The Algarve Tours, Vacation, Travel Packages & Experiences
The Algarve is an all-year-round destination offering a mild climate and lots of sunshine on a Portugal vacation. Located in the southern part of Portugal on the Mediterranean Sea, it is known for its safe and attractive beaches. It is an extensive region stretching along a beautiful coastline. There are many resorts to choose from, many of which started out as fishing towns. The type of resort required depends on your style and tastes as they vary from very lively to sedate. The coast becomes progressively wilder as you head west with wild beaches ideal for surfing. The eastern coast between Faro and the Spanish border is very different. The resorts here have a stronger Portuguese flavour than those in the central part of the Algarve. Inland Algarve offers pretty castle towns and historic villages and flower-covered hillsides. The Algarve Way hiking trail has footpaths and cycle routes.
Faro is the capital of the Algarve and the site of the only major airport. It is an attractive city with mosaic-paved pedestrianized streets and waterside gardens. There are some excellent local beaches not too far from the centre to be enjoyed on a Portugal tour. The pretty Cidade Velha (Old Town) lies behind a series of defensive walls. Faro is situated on the edge of the Ria Formosa National Park, a series of saltwater lagoons and mudflats that are home to many migratory birds and wildlife. The city has a number of historic monuments and buildings and the shopping area is lined with open-air cafes and shops.
Albufeira is probably the most lively and touristy of all the Algarve resorts. Once a scenic fishing village, it is now totally devoted to tourism. The tourist areas are divided into two main areas, Areias de Sao Joao, which is full of bars, restaurants and open-air discos and the Old Town, which is situated on the seafront, again with a large choice of restaurants and bars.
The centre of Lagos is surrounded by 16th Century walls within which are pretty cobblestone lanes and picturesque squares and churches. The town has everything from nearby beaches to nightlife. Close to Lagos, there are water parks and zoos and challenging hiking trails. East of Lagos is the 4 kilometre/2.5 mile long Meia Praia Beach, the longest sandy beach on the western side of the Algarve. Surrounding Lagos are many interesting towns which can be visited for the day on a Portugal vacation.
Sagres, overlooking some of the Algarve’s most dramatic scenery on a Portugal tour, is a small, quiet village with sea-carved cliffs dropping down to the sea. It has a laid-back atmosphere with some pleasant cafes and bars. The port is a centre for boat building and lobster fishing. It is still relatively untouristy and is an attractive town of mainly low-rise houses lining the quiet streets. It has beautiful beaches and a picturesque harbour.
Portimao is the second-most-populated city in the Algarve. The centre is small with a pleasant and attractive waterfront featuring outdoor cafes and fish restaurants. In the centre are pleasant pedestrian shopping streets, historic buildings and a selection of cafes, bars, and restaurants. Portimao has a relaxed atmosphere, far removed from some of the more lively resorts on Portugal trips.
Silves is an attractive inland town, typically traditionally Portuguese located on the banks of the River Arade. It was the capital of the region between 700 and 1200 AD during the rule of the Moors. Remnants from this era can be found including one of the best-preserved castles in the Algarve with its dramatic ring of red walls. There is history everywhere you look in Silves. It has a very pretty central square with palm trees and flowers, beautiful gardens and a paved river front. There are numerous cafés offering lovely river views. Within the town, there are cobbled streets, cafés and shops to be enjoyed on Portugal vacations.
Praia da Rocha
The lively Praia da Rocha has one of the Algarve's best beaches with a backdrop of red cliffs. It was once an elegant town and this can be seen from the 19th Century mansions, most of which are now atmospheric guest houses. There is a casino which is perched on a cliff top and an old sea fort, the 17th Century Fortaleza da Santa Catarina, the terrace of which offers splendid views of the ocean in one direction and over a modern marina the other way.
Armacao de Pera
On trips to Portugal, Armacao de Pera has one of the largest beaches in the Algarve. The remains of the town’s fortified walls are at the eastern end of the resort. The cobblestone street opposite the fort leads down into a network of little streets with a selection of shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. There are a number of restaurants and cafes along the pretty seafront, some offering very fresh fish caught by local fishermen.
Vilamoura is one of the Algarve’s nicest resort towns offering more than just beaches. It is a stylish and exclusive beach resort and golfing centre. There is a trendy marina with fine restaurants, stylish cocktail bars and chic nightlife. From here, it is only a short stroll to the excellent pristine beaches. Vilamoura attracts the super-rich who moor their expensive yachts in the marina. There are world-class hotels to choose from. The beaches are beautiful, with soft golden sands and crystal clear sea waters, safe for families. Although Vilamoura has a reputation for exclusivity, it is only marginally more expensive than many of the other resorts in the Algarve on a Portugal vacation.
With an ideal climate for Portugal vacations that lets you play throughout the year and a wide variety of almost 50 courses to choose from, the Algarve is a golfers’ paradise. Most courses have stunning views. They are internationally recognized for the quality of their facilities and have been designed by prestigious players such as Sir Henry Cotton and Arnold Palmer. Between Lagos and Sagres, there are courses with varying degrees of difficulty. The Penina Hotel & Golf Resort has earned rewards on several occasions for being one of the best courses in Europe.
Extend your Stay
Consider an additional stopover to your Portugal vacation at one of Goway's other European destinations. You can choose from a Paris vacation, a London vacation or an Amsterdam vacation. This can be done stopping over en route to or from Portugal.
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