In the southernmost portion of Portugal and the edge of Europe, the Algarve is swarming with white-washed beach towns, mesmerizing rock formations, and some of the world’s most beautiful beaches on the Atlantic Coast. It’s a destination for adventure, relaxation, and soaking up the sun in Europe. Follow this guide to the Algarve for some of the best things to do in southern Portugal.
See the lighthouse at the southwestern tip of Europe
Cabo de São Vicente is famed as the southwestern tip of Europe. It’s located in the village of Sagres and there is a gorgeous white lighthouse that creates a fantastically picturesque view looking out at the Atlantic Ocean. Like most of southern Portugal, the view of the lighthouse is also met with a rugged cliff line and generally vivid blue skies. Plus, the lighthouse sits on top of the ruins of a monastery, and until the 14th century, the area was believed to be the end of the world. No doubt, this is definitely one of the best places to visit in the Algarve.
Enjoy the nightlife in Albufeira
This little village is unlike any other in the Algarve thanks to its bustling nightlife strip called Avenida Francisco Sá Carneiro. There you’ll find open-air nightclubs and lively bars. One of the most popular is Wild & Co offering live music, parties, and cocktails.
In Albufeira, you’ll also find many seafood restaurants along mesmerizing tiled streets. The town is beautiful with its simple white buildings and orange roofs. If you want a quick beach spot, there is a massive sandy beach in Albufeira that gets very busy during the summer months.
Relax on Praia da Marinha
Rugged, orange sandstone cliffs, picturesque pit caves, and golden sand make Praia de Marinha one of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve. Some pieces of the rocky cliff line dot the emerald-colored Atlantic creating a wildly beautiful scene. Then, visitors can walk under pit caves or swim out or kayak along the Atlantic to discover other secret caves.
Kayak to the Benagil Caves
The Benagil Caves is one of the best places to visit in the Algarve. Reachable by boat or kayak, the sandstone cave is distinct due to the massive hole at the top where the sunlight shines onto the golden sand and soft waves. On a kayak tour, you’ll explore along the coastline – up close and personal –passing other caves in pursuit of the Benagil Caves. Meanwhile, you’ll learn about the history of its formation and all about the surrounding nature and landscapes. This is a tour made especially for the curious adventurers! Alternatively, there are also boat tours for a more relaxed excursion on the Atlantic Ocean.
Explore the Old Town of Lagos
White-washed buildings intertwine with colorful tiled facades, beautiful cafes, and amazing seafood restaurants in Lagos. This fishing town is a beautiful spot to base a trip to the Algarve as there are many restaurants, hotels, and gorgeous beaches to explore.
Meia Praia is a popular and busy stretch of beach with a historic fortress, and it’s a great spot for sunbathing. However, if you want to explore even more picturesque and quieter beaches, check out Praia dos Estudantes with its curious rock tunnels and Praia do Camilo with its long wooden steps and gorgeous Atlantic views.
Discover Ponta da Piedade
Near Lagos, Ponta da Piedade offers some of the most incredible caves and grottos in the Algarve. You can follow a series of stone staircases down to the sandy beach or take a boat or kayak tour for a different perspective.
Once there, you are greeted with dozens of impressive rock formations, secret caves, and crystal-clear waters. Booking with a professional guide, you’ll be able to discover some of the best-hidden gems of the area along with interesting facts about the formations themselves. Any trip to the Algarve warrants a visit to this beautiful natural wonder.
Walk the Caminho de Algar Seco
If you want to follow an amazing walking trail that hugs the rocky coastline, the Caminho de Algar Seco is a must in the Algarve. There is a boardwalk that wraps around the landscape showcasing one wondrous view after another. You’ll find photo-worthy viewpoints, caves, and even small saltwater pools. It’s an easy walking trail and it takes no time at all to be in front of unbeatable views.
The Algarve in southern Portugal offers some of the most incredible natural landscapes and coastal adventures in Europe. Speak with one of our expert travel guides to start planning your adventure to this piece of Portuguese paradise!
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