Algarve - Things To Do & Attractions
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Top Things To Do in The Algarve
Hit the Beach!
With 300 days of sunshine a year, it’s a pretty safe guess that most visitors to the Algarve will want to factor in a LOT of beach-time! The Algarve boasts some of Europe’s most spectacular beaches, with broad expanses of white sand, tucked-away coves and pristine, deserted coastline.
Experience Local Life
Want a taste of authentic Portuguese life? Make like a local and hit the markets! There are traditional crafts aplenty at the famous Loule Country Market, as well as locally-grown produce that blows the supermarket equivalents right off the shelves.
You can also pick up some bargains at the Quarteira Gypsy Market – a perfect place for souvenir shopping and practicing your bartering skills!
Break for the Border!
Cross into British territory on a day trip to Gibraltar, where you can spend British money, see British policemen and visit the famous Rock of Gibraltar with its Barbary Apes!
Something to keep both the sun-worshippers AND the adrenaline addicts happy! The Algarve’s brilliant Aqualand waterpark ticks everyone’s boxes – with enough fun rides and slides to keep kids of all ages entertained for the whole day.
Love your wildlife? Not many experiences can top a dolphin-watching cruise. Witness one of the ocean’s most spectacular sights as you watch beautiful native dolphins swim and play in their natural environment.
Discover the Capital
Fancy a day’s escape from the Algarve? A day trip to Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, is a definite must-do. Packed with history and culture (as well as free time do see and do whatever you want), you won’t feel you’ve wasted a single second of your away-day!
Algarve – Quick Facts
- Flight Time from UK:
- The average flight time from London to Faro is 2h 25min
- The airport that serves the Algarve is Faro
- Top Resorts:
- Albufeira, Vilamoura and Praia Da Rocha
- Opening Times:
- Banks: Monday to Friday 8:30am to 3pm. Closed on Saturdays and official holidays.
- Chemists: Monday to Friday: 9am to 1pm / 3pm to 7pm. Saturday: 9am to 1pm. Main resorts and particularly during summer they will be open all day.
- Shops: Generally 9am - 1pm and 3pm - 7pm Monday to Friday / 1pm on Saturdays. Many will open longer hours during peak summer season.
- Temperatures in the Algarve average a pleasant 12°C in January to a scorching 24°C July and August.
- The sea temperature is at its warmest between June and October, when the water can reach temperatures of 20 - 21°C
- Country code: +351
- Emergency Services Number: 112
- Algarve Tourist Help Line - Tel: (+351) 808 78 12 12
- Albufeira Police - Tel: (+351) 289 513 203
- Vilamoura Police - Tel: (+351) 289 388 989
- EU standard, 220 V
Getting Around in The Algarve
- Buses in the Algarve are generally clean and reasonably-priced. Local services are run by EVA buses (www.eva-bus.com).
- Some towns, such as Albufeira and Portimão, have frequent shuttle-type services covering the town and close resorts.
- You can travel right across the Algarve by local train, from Lagos to Vila Real de Santo António on the Spanish border.
- Trains are not generally the fastest way to get around, but they often offer much better scenery and a more relaxed pace than driving.
- Hiring a car is a great way to explore the Algarve at your own pace, and the road systems have been considerably improved in recent years.
- Car rental companies can be found at Faro airport, or book online to collect your car when you arrive.
- Taxis are easy to identify - they are either beige or black and green – and can sometimes be flagged down on the street, but it’s usually easier to phone from your hotel or apartment.
- In most towns there is only one number to call. Most companies don’t take advance bookings, just telephone a few minutes before you wish to leave.
- All Algarve tourist resorts and many other towns have taxi ranks in the central areas.
The mix of things to do in the Algarve makes it a destination that everyone can enjoy. The Algarve incorporates various resorts, each with their own individual appeal. For nightlife, Lagos and Albufeira are the places to be, with Silves and Tavira the hotspots for history and culture.
The flatter eastern resorts like Monte Gordo and Vila Real de Santo António are great for accessible beaches, whereas the rugged west coast towns like Sagres and Carrapateira are great for surf-lovers.
And with 300 days of sunshine a year and miles of gorgeous coastline, sun-worshippers will be in their element!
Check out the guides and tips above for our top recommended Algarve attractions.