The Algarve Holiday Guide|Things To Do in The Algarve

The Algarve, Portugal

So you are visiting the Algarve soon and are wondering what to do when you get there? Don’t you worry! I have an Algarve travel guide here for you to help you plan your trip and find things to do in the Algarve based on the towns of Albufeira, Lagos, Portimao, Sagres and Monchique.


The Algarve Map

The Algarve Map

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Contents of this Post

  1. Things to do in Monchique
  2. Things to do in Albufeira
  3. Things to do in Portimao
  4. Things to do in Lagos
  5. Things to do in Sagres
  6. Get Planning

1. Things to do in Monchique

Monchique is a mountainous area in the Algarve, which is very different to the popular beach towns in the area. Monchique is approximately 30-35 minutes to Portimao and Lagos and 1 hour 20 minutes from Faro, where the international airport is located.

Check Out the Views at Mount Foia

Whilst I was staying at Monchique Resort and Spa I explored Monchique Town, which does not have much so to do in my opinion. What people really come to see in Monchique is not Monchique Town but Mount Foia, the highest point of the Algarve at 902 metres above sea level.

You can get a car up to the top, it is about 15 minutes away from Monchique Town. Then you can walk up the rocky parts yourself to see the beautiful view. Ideally you want to visit on a clear, non – cloudy day to get a clear view of the Algarve. If you love picturesque scenes this is a must for you. In the area they also have, a parking area, a restaurant with outdoor seating and a souvenir shop.’

I have seen some reviews on Trip Advisor saying they were underwhelmed and really some loved it so it’s your choice!

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Things to Remember

  • If you hiked up or took a taxi up you will need a taxi out. Due to it being so far up Uber/taxi cars will not be so readily available. Make sure to ask your hotel for the number of a taxi company so that you have that if you need to leave.
  • You could also ask the Uber/Taxi driver who is taking you up to the top if you end up driving up, for their number and then call them when you are done.

TIP: Please wear trousers or shorts and trainers to be the most comfortable.

2. Things to do in Albufeira – The Algarve

Albufeira is a town in the Algarve, which has approximatley 40,000 people. There is the old town which is the historic centre of Albufeira and there is the new town which is the new hip area with modern hotels and bars.

Take a Boat Trip to the Benagil Cave

My time in Albufeira was spent in the old town, the port and taking a boat trip to see dolphins and the Benagil Cave and other caves. When you walk around the old town, you will find a lot of restaurants, touristy shops and tour offices to book different trips.

There are many different companies that organise boat tours. You can either buy tickets at the ticket shops in the old town or walk to the harbor which is a 20 minute walk from the old town and buy the tickets directly at the company offices at the port/harbor area.

I booked with the company All Boats No Limit, which used a smaller boat which cost me €35 euros for a 2.5 hour trip. We spent approximately an hour seeing dolphins and then 1.5 going to all the caves, including the Benagil cave.

The boat ride went really fast and it was well worth it, I had so much fun. I would highly recommend having a boat ride as part of your trip. You can check out other companies and choose the best one for you.

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Things To Consider

If you want to see the Benagil Caves, the main thing to consider will be that there are small boats and big boats trips. It generally costs €35 for the smaller boat and €30 for the bigger boat. Price can vary with different companies and may increase yearly.

With the small boats, when you are going dolphin watching you will be much closer to them meaning you will be able to take better pictures. Whereas with the bigger boats you will be a lot higher up so not as close to the dolphins.

When seeing the Benagil caves with the smaller boats, you will be able to go inside the cave properly and will also see other caves in different areas. With the bigger boat you stop outside the Benagil cave to take pictures but won’t go to the other smaller caves, because the boats are too big.

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TIPS

  • If you are taking the All Boats No Limit boat, wear trousers and take a small bag due to how you will be sitting and how fast the boat will initially be moving due to the waves.
  • Try to book your boat early either in Portugal or online. EG. Book in the morning for an afternoon boat ride. The boats have different times they do their trips and so you must make sure you can book onto one.

3. Things to do in Portimao – The Algarve

Portimao is a town in the Algarve which has a population of approximately 55,000 people. It is around 49 minutes to Faro and 30 minutes to Lagos.

Grab Dinner in Portimao

I spent the evening in Portimao after doing my boat trip in Albufeira. We were advised by a local (our cool Uber driver) to have dinner at a restaurant that is highly regarded called Tres Palmeras in Praia da Rocha, Portimao.

Tres Palmeras is a cosy and casual restaurant with a sea view, that mainly serves seafood but also has a range of foods including pizza and meats.

I had the special, which meant I could choose a main and a starter from a specific list on the menu. I chose vegetable soup as a starter and then Sea Bass, potatoes and salad as my main for €12.90. Yes!! €12.90! When they say Portugal is cheap they are not joking. I recommend this restaurant as it was a very good meal.

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Chill and Relax in Portimao

I later chilled at NoSolo Agua Portimao a beach side lounge for then night, which was around a 25 minute walk from the restaurant, Tres Palmeras where we ate.

No Solo Agua Portimao has such a great vibe. They serve food, drinks and desserts. I had planned to see the sunset here since it is a beach side lounge but I missed it because my friends and I were too busy enjoying our dinner.

Grab a drink here or even desert if you are not too full and enjoy the evening. Try to catch the sunset if you can.

Kudos to them: They have comfy seating and good music.

4. Things to do in Lagos – The Algarve

Lagos is a coastal town which is popular for its beaches. It has a population of approximately 31,000 people. Lagos is 35 minutes to Portimao and 50 minutes to Faro.

Visit the Beaches in Lagos

In Lagos, I visited Praia Dona Ana and Pointe de Piadede. They are both scenic locations where you will enjoy the view and will not want to leave. I spent my time here enjoying the views and taking pictures.

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Lagos Walking Tours

I honestly did not spend much time in Lagos, which is a shame because when I was researching my trip to the Algarve, Lagos was a town that kept popping up.

Before visiting Lagos I knew there was a history of the slave trade here and later found out that Lagos was the first point of entry for slaves into Europe. There is a Slave Market Museum here where you can find out more about what happened during that time. I would love to come back to Lagos and visit the Slave Market Museum.

A company on Instagram called Lagos Walking Tours reached out to me after I had left the Algarve to tell me about their tours. They have some good reviews on Trip Advisor and so would say give them a go if you are interested.

5. Things to do in Sagres-The Algarve

Sagres is located at the extreme west of the Algarve and is mainly a surfing destination. It is about 50 minutes to Portimao and 1 hour to Albufeira.

Watch the Sunset in Sagres

I had seen that a friend on Instagram had visited Sagres to see the sunset so I knew that I just had to visit based on the pictures and I am telling you the same!

Before seeing the sunset we decided to grab dinner at a restuarant recommend by a local again (our cool Uber driver lol). The restaurant is called Restaurante “O Pescador”. I had Sea Bream, potatoes and salad again. If I am staying by the coast, let me keep eating what they eat right!? This meal cost me €13 euros. Another good meal at a good price!

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I then took a car to Cape Saint Vincent to watch the sunset and it was an astonishing view. It reminded me of the default screensavers that you have on your screen when you buy a new laptop or computer.

TIP

  • Make sure to check the time of sunset that day and arrive maybe 30 minutes earlier( you can do earlier if you want)
  • We got there maybe 15- 20 minutes before sunset and there were quite a lot of people there already. If you are not fussed about taking pictures, then arrive whenever you wish!

Get Planning Your Algarve Trip

These are my recommendations of what to do based on my 4 night trip to the west side of the Algarve. I absolutely loved this trip, the Algarve is beautiful and the people are friendly so its a win win! Now you are all set for things to do on your trip to the Algarve. Enjoy!

 

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OTHER INFO

Looking for somewhere to stay in the Algarve? Check out Monchique Resort and Spa!

Looking for another sunny location to plan a holiday? Malaga may just be it!?

Need Travel Insurance? I always recommend World Nomads for travel insurance.

 

 

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Things to do in the Algarve
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6 Comments

  1. July 15, 2019 / 9:53 pm

    Nice guide! I know where to come when it’s time to start planning for the Algarve. I’m such a sunset chaser myself 😍. Thanks for writing.

    • heysarahtoyin
      Author
      July 15, 2019 / 10:06 pm

      😊 yesss come to me hahaha I loved the Algarve!

  2. July 16, 2019 / 8:17 am

    I’ve always really, really wanted to go to the Algarve! It looks so beautiful there. This post makes me want to go so badly now!

    • heysarahtoyin
      Author
      July 16, 2019 / 8:35 am

      aww really!! Yes I loved the Algarve, you should deffo visit 🙂 Let me know if you do!

  3. September 19, 2019 / 9:41 pm

    Taking notes for my trip! Thanks for all the tips!

    • heysarahtoyin
      Author
      September 21, 2019 / 3:14 pm

      No problem girl!!

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