are lined with cobblestone alleyways and whitewashed houses that reveal their Arab history in exquisitely detailed chimneys. The village centres on two springs, Fonte Grande and Fonte Pequena, which make a tranquil setting for family picnics.
Set on the bank of the Rio Bensafrim, the 14th-century walled town of Lagos is an attractive jumble of pretty cobbled streets, charming churches, and tiny plazas. Its varied mix of bars, lounges, and restaurants cater for every taste when it comes to nightlife, and the beaches outside the ancient walls range from endless sandy stretches to hidden coastal coves. Lagos also enjoys a place in history as the launch site of many of Portugal’s legendary naval expeditions.
Milder than many other parts of Portugal, the laid-back village of Sagres is surrounded by dazzling beaches, making it a logical destination for any sun-seeking car-hire customer. It also offers some of the Algarve’s most dramatic scenery, with the ocean-blasted cliffs of Cabo de São Vicente nearby, as well as a windswept fortress towering above the Atlantic. Join the surfing crowd at the cheery cafés and bars.
Towering above the coast, the delightful village of Monchique is the ideal base for exploring the forested Serra de Monchique, the Algarve’s mountain range. Just 24km north of Portimão with car hire, Monchique is perfectly located for hiking, biking or canoeing, and it’s within easy reach of the superb Omega Parque zoo.
If you’re seeking a tranquil retreat from the bustling coastal resorts of the Algarve, Silves is for you. This pretty hamlet, about 15km northeast of Portimão with car hire, is home to one of the Algarve’s best-preserved castles and a place that takes its history seriously. A delightful jumble of red-stone walls and an imposing fortress, it hosts a remarkably authentic annual medieval festival.